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French poet Rimbaud accessible in new translation.
Pennsylvania (PRWEB) January 11, 2013
After translating and publishing Charles Baudelaire's Les Fleurs du Mal (Flowers of Evil) it was natural for Scholten to turn to the poetry of the young genius Arthur Rimbaud. In France Rimbaud remains so beloved to this day that all one hundred glorious lines of his most famous poem, Le Bateau Ivre (The Drunken Boat) were recently painted on a long wall in the heart of Paris.
In 1870 Rimbaud, aged fifteen and Le Bateau Ivre in his pocket, left his native northern France and burst upon the Parisian literary scene with poems of a new kind, the most revolutionary (and longest) set in a world of fantasy and illusion and written in a language to go with it. Yet, though called the Mozart of poetry, the Muse left him in three years, and after two more as a prose essayist Rimbaud abandoned all writing and embarked on an adventurous life that ended in 1891.
Rimbaud's poems betray an astounding wealth of knowledge, acquired during countless hours in his home school library. Often autobiographic they speak of his memories, his loves and joys, dislikes and agonies, his abhorrence of violence and war and, a true child of the French Revolution, his hatred of royalty and aversion of the Church, in spite of a strict Roman Catholic upbringing.
Apart from a section of twenty-two relatively short poems the translator considers of lesser value, this volume contains all of Rimbaud's poetry, sixty-five in all, in both French and English. The poet's rhyme and meter are respected, and Scholten stays as close to the literal as translation permits.
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About the Author
Robert Scholten is Emeritus Professor of Geology at The Pennsylvania State University. Born in The Netherlands, he studied at the University of Amsterdam during World War II, and was arrested for Resistance activities. Arriving in America in 1946, he obtained his PhD at the University of Michigan. His field research in four continents was facilitated by an early love of languages, especially French. Since his retirement in l985, he divides his time between France and the U.S. Scholten’s translation of Baudelaire’s Les Fleurs du Mal was published in 2011.
The Drunken Boat * by Robert Scholten
and Other Poems
Publication Date: 11/15/2012
Trade Paperback; $19.99; 280 pages; 978-1-4797-2835-0
Trade Hardback; $29.99; 280 pages; 978-1-4797-2836-7
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