CHA2713 Pagan Shore Ireland in the Age of King Arthur

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This "intractable prisoner" will proclaim himself not guilty. Like Vigny's great rebels, the blasphemers of us Fleurs du Mal, he will rise up against God and take by force the foreseen paradise. Baudelaire had retreated before so much audacity. Perhaps, as in Sartre's diagnostic analysis of him, he needed to feel guilty, to observe the rules set down by others even while guiltily violating these rules. " Rimbaud was also to submit during the last frighteningly pathetic weeks of his life. But he had at first sought to make his revolt total and metaphysical as well as social and literary.

The surrealists appropriated him for a short time. If the centennial of A Season in Hell, in 1973, had been celebrated in the grave fashion that academic critics in our day have assumed, in colloquies (composed, to tell the truth, of written monologues), Rimbaud would definitively have been ranked as a classic, the most commented upon, after Mallarme, of French poets. It was inevitable that Rimbaud's adventurous existence and his repudiation of literature at scarcely more than the age of twenty should hold such fascination for posterity that careful study of his work would suffer from it.

Shimmering light of day and almost sexual rhythms, foam in the green night resembling dazzling snows (the poet says, more daringly, "dazzled"), phosphorescent snows that he hears sing whi1e the dawn renders their awakening "yellow and blue," sky and sea, the earth recalled to mind with its tart apples and its old parapets united with the delirious ocean, cataracts of furious cloudbursts and suddenly tranquil rivers--everything is carried along in a strange and dizzying delirium in Rimbaldian evocations.

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