A Season in Hell and Illuminations

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J.M. Dent, Sep 1, 1999 - Poetry - 164 pages
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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.

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About the author (1999)

Rimbaud, born in 1854, started to write at an early age. By 17 he had written his most famous poem, 'The Drunken Boat'. He then embarked on a turbulent homosexual relationship with the poet Verlaine, from which came some of their most original work, including A Season in Hell and Illuminations. Rimbaud rejected writing at the age of 20. After years of travelling and gun-running in Africa, he died in 1891, aged 37.Editor Biography Mark Treharne taught in the University of Warwick before becoming a freelance translator. Currently he is translating Proust's Le Cote des Guermantes.

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