french version


 Pr Fox presents :

 Here is the true story of the man who fought fascism before it was created, and was almost rastafarian before anyone in the world ...

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Arthur Rimbaud was discovered by his teacher in Charleville where he was born in 1854. Mr Izambard understood that Rimbaud Arthur was more than a good student, and he enthusiastically encouraged him to write what was to be published under the title of "Poetical Essays" But Arthur had been a rebel since his childhood and in the modern society he lived in, he could only notice grounds for rage or contempt.
After the declaration of war with Prussia, everything went quickly. He sold his prize-winning books (he had won several prizes at his school). and strove to head for Paris instead of taking his A’level (Baccalauréat). But he was put to jail because he was travelling ticketless. He was freed by Izambard in Mazas, and this tireless walker went through Douai,and Belgium before coming back to Charleville. He went back to Paris for 15 days. The uprising was at its peak : it was the insurrectionary Commune. He could not stay because he was short of money, but was already eager to have his poetry published.
Verlaine, who had received his poems, invited him in september 1871. He created a sensation while moving in the parisian circles. He would offend against good manners through his crude behaviour, his anti-conformism and his powerful visionary imagination. He claimed the status of poet redefining its vocation.

He wrote in 1871: "I’m saying we must be voyant, make oneself voyant. The poet makes himself voyant through a long, immense and well-thought-out unsettling of all senses. Every form of love, suffering, madness. He’s looking for his own self, using out every poison, only keeping the quintessences."

In 1872, he set off again followed by Verlaine.In Belgium and in England they both put into practice the programme aforementioned. It was sheer madness, alcohol, debauchery, vagrancy. Rimbaud came home alone, stayed a few months in Roche (near Vouziers) within his family to write. The adventure ended when Verlaine wounded his friend shooting him with a gun in Brussels.

When he arrived in Paris, Arthur had just finished a long poem called "Le Bateau Ivre". At the end of his tribulations, in 1873, he had finished his book "A Season in Hell" in which he recounted his remorse, his farewell to rebellion to hallucinations and also to poetry. Only a few close relations received a copy of these confessions whose printing remained unpaid at the printer’s. From then on, Arthur Rimbaud had been in search of an ideal. He looked for purity, celebrated beauty and sensed eternity. Either rational or mystical, he had reached a certitude. He, who pretended he could not speak anymore, regained a certain balance in his work, committing himself in the silent heroism of daily tasks. He had "The Illuminations" published, a poetic prose, completed in London. These poems, though they did not announce a come back to the dangers of the paranormal or the absolute, set his determination to remain "voyant". He did not disown himself since he persisted in his beliefs and issued this compilation of unpublished work. He wrote "I immobilized dizzy spells".

If his mind was turned to the "Universal Spirit", his body was to rent : in 1875 he enrolled in the Dutch army to go to Java where he deserted as soon as he landed. Back to Europe (Austria, Germany), he carried on to Cyprus. Since 1880, he had settled in Africa as managing agent of a trading post. He studied languages, and spoke about ten languages !). Either in Harar, in Abyssinia or in Aden, in Arabia ... He had stopped writing. It took 20 days to reach him on horseback at the other end of the desert. So,for 10 years he had been an invisible voyant. His trade was thriving, but a tumour at his leg made him go back to France. Amputated in Marseilles, he carried on his work in bed, but this traveller passed away in 1891.

He has remained the myth of a concessionless poet, the genius of a voyant adventurer. From forerunner (he, invented the free verse), he has become an archetype. Voluntary inventor of a new language, he, who imperiled himself through poetry, has left an indelidible mark in every person appealed by the magic of the rhythms and sonorities, of images and musical qualities inherent in words.

"This work which has revolutionized poetry deserves to remain on watch along our path"

(André Breton)

« I expect to find something better further »

Harar 1885- Rimbaud









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