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Long intimidating immense and rational derangement of all the senses

Symbolism is one of my favourite artistic movements, and it was only natural that I would recall the work of certain Symbolist masters when reading a poem that is sometimes seen as inaugurating the Symbolist movement in poetry.

For my interpretation of “The Drunken Boat” I took inspiration from the works of such Symbolist or Symbolist-influenced artists as Max Klinger, Čiurlionis, Odilon Redon, Walter Crane, Albert Pinkham Ryder, Jean Delville, Mikhaill Vrubel, Van Gogh, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, and Henri Rousseau, and no doubt there are many unconscious references to other Symbolist art in there as well.

That being said, Rimbaud is perhaps more amenable to translation than many other poets because his imagery is so startling, and it remains so in no matter what language it’s expressed.

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That’s what I feel my mental process is, but who knows what’s really going on.It was in large part this similarity that led to my desire to create a comic-book biography of the poet.I discovered the works of Verlaine soon afterwards, and I’m a big fan of his particular brand of gentle, melancholy musicality.I first encountered Rimbaud in a beat-up paperback collection of his work that I found in a used bookstore.I was probably about nineteen or twenty, and had little experience with French poetry, or any poetry, really.I think I decided to give the book a try mostly because of the cover image, a loosely-sketched portrait of Rimbaud done by Verlaine.I found the round-faced adolescent in the drawing looked quite a bit like the Belgian comic-book character Tintin, a long-time favourite of mine.Russ Kick, the anthology’s editor, provided me with the translation, which is old enough to be in the public domain.I’m sorry to say I don’t know who wrote it, which is a shame because I think he or she did a terrific job.This seems appropriate for a French Symbolist poem, since that school of poetry is today understood to, in the words of Rimbaud, reject realism in favor of a “long, intimidating, immense and rational derangement of all the senses.” Did that aspect of Symbolist philosophy help you as an artist to draw more freely from your own imagination, rather than going with a more literal interpretation of the text?I generally think of my interpretations as being fairly literal, but the thing is, I don’t think that attempting a literal interpretation is necessarily such a limiting practice when it comes to illustrating a lot of poetry, and certainly Rimbaud.

405 comments

  1. He became a highly successful student and was head of his class in all subjects but. a "long, intimidating, immense and rational derangement of all the senses.

  2. Mar 28, 2013. Drugs and music have a long history, of course. quest for a “long, intimidating, immense and rational derangement of all the senses” to inform his poetry. If the Rimbaudian idea of a derangement of the senses is useful for.

  3. Nov 10, 2014. for attaining poetical transcendence or visionary power through a "long, intimidating, immense and rational derangement of all the senses.

  4. Jean Nicolas Arthur Rimbaud was a French poet who is known for his influence on modern. method for attaining poetical transcendence or visionary power through a "long, intimidating, immense and rational derangement of all the senses.

  5. The Poet makes himself a seer by a long, immense, and rational dissoluteness of all the senses. All the forms of love, of suffering, of madness; he searches.

  6. The poet becomes a seer through a long, immense, and reasoned derangement of all the senses. All shapes of love suffering, madness. He searches himself.

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