A Season In Abyssinia; An Impersonation by Paul Strathern

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Author
Paul Strathern
Publisher
MacMillan
Date of release
Pages
320
ISBN
9780333134207
Binding
Hardcover
Illustrations
Format
PDF, EPUB, MOBI, TXT, DOC
Rating
4
49

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A Season In Abyssinia; An Impersonation

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Book review

Marseilles, 1891: as Arthur Rimbaud lies dying in hospital, his mind wanders fitfully - taking him back to Commune-era Paris, and the scandalous life he led with Verlaine. But, above all, he is transported to Harar, Abyssinia, where he ventured in 1880 to seek his fortune, having chucking in the disreputable game of writing poetry...

Paul Strathern's second novel, published in 1972, won a Somerset Maugham Award both for its superb evocation of the colour, squalor and hurlyburly of Harar and for its inspired 'impersonation' of Rimbaud - restless, ragged self-overcomer, would-be explorer-imperialist, and genius poet repulsed by his past literary life. In a new preface to this edition Strathern discusses the mercurial personality of Rimbaud, his novel's bold shifts between first and third person, and his own travels in East Africa that informed the book.


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