The Faces of Rimbaud

The personality of the adult Rimbaud, who writes letters home to his mother detailing and bewailing the state of his finances, is so different from that of the adolescent poète maudit that it seems improbable that the two belonged to the same person. Then again, Rimbaud, like us all, was always full of contradictions.

Achilles 2.0

Énard’s attempt to modernize the Iliad is even more explicit than Joyce’s attempt to modernize the Odyssey in Ulysses. Indeed, Zone reads as if it were narrated by Molly Bloom—were she to have been cast as a battle scarred Achilles rather than an unfaithful Penelope.

The Tourist Sublime

When we travel, the meanings consumerism ascribes to objects become opaque, and the choices we have to make — where to eat, where to go, what to do — can abruptly seem arbitrary, pointless. The ubiquitous marketing discourse that normally serves to orient us instead prompts terror in the midst of plenty. The consumerist bounty