symbolist poet arthur rimbaud has nothing to do with this post

Es­ti­mated reading time is 2 min­utes.

ANOTHER DAY, an­other ques­tion on Quora beg­ging for an an­swer from me. (Well, maybe not beg­ging, but looking like it re­quires my at­ten­tion.) Hope­fully, my an­swer will be un­like others that will be posted and if it doesn’t in­form, will at least entertain.

The ques­tion was, Can you name an artist or mu­si­cian you had never heard of that people said was good and you dis­cov­ered those people were right? My an­swer can be found in­dented be­tween the two im­ages below.


ArthurRimbaud caricature Pericoli 600

Too many to list

The an­swer that every­body should have to the ques­tion, “Can you name an artist or mu­si­cian you had never heard of that people said was good and you dis­cov­ered those people were right?” should be “Too many to re­member” or “Too many to list.”

Anyone who can’t an­swer with one of the above or a vari­a­tion on one of the above is one of the below:

1)  A person that al­ready knows and likes every artist and mu­si­cian who has ever lived.
2)  A person that has a very narrow field of appreciation.
3)  A person that doesn’t like to admit he was ever wrong about anything.

If it’s the first one, well, that is one amazing human being!

If it’s the second one, there are var­ious ways that a person can learn about the as­tounding va­ri­eties of cre­ativity we human be­ings are ca­pable of, such as taking classes at local col­leges (Un­der­standing French Sym­bolist Po­etry of the 19th Cen­tury Ap­pre­ci­a­tion, Cap­tain Beef­heart Ap­pre­ci­a­tion 101, In­tro­duc­tion to Modern Art 101, etc.) and reading lots of books.

If it’s the third one, that’s the toughest one to over­come: after a cer­tain age (and it varies from person to person), about the only way most of us learn any­thing new is to admit we were wrong about some­thing old.

All of us have this problem to some de­gree; some people having what we prob­ably in­cor­rectly label as a ‘con­ser­v­a­tive’ make-up have this problem every day with everything.

French sym­bolist poet Arthur Rim­baud has nothing to do with this post but I found a great car­i­ca­ture of him so he’s here! Click To Tweet

ArthurRimbaud caricature Pericoli 1500 crop

FEATURED IMAGE: The image at the top of this page is a car­i­ca­ture of French sym­bolist poet Arthur Rim­baud by artist Tullio Peri­coli. Here is what the Po­etry Foun­da­tion says about Rim­baud:

“It would be dif­fi­cult to over­es­ti­mate the in­flu­ence of Arthur Rimbaud’s po­etry on sub­se­quent prac­ti­tioners of the genre. His im­pact on the Sur­re­alist move­ment has been widely ac­knowl­edged, and a host of poets, from André Breton to André Frey­naud, have rec­og­nized their in­debt­ed­ness to Rimbaud’s vi­sion and tech­nique. He was the en­fant ter­rible of French po­etry in the second half of the nine­teenth cen­tury and a major figure in symbolism.”





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I somehow ne­glected to men­tion Samuel Beckett, par­tic­ular be­cause of his trilogy and the novel leading up to it: Murphy, Molloy, Malone Dies, and the Un­name­able. (He wrote “Waiting for Godot” to relax while taking a break from writing that four-book masterpiece.)

The poet/novelist Ken­neth Patchen is an­other. (Yes, Arthur Rim­baud as well.) I also in­clude the North­west draftsman/painter of the gen­er­a­tion be­fore mine: Bill Cum­ming. He cap­tured ex­pres­sive mo­ments of fig­ures in motion—like Dau­mier, but in Pa­cific NW light.

Many thought of him as down the rating list for North­west painters (Mark Tobey, Morris Graves, Guy An­derson, Ken­neth Callahan, and Richard Gilkey ranking ahead of him) but he is far and away my fa­vorite of the lot of them. Com­pletely self-taught too.