A Season in Hell and The Illuminationsby Arthur Rimbaud
Although he abandoned poetry before he was twenty-one years old, and wrote for only five or six years in all, Arthur Rimbaud has had an extraordinary influence on modern poetry. His work helped inspire poetic Symbolism, Dadaism, and Surrealism. Rimbaud dreamed of re-creating life through his words. Not content merely to describe the world, he longed to reorder it through his revolutionary poetry. He rebelled against all forms of hypocrisy, as well as against conventional concepts of love, morality, religion, and art. He even dreamed of liberating women from "endless servitude." Written a century ago, A Season in Hell and The Illuminations read like the works of an avant-garde poet of today. In her Introduction dealing with Rimbaud's life and work, Enid Rhodes Peschel discusses his concept of the voyant, the poet-visionary he dreamed of becoming through a "reasoned deranging of all his senses." A Season in Hell, which combines autobiography with self-appraisal, vision and hallucination, reflects Rimbaud's tortures in trying to be a voyant. The forty-two poems of The Illuminations, kaleidoscopic evocations of a universe in continual evolution, are further evidence of his attempts to reach this transcendent state. Enid Rhodes Peschel has succeeded in not only translating these works but in recreating them. Eye, ear, mind, and heart have all been engaged in her effort to capture the tone and rhythm of Rimbaud's language as well as the quality of his thought.
Meet the Author
This book brings together two of the most notorious artistic rebels of their respective eras, Arthur Rimbaud (1854-1891) and Robert Mapplethorpe. Rimbaud wrote most of his work as a teenager, then renounced poetry to pursue an adventurous but unprofitable career as a soldier, coffee trader, and gun runner. The controversial and highly regarded photographer Robert Mapplethorpe earned acclaim during the late 1980s for his nudes, portraits, and still lifes. Books with Bulfinch are: Robert Mapplethorpe (1988), Some Women (1989) and Flowers (1990). Paul Schmidt has translated the complete works of Rimbaud as well as selected works of Chekhov, Pushkin and other Russian authors.
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