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Illuminations [Paperback]

Arthur Rimbaud
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

30 May 2011
Arthur Rimbaud's "Illuminations", first published in 1886, changed the way the world is seen; in John Ashbery the book has a translator whose virtuosic originality brings Rimbaud's vision to life in English. This 'crystalline jumble', a 'disordered collection of magic lantern slides', John Ashbery writes, is the very root of modernity, 'still emitting pulses' of energy over a century after it was written. 'If we are absolutely modern - and we are - it's because Rimbaud commanded us to be.' Ashbery's rendering of the forty-four poems relays the kaleidoscopic dazzle of the original, a 'Splendide Hotel built amid the tangled heap of ice floes and the polar night', where the Witch 'will never tell us what she knows, and which we do not know'. This major new translation presents the French text in parallel and includes a preface by John Ashbery.

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Illuminations + Arthur Rimbaud: Complete Works (P.S.) + The Flowers of Evil (Oxford World's Classics)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Carcanet Press Ltd (30 May 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847771416
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847771414
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 21.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 225,670 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Rimbaud 's epoch-making poems come through in all their bizarre originality, their brusque, unsettling freshness. --John Timpane

About the Author

Rimbaud, born in 1854, started to write at an early age. By 17 he had written his most famous poem, 'The Drunken Boat'. He then embarked on a turbulent homosexual relationship with the poet Verlaine, from which came some of their most original work, including A Season in Hell and Illuminations. Rimbaud rejected writing at the age of 20. After years of travelling and gun-running in Africa, he died in 1891, aged 37. Editor Biography Mark Treharne taught in the University of Warwick before becoming a freelance translator. Currently he is translating Proust's Le Cote des Guermantes.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Translucent translation of a difficult text! 2 Sep 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I read a review in the Guardian Saturday Review which encouraged ne to investigate this work. The translation seems to this retired teacher of French to be more accurate than the original! It goes beyond the words to an area where translators usually fear to go! I am not a fan of the unhygenic M. Rimbaud, but just generally interested in French music poetry and song, and this has opened my eyes and mind to new horizons. The title recalled to me the song cycle Les Illuminations by the young Benjamin Britten, which also enthralled me, so although I need to rereadthis book a number of times, I do not regret buying it for one instant.
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