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Rimbaud: A Biography (2000)

by Graham Robb

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295264,695 (4.13)6
Graham Robb's brilliant biography moves Rimbaud on from his perpetual adolescence where our imaginations have held him to show the extent of his transformations. From phenomenally precocious schoolboy, he became Europe's most shocking and exhilarating poet, author of poems that range from the exquisite to the extreme. But this brief, five-year period as the enfant-terrible of French literature is only one small side of Rimbaud's story.Robb takes us on a biographical journey through three continents and many different identities. Rimbaud emerges from this stunning work of biographical scholarship and historical imagination as an even more complex, ambiguous and fascinating figure than ever before.… (more)

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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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Graham Robb's brilliant biography moves Rimbaud on from his perpetual adolescence where our imaginations have held him to show the extent of his transformations. From phenomenally precocious schoolboy, he became Europe's most shocking and exhilarating poet, author of poems that range from the exquisite to the extreme. But this brief, five-year period as the enfant-terrible of French literature is only one small side of Rimbaud's story.Robb takes us on a biographical journey through three continents and many different identities. Rimbaud emerges from this stunning work of biographical scholarship and historical imagination as an even more complex, ambiguous and fascinating figure than ever before.

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W.W. Norton

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