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Although he stopped writing at the age of nineteen, Arthur Rimbaud (1854-1891) possessed the most revolutionary talent of the past hundred years, and his poetry and prose have increasingly influenced the major writers of our century. To his masterpiece A Season in Hell is here added Rimbaud's longest and possibly greatest single poem The Drunken Boat, with the original French en faceIlluminations, Rimbaud's major works are available as bilingual New Directions Paperbooks.
The reputation of A Season in Hell, which is a poetic record of a man's examination of his own depths, has steadily increased over the years. Upon the first publication of Mrs. Varese's translation by New Directions, the Saturday Review wrote: "One may at last suggest that the translation of A Season in Hell has reached a conclusive point..." Concerning the twenty-five-stanza The Drunken Boat, Dr. Enid Starkie of Oxford University has written: "(It is) an anthology of separate lines of astonishing evocative magic which linger in the mind like isolated jewels." Rimbaud's life was so extraordinary that it has taken on the quality of a myth. A biographical chronology is included in this book.
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