To some the appearance of the Polish-French artist Balthus Klossowski in the Rilke book might come as a surprise. The same applies to his older brother Pierre the super intellectual. But Balthus in fact plays an important part in the book because his mother was Rilke’s mistress and muse and he was befriended by Rilke who was also responsible for his education.
There was also another aspect to the young Balthus because he had a talent for detective work. In the period that he lived in Berlin, he worked with police to bring a criminal gang to justice. Later in Geneva, he solved another case of a murdered American tourist. With regard to art he benefited from visits to the Berlin police headquarters at Alexanderplatz. (Read more on page 59.)