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From 26 October 2007 to 06 January 2008

Exhibitions

The Life and Works of Arthur Rimbaud

Room A, Room B, Room C

This show illustrates the swift evolution of the exemplary gifted student and precocious, boyish poet who strove, by any means possible, to publish his poetry, escape from his suffocating surroundings and discover a new poetics capable of transforming life. In it we meet the indomitable adolescent, already a "clairvoyant poet", who finally made his way to Paris and amazed and scandalised literary circles in the French capital. We also find the "infernal" companion of Verlaine, with whom he practised the "disorder of all the senses" in search of a new language and an absolute poetry, a turbulent relationship that ended abruptly when Verlaine shot and wounded Rimbaud in Brussels and was subsequently tried and imprisoned. At that time Rimbaud published A Season in Hell, a pseudo-autobiography, and after a brief period spent studying foreign languages and finishing his new poems, published years later under the title Illuminations, he gave up literature for good at the tender age of 21.

The exhibition also reveals another side to Rimbaud, narrating a life spent in forward flight, the life of a tireless rover who travelled half the world and ultimately ended up in exile in Africa as a merchant, arms dealer and explorer, a brief, intense existence that ended dramatically at age 37 in Marseille.

The exhibition, curated by Lola Martínez de Albornoz and based on an idea by Gonzalo Armero, authors of the monographic issue of the journal Poesía entitled “Vida y hechos de Arthur Rimbaud” (Madrid, TF Editores, 2002), was organised with the collaboration of the Musée Arthur Rimbaud, the Bibliothèque Municipale de Charleville-Mézières, the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, the Bibliothèque Royale in Brussels, the British Library in London and other institutions.

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