"Ah! cette vie de mon enfance..."

All you'd need in a book, as a type of Mallarmean conceit, the complete book. Louise Varèse's beautiful translations also make Rimbaud funny in his impatient rush to tell us how he wrote, what long-ago diluted tricks he acquired, read now with derision and spite. Because the form is already set, as a notebook will serve its lineaments, to measure the decade's experience (travel and humiliation). Distances minded in type, or, how to intuit "bohemian" failure, April-August 1873.

"Ah! That life of my childhood, this highroad in all weathers, supernaturally sober, more disinterested than the best of beggars, proud to have neither country nor friends, how stupid it was! And I see it only now!"

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