A Season in Hell

A while back, if I remember right, my life was one long party where all hearts were open wide, where all wines kept flowing.

Marylebone Road, Westminster, NW1

One night, I sat Beauty down on my lap.—And I found her galling.—And I roughed her up.

Tontone Street, Folkestone, Kent, CT20

I armed myself against justice.

Queenstown Road, Wandsworth, SW8

I ran away. O witches, O misery, O hatred, my treasure’s been turned over to you!

Democracy Village, Parliament Square, Westminster, SW1P

I managed to make every trace of human hope vanish from my mind. I pounced on every joy like a ferocious animal eager to strangle it.

Gerry Judah's Auschwitz-Birkenau Model, The Holocaust Exhibition, Imperial War Museum, Lambeth, SE1

I called for executioners so that, while dying, I could bite the butts of their rifles. I called for plagues to choke me with sand, with blood. Bad luck was my god. I stretched out in the muck. I dried myself in the air of crime. And I played tricks on insanity.

From Arthur Rimbaud’s A Season in Hell (1873)

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