"One statistic that Rimbaldians like to cite is that one in five French lycéens today claims to identify with the long-dead poet."

Daniel Mendelsohn, l'auteur des Disparus (The Lost), est également critique littéraire. Il revient dans cet article sur la figure ambivalente de Rimbaud : "There was, on the one hand, the dazzling, remarkably short-lived career: all of Rimbaud’s significant works were most likely composed between 1870, when he was not quite sixteen, and 1874, when he turned twenty. On the other hand, there was the abrupt abandonment of literature in favor of a vagabond life that eventually took him to Aden and then to East Africa, where he remained until just before his death, trading coffee, feathers, and, finally, guns, and making a tidy bundle in the process."

Mais pourquoi Rimbaud a-t-il abandonné la littérature ? Pour D. Mendelsohn, il ne s'agit peut-être pas là d'un si grand mystère que ce renoncement ou cette renonciation : "The apparently irreconcilable extremes of his thought and behavior are easier to account for when you remember that Rimbaud the poet never reached adulthood: violent oscillations between yearning and contempt, sentimentality and viciousness, are not unheard of in adolescents. […] Like J. D. Salinger, another beloved celebrant of youthful turmoil, Rimbaud may simply have found that, as he grew up, the urgency of his subject was gone. There was nothing left to say."

Lire l'article

Source : The New Yorker, 29/08/11