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  #11  
Unread 10-08-2019, 06:22 AM
Julie Steiner's Avatar
Julie Steiner Julie Steiner is offline
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Hey, Susan!

I think the rewrite of S1 is a definite improvement.

In S2L4, "because they're piling blood on blood" gives my literal mind a more gory image than "because they're leaning blood on blood" would--probably because "leaning blood on blood" is more of an impossibility, and therefore tells me don't get grossed out, it's just a metaphor. Perhaps you could use another word in S2L2, so that "leaning" can be available for S2L4.
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  #12  
Unread 10-08-2019, 06:41 AM
Susan McLean Susan McLean is offline
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Julie, I don't think "legen" can mean "to lean." It means something like "to place or to set." I have tried "stacking" in place of "piling." I think the idea is that one liquid will not sit on top of another liquid of the same sort.

Susan
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  #13  
Unread 10-08-2019, 12:07 PM
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Julie Steiner Julie Steiner is offline
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We agree that the overall image is one of futility. If I understand you correctly, you think it's the futility of building a tower or stack or pile or parfait of two identical liquids.

But why would the sisters want to do any of those things? They're just trying to keep themselves upright, aren't they?

As I see it, the futility is of trying to prop up something yielding with something yielding. The fact that this yielding liquid happens to be blood evokes the sister's genetic kinship. But perhaps there's also a slight hint of blood's contrast with more solid flesh, or bone; and perhaps a slight hint of menstrual blood as an indicator of non-maleness, and perhaps the suggestion that what each really needs is a strong man to lean on, not another weak woman. (Yes, I am blithely reading things into it that Rilke may not have put there, but I don't think it's too far from his general attitude about men and women.)

Anywhere, that's why I was thinking of "leaning on," which you are correct to point out is not what the word actually means.
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  #14  
Unread 10-08-2019, 02:11 PM
Susan McLean Susan McLean is offline
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Julie, I believe Rilke is trying to suggest sibling rivalry in the sisters, made more complicated by the overt sympathy and attempt to help one another. Family relationships are fraught, so the blood does signify kinship, but also, I think, a subdued violence. Each of them, perhaps without knowing it, wants to be on top. But that attempt is doomed, or at least I think that is what Rilke implies. I don't think Rilke is aware of his own sense of superiority to the sisters, which he takes for granted.

Susan
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  #15  
Unread 10-08-2019, 11:52 PM
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Julie Steiner Julie Steiner is offline
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Oh. Rivalry hadn't crossed my mind, or the concept of trying to top each other. Just the kind of support that becomes a burden. Thanks.
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