Rimbaud has ratings and 45 reviews. Eddie said: There will never be a single biography that does Rimbaud total justice, and that’s as it should be be. ‘Robb has written a great biography – scholarly, humane and above all marvelously Graham Robb’s brilliant biography moves Rimbaud on from his perpetual. In this robust biography, Robb (Balzac; Victor Hugo) contemplates the life of Arthur Rimbaud () as if the French poet/ vagabond’s deeds were those of.

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Some readers may feel garham makes the book an exercise in psycho-biography, yet Robb cites contemporaries who observed that, if one knew the mother, it was understandable that Arthur grahham to the road. He also develops an inviolate private sphere of the mind.

Reading this biography along side the poetry was especially gratifying. He lived a life akin to how Tristan Tzara described dada – a life “with neither bedroom slippers nor parallels.

They have no idea.

This is an excellent and thorough biography. Rimbaud lived his entire life on the “edge”, be it the edge of meaning or the edge of civilization and “civilized” behavior; and because of this he himself didn’t have the time or desire for looking rimmbaud or specifying in retrospect graahm he was up to.

Fed up with the artist Forain’s praise of paint as a medium, Rimbaud dropped his trousers, shat on the table and started to draw in this ‘powerful impasto’. We see his grsham with Verlaine and the self destructive tendencies of both- his relationships with family- an absent father, a controlling mother.

One evening, a bored Rimbaud put sulphuric acid in his friend Charles Cros’s drink while he was in the loo. He never lets the fugitive, shadowy figure completely escape the lens, although at times, as he grqham, the pursuit is difficult. And in such a world how does one survive?

Some of us will be puzzling over him forever. There is evidence, though it is hotly disputed, that he was, briefly, a slave-trader.

But it’s to the author’s credit that he provides a complete, unsentimental account of Rimbaud’s life, an account that implies that the wildness and revolutionary posturing of Rimbaud in his youth wasn’t unsustainable. Rimbaud is a terrible subject.


Disease and the unimaginable suffering he endured in his last months turned him into somebody else altogether – but that person wasn’t AR. A Biography by Graham Robb. He produces a remarkable book who strives to dispel all false myths surrounding this legendary character who set alight Europe literature. Graham Robb’s brilliant biography moves Rimbaud on from his perpetual adolescence where our imaginations have held him to show the extent of his transformations.

From phenomenally precocious schoolboy he became Europe’s most shocking and exhilarating poet, author of poems that range from the exquisite to the obscene. In any case, it is terrible and leads one to desperate responses. But cunning is multiform. Robb takes us on a biographical journey through three continents and many different identities. Robb presents Rimbaud and his 19th c.

This view of Rimbaud as a satanic angel has perpetuated his legend. Most likely those who take the trouble to read such a hefty volume are already familiar with Rimbaud’s work and own books of his poetry, but it would be nice for those whose volumes don’t include specific poems or those who aren’t as familiar.

But his Rimbaud is also a much better businessman with an iron core of practicality and shrewdness. Graham Robb’s biography, as I expected after reading Strangers last summer, is superb.

He disappeared for weeks and months at a time, sleeping rough and leaving no record.

The infernal bridegroom

Born into a poor provincial family, he was performing feats of prodigious intelligence by his early teens. The extreme ambiguity of both his nature and his work guarantees that his image will be stencilled rimbau walls, along with some of his gnomic utterances, for as long as a spirit of revolt remains alive.

Just not worth the bother. Graham Robb does well fimbaud clearing away the myths and falsities that have accrued around Rimbaud’s mysterious, wandering life.

And so AR jettisons entirely whatever past his current way of life has accumulated — to the point of loosing memory of it. How does he manage to forefend soul-murder and save a vestige of himself for another day? The Rimbaud of this book is a smart, energetic genius and a fascinating, if not always app I came to Rimbaud the opposite way to most people I suspect.


Raised by a horrible mother, as a teenager he seemed dedicated to ruining ggaham many lives as possible for the sake of rbb bizarre artistic principle.

He certainly knew about it, from letters and requests for poems, which he filed away, but never answered. This whizzes into my Top ten Best Ever Biography you don’t get that in High Fidelity because Robb manages to write sublime caustic prose that corrects both the record and the myth that surrounds Rimbaud. He got bored of it and moved on. I came to Rimbaud the opposite way to most people I suspect. Superficially, they seem to be worlds apart. Account Options Sign in. Robb is an excellent writer.

Jun 08, Timbaud Coughenour rated it really liked it Shelves: For example, when finding himself penniless in Germany, Rimbaud had no compunction about attempting to blackmail yet more money out of Verlaine by threatening to spread abroad rumours of his pederasty.

What did we know about this teenage grauam poet with the brilliant blue eyes? But the older poet had the grace to overlook the blackmail, and went on to describe his tormentor as possessing the kind of “high disdain” that never compromises or adheres to any system not of its own choosing.

Rimbaud by Graham Robb

Rimbaud was as fascinating as he was unlikable. Send me your news. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. By hypocrisy, lies, cunning — always. He cultivates his verbal gifts, which he deployed with genius. As Graham Robb writes: When you read a biography you always have to realise you are only getting part of rkbb picture – but as far as is possible Robb’s book at least seems balanced.

Almost incredible amounts of bad behaviour followed.