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Thread: Charles Baudelaire

  1. #1
    A 40 Bag To Freedom E.A Rumfield's Avatar
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    Charles Baudelaire

    I read Autumn, Be Drunk and At One O' Clock in the morning. Is most of his work as good as this? I also read a few more and the translations seem to vary greatly. http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/chans...fternoon-song/ who is his most respected translator?
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  2. #2
    In the fog Charles Darnay's Avatar
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    Most of his poems are fantastic - as are his essays, but they are harder to come by. If you do not have a copy of Fleurs du Mal I highly suggest you get one, preferably one with both the French and English, because there is only so much translation can do. I don't have much experience with his translators. I have the McGowen translation, which I find quite good.
    I wrote a poem on a leaf and it blew away...

  3. #3
    Maybe YesNo's Avatar
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    I use William H. Crosby's translation as a guide. Rather than a translation, I would like to be able to hear the original.

  4. #4
    The Richard Howard translation is generally seen as pretty darn good, despite not being particularly accurate in regards to it's literalness. I've heard he recreates the feel and atmosphere of a Baudelaire poem better than most though.

    Like Charles, I read the James MacGowan translation, the Oxford Worlds Classic one and really enjoyed it. Supposedly quite true to the original in meaning, and from what I've heard about how Baudelaire 'feels' in French quite competent at bringing some of that 'feel' across to the English language. The notes and intro are quite good as well.

    I'm sure a number of others would have better insight. Stlukes from memory is a pretty big Baudelaire fan.
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    somewhere else Helga's Avatar
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    I have the dual language book with translations by Wallace Fowlie. I have read a few in Icelandic too but I prefer this one. My book also has his critical writing, journals and some letters.

    And yes most of his stuff is this good, my personal favorite is 'Une Charogne' or ' A Carrion' the beauty in it is breathtaking.

    I wrote an essay about him last semester and tried to explain the romance and the beauty in his poems.
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    Personally, I think that the unique and supreme delight lies in the certainty of doing 'evil'–and men and women know from birth that all pleasure lies in evil. - Baudelaire

  6. #6
    Artist and Bibliophile stlukesguild's Avatar
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    I would second the Richard Howard translation as the best complete translation of Les Fleurs du Mal. His "prose poems" is best suited by Louise Varese under the title, Paris Spleen. I would also highly recommend the edition of Les Fleurs du Mal edited by Marthiel Mathews and Jackson Mathews. The editors selected what they felt were the finest translations available of each poem and they did a more than admirable job.
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    confidentially pleased cacian's Avatar
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    C'est l'Ennui! —l'œil chargé d'un pleur involontaire,
    Il rêve d'échafauds en fumant son houka.
    Tu le connais, lecteur, ce monstre délicat,
    —Hypocrite lecteur,—mon semblable,—mon frère!

    It's boredom! — his eye brimming
    with inspontaneous tear
    He dreams of the gallows
    smoking his hookah.
    You know him, reader, this delicate monster,
    Hypocrit reader, my similar, my brother!

    This is brilliant!
    Last edited by cacian; 10-20-2012 at 05:36 AM.
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    All of his work that I have seen is very very good
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