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The Flowers of Evil [Broché]

Charles Baudelaire

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Revue de presse

'Jonathan Culler's 24 page introduction is thoughtful and informative; and the editorial apparatus of bibliography, chronology and notes on the text are up to the high standard of the series.' Acumen Magazine

'McGowan's fine poetic sense uses the springing monosyllable to good effect; A reader who goes straight to James McGowan's versions will be well rewarded. A scrupulous and sensitive poet has made the whole of Baudelaire's poetry in verse available in English so that the unique quality of the original consistently survives.' Harry Guest, Journal of European Studies, XXIV (1994)

'Culler's insistence on Baudelaire's depressing conclusions is welcome at a time when these poems are frequently subjected to evangelical optimism. McGowan urges us to consult other translations. His own generally reliable versions - given his satanic pact with symmetry - are probably now the best place to start.' Graham Robb, French Studies, Vol. 48, Pt.4

Présentation de l'éditeur

The Flowers of Evil, which T. S. Eliot called the greatest example of modern poetry in any language, shocked the literary world of nineteenth century France with its outspoken portrayal of lesbian love, its linking sexuality and death, its unremitting irony, and its unflinching celebration of the seamy side of urban life. The volume was seized by the police, and Baudelaire and his published were put on trial for offence to public decency. Six offending poems were banned, in a conviction that was not overturned until 1949. This bold new translation, which restores the banned poems to their original places and reveals the full richness and variety of the collection, makes available to English speakers a powerful and original version of the world. Jonathan Culler's Introduction outlines this vision, stressing that Baudelaire is more than just the poet of the modern city. Originally to be called `The Lesbians', The Flowers of Evil contains the most extraordinary body of love poetry. The poems also pose the question of the role of evil in our lives, of whether there are not external forces working to frustrate human plans and to enlist men and women on appalling or stultifying scenarios not of their own making. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.

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Couverture | Copyright | Table des matières | Extrait | Index | Quatrième de couverture
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 3.5 étoiles sur 5  28 commentaires
39 internautes sur 39 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Great Confusion about editions 23 octobre 2010
Par A critical reader - Publié sur
Amazon has really messed up these reviews of The Flowers of Evil, which refer to many different translations and editions. The Kindle edition (horrible, incomplete, badly, formatted) has nothing to do with any of the published translations. It should be avoided. The Oxford World Classics edition, which is supposedly under review, does not have a hardback edition; it exists in paperback only, and is translated by James McGowan in verse form, with French and English on facing pages and does not have formatting problems. There is an introduciton by Jonathan Culler. One review supposedly of this edition in fact describes a prose translation of the Flowers of Evil by Keith Waldrop (published by WEsleyan University Press), a very different book. The translation by McIntyre is another edition altogether. It would be helpful if reviewers would specify in their review which translation they are actually reviewing.
33 internautes sur 38 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Best Translation I've Seen 17 avril 2002
Par E. Shlimovich - Publié sur
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.
17 internautes sur 19 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 McGowan's Baudelaire 27 janvier 2008
Par Michael Gunther - Publié sur
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Every translation of poetry is a compromise - on the one hand, the translator wants to "carry over" (the literal meaning of "translation") the poet's words and meaning exactly, but on the other hand, the translator also wants to create a poem that is as beautiful as the original! It is not an easy task.

McGowan's 1993 translation, into rhyming and metrical English verse, leans to the "literal" end of this spectrum. He renders Baudelaire's words, images, and verse closely enough that the reader can get a pretty reliable idea of the original. Although this is a faithful translation that stays away from "poetic license" and flights of fancy, it still reads well in English.

As an example of its acceptance in the world of Baudelaire studies, McGowan's translation is the one that is used by "The Cambridge Companion to Baudelaire" (ed. Rosemary Lloyd, 2005) for all quotations from Les Fleurs du Mal. If I could only have one English-language translation of Baudelaire in my library, this would be a good first choice.
30 internautes sur 36 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Excellent collection of Baudelaire's work 9 février 2004
Par N. Jacobs - Publié sur
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Charles Baudelaire's poetry is some of the best poetry ever written. He explores a number of different themes, often focusing on his personal experiances and emotions. To those of us who have suffered in life, one can easily relate to a lot of the feelings he felt. There are many hidden messages in the poetry, and the language is very rich and educated. You can get a lot of different interpretations out of these poems, which make them all the more relevant to the reader.
The best thing about this book is the fact that it features both the original French and an English translation, side by side. For those who are fluent or well versed in French, this is a dream come true. The translations are expertly done, and great care has been done to preserve the rhyme schemes without losing the meaning of the poems.
13 internautes sur 16 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 The roots of evil? 20 février 2002
Par Helen - Publié sur
This dual language edition of Baudelaire's revolutionary work is an excellent addition to any poetry lover's bookshelf. The translations are well thought out and can be read as works on their own if you do not speak French. However, Baudelaire's poetry is best read in the original French if the reader really wishes to appreciate the gravity and depth of poems such as 'Le Cygne' (Andromac je pense a vous) or marvel at the streets of Paris in the middle of Haussmann's redevelopment plan.
Baudelaire allows us to explore our own emotions and leads us on a journey from this world, to the classical world and then on to the next. We see love in many guises, from Baudelaire's various 'amantes' to sex with common prostitutes. We cannot help be amazed by the poet's versatility of subject matter and even of style, particularly in 'Harmonie du Soir'. This collection can be read on many different levels and every time one rereads a poem, there is always something more.
I would recommend 'Les Fleurs du Mal' to anyone who has been entranced by French literature all through the ages. You will see love, hate and Paris as you've never seen them before.
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