Arthur Rimbaud

Seth Whidden

Arthur Rimbaud

Seth Whidden

Distributed for Reaktion Books

200 pages | 35 halftones | 5 x 7 3/4
Paper $19.00 ISBN: 9781780239804 Published November 2018 For sale in North and South America only

Before he turned twenty-one, Arthur Rimbaud (1854–91) had upended the house of French poetry and left it in shambles. In this critical biography, Seth Whidden argues that what makes Rimbaud’s poetry important is part of what makes his life so compelling: rebellion, audacity, creativity, and exploration.

Almost all of Rimbaud’s poems were written between the ages of fifteen and twenty. Against the backdrop of the crumbling Second Empire and the tumultuous Paris Commune, he took centuries-old traditions of French versification and picked them apart with an unmatched knowledge of how they fitted together. Combining sensuality with the pastoral, parody, political satire, fable, eroticism, and mystery, his poems range from traditional verse forms to prose-poetry to the first two free-verse poems written in French. By situating Rimbaud’s later writing in Africa as part of a continuum that spanned his entire life, Whidden offers a corrective to the traditional split between Rimbaud’s life as a poet and his life afterwards. A remarkable portrait of the original damned poet, Arthur Rimbaud reinvents a figure who continues to captivate readers, artists, and writers across the world.

Review Quotes
Caroline Weber, author of "Proust’s Duchess: How Three Celebrated Women Captured the Imagination of Fin-de-Siècle Paris"
"Whidden brings Arthur Rimbaud—the poet and the man, the irrepressible bad boy and the insuperable genius—alive in this engaging biography. As addictively readable as it is elegantly researched, Whidden’s book will appeal not only to specialists but to all readers interested in French poetry, culture, and the ever-fascinating interplay between life and art.”
Ross Chambers, author of "An Atmospherics of the City: Baudelaire and the Poetics of Noise"
"In his always perceptive account of Rimbaud’s life, times and writing, Whidden both draws on the recent research and transmits to English-speaking readers the poet’s new and often disconcerting significance."
For more information, or to order this book, please visit https://www.press.uchicago.edu
Google preview here

Chicago Manual of Style

RSS Feed

RSS feed of the latest books from Reaktion Books. RSS Feed