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Rimbaud: A Biography by Graham Robb

Rimbaud: A Biography (original 2000; edition 2001)

by Graham Robb

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Title:Rimbaud: A Biography
Authors:Graham Robb
Info:W. W. Norton & Company (2001), Paperback, 592 pages
Collections:Your library

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Rimbaud: A Biography by Graham Robb (2000)



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A lengthy in depth biography of the poet Arthur Rimbaud. I had read "The Illuminations" one of his key works of poetry though I have to say did not remember much about it. Also Rimbaud was one of Jim Morrisons' literary models in his music and poetry. Rimbaud obviously was a genius but like many his life was one of great tumult and struggle. Much to his own making he lived his younger years in utter squalor, poverty, and rebellion. Later he drifted his way to east Africa to get involved in gun trading and other forms of commerce. Beyond his early writing he pretty much vacated poetry and though recognized by the poetic circles primarily of France he never amounted to much on a larger scale until after his death at a relative early age. ( )
  knightlight777 | Dec 19, 2012 |
3397 Rimbaud, by Graham Robb (read 30 Jan 2001) Because I so enjoyed Robb's biography of Victor Hugo, I decided to read this book. Rimbaud had an interesting life, spending much time in what is now known as Ethiopia. He was an obnoxious person during his poetry-producing years, and no matter how great a genius he was I would have had nothing to do with him. The book is well-researched and well-written and I do not regret reading it. ( )
  Schmerguls | Nov 25, 2007 |
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Unknown beyond the Avant-Garde at the time of his death, Arthur Rimbaud (1854-1891) has been one of the most destructive and liberating influences on twentieth-century culture.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 039332267X, Paperback)

When he was not yet 17, Arthur Rimbaud (1854-91) electrified Paris's literary society with the incendiary poems that later made him the guiding saint of 20th-century rebels, from Pablo Picasso to Jim Morrison. "A Season in Hell," "The Drunken Boat," and the prose poems of Illuminations were epochal works that changed the nature of an art form--and yet their author abandoned poetry at age 21 and spent the rest of his short life as a colonial adventurer in Arabia and Africa. "He was writing in a void," explains British scholar Graham Robb. "In 1876, most of Rimbaud's admirers either were still in the nursery or had yet to be conceived." Hardly surprising, since the poet was a difficult and frequently unpleasant person to actually know. The Parisian poets who took him under their wing soon discovered that Rimbaud was ungrateful, crude, and as scornful of their precious verse as he was of the Catholic Church, bourgeois proprieties, and everything else his disapproving mother held dear. Rimbaud's stormy affair with Paul Verlaine estranged the older poet from his wife and, eventually, from most of his artistic friends as well. In Robb's depiction, the poet possessed from his earliest youth a restless, searching intellect that permitted no compromise with convention nor tenderness for others' weaknesses. The author doesn't soften Rimbaud's "savage cynicism" or gloss over his frequently obnoxious behavior, yet Robb arouses our admiration for "one of the great Romantic imaginations, festering in damp, provincial rooms like an intelligent disease." Like Robb's excellent biographies of Hugo and Balzac, this sharp, subtle, unsentimental portrait is both erudite and beautifully written. --Wendy Smith

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:38 -0400)

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