Elizabeth Shue's Bookshelf
By Rainer Maria Rilke
When I was 25 and working on my first Broadway play, Some Americans Abroad, my friend Bill gave me this book with the inscription: 'Descend into yourself. Search for the reason.' I was searching for my own reasons for being an actress and wanted to see myself as an artist, but it all seemed a little pretentious. This book helped me see that making art is about the search; the questions, not the answers. The book is also a tribute to generosity among artists. Rilke never talks down to the young poet. He inspires him to search inwardly and find himself through his poetry. Since I'd struggled with a fear of being alone, this book helped me to see solitude as invaluable if I was to express myself. I also just love this quote: 'Be considerate of aging people, who fear that being-alone in which you trust.'