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FLEURS DU MAL (LES) [Mass Market Paperback]

CHARLES BAUDELAIRE
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
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Book Description

July 8 1999 Folio Classique N.P. (Book 3219)
Les Fleurs du Mal, au travers d'une sélection d'environ soixante poèmes, nous sont proposées à l'occasion d'une mise en images de Louis Joos. La "beauté pure" des vers baudelairiens trouve un nouvel écho dans la puissance évocatrice du dessin qui les accompagne : aquarelle, encre de chine, pastel, différentes techniques qui traduisent les mots et les rimes, les concepts et le quotidien, l'amour et la haine, le plaisir et le spleen, les anges et les démons, les courtisanes et les femmes-enfants... Ce jeu de "correspondances" (chères au poète), ce miroir visuel est loin d'être le premier, mais il renouvelle d'une force inédite la tradition des illustrateurs de Baudelaire. Poète de la ville et de sa Modernité, poète des amours exotiques, poète des paradis artificiels, poète de l'angoisse, de la mort, poète censuré, condamné, Charles Baudelaire est aussi ce théoricien dont les textes sur les peintres, les courants, l'Idéal ont contribué à l'histoire de l'art, à l'art de la critique...
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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La seconde édition des Fleurs du mal, privée des six "pièces condamnées" en correctionnelle pour immoralité, paraît en 1861. Romantiques par la mélancolie à l'ombre de laquelle ils s'épanouissent, parnassiens par leur culte du Beau et la rigueur de leur composition (ils sont dédiés à Théophile Gautier), ces poèmes illustrent la théorie des correspondances horizontales entre les éléments visibles et invisibles, qui sont comme de "longs échos qui de loin en loin se confondent" pour s'élever en correspondances verticales "ayant l'expansion des choses infinies". Exploration du matériau grouillant qu'est la vie, cette quête spirituelle conduit le poète, tiraillé entre Spleen et Idéal, à travers diverses expériences pour échapper à la dualité déchirante. L'amour, un temps envisagé, est bien vite écarté au profit de l'activité qui caractérise les Tableaux parisiens. Mais la contemplation urbaine s'achève sur la vision presque hallucinatoire des brouillards matinaux. Viennent alors Le Vin et autres plaisirs artificiels, puis le vice, fleurs du mal qui n'offrent que mirage et dégoût. Dans une ultime tentative pour échapper au spleen, le poète pousse un cri de Révolte blasphématoire dont les répétitions ne sont plus des échos incantatoires, mais des piétinements stériles. Reste La Mort. --Sana Tang-Léopold Wauters --This text refers to an alternate Mass Market Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

" J'aspire à un repos absolu et à une nuit continue. Chantre des voluptés folles du vin et de l'opium, je n'ai soif que d'une liqueur inconnue sur la terre, et que la pharmaceutique céleste elle-même ne pourrait pas m'offrir ; d'une liqueur qui ne contiendrait ni la vitalité, ni la mort, ni l'excitation, ni le néant. " --This text refers to an alternate Mass Market Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Evocative Magic of Images and Sounds Oct. 3 2000
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
As both poet and critic, Baudelaire stands in relation to French and European poetry as Gustave Flaubert and Edouard Manet do to fiction and painting; as a crucial link between Romanticism and modernism and as a supreme example, in both his life and work, of what it means to be a modern artist. His catalytic influence was recognized in the nineteenth century by Rimbaud, Verlaine, Mallarmé and Swinburne and, in the twentieth century by Valèry, Rilke and T.S. Eliot.
Baudelaire's poetic masterpiece, the 1861 edition of Les Fleurs du mal (Flowers of Evil) consists of 126 poems arranged in six sections of varying length. Baudelaire always insisted that the collection was not a "simple album" but had "a beginning and an end," each poem revealing its full meaning only when read in relation to the others within the "singular framework" in which it is placed. A prefatory poem makes it clear that Baudelaire's concern is with the general human predicament of which his own is representative. The collection may best be read in the light of the concluding poem, Le Voyage, as a journey through self and society in search of some impossible satisfaction that forever eludes the traveler.
The first section, entitled Spleen et idéal, opens with a series of poems that dramatize contrasting views of art, beauty and the artist, who is depicted alternately as martyr, visionary, performer, pariah and fool.
The focus then shifts to sexual and romantic love, with the first-person narrator of the poems oscillating between extremes of ecstasy (idèal) and anguish (spleen) as he attempts to find fulfillment through a succession of women whom it is possible, if simplistic, to identify with Jeanne Duval, Apollonie Sabatier and Marie Daubrun.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the Best Translation Jan. 8 2003
By gemma
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I am not a writer, nor a critic. I am a mere reader who appreciates good works. This is one of my staple books, which I often reread and recommend to people who I feel might have the mind to appreciate genius. This is the best translation I know of and as a necessary feature of translated poetry, it includes the original French text, as well. Baudelaire reveals the beauty within darkness and exposes the darkness within light. Brilliance has always been rare, but I would say now it is more rare than ever within the literary field. This may very well be due to books like this going unread by the majority of the population. This is a wonderful book to enhance a person's writing depth, and their understanding of the world. Other great author's and books are: Illuminations by Arthur Rimbaud, Mallarme, Antonin Artaud's Anthology and The Death of Satan, Lautremont and Maldoror by Issidore Ducasse, All of the Marquis de Sade's works, Remembrance of Things Past by Marcel Proust, Finnegan's Wake by James Joyce, Anne Sexton's Complete Works, La Batarde by Violette Leduc, the diaries of Anais Nin, and Sylvia Plath's poetry.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, Supernatural , and Always New June 24 2000
Format:Paperback
The most misunderstood aspect in Baudelaire's mind is to believe Baudelaire thought evil was an exception, while it formed the rule to which the flowers were the despised growth choked by the very ground from which they sprang.
What did Baudelaire write about? Flowers of Evil. Why? To find the new. How? Plunging deep in the Unknown. Where? Any Where Out of the World.
Charles Baudelaire is beyond doubt one of the most important poets for modern literature--for "post-modern" and thereafter, too. Baudelaire has still to be caught up to by the world, that should read Flowers of Evil still were all else destroyed. Baudelaire represents himself as an erotic Gothic Swedenborgian dandy, prostrating himself in his temple of spirituality before the cult of sensibility and personality. His language--always silent--tells of intense self-overcoming refining itself into the purity of vision, of the existential pursuit of a personally determined means for an authentic and better perfected life.
The attractions of novelties, rarities, curiosities or oddities line most of his store, but only to better light the strange awareness Baudelaire brought to his life. The Flowers of Evil are martyrs sacrificing themselves in their swamps of matter incensing the skies of the ideal. The poems, the same as all of Baudelaire's work, are sad prophecies of Baudelaire's own neglected and misunderstood demise. The most misunderstood aspect of all is to believe Baudelaire thought evil was an exception, while it formed the rule to which the flowers were the despised growth choked by the very ground from which they sprang.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Pehaps one of the strongest poetic works ever Nov. 19 2001
Format:Paperback
Charles Baudelaire revolutionized the litterary world when "les fleurs du mal" was published. But even in this day and age he doesn't fail to make and impact, and even astonish learned readers with his powerful stanzas. Many scholars would probably disagree, but I see his "Hymne à la beautè" as the cornerstone of this truly "beautiful" collection. Ordinary conventions are turned up and down completely when the Frenchman uses oximorons and other tools to exhibit the beauty of "mal" (evil or bad - not even the title can really be translated). It is a work that can not only chance a reader perspectives on language - but transform the entire preattained convictions of how life should or can be perceived.
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