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4.2 out of 5 stars11
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Showing 1-7 of 7 reviews(5 star).Show all reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 13, 2010
The first comment confuses this book with Waldrop's unrhymed, unlineated prose translation (published by Weslyan UP),and at least one other review makes the same mistake. This Oxford UP volume contains James McGowan's verse translations. I don't understand how that error occurred, but the volume you are reading about contains a verse translation.
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on April 28, 2000
This is a magnificent edition of the seminal Fleurs du Mal, printed in its original French and a sympathetic and incisive English that retains rhythm and form in a way rarely seen in recent Baudelaires. For poetry lovers, and lovers of literature, Baudelaire is a first-stop: all of twentieth century poetry is in his debt, yet he is often overlooked in contemporary analysis of influences on poets like Eliot, even Heany. The stark, startling honesty of poems like De Profundis Clamavi, or The Balcony, wipe away the years and bring this rebel visionary of the soul full-dimensionally into our twenty-first century living-rooms. This is an important work, as important as anything in French literature. The frame of "poetry" distracts: Flowers of Evil is life lessons, a handbook more stimulating and life-affirming than any top-ten self-help manual.
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on July 12, 2000
If you have never heard of Charles Baudelaire, now you have. What have you been missing? Well, order this book and you will see that you are missing the preeminant masterpiece of a man with a complete mastery of his language. There are points of aching emotion, periods of baudy, lustful couplings, raw, exposed pain and suffering, but underneath it all is one of the greatest minds to ever put quill to parchment. John-Paul Sartre explains Baudelaire as: "man of shadows, opium addict, dandy, frigid disciple of voulpte and the greatest lyric poet of his age". Mr. Sartre was indeed correct. This version of Flowers of Evil should be required in the library of every disillusioned, but not defeated, weary, but eager, truth seeking dreamer.
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on December 30, 2000
... As for this book, I wish less people would read it, because it is aimed for a small audience, a bitter and literate one. But don't listen to T.S. Eliot, whose Wasteland is this book and a thesaurus. The parallel French text is nice to have. The translation is more of a self-imposed one rather than a transliteration, but poetry is impossible to fairly translate. Baudelaire's "La Fontaine de sang" is worth the entire book, and the explanatory notes in the back are very helpful. Buy this book if you like Kafka, hate Frost, love Eliot, and enjoy French culture, or if you are a bitter, bitter, man.
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on January 10, 2000
This is one of the most exceptional books of poetry in modern literature. Without Baudelaire there is no Eliot, Yeats, or Joyce. They, and the world modern of poetry, are so completely indebted to this masterpeice. "Flowers of Evil" has cleary established the nature, setting, images, moods and feelings, that even dominate the poetry of today.
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on June 7, 2000
this is a wonderful book. the translation is sympathetic and brings out the best in baudelaire's rich verse, lending an air of polish and depth to the rhymes and rythms of the work. undoubtedly an essential read for any fan of great poetry.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 16, 2002
This edition of "Flowers of Evil" contains all of the poems, not in their original order. However, ample introductory material and two tables of contents allows the reader to see what the work was when it was first published.
The poems themselves cover many subjects in traditional symbolist style, from cats to gypsies to corpses to a whole section on wine. A must for any student of poetry.
However, if you're looking for a translation that is true word for word and does not attempt to preserve the meter and rhyme, this is not the book for you. Mcentyre does a fabulous job tweaking the enlish to preserve poetic structure, but for students of French, and those interested in doing their own translations, other editions are preferable.
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