the posthumous memoirs of the celebrated French poet Jean Arthur Rimbaud (1854–1933) must count among the more obscure byways of literary marginalia.
Having faked his death in 1891 to escape mounting debts and increasingly credible threats of violence from rival traders in the Gulf of Aden – Rimbaud lay low for more than four decades.
While his former friends and colleagues were elevating his poetic works and mysterious youth into a cult – he kept his distance.
He stayed busy – variously occupied as a beachcomber on the Côte d’Azur – a croupier at Monte Carlo – a phony ‘fakir’ in a traveling carnival – a roving photographer with donkey on the Belgian coast – a promoter of spurious miracle sites in the Borinage and finally twenty years as ‘Beauraind’ an intermittently successful music-hall ventriloquist.
He lavishes many pages on his dummy Hugo – with whom he seems to have enjoyed the most intimate and rewarding relationship of his life.
(ed:..whoar..!..quite the life..eh..?..)
Source: Luc Sante: I Was Somebody Else