The article sets out ot examine various facets of the highly complex process of self-presentation in Rimbaud's work with particular reference to the Illuminations. Predicating its argument on the famous declarations about the moi in the letters of May 13 and 15 1871, the paper relates the Rimbaldian definition of the self to other such attempted definitions (Baudelaire, Kafka, Michaux). Three key areas of self-depiction are treated in depth in the course of the study. These are [i] the highly sophisticated process of role-playing in Rimbaud involving preferential identities; [ii] the very deliberate alienation and distantiation by which Rimbaud disengages from these roles and the poems in which they appear; and [iii] the reltaionship between self and other in the Illuminations which is characterized by a mixture of intimacy and aloofness. The paper concludes with detailed comments on 'Solde' seen as a microcosm of the drama of the self that has been followed throughout the analysis.
|Publication status||Published - 1995|