Rimbaud Complete

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Enduring icon of creativity, authenticity, and rebellion, and the subject of numerous new biographies, Arthur Rimbaud is one of the most repeatedly scrutinized literary figures of the last half-century. Yet almost thirty years have elapsed without a major new translation of his writings. Remedying this state of affairs is Rimbaud Complete, the first and only truly complete edition of Rimbaud’s work in English, translated, edited, and introduced by Wyatt Mason.

Mason draws on a century of Rimbaud scholarship to choreograph a superbly clear-eyed presentation of the poet’s works. He arranges Rimbaud’s writing chronologically, based on the latest manuscript evidence, so readers can experience the famously teenaged poet’s rapid evolution, from the lyricism of “Sensation” to the groundbreaking early modernism of A Season in Hell.

In fifty pages of previously untranslated material, including award-winning early verses, all the fragmentary poems, a fascinating early draft of A Season in Hell, a school notebook, and multiple manuscript versions of the important poem “O saisons, ô chateaux,” Rimbaud Complete displays facets of the poet unknown to American readers. And in his Introduction, Mason revisits the Rimbaud myth, addresses the state of disarray in which the poet left his work, and illuminates the intricacies of the translator’s art.

Mason has harnessed the precision and power of the poet’s rapidly changing voice: from the delicate music of a poem such as “Crows” to the mature dissonance of the Illuminations, Rimbaud Complete unveils this essential poet for a new generation of readers.
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The definitive translation of the one of the brightest geniuses of French poetry. The prose poems of the great French Symbolist, Arthur Rimbaud (1854-1891), have acquired enormous prestige among readers everywhere and have been a revolutionary influence on poetry in the twentieth century. They are offered here both in their original texts and in superb English translations by Louise Varese. Mrs. Varese first published her versions of Rimbaud’s Illuminations in 1946. Since then she has revised her work and has included two poems which in the interim have been reclassified as part of Illuminations. This edition also contains two other series of prose poems, which include two poems only recently discovered in France, together with an introduction in which Miss Varese discusses the complicated ins and outs of Rimbaldien scholarship and the special qualities of Rimbaud’s writing. Rimbaud was indeed the most astonishing of French geniuses. Fired in childhood with an ambition to write, he gave up poetry before he was twenty-one. Yet he had already produced some of the finest examples of French verse. He is best known for A Season in Hell, but his other prose poems are no less remarkable. While he was working on them he spoke of his interest in hallucinations––"des vertiges, des silences, des nuits." These perceptions were caught by the poet in a beam of pellucid, and strangely active language which still lights up––now here, now there––unexplored aspects of experience and thought.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Modern Library
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Published on
Mar 27, 2013
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Pages
656
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ISBN
9780307824103
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Language
English
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Genres
Literary Collections / European / French
Poetry / European / French
Poetry / European / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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The enfant terrible of French letters, Jean-Nicholas-Arthur Rimbaud (1854-91) was a defiant and precocious youth who wrote some of the most remarkable prose and poetry of the nineteenth century, all before leaving the world of verse by the age of twenty-one. More than a century after his death, the young rebel-poet continues to appeal to modern readers as much for his turbulent life as for his poetry; his stormy affair with fellow poet Paul Verlaine and his nomadic adventures in eastern Africa are as iconic as his hallucinatory poems and symbolist prose.

The first translation of the poet's complete works when it was published in 1966, Rimbaud: Complete Works, Selected Letters introduced a new generation of Americans to the alienated genius—among them the Doors's lead singer Jim Morrison, who wrote to translator Wallace Fowlie to thank him for rendering the poems accessible to those who "don't read French that easily." Forty years later, the book remains the only side-by-side bilingual edition of Rimbaud's complete poetic works.

Thoroughly revising Fowlie's edition, Seth Whidden has made changes on virtually every page, correcting errors, reordering poems, adding previously omitted versions of poems and some letters, and updating the text to reflect current scholarship; left in place are Fowlie's literal and respectful translations of Rimbaud's complex and nontraditional verse. Whidden also provides a foreword that considers the heritage of Fowlie's edition and adds a bibliography that acknowledges relevant books that have appeared since the original publication. On its fortieth anniversary, Rimbaud remains the most authoritative—and now, completely up-to-date—edition of the young master's entire poetic ouvre.
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