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
I am lying in my bed, five flights up, and my day, which nothing interrupts, is like a dial without hands. As a thing long lost lies one morning in its old place, safe and well, fresher almost than at the time of its loss, quite as though someone had cared for it—: so here and there on my coverlet lie lost things out of my childhood and are as new.
Is like a place I’ve never been before.
The coolness of it laps over my feet buried in wet sand. It feels like silk.
Back and forth. Reaching for my senses.
Such joy these waters of day fold and unfold again.
It blinds me with happiness. There should be no more thoughts.