Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Rimbaud (note from 2001)

Arthur Rimbaud (1854-1891)

I read Rimbaud’s Bateau ivre (drunken boat), in English of course, I think for the first time. Tremendous ---- verve? ----- momentum? Something, however, says: but what’s the point? Rimbaud’s poems are reviewable in the terms of a hot new album, or even the A-List in the Daily Mirror (the Friday review of movies). “his language resembling a high-voltage electrical circuit” .... a phrase from the Introduction, where it's improbably credited to Iris Murdoch.  I suppose that Bateau ivre is really about driving a car.


Le Bateau ivre

[Image source: 1951 Packard 400 for sale:]

Le Bateau ivre

English translation by Oliver Bernard, 1962: 

English translation by John Hartley Williams, 2004:

English performance adaptation for practical alchemy by Holly Tannen, 2002:

Le Bateau ivre

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