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Disaster Was My God: A Novel of the Outlaw Life of Arthur Rimbaud

Disaster Was My God A Novel of the Outlaw Life of Arthur Rimbaud The author of the critically acclaimed novel The World as I Found It brilliantly reimagines the scandalous life of the pioneering proto punk poet Arthur Rimbaud Arthur Rimbaud the enfant terrible of

  • Title: Disaster Was My God: A Novel of the Outlaw Life of Arthur Rimbaud
  • Author: Bruce Duffy
  • ISBN: 9780385534369
  • Page: 353
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The author of the critically acclaimed novel The World as I Found It brilliantly reimagines the scandalous life of the pioneering, proto punk poet Arthur Rimbaud Arthur Rimbaud, the enfant terrible of French letters, than holds his own with Lord Byron and Oscar Wilde in terms of bold writing and salacious interest In the space of one year 1871 with a handful of starThe author of the critically acclaimed novel The World as I Found It brilliantly reimagines the scandalous life of the pioneering, proto punk poet Arthur Rimbaud Arthur Rimbaud, the enfant terrible of French letters, than holds his own with Lord Byron and Oscar Wilde in terms of bold writing and salacious interest In the space of one year 1871 with a handful of startling poems he transformed himself from a teenaged bumpkin into the literary sensation of Paris He was taken up, then taken in, by the older and married poet Paul Verlaine in a passionate affair When Rimbaud sought to end it, Verlaine, in a jeal ous rage, shot him Shortly thereafter, Rimbaud just shy of his twentieth birthday declared himself finished with literature His resignation notice was his immortal prose poem A Season in Hell In time, Rimbaud wound up a pros perous trader and arms dealer in Ethiopia But a cancerous leg forced him to return to France, to the family farm, with his sister and loving but overbearing mother He died at thirty seven Bruce Duffy takes the bare facts of Rimbaud s fascinating existence and brings them vividly to life in a story rich with people, places, and paradox In this unprecedented work of fictional biography, Duffy conveys, as few ever have, the inner turmoil of this calculating genius of outrage, whose work and untidy life essentially anticipated and created the twentieth century s culture of rebellion It helps us see why such protean rock figures as Bob Dylan, Jim Morrison, and Patti Smith adopted Rimbaud as their idol.

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      Published :2020-04-26T08:47:52+00:00

    About "Bruce Duffy"

    1. Bruce Duffy

      Bruce Duffy is the author of the autobiographical novel Last Comes the Egg 1997 , and to appear June 2011 Disaster Was My God, a novel based on the life and work of the poet Arthur Rimbaud An only child raised in a Catholic middle class family in suburban Maryland, Duffy sees the 1962 death of his mother essentially by medical malpractice as what pushed him to be a writer Duffy graduated from the University of Maryland in 1973, and has hitchhiked twice across the United States, worked construction, washed dishes, hopped freight trains with hoboes, and reported stories that have taken him to Haiti, Bosnia, and Taliban Afghanistan Today he lives just outside Washington, D.C works as a speechwriter, is married to a psychotherapist, and has two grown daughters and a stepson Writing in Salon, Joyce Carol Oates named The World As I Found It as one of five great nonfiction novels, calling it one of the most ambitious first novels ever published A former Guggenheim fellow, Duffy has won the Whiting Writers Award and a Lila Wallace Reader s Digest Award

    848 Comments

    1. Mama’s boys together their two-year rampage through Paris, London, and Brussels. Leaving just four people, all women, of course to pick up the pieces. Mme. Rimbaud, Mme. Verlaine, and Mathilde Maute’ Verlaine – dewey-eyed no more. And of course their leader and strategist, the ever resourceful Mme. Maute’.Arthur Rimbaud, age 17.Fictional biography? What??Why would anyone want to read a “fictional biography”?Well, if you enjoy reading biographies, then you might not want to! If you ca [...]


    2. 'Disaster Was My God' .Rimbaud is one of mine! [Undead husband, to be most precise.]I picked this book up with excitement, and just the slightest trepidation.Right off the bat, the author wishes to be clear, unapologetic: This is not a biography, he says, it is a fiction using facts and pieces of the poet's life. The result is an unbelievably rich eight course meal providing possible (neither definitive nor necessarily comprehensive) answers to the big Rimbaud questions, namely, why, upon turnin [...]


    3. Perhaps I would have liked this more if I knew less about Rimbaud's life. I wanted to like this novel. Certainly Rimbaud is a complex and contradictory personality and there is room for an inventive treatment of his life. However, this novel annoyed me, particularly the extended sequence when AR makes the trip on the litter to the coast in Africa. This trip lasted only about 2 weeks, yet takes up a large chunk of this novel and he is accompanied by an invented family, the MacDonald's, mostly it [...]


    4. Bruce Duffy tells the story of Arthur Rimbaud, a french poet who was a 14-year-old prodigy. Blurring the line between fact and fiction, Duffy attempts to answer the question many literary historians ask. Why did Rimbaud write his entire life’s work in 5 years and then turn his back to creative writing forever?This was an amazing novel for fan of the "drunken boat & a season in hell" Disaster was My God is “an audaciously constructed, powerfully composed work that manages to create for th [...]


