On This Day

Arthur Rimbaud

Poet Arthur Rimbaud

Profession: Poet

Nationality:
France
French

Why Famous: Rimbaud was a French poet known perhaps as much for ceasing his productive output as that which he actually produced—although that he abandoned work was notably only due to the renown earned by that which he wrote prior, most notably 'A Season in Hell' and his last major work, 'Illuminations.'

Showing his talent early, Rimbaud travelled to Paris to meet Paul Verlaine. Together they lived a raucous life of dissipation and desire, revolting against all that society sought to impose upon them—both in terms of their creative work and their lifestyles.

Camus referred to Rimbaud as "the poet of revolt, and the greatest." Yet few understood Rimbaud's ultimate revolt, that he would revolt against even his own talent.

Instead he travelled, enlisting in the Dutch Colonial Army (from which he deserted, fleeing into the jungle), working as a foreman in a Cypriot stone quarry, and finally ending up as a merchant in Ethiopia.

Born: October 20, 1854
Birthplace: Charleville, France
Star Sign: Libra

Died: November 10, 1891 (aged 37)
Cause of Death: Bone Cancer

Historical Events

  • 1873-07-10 French poet Paul Verlaine wounds Arthur Rimbaud with pistol

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