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Selected Poems from Les Fleurs Du Mal A Bilingual Edition cover
  • ISBN: 9780226039251
  • ISBN10: 0226039250

Selected Poems from Les Fleurs Du Mal A Bilingual Edition

by Charles Baudelaire

  • List Price: $38.00
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Univ of Chicago Pr
  • Publish date: 04/01/1998
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Description
Whether as the father of modern poetry or the last of the Romantics, Charles Baudelaire (1821-67) holds a place like no other writer in the history of Western literature. Over the decades many distinguished translators have tried to convey in English the strange and troubled genius that made Les Fleurs du mal a succes de scandale in its day and an undisputed masterpiece for all time. This generous selection from Les Fleurs captures the formal precision and romantic emotion that scintillate through the original, along with the fire that caused public outrage when the poems first appeared in 1857. Majestic in its grotesquerie, unfettered in its guilt-ridden glorification of sensual excesses, this literary bouquet appears here in all its brilliance of phrasing, rhythm, and expressiveness.

In a masterly translation by Norman Shapiro, these poems demonstrate the remarkable range of Baudelaire's gift -- from the exquisite quatrains of "The Swan", to the "Spleen" poems, to the sophisticated formal challenges of his famous sonnets. Shapiro's English renderings are unique in their fidelity to both the spirit and the structural demands of Baudelaire's poetry across this broad range. Throughout they give a true sense of the poet's innovations as he anticipated the melodic ambiguities of his Symbolist followers and transformed the angst and traditionalism of his Romantic elders into something truly new.

The poems are presented in both French and English, complemented by the work of illustrator David Schorr, whose engravings depict some of the more vivid moments from the poetry in all their perverse charm. As much a pleasure to look at as it is to read, this selection from Les Fleurs du malinvites newcomers and devotees alike to experience Baudelaire's genius anew.

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