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A Season in Hell and The Drunken Boat (New Directions Paperbook) [Paperback]

Arthur Rimbaud , Patti Smith , Louise Varese

RRP: 9.99
Price: 8.18 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  16 reviews
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic translation 24 Oct 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is one of the better translations of a Season in Hell. It's very faithful to the original French without compromising its poetry; many of the passages are nothing short of brilliant. Also, it's a bilingual edition for those who are either able or willing.
However, Varese struggles a bit under the poetic demands of the Drunken Boat. For example:
I can no longer, bathed in your languors, O waves,
Obliterate the cotton carriers' wake,
Nor cross the pride of pennants and of flags,
Nor swim past prison hulk's hateful eyes!
>> But trust me, for the superb quality of translation in A Season in Hell, this book's well worth the price.
30 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Birth of modern poetry 13 Oct 1999
By George Schaefer - Published on Amazon.com
A Season in Hell and The Drunken Boat by Arthur Rimbaud is one of the turning points of world literature and poetry. Henry Miller, the Surrealists and the Beat Generation poets as well as rock star Jim Morrison owe a great debt to young Prince Arthur. This passionate leap into the depths of insanity is enthralling. The meek would be well advised to steer clear. This is the granddaddy of modern poetry. Now, is truly the time of the assassins
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars La Voyant 13 Jan 2008
By Draoi - Published on Amazon.com
I was given this book by a Morrocan Jew in exchange for a matt-black Zippo lighter whilst I was working in a North London psychiatric hospital as a cook.

The diabolic devotions and insights from a revolutionary modern french poet, social philosopher and prophet. As a whole his words remind me of that saying in the Gospel of Thomas; "I took my stand in the midst of the world, and in flesh I appeared to them. I found them all drunk, and did not find any of them thirsty..." (28) Rimbaud is perceptive, agonizing, tortured, cruel, and poor. In anguish he struggles to understand life; skimming the horizon of a dysfuntional and chaotic world for some sight of salvation, yet it never comes and he cries out with a piercing lament. Idolatry, science, nobility, justice, war, debauchery, crime, punishment, damnation, delerium... Arthur Rimbaud walks a path of rotten corpses with a crown of thorns in search of honor, reason and restitution. He seeks a God only to find in the discovery that he is at once sent back into the dark impenetrable battle of human existence.

This is a poet that sets the heart and soul on fire, he initiates a frantic search for meaning and relevance. Look! he says, see the world untinted, without all the trappings and trimmings, calculate the length and breadth of despair, circumnavigate the emotions and come back to understand yourself and the inevitability of your extinction. Like a present day Francois Villon he is an explorer of visions, the varied manifestations of humanity and society, he has adopted all the tricks of the trade and speaks the 'lingua' of the professional criminal.

In the end Rimbaud the prophet dies like the rest of us, albeit in a syphilitic fever with an amputated right leg... he can walk no more, but he is the one who can knock us off our comfortable seat in civilisation, inspire us to consider the real world and invent our own sustaining myths. Perhaps that lighter would have come in handy... to ignite the remnaining stagnant swamps in my own breast and burn like a comet across a purple blood sky.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitive translation of the definitive poem 28 July 2010
By Davis-Vautrin - Published on Amazon.com
For those who wish to come closest to the essence of the poet's passions - his desires and dispositions, his ambitions and disappointments, prophesies, philosophies, cultural commentaries, his romance and self-deprecating humor, his music - this is the poem with which to begin, and this is the translation. In a sense, when I refer to "the poet" I am referring to all poets, because among them all Rimbaud may be the most sincere, most completely open, and least marked by pretense. He may be the most genuine poet we have read, and Season in Hell may be the most genuine of his poems. After this, there is not much to be gained elsewhere... and so, it may be better to read last rather than first after all.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars You've got to like Rimbaud 5 May 2013
By Harry F. Drabik - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The period in time, the characters involved, and the poetic movement are interesting, but together form a specialized interest you will either like or not get too fussed over. I appreciated parts of it but not enough to enthuse here.
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