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Wednesday, 5 June 2013

In praise of the trip: in the footsteps of Arthur Rimbaud

A rainy spring day, I walked in the rain in the Geneva countryside. FLIC, flac, were my feet in the water. By the magic of waves and a podcast, I myself was at the other end of the world. For one hour, I followed Sébastien de Courtois writer on the trail of Arthur Rimbaud in Africa to the West, Djibouti to Aden. An account of a journey of four and a half months he tells in a beautiful book: in praise of the trip: in the footsteps of Arthur Rimbaud in the Editions of the Nile.

Sébastien de Courtois is a historian specializing in the Middle East, journalist at France Culture; He lives in Istanbul. Questioned by Martine Galland in this issue devoted to travel and travellers, it has allowed me to forget the rain and dullness for one hour and "see" Arthur Rimbaud in the port of Djibouti!

His initial project was a journey in the footsteps of Christianity going up the Nile by Coptic monasteries. But from the moment he crossed the footsteps of Arthur Rimbaud in Ethiopia, his travel plans changed.

Initially, he did not know the East African, he knew just that Arthur Rimbaud had completed his life between Aden and Harar. He discovers Arthur Rimbaud in discovering the landscapes of Eastern Africa. Djibouti, port of Tadjourah, he walks on the beach and meeting a young man making him immediately think of a photo of Arthur Rimbaud. He is taken to follow and imagine that it is a descendant of the poet and writer! Then he discovered the complete work by Arthur Rimbaud in a used book store, he bought it and plunges into the correspondence of Arthur Rimbaud to her mother and her friends.

Trip by Sébastien de Courtois was easy. He took great pleasure to discover people and scenery. It has no specific route, he travels from what tell her people, the advice given on the places to see. He sleeps under a hut, alone in the world, it can admire storms in the Gulf of Aden. He then went alone in the Ethiopian Highlands to Sudan and Egypt.

With this book, which you can hear excerpts read by Alain Maillard, show he wants to tell its readers that the journey is possible, you can dream, but especially you can do. However, it would be difficult to undertake today for questions of security in the Sudan and in Egypt including. Until things are arranged, you can listen to the show and read the story of his journey!

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