'Madness and Modernity in Rimbaud's Une Saison en enfer'

Gerald M Macklin

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    This paper sets out to examine in detail the structure and internal development of Une Saison en enfer, Arthur Rimbaud's diary composed in prose poetry. The paper argues that the collection articulates the experience of madness as an integral part of the author's sojourn in a psychological Hades. At the same time it sees a journey towards a personal definition and a sense of modernity as the means by which the victim ultimately exctracts himself from his hell. Drawing on some key work on Une Saison en enfer by important Rimbaldians, the article seeks to illuminate and explain the central artistic tension in the collection between assertiveness and hesitation, certainty and doubt. Placing Rimbaud in the context of other writers who have explored alternative visions of Hell, the paper examines Rimbaud's engagement with and rejection of traditional Western systems of belief and his fascination with oriental philosophies. The statement "il faut être absolument moderne" thus represents a culmination, a point of arrival, an emergence from hell.
    LanguageEnglish
    Pages379-394
    JournalNeophilologus
    Volume95
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2011

    Fingerprint

    Madness
    Hell
    Modernity
    Rejection
    Assertiveness
    Hesitation
    Oriental philosophy
    Diary
    Journey
    Prose Poetry
    Psychological
    Certainty
    Writer

    Keywords

    • hell modernity madness diary certainty doubt

    Cite this

    Macklin, Gerald M. / 'Madness and Modernity in Rimbaud's Une Saison en enfer'. In: Neophilologus. 2011 ; Vol. 95, No. 3. pp. 379-394.
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    abstract = "This paper sets out to examine in detail the structure and internal development of Une Saison en enfer, Arthur Rimbaud's diary composed in prose poetry. The paper argues that the collection articulates the experience of madness as an integral part of the author's sojourn in a psychological Hades. At the same time it sees a journey towards a personal definition and a sense of modernity as the means by which the victim ultimately exctracts himself from his hell. Drawing on some key work on Une Saison en enfer by important Rimbaldians, the article seeks to illuminate and explain the central artistic tension in the collection between assertiveness and hesitation, certainty and doubt. Placing Rimbaud in the context of other writers who have explored alternative visions of Hell, the paper examines Rimbaud's engagement with and rejection of traditional Western systems of belief and his fascination with oriental philosophies. The statement {"}il faut {\^e}tre absolument moderne{"} thus represents a culmination, a point of arrival, an emergence from hell.",
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    note = "Reference text: S Bernard and A Guyaux (eds.) Rimbaud:Oeuvres, Paris, Garnier, 1981 Y Bonnefoy Rimbaud, {\'e}crivains de toujours, Paris, Seuil, 1961 R G Cohn The Poetry of Rimbaud, Columbia, South Carolina, University of South Carolina Press, 1999 M Davies Une Saison en enfer d'Arthur Rimbaud, analyse du texte, Paris, Archive des Lettres Modernes, 1975 C A Hackett Rimbaud, a critical introduction, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1981 J Lawler Rimbaud's theatre of the self, Cambridge, Massachusetts/London England, Harvard University Press, 1992 G M Macklin 'Manifestations of the self in Rimbaud's Illuminations', Orbis Litterarum, 50, 142-163, 1995 G M Macklin 'Finding the formula: perspectives on the one-liner in Arhur Rimbaud's Illuminations', Forum for Modern Language Studies, XXXII, 4, 329-342, 1996 M Murat L'Art de Rimbaud, Paris, Jose Corti, 2002 N Oxenhandler, Rimbaud, the cost of genius, Columbus, Ohio: The Ohio State University Press, 2009 A M Paliyenko Mis-Reading the creative impulse: the poetic subject in Rimbaud and Caludel restaged, Carbondale and Edwardsville, Southern Illinois University Press, 1997 J-P Richard Po{\'e}sie et profondeur, Paris, Editions du Seuil, 1995",
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    Macklin, GM 2011, ''Madness and Modernity in Rimbaud's Une Saison en enfer'', Neophilologus, vol. 95, no. 3, pp. 379-394.

    'Madness and Modernity in Rimbaud's Une Saison en enfer'. / Macklin, Gerald M.

    In: Neophilologus, Vol. 95, No. 3, 01.07.2011, p. 379-394.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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