ArthurRimbaud caricature Pericoli 1500 crop

symbolist poet arthur rimbaud has nothing to do with this post

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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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.

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.)