At the age of nineteen Arthur Rimbaud committed suicide, not in the flesh but as a writer. At that point he had composed a body of poetry now ranked among the classics of France and of the world. He never wrote another line. He cut himself not only from literature but from his native country and from European civilization, and lost himself in the inaccessible mountains of North Africa. When he reappeared it was to die, in torment, in a hospital on the coast.
Further research has reconstructed the ‘lost’ life of this extraordinary man and his amazing second career. Traveling as a trader under terrible difficulties, he acted unknowingly as a pioneer agent of the French Empire. The routes he discovered became military and commercial highways of the French Empire in North Africa.
Jean Marie Carré has written the first complete and authoritative biography of this genius and adventurer. It opens the mystery of Rimbaud’s renunciation, a profound research into a tortured soul woven into a powerful narrative of his adventures in Africa. Also included in this volume is a translation of Rimbaud’s moving spiritual autobiography A Season in Hell.
Jean-Marie Carré was a French author and professor who taught at Middlebury College and Columbia University before becoming chair of the department of comparative literature at the Sorbonne. He also wrote La Vie de Robert-Louis Stevenson and Voyageurs et écrivains français en Égypte.