The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge is Rilke’s only novel. He wrote it while living in Paris as a young writer. It contains autobiographical content and was inspired in part by the expressionistic movement.
From Book One
But, Master, were a virginal spirit to lie with innocent ear beside your sound: he would die of blessedness, or he would gestate infinite things and his impregnated brain would burst with so much birth.
It all seems so inconsequential.
The artlessness of it. I seem to forget under my moth-eaten quilts. My room is sometimes cold.
Freight cars rumble along a dreary, well-worn track. The train head bellows.
The sound measures the miles between me and it, and I wake.
And then I remember. There it is. I slept too long.