Lines from A Season in Hell like "Misfortune was my God" or "I played sly tricks on madness" knocked my impressionable nineteen year-old self out! And I don't think I've ever completely come to since. Thank you, Arthur Rimbaud, for mesmerizing me (and millions others of your French Symbolist adherents) with your radically original visions, and for letting us glimpse inside your divine "notebook from one of the damned".
Arthur Rimbaud is a fascinating read, and includes numerous passages involving Paul Verlaine, and their sordid, on-again-off-again affair. Rimbaud's affair with absinthe and opium is well chronicled too. Starkie pulled no punches while retaining obvious compassion for Rimbaud's sad plight. It's like she was urging him on sometimes, was the vague sense I got, as she brought him to vivid life in her fine writing. Arthur Rimbaud remains a lovely, unflinching, essential biography of Rimbaud the boy, the adolescent poet, the man.