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Une saison en enfer: suivi de Illuminations et autres textes (1873-1875)

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  2,994 ratings  ·  116 reviews
" La vieillerie poétique avait une bonne part dans mon alchimie du verbe.
Je m'habituai à l'hallucination simple : je voyais très franchement une mosquée à la place d'une usine, une école de tambours faite par des anges, des calèches sur les routes du ciel, un salon au fond d'un lac ; les monstres, les mystères ;... " (Une saison en enfer).

" J'ai tendu des cordes de cloche
...more
Paperback, 245 pages
Published October 1st 1998 by Livre de Poche (first published 1873)
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Average rating 4.31  · 
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 ·  2,994 ratings  ·  116 reviews


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Kate
May 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A friend's boyfriend in college pounded on my door at 3am. I woke up groggy and let him in. "Hey, you like poetry, right? Well I got a poem for ya." Ok, I said. I sat on the bed and he began to read "Once if I remember it well, my life was a feast where all hearts opened and all wines flowed..." He read on and on... I said "How long is this poem?" He said "It's the whole book!" I laughed. And we became good friends, and have been ever since. Rimbaud introduced us. ...more
M.L. Rio
Rimbaud is a regular autumn read for me, and every time I find another captivating detail I somehow overlooked before.
Ben
Dec 12, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am going to try to make this review brief, particularly as I've already reviewed about 4 other translations of Rimbaud's poetry (by Varèse, Fowlie, Mason and Schmidt) and in my last review of one of these (of Schmidt's treatment of Rimbaud) I made a concise comparison of each of the different translations, really putting my support behind Mason's translation, finding Fowlie too literal and feeling that Schmidt took too many liberties in his translation.

Bertrand Mathieu's translation of A Seas
...more
Iza Brekilien
Review coming up next week !
Antonomasia
A Season in Hell & Illuminations, transl. Wyatt Mason
Having become absurdly near apoplectic in the search for a translation of Baudelaire that I loved, I let enjoyment return by instead reading one of his close kin. There wasn't a shortage of Rimbaud translations which felt right; Louise Varese or John Sturrock, or this one I chose for reasons I can't exactly remember.

As these are prose poems without conventional, clear focus, sometimes more like notes, I thought some readers must decided they
...more
Fox
Jan 11, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Sean
Recommended to Fox by: Megan McPherson
Shelves: 2010, fiction, poetry, own
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. Ri
...more
Simon Robs
Feb 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sheer poetical madness no outcome. Better if could read French I'll bet. ...more
Andy
Jun 06, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: gloomy doomy kids
When I was a mere slip of a boy and my flesh tasted like chicken and goth had not quite creeped into non-existence I would sulk in dimly lit buses reading Rimbaud.
"Illuminations" reminds me of Baudelaire's "Paris Spleen" in that these are not poems so much as they are prose pieces, little snatches of light of varying shades. This is good reading on rainy nights.
...more
Jeff Jackson
Aug 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone looking for good Rimbaud translation
Translations matter with Rimbaud. Francophile extraordinaire and Rimbaud enthusiast Dennis Cooper rates Enid Peschel Rhodes' translation published by Oxford Univrersity Press as the best. For my taste, he's absolutely right. ...more
Autumn
Mar 02, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
i read this during my personal season in hell that i thought would never end. it was good to know that rimbaud and i have some things in common.
Joshie
I first laid my eyes on the name 'Rimbaud' while reading Olivia Laing's In A Lonely City . I was partly curious and partly intrigued with the section dedicated to Wojnarovicz's Rimbaud in New York. This exhibit featured a number of people who donned Rimbaud masks with their photographs taken at different underground locations in New York. A hint of rebellion underneath the grit and grim can be felt in these photos. Rimbaud's face was pensive; prim and proper.

"I'm now making myself as scummy a
...more
James
Jan 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“A Season in Hell” is infinitely more meaningful, and powerfully sad, after having read the details of Rimbaud’s life and exit from crafting poetry—which he considered himself a failure and reject among his peers at doing. Edmund White’s bio of Rimbaud shows him in full portrait—a restless, rebellious genius known for drinking absinthe and bashing around in cities for weeks on end, and lesser known for his solo travels on foot, walking through war-torn France and Africa hundreds of miles at a ti ...more
Jessica
Oct 29, 2008 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: couldn-t-finish
poets repulse me with their god forsaken wankerings. However, I've decided that I can include most other artists and humans for that matter, in the repulsive category so I decided to set my hatred aside and get this book. I'm really enjoying it. ...more
Sofie
Oct 10, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
What to say? It's Rimbaud, and on one hand I really enjoy reading this book, but on the other, I don't. At all. It may take me a few more of his books to find out whether I like him or not. ...more
Sarah Booth
May 08, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I had seen Rimbaud mentioned in a poem by Bukowski and decided to give him a try. I found him incredibly difficult to read, but when I looked at the French with my wee smattering of memory I have of studying it school, I saw that it just didn’t match up. I’d be reading and think to myself that the chose of words was off or wrong. I’d look at the French and wouldn’t recognize the translation. So when the translator translated side by side several versions you could see his deviations! The transla ...more
Ana
Jun 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4 stars for A Season In Hell, 5 for Illuminations, rounding up because of how blown away I was by this work.
Perifian
Aug 06, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
Is This It

