"Je ne m'occupe plus de c?a" [electronic resource] : [I am not concerned with that anymore] : the poetic silence of Arthur Rimbaud /

by Whiting, George H.

Abstract (Summary)
Robert Berg, Advisor Entering young adulthood, the 19th century French poet Arthur Rimbaud completely and permanently abandoned his literary gifts. He would never reveal his reasons for doing so. The power of his enigma is heightened by its set of polarities: the preeminent poet in zealous pursuit of his art transformed into to a man of science and industry, limiting his written expression to flat and stunted phrases. To explain this phenomenon and thus bridge the divide between these two Arthur Rimbauds was the objective of this thesis. In addressing the question, this study relied heavily on biographical material, including private letters, remembered conversations, and recorded impressions originating from the poet, his family, friends, and business associates. The researcher utilized Rimbaud’s literary works primarily in their autobiographical capacity, especially Une Saison en enfer [A Season in Hell] and the “seer letters.” Effective analysis of Rimbaud’s dramatic mental and emotional transition required establishing an appropriate psychological context. For this reason, Abraham H. Maslow’s distinct classifications of human motivation functioned as a basic touchstone throughout the thesis. With these tools, the author focused on determining how the qualities unique to Rimbaud’s personality worked in conjunction with his changing life circumstances, psychology, and personal philosophy to undermine his drive to create poetry. Analysis determined that Rimbaud’s psyche gave priority to achieving self-transcendence and that his passion for poetry needed to function within the path chosen to satisfy this need if it were to survive. His compulsion to envision any such answer in absolute terms made his final iv philosophy of materialism and objectivism completely unforgiving to the subjective ambiguities of art. In addition, he angrily blamed the artistic mindset and lifestyle for two distinct problems. First, he had come to depend on intoxicants in the writing of poetry, resulting in years of substance abuse that threatened his health and sanity. Secondly, his homosexual affair with Verlaine became public knowledge, resulting in scandal that followed him to the end of his life. Hoping to re-invent himself, he started a new life in Africa that represented the antithesis of his bohemian existence as a young poet. v I dedicate this work to my parents, George and Janice Whiting vi
Bibliographical Information:


School:Bowling Green State University

School Location:USA - Ohio

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:rimbaud arthur 1854 1891 poetry poets french


Date of Publication:

© 2009 All Rights Reserved.