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Fleeing the Mother Tongue

Jeremy Harding: Rimbaud

9 October 2003
Rimbaud Complete 
edited by Wyatt Mason.
Scribner, 656 pp., £20, November 2003, 0 7432 3950 4
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Collected Poems 
by Arthur Rimbaud, edited by Martin Sorrell.
Oxford, 337 pp., £8.99, June 2001, 0 19 283344 8
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L'Art de Rimbaud 
by Michel Murat.
Corti, 492 pp., €23, October 2002, 2 7143 0796 5
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Arthur Rimbaud 
by Jean-Jacques Lefrère.
Fayard, 1242 pp., €44.50, May 2001, 2 213 60691 9
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Arthur Rimbaud: Presence of an Enigma 
by Jean-Luc Steinmetz, edited by Jon Graham.
Welcome Rain, 464 pp., $20, May 2002, 1 56649 251 3
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Rimbaud 
by Graham Robb.
Picador, 552 pp., £8.99, September 2001, 0 330 48803 1
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... The ‘Last Poems’ work because they have abandoned the search for the philosopher’s stone, picked up something more palpable and gone on to wring blood from it. Rimbaud didn’t see it that way. MichelMurat’s close, scholarly reading of the poems shows how blurred the phases of Rimbaud’s poetic career actually were, and how there were at least two modes on the go at any time. We tend to ...

One Does It Like This

David A. Bell: Talleyrand

16 November 2006
Napoleon’s Master: A Life of Prince Talleyrand 
by David Lawday.
Cape, 386 pp., £20, September 2006, 0 224 07366 4
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... sheer volume of biographical material, his life has nonetheless attracted more than its share of talented chroniclers, including Crane Brinton, André Castelot, Jean Orieux and the French politician Michel Poniatowski (not to mention the prolific historian Louis Madelin, to whose 1944 effort an American publisher appended the subtitle ‘A Vivid Biography of the Amoral, Unscrupulous and Fascinating ...

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