- File Size: 1179 KB
- Print Length: 444 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0952884399
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: PENTALPHA PUBLISHING EDINBURGH (July 30, 2014)
- Publication Date: July 30, 2014
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00FKJ1OCE
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
#1,969,970 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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DELIRIUM: The Rimbaud Delusion Kindle Edition
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However, if you are fan of complex, deftly told tales with multiple narrators, multiple timelines, and historical personages used as fictional characters then this is a book you'll enjoy. If you happen to be a fan of Rimbaud's poetry, you''ll love it. If like me, you're a fan of John Fowles' novel, The Magus, you might find a little bit of that here as well.
The search begins with the source, the poet Arthur Rimbaud, the manuscript’s author. We hear first the voices of Rimbaud, his lover Paul Verlaine, and Verlaine’s wife, Mathilde, giving us a glimpse of the world as it was then, in the late 19th century. Other voices add to the story as we follow the manuscript through the 20th century and into the 21st.
Knitting the story together is the central narrative of Andrea Mann, who, in 2004, goes in search of Rimbaud’s lost poem, La Chasse Spirituelle. Andrea’s meeting with a young man at Rimbaud’s grave starts her on a journey that may or may not connect her with a manuscript that, if genuine, would be worth a great deal of money. It’s not the money, though, that intrigues Andrea. We sense that the lost poem represents something else.
The intertwining threads of the history of the manuscript—caught up with its various custodians in the senseless tragedy of World War I, the cruel barbarity of World War II, and the lives, hopes, and dreams of ordinary people—I found fascinating. Andrea Mann’s story I found less so. Perhaps because part of her search involves knowing, or not knowing, what is real and what is not, I was never sure what was real and what was not. While that may have been a conscious choice by the author, it kept me too cautious, unwilling to enter fully into Andrea’s story. As in real life, if I believe I’m being misled, I will stay a bit removed from a situation. That remove also made me too critical—even judgmental—of Andrea. I never really got a sense of who she was; I only saw her jerked around by the manipulations of others.
Delirium is an ambitious book. I believe the author did not quite achieve her ambition in telling Andrea’s story, but it was a worthy attempt. I’m still mulling over many of the issues she raised and questions she never answered fully. And I’ve also started reading fin de siecle French poetry.
I received this free of charge in return for an honest review on behalf of the Awesome Indies.
Meanwhile, modern-day Andrea Mann is driven to France by her obsession with Rimbaud and this missing manuscript. Beside the poet’s grave at Charleville-Mézières, she meets a young man who shows her a single page, supposedly from La Chasse Spirituelle and, her curiosity piqued, Andrea embarks on a dangerous quest to locate the manuscript.
I devoured this story, eagerly turning the pages to learn more about the different keepers of the manuscript, as well as to discover whether Andrea had truly found the lost masterpiece. If you love history, intrigue, beautiful prose and great characterisation, you’ll enjoy Delirium: The Rimbaud Illusion.
My interest and passion for the work of Rimbaud, and his lover, Paul Verlaine, attracted me to this book. But it's the story itself which stays with me. An atmosphere so strange and ethereal you don't know what to believe and suspect the Green Fairy has lured you in. The layers of voice and evocation of place and period are superbly done. A top class tale of trust, mistrust, discovery, perception and poetry. One to savour.
Delirium: The Rimbaud Delusion by Barbara Scott Emmett is the story of Andrea’s quest, and at the same time, a parallel story of Rimbaud’s affair with the flamboyant poet Paul Verlaine, and the history of the missing manuscript. The author skillfully weaves the diverse narratives across a great span of time, from the first person point of view of the actors involved in the creation of La Chasse Spirituelle.
Filled with mystery and pathos, this is a literary masterpiece.