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about this site


"I alone have the key to this savage sideshow."

-Illuminations "Side Show"




the original drunken boat logo


In March of 2001, The Drunken Boat has once again undergone a complete make-over. My hope is that this final installment will prove to hold up for years to come.  The site itself is nearly four years old now, having been altered three times completely.  I started the site as just a hobby, fueled only by my passion for Rimbaud,  knowing nothing about design and little about the internet.  I'd found no sites in English and having very little education with the French language could do little more than hmmm and haw at the pretty graphics on the French sites. I gave it a whirl and posted a graphics-heavy five page site. (I believe I committed every single HTML and design sin on those five pages: large graphics, flashing buttons, animated gifs, blinking links - I learned my lesson swiftly.) The site soon grew to seven pages, with more content making its debut.

Then a strange thing started happening -- the site caught on and new faces starting showing up in my email box. I knew then that the site was filling a much-needed space on the information "super highway".  Now, years later, it just keeps going, breathing on its own.

One look at the Forum and you can see it gets its share of activity with anywhere from five to twenty postings a day -- in fact, the forum has become a community all its own with a lot of repeat offenders posting several times a week. Weekly, we add several new faces to our mailing list; daily, I receive emails from folks around the world commenting on how important it is to keep the site archived so that Rimbaud's work will continue to reach fresh eyes.

Last year, folks started making plans for Drunken Boat gatherings in New Orleans and in Europe. (I'm curious to see how many of us will make it to Charleville in October 2004 for  Rimbaud's 150th Birthday!) The site also garnered awards and placement from educational sites. The New York Times even contacted us to discuss Rimbaud's influence on the web.

And in the midst of it all, I'm quite amazed because I have done very little to fuel this. I owe great gratitude to the residents of the Drunken Boat Mailing List, without whom this site might have just been swallowed up and abandoned on the internet. Their interest has kept mine alive.

So, here is the latest incarnation of the site. If you have any ideas or suggestions, please don't hesitate to contact me. I hope you find your visits to this site as enjoyable as I have felt creating it.


L. Deal - Drunken Boat Webmaster


the following is the original "welcome" message on the site (1999-2001)

Few poets have had the lasting impact that Jean Nicholas Arthur Rimbaud has. Today, over one-hundred years after his death, his mark on modern literature, poetry, music and mindset can still be felt.

What's so interesting about Rimbaud's poetry is the complete innocence of its nature. He was a sixteen year old coming to terms with the world around him, trying to make sense of things before the world got its cynical, blinding claws on him. He wasn't writing to be published, he wasn't creating to impress the bourgeosie of 19th century France, nor for monetary gain. All that seemed to matter to Arthur Rimbaud was the process of writing, the actual act of putting pen to paper and capturing the
images in his young head. Rimbaud was doing this for no one but himself.
That's artistry.
In his time, Rimbaud was considered a filthy, cocky child with a small talent and a big mouth. His works weren't appreciated until long after he stopped writing (at the terribly young age of 19.) Many of his works were considered obscene; so much so, that after his death, his sister attempted to stop the publishing of many of his more risque works. However, thanks to his one-time partner, poet Paul Verlaine , the majority of his works have remained intact and are available to this day.
Moreso than his poetry, Arthur Rimbaud has been remembered for his tumultuous relationship with Verlaine, who was many years his senior. Their relationship has been the subject of several books, many songs, a play, and a film. The most notable of these projects is Christopher Hampton's 1960's play about the poets, by the name of Total Eclipse. In 1995, Hampton also penned the screenplay, also titled Total Eclipse .

But the most important thing Rimbaud left behind was his poetry and his spirit. My hope is to extend that spirit and that view to anyone willing to take a look at his work.

Since its inception in 1997, this site has had nearly 100,000 unique hits, has united over 200 Rimbaud mailing list readers in nearly every U.S. state and dozens of  countries via our mailing list  and has been cited in several educational webrings/sites. The spirit of Rimbaud is indeed alive today.


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