Arthur Rimbaud: A Biography

Arthur Rimbaud: A Biography

by Enid Starkie


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“This is the fullest and fairest of the half-dozen books on Rimbaud in English. No single volume so complete exists even in French.”—Roger Shattuck (The New York Times)

Rimbaud—a mythic name—his life as extraordinary as his work was influential in redirecting the course, first of French, and then of world poetry. He is, indeed, the very symbol of what we now call “modern” literature; nearly a hundred years before the arrival of the “mind-expanding” drugs, Rimbaud understood that the borders of the writer’s consciousness must be extended and made the deliberate attempt to use hallucination as a creative method.

Dr. Starkie, a lecturer in French literature at Oxford, has devoted many years of research to Rimbaud, revising her biography three times as new manuscript material and information about him has come to light.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780811201971
Publisher: New Directions Publishing Corporation
Publication date: 01/17/1962
Edition description: REVISED
Pages: 160
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 8.00(h) x 1.30(d)

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Arthur Rimbaud 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
EnriqueFreeque on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Read this back in college after "discovering" on my own "Illuminations" & "A Season In Hell". Very well written, researched, and scholarly though not snooty, examination of one of world literature's most tortured enigmas. Rimbaud makes Sylvia Plath seem a happy and content person by comparison. How could such a precociously gifted prose poet (and at times acerbic, satiric, masterful corresponder to boot) completely reject his literary genius barely turned 21, and ultimately end up a slave trader dead of syphillis near 40? This biography offers a few clues -- and more. Without Rimbaud's writings, for instance, the school of surrealism in art, soon to flourish in France & the world, would have been denied perhaps its greatest influence. Fascinating read. Many references to Mallarme, Verlaine, & Baudelaire's relationship to Rimbaud in the text, for those interested in those writers as well. A must read for anyone wishing to know more about one of the masters of the French Symbolist movement in literature during the latter half of the 19th century.