Friday, January 04, 2008

Mark Wallace on Rimbaud

[found this interesting paragraph - a good correction to Donald Revell's recent attempt to make Rimbaud into a Blakean Anglo-American poet - in Mark Wallace's book "Haze":]

"I want to be clear that I don't admire Rimbaud. He's not worthy of it. But what could be more boring than admiring a poet, than admiring poetry? To say one loves A Season in Hell misses the point that the book and its author dont' want to be loved. But at the same time that the book and author can't be admired, it seems to me that the book's excess suggests much about what contemporary American poetry needs, trapped as it is in discourse about the constructive, the useful, the communal, the fair - all the things I believe in."

3 Comments:

Blogger François said...

Well, one of the problems with Rimbaud is that he is also presented as a Blakean figure in France, which makes him extremely intimidating to the vast majority of French high school students. Of course, there much like here, you have to admire what you are reading.

Past the Surrealists, who somewhat still have some remains of Rimbaud, I can't help see the majority of French poetry as an attempt not to imitate Rimbaud (and well, Valéry, Aragon, Eluard, &c.) and not to see the poet as seer/shaman/what have you.

6:01 PM  
Blogger Johannes said...

I have personally spent every day since I first picked up the quill trying to imitate Rimbaud.

7:09 AM  
Blogger François said...

I'm reconsidering my opinion of personal pronouns. And my opinion of Plath too.

11:01 PM  

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