In a loft, where I was shut in when I was twelve, I got to know the world, I illustrated the human comedy. I learned history in a wine cellar. In a northern city, at some nocturnal revel, I met all the women of the old masters. In an old arcade in Paris, I was taught the classical sciences. In a magnificent dwelling encircled by the entire Orient, I accomplished my prodigious work and spent my illustrious retreat. I churned up my blood. My duty has been remitted. I must not even think of that anymore. I am really from beyond the tomb, and no commissions.
— "Vies" (Lives), by Arthur Rimbaud