Rimbaud in Abyssinia: A Journey Into the Heart of Africa to Solve One of Modern Literatures.....

Alain Borer, Author William Morrow & Company $20 (0p) ISBN 978-0-688-07594-1
French poet Arthur Rimbaud (1854-1891) stopped writing at the age of 19. To his admirers, the anti-bourgeois rebel's last years of silent wandering are something of an embarrassment. The poet-in-revolt became a merchant in Ethiopia (then called Abyssinia) and, by some accounts, a gunrunner. Borer, a French Rimbaud specialist, retraced the poet's travels in Africa and Arabia on foot, by boat and by plane. His attempt to rescue the reputation of the later Rimbaud is frequently portentous. We are told that the fugitive poet lived ``a luminous madness,'' that he saw the world as ``pure immanence,'' and that in his literary silence he was preparing ``for Nothingness or God.'' Written in a free-floating, elevated style that mimics the heightened consciousness of Rimbaud's verse, this serendipitous adventure delivers little jolts of insight but no great revelations. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/04/1991
Release date: 11/01/1991
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