Arthur Rimbaud Essay - Arthur Rimbaud World Literature Analysis

Arthur Rimbaud World Literature Analysis

Rimbaud, like his friend Verlaine and their great predecessor Charles Baudelaire, is one of those poets who is at least as well known for his scandalous lifestyle as he is for his poetic production. The prototype for the henceforth famous poètes maudites (damned poets), Rimbaud believed that the goal of poetry was to change life. In his opposition to the hypocrisy of European bourgeois materialism and nineteenth century positivism, the poet pioneered the use of shock as a tool of political statement.

Remy de Gourmont, the symbolist poet and theoretician, praised Rimbaud’s “magnificently obscene violence.” Paul Cézanne, Paul Gauguin, and Camille Pissarro, committed as they were to the liberation of...

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