Rimbaud: The Double Life of a Rebel Edmund White
Rimbaud, among the greatest of French poets, notorious for his life as well as his works, is evoked by a hugely distinguished biographer. Poet and prodigy Arthur Rimbaud led a life that was startlingly short, yet dramatically eventful and accomplished. His long poem "Une Saison en Enfer" (1873) and his collection "Illuminations" (1886) are central to the modern canon. Having sworn off writing at the age of twenty-one, Rimbaud drifted around the world, ultimately dying from an infection contracted while gun-running in Africa. He was thirty-seven. Distinguished biographer, novelist, and memoirist Edmund White, brilliantly explores the young poet's relationships with his family and his teachers, as well as his notorious affair with the older and more established poet Paul Verlaine. He reveals the sometimes elusive, sometimes blatant, themes of sexual taboo that haunt Rimbaud's works, offering incisive interpretations of the poems and his own artful translations to bring us closer to this great and mercurial poet.