Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Arthur Rimbaud (20/10/1854 -10/11/1891) - extract from A Season in Hell: Ravings II

' I became  a fabulous opera. I saw that all beings have a 
fatality of happiness. Action is not life, but a way of dissi-
pating some force - an enervation. Morality is the weak-
ness of the brain.
    Each being seemed to me to have several other lives due
to him. This gentleman does not know what he is doing he is
an angel. This family is a pack of dogs. In the presence of
several men I have conversed aloud with a moment of one
of their other lives. Thus, I have loved a pig.
    Not one of the sophistries of madness - the kind of madness
that is locked up - have I omitted. I could recite them all, I have
the system.
   My health was threatened. Terror would come upon
me. I would fall into sleeps lasting several days, and on
rising would continue the saddest dreams. I was ripe for
death, and by a road of dangers my weakness led me to the
confines of the world and of Cimmeria, country of darkness
and whirlwinds.
  To divert the enchantment assemmbled in my brain, I had 
to travel. On the sea, which I loved as though it would cleanse
me of a defilement, I saw the comforting Cross erect itself. 
I had been damned by the rainbow. Happiness was my fatality,
my remorse, my worm. My life would always be too huge to be
devoted to strength and beauty.
 Happiness! Its deathly-sweet tooth warned me at cock-crow -
ad matutinum, at the Christus venit - in the darkest cities.

Reprinted from:
Norman Cameron's translation of 
'Ravings II' from Arthur Rimbaud,
A Season in Hell
( Anvil Press, London,1994)

See also

after Rimbaud: The kidnap and murder of David Cameron

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