During the later part of this decade Rilke spent extended periods in Ronda the famous bull-fighting center in southern Spain. During this time Reinhart introduced Rilke to his protégée the Australian violinist Alma Moodie. While doing so he pricked his hand on a thorn.
His writings include one novel several collections of poetry and several volumes of correspondence in which he invokes haunting images that focus on the difficulty of communion with the ineffable in an age of disbelief solitude and profound anxiety. These deeply existential themes tend to position him as a transitional figure between the traditional and the modernist writers. While born in the Austro-Hungarian Empire Rilke travelled extensively throughout Europe and North Africa including Russia Spain Germany France Italy and in his later years settled in Switzerland—settings that were key to the genesis and inspiration for many of his poems.