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Arthur Rimbaud Is Remembered As Much For His Volatile Personality And Tumultuous Life As He Is For His Writings, Most Of Which He Produced Before The Age Of Eighteen This Book Brings Together His Poetry, Prose, And Letters, Including The Drunken Boat, The Orphans New Year, After The Flood, And A Season In Hell, Considered By Many To Be His Complete Works Is Divided Into Eight Seasons Childhood, The Open Road, War, The Tormented Heart, The Visionary, The Damned Soul, A Few Belated Cowardices, And The Man With The Wind At His Heels That Reflect The Facets Of Rimbaud S Life Insightful Commentary By Translator And Editor Paul Schmidt Reveals The Courage, Vision, And Imagination Of Rimbaud S Poetry And Sheds Light On One Of The Most Enigmatic Figures In Letters

10 thoughts on “Œuvres complètes

  1. says:

    English language poetry, excepting maybe the contributions of the Beats, has remained largely untouched by the Rimbaud phantasmagoria interestingly enough, his enfant terrible personality made him influential among protopunk musicians than poets However, anyone who s ventured even slightly into the realm of European verse has fallen beneath the vast shadow of Rimbaud.Considered the greatest of French poets by many, his verses were made even remarkable by the dangerous philosophy of the po te voyant that nearly destroyed his sanity and his life, and the fact that he stopped writing entirely before he was twenty He is, in many people s eyes, a pseudo religious figure, the patron saint or patron demon of French letters, the beginning and end of modern poetry Well, I m certainly not going to argue with that On to the book.This is, unfortunately, the definitive English translation of Rimbaud, corrected a handful of decades after the original printing, removing such stupid mistakes as que chante le coq gaulois rendered in English as the Gallic cock grows the intended meaning, of course, being crows Considering that the publishers found it necessary to drag in a whole other man to fix the translator s mistakes, it doesn t really give you confidence as to the quality of the translation, eh Though I m willing to give Fowlie the benefit of the doubt and assume that most of the changes were due to new versions of Rimbaud manuscripts cropping up and recently uncovered knowledge changing the way we interpret him.The translation was originally intended, I believe, for people who read a little French but need some extra help It doesn t stand up as well on its own, and if you think you can manage it in the original French, by all means, give it a try, but Rimbaud is, even in the crudest of translations and Fowlie s work is, admittedly, far from the worst one could do , a transcendent, visionary genius His poems are as dangerous and soul warping as they were 115 years ago I would suggest that people with mental problems such as myself after reading this I promptly changed my surname to Rimbaud and ran around the country ruining my life in the name of achieving poetic transcendence not that I regretted it much, but still, in and out of rehab and mental institutions is no way to go through life, son and or poets with no remaining survival instincts stay away from Rimbaud Or, no, rather, do, and immediately the world needs new Rimbauds, now so than ever.As for everyone else, Rimbaud is best read with knowledge of the man the boy, rather behind the words I would suggest first purchasing a biography or two as a companion piece and perhaps watching the film Total Eclipse, with David Thewlis as Rimbaud s lover Paul Verlaine and Leonardo diCaprio doing a surprisingly good job portraying the avant garde poet himself.

  2. says:

    rimbaud is comfort reading for the soul i fell into reading him on accident, i was talking about poetry with a friend and he happened to mention that this was his favourite poet and he told me all about rimbaud s past, the tryst he had with paul verlaine, the religious upbringing he had and the curious fact that rimbaud stopped writing at 21 that he dropped everything to become a merchant and to run away from it all my interest was piqued there isn t any way that it couldn t be.what strikes me about rimbaud in the translated work that wyatt mason has compiled is the ability to watch him grow in the few years that he is a poet and writer he lists the poetry and prose as best as he can by the year that it was written mason even captures versions of poems, again sorting by year, so that you can see the corrections that age helped him to make to his beautiful poems.i ve read previous translations of rimbaud, and i ve loved those as well, but this one felt a bit modern and relatable instead of a literal translation, word by word, he tried to convey nuances of the language into english, which to me hasn t been done as well by previous translators i imagine reading it in the original french would be amazing, but alas, i can only speak so many languages.below is probably my favourite prose piece that he s written which isn t an easy thing to choose Long ago, if my memory serves, life was a feast where every heart was open, where every wine flowed.One night, I sat Beauty on my knee And I found her bitter And I hurt her.I took arms against justice.I fled, entrusting my treasure to you, o witches, o misery, o hate.I snuffed any hint of human hope from my consciousness I made the muffled leap of a wild beast onto any hint of joy, to strangle it.Dying, I called my executioners over so I could bite the butts of their rifles I called plagues to suffocate me with sand, blood Misfortune was my god I lay in the mud I withered in criminal air And I even tricked madness than once.And spring left me with an idiot s unbearable laughter.Just now, having nearly reached death s door, I thought about seeking the key to the old feast, through which, perhaps, I might regain my appetite.Charity is the key Such an inspiration proves I was dreaming A hyena you ll remain, etc cries the demon that crowns me with your merry poppies Make for death with every appetite intact, with your egotism, and every capital sin Ah It seems I have too many already But, dear Satan, I beg you not to look at me that way, and while you await a few belated cowardices you who so delight in a writer s inability to describe or inform watch me tear a few terrible leaves from my book of the s hard for me to explain why i love a poet, or a specific poem i feel transported, or full of life or anger, or just an emotion that previously hadn t consumed me, for the duration of my reading and for some time beyond i m stuck in that space that the author has written and it feels for a time like i want nothing than to drown in that emotion this is why i read rimbaud, all the time.

