Monday, April 14, 2008

A Season in Hell and The Drunken Boat

(ugh, I hate the "search inside" thing!)

My grade school virtual reunion inspired me to re-read Rimbaud's A Season in Hell and The Drunken Boat (Une Saison en Enfer et Le Bateau Ivre) which I first tried to read in 8th grade for a report. I think I had chosen it because I was into Patti Smith at the time, but I'm not sure. This copy was lent to me by a school mate's mother and the fact that I still have it is a source of guilt.

I read this at another time later in adulthood. Again I found myself taken by the language and passion, and yet confounded by the narrative, the critique of reason and Occidental culture, etc. What the fuck is he talking about? Well, it doesn't matter; the intensity, the poetry, that's what counts.

"The honesty of beggars sickens me."

"To whom shall I hire myself out? What beast should I adore?"

"As for me, my life is not heavy enough, it flies and floats far above action, that precious focus of the world."

"Satan, you fraud, you would dissolve me with your charms."

"I was in his soul as in a palace they had emptied, so that no one should see so mean a person as oneself: that was all."

"I became a fabulous opera; I saw that all creatures have a fatality of happiness: action is not life, but only a way of spoiling some force, an enervation."

"Slaves, let us not curse life."

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