A Season in Hell and The Illuminations, with Selected Poems and Letters


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“What is my nothingness, compared to the stupor that awaits you?” – Arthur Rimbaud

Revised and expanded in 2022, this new edition of A Season in Hell and The Illuminations now includes Selected Poems and Selected Letters.

Having closely studied and admired the visionary masterpieces of 19th-century French poet Arthur Rimbaud for years, Christopher Bakka has translated them for himself. Born from a desire to deeply engage with the original French texts and to apprehend, as clearly as is possible, the words that Rimbaud wrote, these translations of A Season in Hell and The Illuminations are free from the wildly creative liberties in diction and syntax that make most translations of Rimbaud unreliable. Pure translation, is, of course, impossible, especially where poetry is concerned; devoted readers of Rimbaud, therefore, are encouraged to engage with the music and ambiguity of the poet’s original French, presented here en face.

In addition to A Season in Hell and The Illuminations, Rimbaud’s two major works of prose, this new version features 33 of his best poems, including “The Drunken Boat,” “The Stolen Heart,” “Festivals of Patience,” and “Vowels.”

It also includes seven letters, among them the famous “Letters of the Seer” addressed to Georges Izambard and Paul Demeny.

The book concludes with a letter written to Ernest Delahaye containing what many critics consider to be Rimbaud’s last poem: “The Barracks at Night” (also titled “Dream”).

The enfant terrible of French poetry notorious for his tumultuous relationship with the older poet Paul Verlaine, Arthur Rimbaud sought “to change life.” He ended up changing literature.

Additional information

Weight 440 g
Dimensions 20.3 × 13.3 × 2.2 cm


Christopher Bakka









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