(I've been relistening to Eyedea lately, read him instead)
...more
Ade Bailey
Nov 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
This is the Mark Taharne translation; in his introduction he spells out the enormous difficulties involved with translating and interpreting the poetry, and advises readers to look at as many translations as possible.
I got this off the shelf yesterday to coincide with the BBC Radio 3 production in its series 'Between the Ears'. The latter is a marvellous ongoing immersion in 'soundscapes', music, song and spoken word. The R3 site and its blog say of this production:

An abridged radio reworking o
...more
Ian
A Season in Hell quotes:

it dawned on me to look again for the key to that ancient party where I might find my appetite once more.
I despise all trades. Foreman and workmen--all of them, peasants, riff-raff. The hand that writes is as good as the hand that ploughs.--What a century of hands!--I'll never own my own hand. Next, domesticity goes too far. The honesty of begging sickens me. Criminals are as disgusting as castrati. Myself, I'm intact, and I don't give a damn.
the gospel's passe!
I wait for
...more
Mr.
Oct 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rimbaud skillfully draws the reader into the world of damnation, the world of the self. He confronts the essence of nihilism and self-loathing in this remarkable poem, composed at the astonishing age of 19. Like Dante, Milton, and perhaps Pound, Rimbaud is able to bend the language to engage the reader in a transcendental understanding of the human condition and psyche.

There are poems in here of promethean beauty that prefigure the rebellious spirit of French artistic bohemians in the dawn of t
...more
Rebecca
Aug 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Season in Hell is a poem published in 1873. I first heard of this book from Eddie and the Cruisers movie. I have been wanting to read this book for about 20 years. This is a work of genius about dealing with change and dealing with being very different in the century where change is difficult. The most remarkable part of this book is that we are still dealing the same issues today, mental health and homosexuality and a society on the cusp on change. Change is hard to deal with and in his words, ...more
Feliks
Dec 23, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
Along with prose author Louis-Ferdinand Celine (the astounding hypocrite) and Cervantes (talented but misguided oaf) Arthur Rimbaud is one of the few classic authors I strenuously avoid. I shun him, his work, and his reputation. I will allow only that he had precocious, ahead-of-his-years skill in constructing poems; but not that he has any particular message or set of ideas worth attending upon.

Why? Because practically no 18 yr old boy has anything relevant to say to me about anything. I don't
...more
Alfonso
Jan 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If someone told me this was the greatest work of literature anyone had ever created, I wouldn't necessarily disagree. Rimbaud's style, not quite poetry and certainly not prose, took the writing world by storm and changed it forever. His work has gone on to influence everyone from Joyce to the Beats to John Lennon. Dark, tortured, tragic, magnificent, and solely unique and original even after a hundred years. It'd be difficult to think of someone more influential than Rimbaud and the short but in ...more
Tom
Jan 13, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Oh, Rimbaud! The lunatic, romantic side of me was screaming, yes, yes! Tell me more about those flies drunk on piss at a country inn, how morality is a weakness of the brain, how you became a fabulous opera! Speak to me of the dark heaven of love where we are left poor, deaf, dumb and blind for our pains; of how life corrodes us and leaves our hair and armpits crawling with worms.

The rest of me wanted to quote Melvin Udall from As Good As It Gets: “Go sell crazy someplace else, we’re all stocked
...more
Sam
Mar 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
The most passionate collection of poetry I've ever read. At times hateful, raging, self-deprecating, pitiful, and serene. The only English translation worth reading is the one by Bertrand Mathieu. This is simply the two greatest books of French poetry collected into one. He speaks like a prophet condemning himself to hell. His prose poetry is striking, has beautiful cadence, powerful imagery, and is delivered with tremendous ferocity. ...more
Jessica
Mar 29, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Let's say I'm not in the proper frame of mind to read this kind of work and actually relate to it emotionally. I get how much he was suffering (and how completely stoned he was when he wrote it) but it didn't move me much and that's one of the things I value the most about poetry so... Maybe it was the translation. Maybe if I knew enough French to read it in its original version.... Nah, maybe not even then. ...more
Michael
Jul 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such youthful passion and extreme feelings. This is forever the work of youth and wild abandon. Never read anything by Rimbaud until A Season Of Hell and was bowled over by the words...such beautiful, elegant, and fiery words! Have reread this twice and can really see what all the fuss is about for Rimbaud.
StrangeBedfellows
��If I had to name a favorite poet, it would probably be Arthur Rimbaud. His work is rich with imagery and meaning, each poem holding an entire story. Even better is the way this collection works as a whole, reading like an epic saga. It's a rare thing when I enjoy sitting down to read poetry, but I would happily return to this book time and again. ...more
Barry
Apr 11, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rimbaud wrote all his poems by the age of 21. the depth of insight and creativity from such a young man are humbling. one wonders if he had any more to say and couldn't express it or if whatever drove his literary aspirations was dissipated by his twenties. ...more
Hameed
Oct 10, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Extremely poor translation; unnecessary ALL CAPS, forced italics, short sentences (even with little command of french one can notice) transformed into longer sensational phrases. Not worth a read, look elsewhere.
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French poet and adventurer, who stopped writing verse at the age of 19, and who became, after his early death an inextricable myth in French gay life. Rimbaud's poetry, partially written in free verse, is characterized by dramatic and imaginative vision. "I say that one must be a visionary - that one must make oneself a VISIONARY." His works are among the most original in the Symbolist movement. R ...more

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