Wednesday, May 6

Illuminations - Arthur Rimbaud (1875)

"Fertile Destabilization" by John Ashbery: "What are the Illuminations? Originally an untitled, unpaginated bunch of manuscript pages that Arthur Rimbaud handed to his former lover Paul Verlaine on the occasion of their last meeting, in Stuttgart in 1875. Verlaine had recently been released from a term in a Belgian prison for wounding the younger poet with a pistol in Brussels two years earlier. Rimbaud wanted his assassin manqué to deliver the pages to a friend, Germain Nouveau, who (he thought) would arrange for their publication. This casual attitude toward what would turn out to be one of the masterpieces of world literature is puzzling, even in someone as unpredictable as its author. Was it just a question of not wanting to splurge on stamps? (Verlaine would later complain in a letter that the package cost him '2 francs 75 in postage!!!') More likely it was because Rimbaud had decided already to abandon poetry for what would turn out to be a mercantile career in Africa, trafficking in a dizzying variety of commodities (though not, apparently, slaves, as some have thought)...."
Poetry Foundation
NY Times: Rimbaud’s Wise Music By Lydia Davis
amazon: Illuminations, John Ashbery
YouTube: John Ashbery - "Promontory"

2008 May: Arthur Rimbaud, 2010 November: Arthur Rimbaud - 1, 2012 October: Patti Smith: Poem about Arthur Rimbaud (Subtitulado), 2012 December: Writers’ Houses Gives You a Virtual Tour of Famous Authors’ Homes, 2013 August: Arthur Rimbaud Documentary, 2013 November: julian peters comics - The Drunken Boat by Arthur Rimbaud, 2014 June: In Which We Begin To Roar With Laughter At Paul Verlaine and Arthur Rimbaud.