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The Spiritual Hunt by Arthur Rimbaud

$20.00 USD / Sold Out

112 pages
5.5 x 7 inches
Letterpress edition

Translated by Emine Ersoy

I will bend the iron bars of an occidental sky and follow the steps of mages and scorned prophets...

Referenced only in a few letters of Paul Verlaine, The Spiritual Hunt is Arthur Rimbaud's forgotten masterwork, a poem in five parts that explored the mystic philosophy that guided the young poet's heart and hand. Considered lost for years, a typewritten manuscript appeared in Paris in the late 1920s, circulating around a close-knit group of booksellers, poets, and playwrights. Yet it wasn't until 1949 that Mercure de France took the initiative to publish the unauthenticated galley and unleashed a literary controversy that shook France. Sides were drawn, with Andre Breton leading the charge of forgery, calling the work an utter hoax and, others defending it as legitimate, an essential key to understanding Rimbaud and his work. Bookstores were raided for copies, critics were skewered in journals, and tempers flared on radio and in print, but no conclusive judgement could be drawn and Mercure de France withdrew the work from publication and pulped all the copies they could find.

Now, seventy-five years after its initial imbroglio, The Spiritual Hunt is available in English for the first time with a facsimile letterpress edition of the original. Featuring Pascal Pia's original introduction along with an edifying afterword by translator Emine Ersoy.