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A Season in Hell
Arthur Rimbaud; Donald Revell, trans.




Omnidawn
2007 • 104 pp. 6 x 9"
Poetry - European

$14.95 Paperback, 978-1-890650-30-8



In this new translation of Arthur Rimbaud Donald Revell captures the child-like wonder and tortured, revelatory despair of these poems.

In this new translation of Arthur Rimbaud—illustrious among the 19th-century symbolists and one of the most influential poets upon the modern mind—Donald Revell captures the child-like wonder and tortured, revelatory despair of these poems, which changed, in so many ways, how we think of what a poem can say and mean. Revell’s choice of a most immediate vernacular gives the modern reader all the heady brilliance in Rimbaud’s rebelliousness. Yet, as Revell explains in his essay “Outrageous Innocence, Innocence Outraged,” which is offered as afterword in this translation of A Season in Hell, Rimbaud’s rebellious sensuality was redolent with the oracular. Revell’s essay offers the story of Rimbaud—his wildly creative youth, his years of breaking with all traditions of morality and decorum, his fame as the genius of French letters who is identified as one of the creators of free verse because of his rhythm experiments in prose poems. And Revell’s essay places these poems in the larger historical narrative of the literature of rebellious youth that has molded much of our contemporary culture. Published with the French on facing pages, this translation will open many readers to the pleasure of reading this wild child who was remembered after his death as one of the masters of French poetry.

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Reviews / Endorsements



“Woe to those readers who are doomed to read Rimbaud only in French, for in addition to giving us a bracing translation of Une Saison en Enfer, Donald Revell has given birth to a great poem—a poem that forces us to take Rimbaud at his word: ‘I transcribed the inexpressible.’”—James Longenbach

“How lucky we are that after his limber, resourceful translations of the twentieth century's greatest pyrotechnician, Apollinaire, Donald Revell now gives us English for the culminating work of our greatest pyromaniac, Arthur Rimbaud, capturing A Season In Hell's zealous flamboyance and its angelic/demonic purge.”—Dean Young

From the Book:

Back when, if I remember right, my life was a feast where every
heart flew open and all wines flowed.

One evening, I had a Beauty sitting on my knees.—Her kisses were
bitter.—I cursed her.

I fortified myself against justice.

I fled. O witches, o hate, o misery, even so early, all my treasures
were entrusted to you.

I alchemized human hope, and it vanished from my soul. Like some
wild animal, I pounced upon joy and strangled it.



A volatile and peripatetic poet, the prodigy ARTHUR RIMBAUD wrote all of his poetry in a space of less than five years. His poem "Voyelles" invoked synesthesia, marking him as a founder of French symbolism, and his Une Saison en Enfer (A Season in Hell) is considered one of the first works of free verse. His poetry was subconsciously inspired and highly suggestive; his persona was caustic and unstable. Though brilliant, during his life his peers regarded him as perverse, unsophisticated, and youthfully arrogant, and he died virtually indifferent to his own work.

DONALD REVELL is Professor of English & Director of Creative Writing programs at UNLV. Thief of Strings is his tenth poetry collection, published by Alice James. Donald Revell's previous translations include The Illumninations by Arthur Rimbaud, and A Season in Hell by Arthur Rimbaud, both of which were published by Omnidawn. A Season in Hell won the PSA translation award. His books of essays include Invisible Green: Selected Prose, published by Omnidawn. He serves as poetry editor of Colorado Review. Revell lives in the desert south of Las Vegas with his wife, poet Claudia Keelan, and their children Benjamin Brecht and Lucie Ming.



Sun, 17 Dec 2017 14:28:16 -0500