• by Edmund White
  • Narrated by Dave Giorgio
  • 5 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The distinguished biographer, novelist, and memoirist Edmund White brings his literary mastery to a new biography of Arthur Rimbaud.
Poet and prodigy Arthur Rimbaud led a life that was startlingly short, but just as dramatically eventful and accomplished. Even today, over a century after his death in 1891, his visionary poetry has continued to influence everyone from Jim Morrison and Bob Dylan to Patti Smith. His long poem A Season in Hell (1873) and his collection Illuminations (1886) are essential to the modern canon, marked by a hallucinatory and hypnotic style that defined the Symbolist movement in poetry. Having sworn off writing at the age of twenty-one, Rimbaud drifted around the world from scheme to scheme, ultimately dying from an infection contracted while running guns in Africa. He was 37.
Edmund White writes with a historian's eye for detail, driven by a genuine personal investment in his subject. White delves deep into the young poet's relationships with his family, his teachers, and his notorious affair with the more established poet Paul Verlaine. He follows the often elusive (sometimes blatant) threads of sexual taboo that haunt Rimbaud's poems (in those days, sodomy was a crime) and offers incisive interpretations of the poems, using his own artful translations to bring us closer to the mercurial poet.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


I downloaded this book and had to give up on it. The pronunciation of the French names of people and places is terrible, and it is far too distracting.
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- Sarah


What made the experience of listening to Rimbaud the most enjoyable?

The unfolding story of a wild young man

Who was your favorite character and why?

Paul Verlaine as the lover

Which scene was your favorite?

Arriving in Paris penniless and with ill-fitting clothes

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Rebel Yell

Any additional comments?

Edmund White reveals the complexity and uniqueness of Rimbaud's poetry and character

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- david

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-16-2010
  • Publisher: Audible Studios