I began creating this site a little over two months ago, aggravated by the fact that there were so few sites available about this influential and extremely important poet. The sites I did find were in French, mainly, and even they seemed less than satisfactory. My intent in creating THE DRUNKEN BOAT is not to outline every aspect of Rimbaud's life in pain-staking detail (though that would be ideal, if time permitted) but, instead, to offer a jumping board for anyone interested in learning more about this man.
What I find 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.
Links of Interest