News 2006

31/12/2006 Happy New Year 2007 !
I want to wish a very happy New Year to all the visitors, to all the members, friends and people who are supporting this site since so many years. May 2007 bring you love, happiness, health and success.


30/08/2006 The House where the French poets Rimbaud and Verlaine lived...
A house in London when the French poets Rimbaud and Verlaine lived after they fled Paris in the 1870s is up for sale, and a number of literary figures are trying to save it.

It's in Camden in north London and one of the writers hoping to having it restored is the novelist Julian Barnes, whose been so influenced by French culture in his work.

Barnes spoke about the rescue efforts on BBC Radio 4 and you can view photos of the house by Isabelle Bocon-Gibod.


18-29/07/2006 "Slope" at Tramway, Glasgow, Scotland.
In 1871, a sixteen-year old boy called Arthur Rimbaud arrived in Paris from the provinces with his poems and little else. When this child genius sailed for Africa five years later, he had left an alcohol-fuelled trail of devastation: wrecked relationships and an outraged society - but in the process he had revolutionised world literature, defining the course that radical poetry would take throughout the 20th century. He would never write a line of poetry again. Slope contemplates the nature of addiction and the nature of desire: what attracts us to the things that damage us? What is it that makes some people eventually sink under, while others walk away? Slope takes a new look at the relationship between Rimbaud and Verlaine, and the chaos that fired their creativity.

From 15 July 2006 To 29 July 2006 Tue-Sat 20:00. Sat Mat 15:00 Prices: £2.00 to £9.00

Author: Pamela Carter
Producer: Purni Morell
Director: Stewart Laing
Design: Stewart Laing
Lighting: Paul Sorley

The Tramway Theatre
Address: 25 Albert Drive
Glasgow, Glasgow, Scotland
Postcode: G41 2PE
Box Office: 0141 287 5511
Fax: 0141 287 5557 Web:

See also : : New perspective on a poet. By Andrea Mullaney.


06/07/2006 Depardieu twins join Rimbaud pic.
Dupeyron to direct 'Fragiles'
Gerard Depardieu's twin son and daughter, Guillaume and Julie Depardieu, will appear in "Les jours fragiles," a biopic about 19th century French poet Arthur Rimbaud, helmed by Francois Dupeyron.

"Gerard Depardieu's kids were an obvious choice to play the Rimbaud siblings given that Gillaume has lost a leg, just like Arthur Rimbaud," said a spokeswoman for film funder Eurimages, which has given the pic $600,000...


22/06/2006 Literary Auction Sets Marks.
Records were toppled in Paris, where organizers said an auction of rare French manuscripts had taken in over $17.5 million, more than double the estimate, Agence France-Presse reported. Gathered over 80 years by Pierre Berès, 93, the collection included a volume of 16th-century bird drawings by the painter Gourdelle, which fetched $1.76 million, a record for a book sold in France. The auction, at Drouot, also set a world record for a first edition of French literature when a first edition of Arthur Rimbaud's "Season in Hell," dedicated to his lover and fellow poet Paul Verlaine, sold for $643,146. Six sections of a diary by Stendhal, the author of "The Red and the Black" and "The Charterhouse of Parma," were to be auctioned, but the French government intervened, using its pre-emptive right and paying $1 million for the 570 pages. They will join 16,000 pages displayed at a museum dedicated to Stendhal.


19/06/2006 : Collector donates rare text to France.
A French book collector has donated a rare manuscript by the writer Stendhal to the state ending fears that it could move overseas after being bought at an upcoming auction, officials said Monday.

Collector Pierre Beres, 93, decided last year to sell 177 manuscripts and rare editions amassed over the past 80 years with an estimated value of some €6-million (R52-million).

He has now given a corrected version of his 1839 novel The Charterhouse Of Parma, substantially reworked "following the advice of Mr Balzac" as the author notes in the draft, and dating from 1840 to 1841, to the state.

Culture Minister Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres on Monday hailed Beres's "generous gesture", saying he had helped "bring to the national collection an essential piece of 19th century literary history".

Five journals from Stendhal's diary covering about 570 pages, however, are still set to be auctioned at the Drouot auction houses on Tuesday and are believed to be worth between €600 000 to €900 000.

In his long career, Beres became a legend for collecting rare editions of works by such giants of French literature as Marcel Proust, Arthur Rimbaud and Gustave Flaubert, many of which he kept for a long time to resell for huge sums later.

