Rimbaud : The Double Life of a Rebel

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9781843549710: Rimbaud : The Double Life of a Rebel

“White’s abiding kinship with Rimbaud gives this restless soul’s well-traveled tale new fire.”—Vanity Fair

Poet and prodigy Arthur Rimbaud’s brief life was eventful and accomplished, and his daring and visionary poetry continues to shock and captivate modern readers. Edmund White writes with a historian’s eye for detail but also with a genuine personal investment, bringing us closer to the mercurial poet.

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About the Author:

Raised in the Midwest and Texas, Edmund White is a renowned author and literary and cultural critic. He is the author of biographies of Genet and—in the Penguin Lives series—of Proust, and of eight novels including Hotel de Dream. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the recipient of numerous awards and honors. He teaches at Princeton and lives in New York City.

From Publishers Weekly:

Starred Review. Here is a lean, incisive biographical-critical book by one of our outstanding literary commentators. In compelling personal writing, White (Genet: A Biography) shows how one of the heroes of French culture, Arthur Rimbaud (1854–1891), led a double life—in many forms. He who famously declared, I is another, abruptly abandoned the literary life, virtually as a teenager, for more than 15 years until his death. Unconventionally beautiful, from a provincial middle-class background and something of a mama's boy, the lover of Paul Verlaine was bisexual and secretly craved conventional worldly success even as his aesthetic was in the Symbolist art-for-art's-sake mode, portrayed by White as part shaman, part alcoholic and drug addict, part Catholic saint, Rimbaud remains a phenomenon in world literature. Included in this literary biography are White's superb translations of works he is discussing and fresh insights into Rimbaud's destructive relationship with Verlaine in particular, as well as with other poets, family, friends and business associates. This is a disturbing and original portrait of a man White sees as a fallen angel who misbehaved even in hell. (Oct. 6)
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