A Season in Hell

( 2 )

Overview

In this new translation of Arthur Rimbaud—illustrious among the 19th-century symbolists and one of the most influential poets upon the modern mind—Donald Revell captures the child-like wonder and tortured, revelatory despair of these poems, which changed, in so many ways, how we think of what a poem can say and mean. Revell’s choice of a most immediate vernacular gives the modern reader all the heady brilliance in Rimbaud’s rebelliousness. Yet, as Revell explains in his essay “Outrageous Innocence, Innocence ...
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A Season in Hell

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Overview

In this new translation of Arthur Rimbaud—illustrious among the 19th-century symbolists and one of the most influential poets upon the modern mind—Donald Revell captures the child-like wonder and tortured, revelatory despair of these poems, which changed, in so many ways, how we think of what a poem can say and mean. Revell’s choice of a most immediate vernacular gives the modern reader all the heady brilliance in Rimbaud’s rebelliousness. Yet, as Revell explains in his essay “Outrageous Innocence, Innocence Outraged,” which is offered as afterword in this translation of A Season in Hell, Rimbaud’s rebellious sensuality was redolent with the oracular. Revell’s essay offers the story of Rimbaud—his wildly creative youth, his years of breaking with all traditions of morality and decorum, his fame as the genius of French letters who is identified as one of the creators of free verse because of his rhythm experiments in prose poems. And Revell’s essay places these poems in the larger historical narrative of the literature of rebellious youth that has molded much of our contemporary culture. Published with the French on facing pages, this translation will open many readers to the pleasure of reading this wild child who was remembered after his death as one of the masters of French poetry.

Winner of The Pen USA Translation Award for 2008

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Winner of The Pen USA Translation Award for 2008

"Revell's method fits Rimbaud's near-madness. . . . This is an inspired new version of a strange, harsh classic."  —Publishers Weekly

Publishers Weekly

As a wild, drug-taking teen in the 1870s, Rimbaud helped engender modern poetry. This dizzying, brilliant, blasphemous last book of mostly prose poems explores his angers, gratitudes and regrets about the visions and erotic transports celebrated in earlier poems. Revell (Pennyweight Windows) is just the right kind of poet to bring something new to this familiar work; his own recent verse reflects religious visions, and he has translated Rimbaud's successor, Apollinaire. Rimbaud's verve, fascination with the forbidden, and the self-loathing that led him to give up poetry altogether come across with a confident swagger in Revell's wiry syntax. "I dance... hand-in-hand with hags and children," Rimbaud says. Sometimes Revell modernizes ("Copyright remains with me"); elsewhere he courts controversy (for the much-quoted "Il faut etre absolument moderne," Revell gives "I must"—not "One must"—"be absolutely modern"). Yet Revell's method fits Rimbaud's near-madness: the translation shows, and Revell's afterword explains, how this hallucinatory modernism jump-starts an Anglo-American tradition that leads from Blake to the present day. This is an inspired new version of a strange, harsh classic. (Apr.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781890650308
  • Publisher: Omnidawn Publishing
  • Publication date: 4/1/2007
  • Pages: 104
  • Sales rank: 1,444,579
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

A volatile and peripatetic poet, the prodigy ARTHUR RIMBAUD wrote all of his poetry in a space of less than five years. His poem "Voyelles" invoked synesthesia, marking him as a founder of French symbolism, and his Une Saison en Enfer (A Season in Hell) is considered one of the first works of free verse. His poetry was subconsciously inspired and highly suggestive; his persona was caustic and unstable. Though brilliant, during his life his peers regarded him as perverse, unsophisticated, and youthfully arrogant, and he died virtually indifferent to his own work.

DONALD REVELL is Professor of English & Director of Creative Writing programs at UNLV. Thief of Strings is his tenth poetry collection, published by Alice James. Donald Revell's previous translations include The Illumninations by Arthur Rimbaud, and A Season in Hell by Arthur Rimbaud, both of which were published by Omnidawn. A Season in Hell won the PSA translation award. His books of essays include Invisible Green: Selected Prose, published by Omnidawn. He serves as poetry editor of Colorado Review. Revell lives in the desert south of Las Vegas with his wife, poet Claudia Keelan, and their children Benjamin Brecht and Lucie Ming.

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Table of Contents

Une Saison en Enfer / A Season in Hell
“Jardis. . .” / Back when. . .”
Mauvais Sang/Bad Blood
Nuit de L’Enfer/Night of Hell
Délires I/Deliriums
Délires II/Deliriums II
L’Impossible/The Impossible
L’Éclair/Lightning
Matin/Morning
Adieu/Farewell
A Translator’s Afterword Outrageous Innoncence/Innoncence Outraged
Morning of Drunkenness
Suggested Reading
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2007

    Beautiful Poetry

    For anyone who isn't a bitter bigot, Rimbaud is an excellent poet with a beautiful grasp of languange and the ability to make his readers feel his emotions as if they were their own.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 22, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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