By Alistair Livingston
Shock and awe. Got the book and read it last night. Then couldn’t sleep. Just like after reading Jon Savage’s England’s Dreaming – the book manages to transmit the intensity of that which it describes. Which is brilliant. But now I am exhausted. Do I read it again? No, I can’t, today being Friday, I have to rest and relax ahead of a weekend of full on being a carer for a disabled person.
So I am listening to the ATV/ The Image Has Cracked/ 1978 not Crass…Viva la rock’n’roll…Arthur Rimbaud spoke to me through New York’s new wave … letting the disorded fragments of my mind re-assemble after the derangement of my senses. Which makes me think of Kenneth Grant as well as Penny Rimbaud.
Certain fugitive elements appear occasionally in the works of poets, painters, mystics and occultists which may be regarded as genuine magical manifestations in that they demonstrate the power and ability of the artists to evoke elements of an ultra- dimensional and alien universe that may be captured only by the most sensitive and delicately adjusted anntennae of human consciousness… [This] would sem to require that total and sysematic derangement of the senses which Rimbaud declared to be the key to self knowledge … “The soul must be made monstrous … The poet makes himself into a seer by a long, tremendous and reasoned derangment of his senses… This he attains the unknown; and when, at the point of madness, he finishes by losing the intelligence of his visions, he has beheld them!”
This formula of derangement was for Rimbaud, as for some of the greatest artists and magicains, the supreme key to inspiration and the reception of vivid images such as those which flash and tremble upon the luminous canvases of a Dali or an Ernest.