The Flowers of Evil

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Wesleyan University Press, 2006 - Literary Criticism - 194 pages
8 Reviews
The poetic masterpiece of the great nineteenth-century writer Charles Baudelaire, The Flowers of Evil is one of the most frequently read and studied works in the French language. In this compelling new translation of Baudelaire’s most famous collection, Keith Waldrop recasts the poet’s original French alexandrines and other poetic arrangements into versets, a form that hovers between poetry and prose. Maintaining Baudelaire’s complex view of sound and structure, Waldrop’s translation mirrors the intricacy of the original without attempting to replicate its inimitable verse. The result is a powerful new re-imagining, one that is, almost paradoxically, closer to Baudelaire’s own poetry than any previous English translation. Including the six poems banned from the first edition, this Flowers of Evil preserves the complexity, eloquence, and dark humor of its author. Brought here to new life, it is hypnotic, frank, and forceful.

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User Review  - hbergander - LibraryThing

As to Gustave Flaubert for immorality in Madame Bovary a couple of months before, a fine was imposed to Baudelaire, who moreover had to remove some poems, classified by the sentence as obscene, from his book. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ironicqueery - LibraryThing

I don't know French, so unfortunately am unable to ascertain how true to the original this translation is. Thus, based purely on the English half of this book, I was a bit disappointed that the poetry ... Read full review

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About the author (2006)

CHARLES BAUDELAIRE (1821 1867) wrote some of the most innovative poetry of the nineteenth century, in books including Les Fleurs du Mal and Le spleen de Paris. KEITH WALDROP is author of numerous collections of poetry and is the translator of The Selected Poems of Edmond Jabes, as well as works by Claude Royet-Journoud, Anne-Marie Albiach, and Jean Grosjean.

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