Arthur Rimbaud was now living in Harar, the legendary Abyssinian walled city, since November 1880. The poet had died together with the last verse of "Une Saison en Enfer" in 1873 or 4. Who was that poet? And who was the child before the poet? "Once, if I remembered well, my life was a banquet where all hearts opened, all wines flowed..."
It was surely somebody else. For Arthur Rimbaud had completed his transformation into "The Other". And as "The Other", he lived through his own Heart of Darkness in Africa and he so readily assumed the role of Kurz. But it was only when he returned to Charleville, back to mother dearest, a cripple and having fought the law and lost, that he became a man who in the words of Charles Baudelaire " a senti l'horrible fardeau du Temps qui brise ses épaules et le penche vers la terre..."
Actually, Rimbaud's sister, Isabelle, was wrong when she insisted that his last words, on his death bed at the hospital in Marseilles, were a confession. He actually whispered to her in perfect english: " The horror! The horror!" and became immortal.
Listen to :