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Distributed for University of Wales Press

Rimbaud’s Impressionist Poetics

Vision and Visuality

In the early 1870s, Arthur Rimbaud, indisputable genius of French poetry, invented a new style that captured the energy and visual complexity of modern life, changing fundamentally the way subsequent poetry would be written. At the same time in Paris and London, impressionist painters were revolutionizing the way art was produced, exhibited, viewed, and discussed. This book places Rimbaud’s radical poetic experiments alongside the equally disruptive experiments of impressionist painters and advances the argument that impressionism’s laissez-faire ideology helps explain Rimbaud’s decision to abandon poetry for commerce.

240 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 | © 2012

University of Wales Press - Studies in Visual Culture

Language and Linguistics: General Language and Linguistics

Literature and Literary Criticism: General Criticism and Critical Theory

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“The scope of Rimbaud’s Impressionist Poetics is even broader than the title suggests: not only does Aimeé Israel-Pelletier demonstrate Rimbaud’s affinities with Impressionism, but she also relates him to realism and to the cultural and political climate of late nineteenth-century France, a watershed period in the history of vision and poetry; and not only does she deal with Rimbaud’s poetics, his theories of vision, but she also reinforces her compelling argument with ample discussion of his poems. Indeed, these incisive analyses illustrate the interaction of the visual and verbal languages at the most basic level, making her book at once comprehensive and concrete. Her argument is consistently lucid and uncluttered, her style straightforward and jargon-free, resulting in a book that will prove attractive to experts in all of the many fields with which it intersects, yet accessible to the general reading public. In short, this fascinating study is also a great read.”

William J. Berg, University of Wisconsin–Madison

Table of Contents

Series Editors’ Preface
Note on Editions of Rimbaud’s Work

1. Language and Visual Realism in the Poésies
2. Unsettled Terrain: Realism and Impressionism 1860s–1870s
3. Impressionism and the New Look
4. Vision, Visuality, Affect
5. After Poetry

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