Hilary's Reviews > A Season in Hell & Illuminations

A Season in Hell & Illuminations by Arthur Rimbaud
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's review
Jan 11, 2010

liked it
bookshelves: fiction, poetry, 2010
Recommended to Hilary by: Megan McPherson
Recommended for: Sean
Read from January 11 to 16, 2010 , read count: 1

A Season in Hell & Illuminations was a book that I was introduced to in the dead of night. I was handed the text and asked to read and, being me, proceeded to open to random pages and read aloud in an impassioned tone. When read like this - in the middle of the night with all of its magic and attractions, the text is like fire.

Rimbaud's words alternatively scorch and caress, they raise up the most enlivened fancies and play out dark fantasies unlike anything else one could ever be exposed to. Rimbaud becomes the Father of all that is brutal and metal, he becomes the embodiment of debauchery and dark poetry; in this light he is pure electricity, and being that, strange, mysterious, and wonderful.

In the light of day, his prose loses some of that intensity. He becomes something tamer, better understood. In light of the preface, Rimbaud runs the risk of even failing to be purely Rimbaudian - he is human, after all, and simply a man, behind a desk, writing... I feel he loses his allure in this light, rather than gains it. Yes, he is human, but the legend is so much more fun and eagerly traced...?

I struggle between giving this novel three stars or four - in the right conditions, he is truly incredible and quite the beloved read. For now, I shall settle with three, and perhaps increase upon a later date.
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01/11/2010 page 13
07/29/2016 marked as: read
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