Flowers of Evil and Other Works/Les Fleurs du Mal et Oeuvres Choisies : A Dual-Language Book (Dover Foreign Language Study Guides)
Controversial book of verse, first published in 1857, presented in a handsome dual-language edition, together with superb selection of great French poet's other works: prose poems from "Spleen of Paris," critical essays on art, music, and literature, as well as personal letters. Line-by-line English translation, with original French text on facing page.
Not The Complete Les Fleurs
By Michael Gunther - July 27, 2007
I purchased this book, misled (or perhaps just too hopeful) by its title and description, expecting that it would contain facing English translations of *all* the poems in Les Fleurs Du Mal. Imagine my surprise when I opened it up and found only 50 of the 160 or so poems! I hope this brief notice prevents other readers from making a similar error. If you want all the poems, or better still, the complete works, in translation, then you will have to look elsewhere (I don't have a current recommendation, but will post one when I do).
That said, Wallace Fowlie's translations of the 50 selected poems are very accurate, and worth having for that reason alone. These are literal translations (what we used to call "ponies," although I am not sure why, in school.) He renders every line, pretty much word-for-word, into good understandable English, making no attempt to create a "literary" or "poetic" version. I would use these translations simply to check my understanding of the... read more
A "success de scandale"...
By email@example.com - July 19, 2001
"All the bourgeois fools who incessantly utter the words immoral, immorality, morality in art, and other silly things remind me of Louise Villedieu, a five franc whore who, when accompanying me one day to the Louvre - where she had never been - started blushing and covering her face; and pulling all the time at my sleeve, she asked, before the immortal statues and paintings, how people could put such obscenities on public display" ~ Mon Coeur mis a nu (My heart laid bare)The ministry of interior declared in 1857 that "Les Fleurs du Mal" constituted "an act of defiance in contempt of the laws which safeguard religion and morality" and both Baudelaire, the publisher and the printer was convicted on grounds of immorality, and all available copies of "Les Fleurs du Mal" was confiscated.The courts verdict stated that whatever mitigating comments "Les Fleurs du Mal" might contain, nothing could dissipate the harmful effects of the... read more
The Most Intriguing of Poets
By A Customer - February 7, 2001
Les Fleurs du Mal is a bittersweet compilation of poems by Charles Baudelaire, the master of forlorn sentiments who lived in Paris around 1850. Unique to his style is a juxtaposition of the realm of nature with that of the modern city (Paris). Baudelaire, like Gaugin, was one of the few artists of his cohort who had traveled out of his usual frame of reference (from Paris to the islands of La Reunion and back to Paris again), instilling in his vision a lust for the exotic and for realms of simple enchantment. While many perceive his works as pessimistic, it seems to me that the elements of humour and sarcasm woven throughout his works reveal an underlying transcendence over any serious lugubrious entrapment. The French-English text here helps to expose what may have been lost or altered in the translation. Ultimately the poems and their English counterparts here maintain the glory of Baudelaire- dark and uncanny rhymes often intertwined with florid beauty and intimations of the... read more
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