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A Season in Hell (Une Saison en Enfer) is a lengthy poem written and published in 1873 by Arthur Rimbaud.
It is considered by many as his masterwork.
Rimbaud began writing the poem in April, during a visit to his family's farm in Roche, on the French-Belgian border.
Rimbaud had begun a complicated homosexual relationship with the poet Paul Verlaine in the spring of 1872, and the couple quarreled constantly.
Verlaine had bouts of drunkenness and suicidal behavior.
When Rimbaud declared he planned to leave while they stayed in Brussels in July 1873, Verlaine fired three shots from his revolver, wounding Rimbaud once, and after continuing threats of violence, Verlaine was jailed for two years hard labor.
After their separation, he returned home to complete A Season in Hell. His reputation was tarnished because of his actions with Verlaine, he received damaging reviews and was snubbed by Parisian art and literary circles.
In anger, Rimbaud burned his manuscripts and it is said never wrote poetry again.
Although he stopped writing at the age of 19, Arthur Rimbaud (1854-91) possessed the most revolutionary talent of the century.
His poetry and prose have increasingly influenced major writers.
The reputation of A Season in Hell has steadily increased over the years.
ARTHUR RIMBAUD (1854 –1891) was a French poet. He influenced modern literature and arts, and prefigured surrealism. Known to have been a libertine and for being a restless soul, he started writing poems at a very young age, while still in primary school, and stopped completely before he turned 21. He was mostly creative in his teens (17–20). The critic Cecil Arthur Hackett wrote that his "genius, its flowering, explosion and sudden extinction, still astonishes". A Season in Hell had a significant influence on later artists and poets, including the Surrealists. He traveled extensively on three continents before his death from cancer just after his thirty-seventh birthday.