Books: Season in Hell

ARTHUR RIMBAUD—Enid Starkie—Norton ($3.75).

Between 15 and 19, Arthur Rimbaud wrote poetry whose slashing irony and pure music still influence poets. At 19 he wrote Une Saison en Enfer (A Season in Hell), an obscure, agonized hodgepodge in which Rimbaud addicts* trace the wrestlings of his André Gide-like puritanism with his André Gide-like passions. But from then until he died, at 37, in a Marseille hospital, Arthur Rimbaud never wrote again. This amazing break with his genius, his lone-wolf prowlings through the lower depths of Europe, his gunrunning in Africa and Asia form a...

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