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Promontory (Promontoire)
by Arthur Rimbaud (1872-75); translated by Helen Rootham (1938).

Golden dawn and trembling eve find our brig in the open sea opposite this villa, which with its dependencies forms a promontory as extensive as Epirus, or the peloponesia, Japan or Arabia! There are shrines enlightened by the reappearance of speculative thought; immense views of the defences of a modern coast; sand-hills gay with glowing flowers and bacchanals. There are grand canals from Carthage, embankments from an ambiguous Venice; languid erruptions of Etna and crevasses from which burst flowers and water, and glaciers. There are wash-houses surrounded by German poplars, strange undulating parks, and circular façades in the style of 'The Royal' or 'The Grand' of underground, and railways overhead, all part of this hotel which resembles the most elegant and the most colossal structures known to history of Italy, America, and Asia. The brilliantly illuminated windows and terraces are swept by luxurious breezes, and expensive beverages are served there.

Everything responds to the taste of travellers who permit the whim of the moment, and the vagaries of fashionable art, to decorate the façades of the 'Royal Promontory Hotel'.


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AUTHOR: Arthur Rimbaud (1872-75); translated by Helen Rootham (1938).
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