A phenomenonally precicious schoolboy, Rimbaud was still a teenager when he became notorious as Europe's most shocking and exhilarating poet. During his brief 5-year reign as the enfant terrible of French literature he produced an extraordinary body of poems that range from the exquisite to the obsene, while simultaneously living a life of dissolute excess with his lover and fellow poet, Verlaine. At the age of 21, he abandonned poetry and travelled across Europe before settling in Africa as an arms trader. This edition sets the two sides of Rimbaud side by side with a sparkling translation of his most exhilarating poetry and a generous selection of the letters from the harsh and colourful period of his life as a colonial trader.
Arthur Rimbaud (1854-91) is one of France's most controversial and influential poets. His works include A Season in Hell and Illuminations. Jeremy Harding is Senior Editor at the London Review of Books, a translator, and journalist. He is currently working on a book about being adopted. John Sturrock is Consulting Editor for the London Review of Books, a literary critic, travel writer, and translator. His translations for Penguin include novels by Stendhal and Hugo, and one volume of the new Proust translation: Sodom and Gomorrah.