It was given by an old friend, why I cannot say. Book ratings by Goodreads. She also campaigned successfully for W. But death intervened, and Starkie seems to hold that against Rimbaud. Lists with This Rimbuad.

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Start your review of Arthur Rimbaud: A Biography Write a review Shelves: memoir-autobiography-biography What is it about certain books that we buy and then leave untouched on the shelf? Or books we open now and then, sample a few paragraphs, then close and reshelve, temporizing: "Not in the mood"; "Too serious for summer"; "I need to read more about the period before trying this one"; "I need to learn French first.

What is it about certain books that we buy and then leave untouched on the shelf? My solution worked, and I could scarcely put the book down.

Rimbaud is powerful, and when Starkie allows the poet to speak for himself and delivers the facts of his life with a minimum of interpretation, the book is compelling. But like many scholars who write about poets and their poetry, she devotes a lot of speculation to the sources of the poems, much of it offered in the spirit of explaining the poems away. Starkie again and again portrays Rimbaud as "childish," his ideas derived from various books known to have been in his hometown library and many known not to have been there—and yet he "must have read" them ; other poems simply reflect incidents from his daily life as filtered through a deranged and deranging sensibility.

But it was no tragedy for Rimbaud; it was not even an abandonment of poetry per se, but of the kind of poetry he had taught himself to write. There is good evidence, after all, that he meant to return to some kind of literary life.

But death intervened, and Starkie seems to hold that against Rimbaud. All that said, Starkie does provide many moments of insight, not through interpretation but through description. His doctor, Beaudier, and his sister Isabelle have concluded that he will almost surely die, but that he should be encouraged to believe otherwise. For a time Rimbaud allowed himself to trust them: The pain was [ Then the doctor ordered for him a soporific, to be taken at night, so that he could snatch some sleep.

When he had drunk a cup of this beverage he used to reach a state of half dreaming in which his faculties seemed to loosen and all his reserves seemed to break down. Then he felt, what he never experience otherwise, a desire for confidence,s a longing to open his heart. When he was in this condition, he used to close the shutters and doors of his room, even in broad daylight, light lamps and candles, and in that close, mysterious atmosphere, while he gently turned a little barrel-organ or plucked an Abyssinian harp, he used to relate the story of his life, tell of his dreams of the past and of his secret hopes for the future.

His slow, sad voice then seemed to take on beautiful modulations and the language in which he spoke was very different from his everyday speech, full of Oriental turns of phrase and Oriental images. At such moments he was living in a wakeful dream and returning to the visions of his childhood, to all that he had buried deep in himself for twenty years and which now burst through the heard crust in a burning stream.



Early life[ edit ] Starkie was born in Killiney , Co. Dublin , Ireland. She was the eldest daughter of Rt. The academic Walter Starkie was her brother. When she was two years of age her father accepted the post of Resident Commissioner of Education for Ireland.


Arthur Rimbaud: A Biography


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