Franz Xaver Kappus

(May 17th, 1883 — October 9th, 1966)

Franz Xaver Kappus was an Austrian journalist, poet, writer and military officer. He is best remembered for his correspondence with Rainer Maria Rilke.

Kappus was born in the Banat province of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. He joined the military as a young man and began a correspondence with Rilke at 19, while he was a cadet. At the time, he was choosing between a career in the military or one as a writer.

He served in the military for fifteen years. Afterwards, he also worked as a journalist, novelist, short story writer, poet, and screenwriter. He adapted many stories for film during the 1930s. After WWI, he also served as an editor for several newspapers — including Kappus Deutsche Wacht (“Kappus’ German Watch”).

During WWII, he helped found the Liberal Democratic Party of Germany, which eventually became part of the bloc parties of the communist regime in Germany. He died in Berlin at the age of 83.

Despite having produced quite a few works of writing during his lifetime and having two German film adaptations of his own work, Kappus has mostly been forgotten. His connection to Rilke remains the most remembered portion of his writing.

Franz Xaver Kappus is a book author.

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Letters to a Young Poet


Reading correspondence is not quite the same as reading a novel, obviously, but it can be just as valuable when it comes to understanding a writer, their work, literature of the period, or the general customs of the time period. Writers writing about writing can be a very enlightening read. This is a review of Letters to a Young Poet.