Other works going under the hammer on Tuesday are manuscripts from writers including Honore de Balzac, Proust and Rimbaud, along with a copy of Flaubert's Madame Bovary, dedicated to the writer Alexandre Dumas.

The catalogue


29/05/2006 : Wood sculpture based on Arthur Rimbaud's Drunken Boat.
Keller Visual Art Center of Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, CA, is showing an exhibition of the best 2006 art students' works for the whole summer. There is a wood sculpture based on Arthur Rimbaud's Drunken Boat, by Alain Lescart. The exhibition will take place until end of September. Highlights 2006. Selected Student Work. Work # 20. Address: 3900 Lomaland Drive, San Diego 92106, CA. USA
Opening: from 9 AM to 4 PM.


26/03/2006 : Like a Rolling Stone.
Jeremy Harding traces the extraordinary life and legacy of the French poet Rimbaud (born 150 years ago) and asks how his brief poetic career and slender body of work made him an icon of revolt for a later generation of rock 'n' roll stars.

Jim Morrison, Bob Dylan, Patti Smith, Jimi Hendrix, Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, John Lennon, David Bowie, The Rolling Stones – many of the giant figures of counter-culture music of the Sixties – cited the poetry and life of Arthur Rimbaud as a key touchstone for their thinking and their work.

In "Like A Rolling Stone", Jeremy Harding explores the way in which Rimbaud became an icon of revolt from the Fifties onwards. A combination of his dazzling, visionary poems and his abandonment of his craft and disappearance into the wilds of Ethiopia seem to have made Rimbaud into the most "poetic" of poets and a role model of "revolt into style" for the whole of the western world in the Sixties.

However, it seems that what fired the followers wasn't for the most part the poems, but the crazy life of sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll. When Jeremy goes to Charleville in Northern France, he picks up the threads of the poet's early life and finds a very different Rimbaud. In 1872, Rimbaud underwent a change, from the virtuoso ferocities of the early teenage prodigy to what one of his biographers calls his "songs of innocence", which include a run of short lyrics, barer, simpler and more childlike than their predecessors. These were some of the last poems in verse that Rimbaud composed before abandoning his life as a writer altogether.
Producer/Tim Dee

Sunday 26 March 2006 16:30-17:00 (Radio 4 FM)
Repeated: Saturday 1 April 2006 23:30-0:00 (Radio 4 FM)
You can also listen again to this programme on BBC's Website.

Jeremy Harding is a contributing editor at the "London Review of Books", a translator, and journalist. With John Sturrock, he published the following book in March 2005 :
Selected Poems and Letters by Arthur Rimbaud, John Sturrock (Translator), Jeremy Harding (Translator).

Paperback: 576 pages
Publisher: Penguin classics
ISBN: 0140448020


19/03/2006 : Dylan called in to help save poets' love nest on London's Desolation Row. By Anthony Barnes.
Musicians Bob Dylan and Patti Smith are being dragged into a fight to save one of literature's most debauched and disreputable love nests.

The dilapidated house in Camden, north London, was the backdrop for the absinthe drinking, drug-taking and scandalous affair between the French poets Rimbaud and Verlaine who lived there in the 19th century.

The home is now to be sold along with two adjoining houses, and campaigners fear it may be redeveloped to erase the house's literary link unless a sympathetic buyer is found. Rock literati Dylan and Smith, both admirers of the poets, have been approached to give muscle to the efforts to preserve the property.

Arthur Rimbaud and Paul Verlaine - cited as inspirations for artists such as the Doors frontman Jim Morrison and John Lennon as well as Smith and Dylan - became lovers in the 1870s and made their base in Camden, writing some of their most famous works as they lodged on the top floor of what is now a tatty, grime-coated house. Graham Greene is also said to have an association with 8 Royal College Street.

Among those fighting to save the four-storey property are the novelist Julian Barnes, actor Simon Callow, Poet Laureate Andrew Motion and the playwright Christopher Hampton, who scripted a film about the pair's relationship, Total Eclipse, which starred Leonardo DiCaprio and David Thewlis.

Barnes, who lives little over a mile from the property, said: "So often you find places where you have no sense of a person having been there. But when I went into the house and into one of the two rooms they lodged in, I thought, 'yes, I really can imagine them being there'. You look out of the window and apart from the traffic, you can be carried back to when they were around. There's definitely something still there."

