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Les Fleurs Du Mal


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About the Author

Charles Baudelaire was a French poet whose work explored taboo areas of sensuality and sexuality. His highly original style of prose-poetry influenced a whole generation of poets including Paul Verlaine, Arthur Rimbaud, and Stephane Mallarme, among many others. He is credited with coining the term "modernity" (modernite) to designate the fleeting, ephemeral experience of life in an urban metropolis (such as mid-19th century Paris), and the responsibility of artistic expression to capture that experience. Richard Howard was one of the most prolific and respected twentieth-century literary critics and translators. He won a Pulitzer Prize, a PEN Translation Prize, a National Book Award (for Les Fleurs Du Mal), a Literary Award from the Academy of Arts and Letters, a MacArthur Fellowship, the title of Chevalier from France's L'Ordre National du Merite, and the position of Poet Laureate of New York.


Praise for Richard Howard's translation of Les Fleurs Du Mal

"Baudelaire revoiced...Howard's achievement is such that we can be confident that his Flowers of Evil will long stand as definitive, a superb guide to France's greatest poet."-The Nation

"Readers of English do not have to take Bauelaire on faith any longer. For the first time he is present among us, vivid and surprisingly intact, in these fine translations."-New York Times Book Review

"A deft and patient new translation of Les Fleurs Du Mal...Howard, it seems to me, has done what he has set out to, has given us, in English and in verse, a Baudelaire both immediately recognizable and impressively varied...It is a considerable achievement."-New York Review of Books

"A magnificent achievement...should be the English version for a long time to come."-Booklist

"Not until now has there been an edition of the entire work which successfully captures the distinctive voice of Baudelaire...The level of success among 151 lyrics is so high as to guarantee that Richard Howard's will be the definitive translation in the foreseeable future."-Boston Globe

"Richard Howard, generally esteemed as the finest American translator from the French of the postwar era, offers a new version of this masterpiece...It is indubitably the English edition to acquire."-Washington Post Book World

"[An] intelligent responsiveness to the poem's meaning informs almost every translation in this volume."-New Republic

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