Dienstag, Februar 14, 2006

ARTHUR RIMBAUD


My favorite French poet, Jean-Nicholas-Arthur Rimbaud was born on October 20, ( like me :-) ! ) 1854 at Charleville in France. His family (two sisters and a brother) was abandoned by their father Frederic, an army officer, when the boy was six and they were forced into poverty. His mother, Vitalie a hard, possessive and snobbish woman, showed little affection to her children. Forbidden to play with other boys, Rimbaud immersed himself in his studies, including Latin and Greek, and was, until his 15th year, a precocious, well-behaved, religious child, and model student however at age ten, Rimbaud wrote:

'You have to pass an exam, and the jobs that you get are either to shine shoes, or to herd cows, or to tend pigs. Thank God, I don't want any of that! Damn it! And besides that they smack you for a reward; they call you an animal…..'

At age 15, his first poem was published in La Revue pour Tous. It was called The Orphans’ New Years Gift. and then in July 1970 he headed for Paris where he was arrested for not having a train ticket and was forced to return home. Within a year he had run away two more times, had changed into a bitter, arrogant, dishevelled, foul-talking adolescent, and had written some of the poems that would one day place him among the greatest names of modern poetry. He lived on the city streets. He denounced women and the church and lived willingly in squalid conditions, studying "immoral" poets like Baudelaire and reading everything from occult to philosophy.

He had sent some of his poems to Paul Verlaine, and in 1871 the older poet invited him to Paris. The Parisian literati rejected him as an arrogant and boorish drunken youth, but he and Verlaine became lovers...

Before his twentieth birthday, Arthur Rimbaud quit writing. After learning German, Arabic, Hindustani and Russian, he set off on a series of adventures that included crossing the Alps on foot, enlisting in and then deserting the Dutch army, joining a German circus bound for Scandinavia, travelling to Egypt and working as a labourer in Cyprus. At each step, he suffered setbacks of illness and hardship. During a battle with typhoid fever in 1879, Rimbaud decided to abandon his wanderings and settle down. In the employ of a coffee trader from Aden, he became the first white man to journey into the Ogaden region of Ethiopia and eventually became involved in arms-trading. While in Ethiopia, Rimbaud lived with a native woman and the home they shared became a mecca for travelling Europeans.

He returned to Marseilles in June of 1891. His right leg was amputated, probably due to the complications of syphilis, and he was nursed for a time by his tender sister Isabelle who claimed that in his last days he again accepted the Catholic faith of his childhood. He died in Marseille on November 10, 1891.

4 Comments:

Blogger Cocaine Jesus said...

i didn't know that you were born in 1854. crickey, you look excellent for your age!!! he he he

10:18 vorm.  
Blogger castor said...

to Cocaine Jesus:
-----------------
:-) I am a kinda Dracula :-) but : Pssst! :-)

5:08 nachm.  
Blogger sirreene said...

That is a fascinating story.

8:50 nachm.  
Blogger castor said...

to Sirreene:
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Yes, I was always fascinated by him!

11:35 nachm.  

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