  3. says:

    I spent the summer of my 18th year in semi voluntary exile on a tiny isle in the Adriatic Of the few books I had room to pack I think two were different translations of Rimbaud and one was about him I passed those four months drinking a lot, listening to a lot of Bob Marley, Bob Dylan and T Rex, and reading Rimbaud constantly These poems are so tied up in my mind with that period of time that I still can t read them without being instantaneously transported back there Same with T Rex s Electric Warrior What we consume becomes a part of us, a part of our lives It serves to locate us in time A thousand books and songs spinning their gossamer webs across the surface of my life, tying disparate moments together through these persistent associations Who says time travel doesn t exist

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  5. says:

    The influence of Bob Dylan, Patti Smith and many others This I a keeper book and one that will be re read many times over Another great French writer that left this world way too soon.

  6. says:

    I love Rimbaud and I really enjoy Mason s translations they re faithful without being inflexible.

  7. says:

    Poetry has always been kinda dull to me Some poetry is pretty, but I ve never really seen the point to it.And then I discovered Rimbaud.The thing about Rimbaud is that you can t read his poetry without knowing at least some of his backstory His religious upbringing His frequent rebellions and escapes His affair with Paul Verlaine And then, most amazing of all, the fact that he stopped writing poetry before he hit 21.This collection is of everything that Rimbaud wrote, and he wrote it all at an age that most would consider to still be childhood A majority of these poems, however, are anything but immature.Really, I bought this book for A Season In Hell I wasn t disappointed First Delirium is heartbreaking Second Delirium is beautiful And with such quotable lines as I turned silences and nights into words What was unutterable, I wrote down I made the whirling world stand still , it s no wonder it s his most famous work.I then started reading his other poems Just a few, here and there The thing I do when I m reading is if I find a line that stands out to me, I put a sticky note on the corner of the page I soon realised I was putting notes on nearly every other page That s just how fantastic his words are.And yes, I realise this is just one translation of Rimbaud s work, but I can t help but feel that no matter who translated Rimbaud s poems, the beauty and truth of his words would still stand out to me He s just that fucking good.

  8. says:

    Arthur Rimbaud is one of my favourite poets and that s that

  9. says:

    All I can think about this is that Rimbaud s work must really sing in French Because this this is not good It is not remotely great This is the ranting of a teenage boy who did not want to grow up, did not want to be responsible He insults his mother, but he always runs home to her It seems to me that his reputation mostly rests on his shocking biography and his letters Of course, I recognize that timing is everything in literature when he wrote, much of this must have seemed new and startling as well Mind you, the makings of greatness are here, but at the time he was writing from the age of 15 to the age of 20 he did not have the experience to fill it out And he knew that His famous I am depraving myself as much as I can, his ars poetica is based on gathering the experience he knew he needed His drinking and drugging, his wild affair with Verlaine, his travels, all to explore his own otherness, his unknown, to become aware of and to cultivate himself with the express goal of knowing and writing so that others may then build on that work But then Science, the new nobility Progress The world moves And why shouldn t it We have visions of numbers We are moving toward the Spirit What I say is oracular and absolutely right I understandand since I cannot express myself except in pagan terms, I would rather keep quiet. from Bad Blood in A Season in Hell, 1873And just two years after that, he quit writing On October 14, 1875, six days shy of his 21st birthday, he writes his friend Ernest Delahaye the hell with my craft and art, requesting information on pursuing a degree in science The letter contains his last known poem, on soldiers farting He then goes to travel, then a life as a trader in Africa And ooh, hello colonialism Truly, I regret that he did not continue Maybe he could not Maybe the wild living was part and parcel with the poetry for him and he could not write without it I would have liked to see his poetry when he grew up When he had had to live by the sweat of his brow and toil with the thorns and thistles as we all do, I would have liked to see what a man of his impressive craftsmanship could do with that wisdom But I certainly don t begrudge him his turning to other things I only wonder what might have been.I don t have any French with which to judge Paul Schmidt s translation, or I would be reading the originals of course, but his translations make perfectly good English verse I appreciated his arrangement of the body of work into seasons bracketed by a brief biographical note and letters it helped to place the poetry within Rimbaud s life I did think it was incredibly petty of Mr Schmidt to suggest that it would have been better for the poet to disappear or die young than suffer the banal life of business he turned to There is to life than just poetry, and Rimbaud died young enough at 37 Of what he left behind, this is probably my favorite and it is an early work CrowsLord, when the open field is cold,When in battered villagesThe endless angelus dies Above the dark and drooping worldLet the empty skies discloseYour dear, delightful crows.Armada dark with harsh cries,Your nests are tossed by icy winds Along the banks of yellowed ponds,On roads where crumbling crosses rise,In cold and gray and mournful weatherScatter, hover, dive together In flocks above the fields of FranceWhere yesterday s dead men lie,Wheel across the winter sky Recall our black inheritance Let duty in your cry be heard,Mournful, black, uneasy bird.Yet in that oak, you saints of God,Swaying in the dying day,Leave the whistling birds of MayFor those who found, within that woodFrom which they will not come again,That every victory is vain. c 1870 During the Franco Prussian War

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