Customer Review

23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vivid Monstres Sacres, December 1, 2000
This review is from: Rimbaud: A Biography (Hardcover)
As Robb did in stellar biographies of Balzac and Victor Hugo, he paints a vivid picture of the immediate environment in which the genius in question grows, rebels, creates and explodes. Much has been written about Rimbaud and his short period of productivity as a brilliant poet and prose-poet, but too much until this biography repeated the same facts, the same received opinions and the same conclusions. Robb digs deeper to provide the fascinating and detailed world of Rimbaud's family, his provincial origins and his rage to create new forms. With that detail, Rimbaud comes spectacularly alive in context. And what a context! Most famously, poet Paul Verlaine stepped into Rimbaud's line of fire and literary history was made, with the young man/boy wreaking havoc in every direction. As Robb shows, Verlaine, Rimbaud's mentor, lover and punching bag, was merely one of those the wild child went after. Robb's prodigious knowledge of the poet, his time and his place in literary history makes this the definitive biography of Arthur Rimbaud. And although hard work, thoroughness and engaged insights are three of Robb's supreme qualities as a biographer, his glorious writing style, which provides every paragraph with exploding epiphanies that illuminate and delight in equal measure, remains a rare treasure among contemporary biographers.
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Location: Seattle, WA United States

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