"The French writer Pierre Michon has made a career of his obsession with biographical uncertainty. Renowned in France since his 1984 novel, "Small Lives", he has now received a burst of ravishing English translations by way of Yale University Press's Margellos World Republic of Letters series. "Rimbaud the Son", translated by Jody Gladding and Elizabeth Deshays, is his moody, dagger-slim anti-biography of one of the most mythologized writers of all time."--Sam Sacks, "New Yorker"--Sam Sacks "New Yorker "
Rimbaud the Son, widely celebrated upon its publication in France, investigates the life of a writer, the writing life, and the art of life-writing. Pierre Michon in his groundbreaking work examines the storied life of the French poet Arthur Rimbaud by means of a new literary genre: a meditation on the life of a legend as witnessed by his contemporaries, those who knew him before the legends took hold. Michon introduces us to Rimbaud the son, friend, schoolboy, renegade, drunk, sexual libertine, visionary, and ultimately poet. Michon focuses no less on the creative act: What presses a person to write? To pursue excellence?
The author dramatizes the life of a genius whose sufferings are enormous while his ambitions are transcendent, whose life is lived with utter intensity and purpose but also disorder and dissolutionas if the very substance of life is its undoing. Rimbaud the Son is now masterfully translated into English, enabling a wide new audience to discover for themselves the author Publishers Weekly called one of the best-kept secrets of modern French prose."