The Cheap Grey Notebook: An Authorized Sequence in Rimbaud's Illuminations

Detailed study of the manuscripts of Illuminations suggests that the first twenty-nine and the last five texts are a fair copy whose sequence was established, probably by Rimbaud himself, with a view to publication. The best order is that of the original Pléiade edition. However, we cannot accept the assertion made by Antoine Adam in the 1972 Pléiade edition, that literary study of the texts must be separated from any theory of the manuscripts and their history. In practice, examination of the manuscripts points compellingly to the conclusion that Illuminations are a highly conscious literary composition by a skilled and mature writer. (NO)

Osmond, Nick
Volume 1983 Spring-Summer; 2(3-4): 302-12.