Both Dylan and Smith have acknowledged the inspiration of the poets in their work. In the song "You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go" from Blood on the Tracks, Dylan sings: "Situations have ended sad, relationships have all been bad; mine've been like Verlaine's and Rimbaud ..."

In Smith's first single, "Piss Factory", she describes the salvation she found in reading a stolen copy of Rimbaud's Illuminations while she worked on an assembly line. She has also given lectures on his poems and was last year honoured by the French Culture Ministry partly for her appreciation of Rimbaud's work.

The campaigners have approached the two rock stars as they try to secure a buyer willing to pay £1.28m for the three properties. The present owner, the Royal Veterinary College, has given them until the end of July before the homes go on to the open market for a higher price.

Verlaine and Rimbaud, a decade his junior, met in Paris after the younger writer charmed him with his letters and poetry and they headed to Brussels. Verlaine deserted his wife and child, who were occasionally victims of his violent drunken rages, to be with his teenage lover. After a spell in Brussels they moved to London and eventually set up home in the attic at the Camden house, lodging with a Mrs Smith and offering French lessons in a colourful area teeming with low life. Another house at which they stayed, in Fitzrovia, was demolished in the 1930s.

Their volatile relationship was often drink-fuelled, and their fiery temperaments would see them drawing knives or razor blades as they rowed. Yet during their stay they also continued to write, with Rimbaud completing many of the poems in Illuminations.

Their partnership ended after Verlaine struck Rimbaud with a fish, after being made fun of. A few days later in Brussels, Rimbaud was shot in the wrist by his ex-lover, who was imprisoned for the crime.

Barnes said: "The French literary connection with London hasn't been commemorated in any meaningful way, but it is worth inserting into the literary landscape of London. Voltaire, Zola and Chateaubriand all spent significant amounts of time in London, and Rimbaud and Verlaine virtually ended their relationship in that house in Camden Town."

Dylan's Homage

"Situations have ended sad/ Relationships have all been bad/ Mine've been like Verlaine's and Rimbaud/ But there's no way I can compare/ All them scenes to this affair/ You're gonna make me lonesome when you go" 'You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go'


01/03/2006 A new page dedicated to artist Ulf-Johan Härd has been added in Rimbaud Album.


09/02/2006 French are urged to buy poets' home. By Richard Osley
Call for Premier to intervene.

The French government is under pressure to buy Camden Town's very own Poet's Corner – the house where writers Arthur Rimbaud and Paul Verlaine lived, loved and fell out.

Campaigners searching for a buyer for No 8 Royal College Street have claimed silver-haired French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin has been personally informed of the possibility that the house could be sold by the Royal Veterinary College. It is feared the property could fall into the hands of a developer, which would bulldoze the building to maximise income from the land. The house – built in 1806 – is up for sale but the college has agreed to hold off completing any deal to see if a buyer emerges who is interested in preserving the property as it is.

The sale has sparked a high-profile campaign involving a host of well-known faces from the world of literature, including poet Tom Paulin, novelist Julian Barnes, who lives in Highgate, and actor and writer Simon Callow. The French poets became lovers and lived in the house in 1873. But it was also the scene of their fiery falling out after Verlaine famously hit Rimbaud in the face with a wet fish.

Rimbaud, perhaps best remembered for the poem Les Illuminations, was later shot by Verlaine. Rimbaud fan Colette Levy, who lives in Aspern Grove, Belsize Park, said an intervention by M de Villepin could provide a solution. She said: "The answer to the problem concerning this famous house is simple: Let the French government buy it and turn it into a lively museum where readings would be welcome. This should be a really big campaign for Francophiles."

In 2004, a successful application to English Heritage for a blue plaque at the house was made by poet Philip Hobsbaum, a professor of literature at Glasgow University. But an objection by the College prevented the plaque being put up. In an article for The Times on Saturday, Mr Callow said: "It would be wonderful to preserve the house in which they loved, wrote and fought in its present form: there is some kind of poetic rightness in the dilapidation of the façade, something true to the rickety destinies of the two writers.

"But realistically it needs to be restored. The college is keen to sell the houses – which are Grade II-listed – to someone who will restore them, particularly No 8, which might become a study centre or at the very least a place in which the lives and work of the great poètes maudits are remembered and celebrated."

A spokesman for the Veterinary College advised prospective buyers to contact its property office.