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FLEURS DU MAL (LES) (French) Mass Market Paperback – Jul 8 1999


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 343 pages
  • Publisher: GALLIMARD (ÉDITIONS) (July 8 1999)
  • Language: French
  • ISBN-10: 207040904X
  • ISBN-13: 978-2070409044
  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 10.8 x 1.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 181 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #63,408 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Oct. 3 2000
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 By gemma on Jan. 8 2003
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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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By S. Smit on Aug. 13 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Don't be fooled by Steven McLeod's review. This book is not an English translation of the French poet's work. It is printed entirely in French with no side-by-side translation. Just don't make the same mistake I did and send it as a gift to a non-French speaking friend!
(By the way, my three stars mean nothing as I couldn't read the book either, but was required to fill-in the field to submit this "review.")
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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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