Arthur Rimbaud - Life Stories, Books, and Links
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Picture of Arthur Rimbaud, poet; nineteenth century French Literature and poetry
Photograph: Arthur Rimbaud, age 12 (1866).
Arthur Rimbaud   (1854 - 1891)
Category:  French Literature
Born:  October 20, 1854
Charleville, Ardennes, France
Died:  November 10, 1891
Marseilles, France
Related authors:
Charles Baudelaire, Paul Verlaine
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Arthur Rimbaud - LIFE STORIES
7/10/1873     Verlaine & Rimbaud, Armed & Dangerous
On this day in 1873 Paul Verlaine (pictured) shot Arthur Rimbaud in a Brussels hotel, wounding him in the wrist. Although not yet two years old, their relationship was in such sexual, emotional, financial and absinthe confusion that no specific motive seems relevant, but the Belgian courts were determined to convict Verlaine of assault, and gave him the maximum two-year sentence.
10/22/1885     Rimbaud, Africa
On this day in 1885 Arthur Rimbaud wrote to his mother that he had decided to give up his more sedate job as a coffee-trader in Ethiopia, so beginning the last phase of his wild, infamous and short life: "... Several thousand rifles are on their way to me from Europe. I am going to set up a caravan, and carry this merchandise to Menelik, the king of Shoa...."
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Rimbaud Complete Works: Selected Letters
by Fowlie Wallace and Jean Nicholas (Editors), Arthur Rimbaud
Season in Hell
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Rimbaud: A Biography
by Graham Robb
Somebody Else: Arthur Rimbaud in Africa 1880-91
by Charles Nicholl
Time of the Assassins a Study of Rimbaud
by Henry Miller
literary criticism
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Arthur Rimbaud's Life and Poetry
Offers a biography, photographs and illustrations, letters to Verlaine, Theodore de Banville, and others, and a large selection of poems. In English and French. Highly recommended.
Literary Kicks
A short biography explores the poet's troubled youth, relationship with Paul Verlaine, and enduring legacy.

"Immersed in his rebellion, he denounced women and the church. He lived willingly in squalid conditions, studying 'immoral' poets (such as Baudelaire) and reading voraciously everything from occult to philosophy. His own poetic philosophy began to take shape at this time. To Rimbaud, the poet was a seer. His job was to jar and jangle the senses. A precursor to surrealism, Rimbaud is also considered to have been one of the creators of the free verse style."
Rimbaud Web
A French-language website offers a large selection of poetry and letters, an extensive annotated chronology of events in the poet's life, and information about his friends and influences. Highly recommended.
The Crux of Rimbaud's Poetics
An essay which charges that critics have missed the heart of Rimbaud's struggle and message.

"Rimbaud began a project that remains unfinished. The basic lines of his understanding of the necessity of the poet and the poet's language must be traced in the light of the theological contradiction from which they stem. Though every individual word I speak or write may have been spoken or written a million times before me, this does not prevent me from receiving or creating in some novel combination of these words a universal language capable of overturning the world."
Translating Rimbaud's Poetry
An essay that explores the poet's enduring legacy, and the challenges faced when translating his works "given Rimbaud's often bizarre handling of his native tongue."

"The idea of belles lettres is in itself a French concept, and French poetry does stand apart even from the poetries of other Romance languages in its lyricism. The French of Rimbaud—though swift and strident oftentimes—is overtly soft, dulcet, and flowing in its cadence. To this end, Rimbaud amplifies the French language, somehow making it even more 'French' than it would be in another application or scenario. I pair Rimbaud's written French with Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis' spoken French: soft, even, and ever-melodious. English, and most other, non-Romance languages— certainly all the Germanic and Slavic languages—have difficulty in replicating such subtitles as these graces are not intrinsic to these languages. How then, are Rimbaud's thoughts best translated into another language without the loss of his breath, his tone?"
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February 20, 2018
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