The Rimbaldian Pleasures of Paris

An afternoon spent walking the streets of Paris, stopping every so often in a bookshop, then walking on for awhile until the temptation is too much & I have to sit on the terrace of a café (first afternoon this was possible: some sun & a near-human temperature) & start reading one of the books just bought. Today’s books include Pierre Guyotat’s Arrière-Fond (the second installment of his autobiography), Abdelkebir Khatibi’s Le scribe et son ombre, and a volume of essays on Derrida in/and Algeria, edited by Mustapha Chérif.

And then this pleasure: a bookshop window full of Rimbauds — new editions, reissues, CDs of his work read by famous actors, full editions of the poems reproduced from manuscripts, last letter collections, etc. One of the books (see photos) — purporting to be the “Posthumous Correspondence” (shades of Spicer’s Lorca, though this is more spoof than serious poetry) has the fake photo on the cover I ran on Nomadics a few weeks back.

After which I met up with friends Habib Tengour and Eric Sarner (who is making a documentary on the great Algerian poet Jean Sénac) for apéritifs. Eric also told of his participation in a poetry festival in Iraq last month—an amazing adventure he has documented in a text I would love to have the time to translate, at least in part. (Will try to do so soonish, meanwhile you can read the text in French here, on the Riveneuve – Continents blog).

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Comment on “The Rimbaldian Pleasures of Paris”

  1. Please note, readers of Abdelkebir Khatibi:

    I have finished the translation of Tattooed Memory (1971). Wonderful autobiography, coming of age around the time of Morocco’s independence, re-defining problems of language and identity.

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