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The Time of the Assassins: A Study of Rimbaud Paperback – January 17, 1962

ISBN-13: 978-0811201155 ISBN-10: 0811201155 Edition: New edition

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 163 pages
  • Publisher: New Directions; New edition edition (January 17, 1962)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811201155
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811201155
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #761,758 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Henry Miller (1891—1980) was one of the most controversial American novelists during his lifetime. His book, The Tropic of Cancer, was banned in the some U.S. states before being overruled by the Supreme Court. New Directions publishes several of his books.

More About the Author

HENRY MILLER (1891-1980) was an American writer and painter infamous for breaking with existing literary forms and developing a new sort of "novel" that is a mixture of novel, autobiography, social criticism, philosophical reflection, surrealist free association, and mysticism, one that is distinctly always about and expressive of the real-life Henry Miller and yet is also fictional. His most characteristic works of this kind are "Tropic of Cancer," "Tropic of Capricorn," and "Black Spring." His books were banned in the United States for their lewd content until 1964 when a court ruling overturned this order, acknowledging Miller's work as literature in what became one of the most celebrated victories of the sexual revolution.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By George Schaefer on April 25, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is one of my all time favorite books. I have had a Rimbaud fixation for about 20 years. I came to Rimbaud as a teen beginning what I would like to believe is a poetic journey. Then I discovered Henry Miller. Miller is my favorite American writer. Miller writing a book on Rimbaud is a dream come true. I could not ask for a better match. I have read this book straight through 10-12 times. I refer to it often. Even though--as has been noted numerous times--this is more about Miller than Rimbaud, it remains an extraordinary work. Miller writes at a lucid peak in this book. I find myself turning to it again and again. The thin volume is chockful of Henry Miller wisdom. A poor boy from Brooklyn providing a glorious study of a poor boy from Charleville. If you are interested in Miller or Rimbaud (or preferably both) this is a fine book to read. It will provide great insight into two of THE true giants of subversive, apocalyptic literature. The Dean places the Prince on a much deserved pedestal. This is poetic prose at its height--a stunning masterpiece.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 18, 2000
Format: Paperback
Henry Miller did not hear Rimbaud's name until he was thirty-six years old; he did not glance at his work until six or seven years later, around the age of forty-three; and it was not until he was fifty-two years old that Miller learned the details of Rimbaud's remarkable life, for in that year Miller read both Jean-Marie Carre's "A Season in Hell" and Enid Starkie's "Rimbaud". Yet, once he discovered Rimbaud, Miller became obsessed with the poet's life and writing. "I . . . could talk of nothing but Rimbaud. Everybody who came to [my] house had to listen to the song of Rimbaud . . . " The result of this obsession was "The Time of the Assassins", a complex, brilliant and imaginative reading of the connection between Rimbaud's poetry and the engima of his life. Rimbaud is one of literature's most fascinating figures. In less than four short years, before reaching the age of twenty, he articulated a radical new view of the role of the poet, wrote poems of startling imagination (including "Le Bateau Ivre", "Une Saison en Enfer" and "Illuminations") and lived a life of archetypal bohemian rebellion. Rimbaud, in these few years, became the precursor of both French symbolism and other literary modernisms. For Miller, Rimbaud "is the father of many schools and the parent of none. It is his unique use of the symbol................" Miller, in brilliant style and with penetrating imagination, explores the foundational importance of the symbol in Rimbaud's poetry and the way in which Rimbaud, by turning his back on the writing of poetry after completing "Une Saison en Enfer", made his own life a symbol. In effect, Rimbaud's renunciation of the life of the poet made him a "living suicide".Read more ›
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Matthew L. Norman on March 19, 2006
Format: Paperback
It's true, Henry Miller was no Rimbaud, but maybe for that very reason he spent much of his life grappling with Rimbaud. This book, written later in Miller's life, has something forced about it, as if Miller realized this was a book he had to write but still didn't feel up to doing Rimbaud justice. Still, at times it reaches a pitch of passionate appreciation that transcends criticism or explanation, and shows that, though he couldn't quite put it in words, Miller's soul felt a deep and abiding debt to the great Rimbaud. Miller was no Rimbaud, but he's as close in spirit and intensity as this nation has produced.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By aaesop on January 8, 2006
Format: Paperback
3 stars is good for everybody though. About the first 70 to 90 pages tell you something new, the rest is HM's rhapsodizing. That in itself is valuable, but the main reason I value this book, is that here we have an artist speaking on another artist. That in itself makes it more insightful/interesting than the dreary biographies written by professors. Btw don't expect a biography here, the biographical details are scant. This is an attempt at the biography of the heart and mind. As for HM comparing himself to Rimbaud, he does so with the qualifier 'I do not have his talent' to paraphrase.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 30, 1998
Format: Paperback
This book not only tells the spell-binding tale of Rimbaud, but digs even deeper into Miller's own spiritual wonderland. Highly entertaining and insightful, I recommend this book to anybody willing to expand their minds through absolute realism, and absolute spiritualism.
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful By gbturner4 on January 10, 2002
Format: Paperback
Miller's provocative work describes the anguish of the poet and outsider, drawing parallels between his own life and that of the tortured Rimbaud. Miller paints a picture of Rimbaud as the quintessential rebel who sought truth through poetry, derangement of the senses, and exile to a harsh and unforgiving landscape. Miller blends topics such as death, the adventurous life and transcendence into one compelling narrative.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie Marie Farrand on December 2, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book isn't only for lovers of Rimbaud and/or Henry Miller, it's for anyone that is interested in writing, the life of a writer, and simply wonderful postulations. I read this book about 3 years ago and it still inspires me.
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