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Rimbaud Complete (Modern Library Classics)

par Arthur Rimbaud

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A complete collection of poetry and prose by the revolutionary nineteenth-century poet includes an introduction to the life, work, myth, and influence of Arthur Rimbaud.

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I discovered Rimbaud in High School, and since then his tormented and garroulous spirit have inspired me and I find myself returning to his prose and poetry often......this is a complete collection of his work, edited by Wyatt Mason; and I still read this like it was new and fresh to me. His words and wording bring up not just images, but an illusion that is immediately recognizable and relatable. This book is divided according to periods of his life, but every piece could stand alone. I find in his work, so many sentences that to me are amazing and thought provoking. This is what stays with me, his words, and how he can twist a sentence to wrap around itself and leave you so sure of his emotive, you feel you could have written it yourself.... ( )
  over.the.edge | Sep 16, 2018 |
Arthur Rimbaud (1854-1891) was a French poet who experimented with many verse structures at an early age. Always interested in the theme of liberty, Rimbaud’s work challenged the boundaries of traditional poetic expression. Wyatt Mason, the translator of the poet’s work in Rimbaud Complete (2003), wrote a wonderful description of Rimbaud’s style. “And the poems – vessels of indeterminacy, ambiguity and frequently strange beauty – are easily disfigured by a blunt critical blade.” Reading this description, the reader can understand the popularity of the poet’s work with the “Beat” generation and the surrealists. Much of the work translated by Mason is reminiscent of Alan Ginsberg’s beat poem “Howl” and Andre Breton’s surrealist novel, Nadja.

Mason’s translation is an attempt to remain true to the French but also help the reader experience Rimbaud’s images with contemporary English expressions. This process produces art that is very different from other translations of the poet's work. The reader has to be open to free association of images, tangential emotions, and surprising personal reactions. Later, this would be the ‘stuff’ of Kerouac, Kesey, Burroughs, Ginsberg, Breton, Genet and others.

I read the book with frequent surprising flights of fancy that I scribbled in the margins of the book. This is the best way to stay in tune with Rimbaud who I believe meant his work to produce such reader reaction. Of course, he meant the work for the few free spirits who might someday chuck it all and hit the road as he did. Timothy Leary’s infamous line, “Tune in, turn on, drop out” captures the insightful reader’s approach to the work of Arthur Rimbaud. ( )
2 voter GarySeverance | Apr 19, 2008 |
Brilliant and cheeky. Rimbaud pushed the envelope of French poetry to its limits, then stopped writing at age 20. ( )
  mewilbur | Jun 5, 2007 |
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