    5. Very disappointinge writer tries a number of narrative strategies but never comes close to seeing Rimbaud except through a glass(very)darkly


    6. Chosen for a book group to groans of "a fictional biography? What does that even MEAN?" this book turned out to be interesting. It tells the story of Arthur Rimbaud, someone about whom I have no prior information. (I even had to ask someone how to pronounce his name.)Rimbaud, in case you don't know, had a brief but intense career as a poet in Europe before giving it all up and eventually landing in northern Africa as a tradesman making a fortune. During all that he had an affair with another poe [...]


    7. An interesting but ultimately disappointing fictional portrait of Rimbaud. Reading a straightforward biography and the poet's own works would be more satisfying.



    8. I first learned about Arthur Rimbaud, the ultimate enfant terrible among French poets, when we were tasked with introducing a French poem and its creator to our class back in high school - and obviously, being a bit of a rebel, I picked the most incomprehensible (with high school French, anyway) thing by the mostly intriguingly scandalous poet I could find. His short, extreme in so many ways, and quite fascinating life should make for great material for a captivating novel - this one, however, w [...]


    9. The tumultous relationship between the legendary French poets Arthur Rimbaud and Paul Verlaine takes a surprising backset in this biographical novel that is ultimately the fictionalized portait of the embittered battlefield that is the bond between mother and son. The Rimbaud/Verlaine relationship would seem like the obvious centerpiece for this novel, and indeed it does crackle the pages with chilling power when it is covered. It is not to Rimbaud and Verlaine we are first introduced to in this [...]


    10. This is a well-written and engaging biography of Arthur Rimbaud(1854-1891). It sticks very close to the details of his life, yet the scenes and dialog would have to be fictional. The book begins with his mother attempting to bury his body, and finally wraps up with this same scene. I liked that the book did not recount a linear examination of his life, and jumped between his adventures in Ethiopia, to his Parisian encounter with Paul Verlaine, scenes of his childhood with his mother, and his fli [...]


    11. A fictionalized biography of the much-romanticized Arthur Rimbaud, the poet and enigma who ushered in new forms of poetry and thought that served no-less than to predict and unleash modernism just prior to dawn of the 20th century. Well known today as the muse of the likes of rock-auteurs Patti Smith and Jim Morrison, the bratty, explosive, prodigy/savant began his legendary work during his mid-teens only to cease writing before he turned 20, disappearing from the literary world and ending up in [...]


    12. I'm not quite sure how I feel about historical fiction generally, but I heard about this on NPR and it sounded interesting, so I added it to my queue at the library. Other than knowing that some rock bands were into his work (the Clash, the Doors, etc.) I wasn't familiar with the story of Rimbaud. This book doesn't tell a very flattering story about the man or his companions, but it did hold my interest. As with other historical fiction books, however, it left me wanting to know which parts of t [...]


    13. The book is a tour de force! Duffy has, with considerable flair, incorporated many of the known facts of Rimbaud's life with imaginative fiction. The result is a compelling novel (not an attempt at a biography) that - in the author's own words - bends his subject’s life, "in order to see it, much as a prism bends light to release its hidden colours." It is to the author’s credit that he has achieved this – and how!


    14. Meh. I was hoping for more insight into Rimbaud's mindset and motivations and less clever prose and skipping around in time ala Slaughterhouse Five. Or maybe Rimbaud really was just a jerk, there's no 'big secret' about why the child genius gave up poetry to run guns, and this sort of 'fictional biography' is the only way to tell his otherwise uninteresting life story.


    15. Although I found the organization of the novel interesting with various flashbacks, I really didn't feel that I gained an understanding of Arthur Rimbaud. His mother stands out (in this fictionalized account) as a real meany! I'm not sorry that I read the book and will now tackle some of Rimbaud's poetry.


    16. I actually didn't finish this book,which is very unusual for me. It's beautifully written, I mean I enjoyed the author's style very much, but I just couldn't get interested in the narrative--and I'm very much interested in Arthur Rimbaud.


    17. This is a fictional reconstruction of Rimbaud’s life, with poetry interspersed, that is especially intriguing (I think) to those who have read an actual bio of Rimbaud, as well as some of his works. Not sure what it would be like to pick up this book while knowing nothing.







    18. I wouldn't have persevered with this if I hadn't been reviewing it. Rimbaud is horribly unlikeable and I found the style of the writing hard going for quite a lot of the book.





    19. Really struggled with the author's over use of cliche. At times it was infuriating. Interesting structure and use of time, however. Not really recommended.


    20. If I had not seen the movie I could not have gotten though this book - not because of the writing, which was outstanding - but because of the content.


    21. Am just loving this book, but not far enough through to say much more - oh that there was more time to read!!! Rimbaud's widowed mother is brought to life so evocatively by Bruce Duffy.


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