The Flowers of Evil

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Wesleyan University Press, 2006 - Literary Criticism - 194 pages
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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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The flowers of evil

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The rendering of Baudelaire's ground-breaking classic into English has been tackled numerous times in various ways since the 19th century. In this version, rather than utilizing rhymed stanzas, free ... 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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