Paperback / softback
February 28, 2008
9780819568007
English
224
8.50 Inches (US)
5.50 Inches (US)
.65 Pounds (US)
$18.95 USD, £14.95 GBP
v2.1 Reference

The Flowers of Evil

It is not given to everyone to blend into the multitude: enjoying the crowd is an art, and only he can gain a stroke of vitality from it, at humanity's expense, whose good fairy at his cradle bequeathed a taste for travesty and masque, along with hatred of home and passion for travel.
—from "XII, The Crowd"

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.

About the Authors

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 Jabès, as well as works by Claude Royet-Journoud, Anne-Marie Albiach, and Jean Grosjean.

Reviews

"Thus the delight and curiosity of Keith Waldrop's new translation. It's close to plain prose: 'versets,' he calls them, paragraphs divided where Baudelaire's stanza's break. It's by no means the first prose translation, but it's the most charming: I don't recall another version, verse or prose, that slips so easily into the comradely 'we.'"—The New York Times Book Review

"This is the Baudelaire translation for our time—and for all time. Relentlessly straightforward, surprisingly succinct, hilarious and horrifying as they are, these poems have never been as readable in English."—Norma Cole, author of Spinoza in Her Youth

"There are numerous translations of Les Fleurs du Mal in print, but none even approach Waldrop's-he alone captures the speed and verve of the real Baudelaire."—Cole Swensen, Iowa Writers' Workshop

"Waldrop's translations soar...perhaps getting closer to Baudelaire's rich tone than any other English translation."—Chicago Review

"Thus the delight and curiosity of Keith Waldrop's new translation. It's close to plain prose: 'versets,' he calls them, paragraphs divided where Baudelaire's stanza's break. It's by no means the first prose translation, but it's the most charming: I don't recall another version, verse or prose, that slips so easily into the comradely 'we.'"—The New York Times Book Review

"The task of the translator...is to reconcile the strengths of the poet with his new surroundings, setting him in flight with wings that do not impede his walk. In part from the landing on versets, but more particularly from his deftness in English and the depth of his understanding of Baudelaire, Keith Waldrop has created a Flowers of Evil that, one gesture, can come to terms with the new needs of poetry readers in English and the foreignness of the language of Les Fleurs du mal."—Rain Taxi

Wesleyan University Press
Wesleyan Poetry Series

9780819568007 : the-flowers-of-evil-baudelaire-waldrop
Paperback / softback
224 Pages
$18.95 USD

Other Titles by Charles Baudelaire

Paris Spleen

Charles Baudelaire
Apr 2020 - Wesleyan University Press
$24.95 USD - Hardback
$19.99 USD - Electronic book text
$15.95 USD - Paperback / softback

Other Titles by Keith Waldrop

Paris Spleen

Charles Baudelaire
Apr 2020 - Wesleyan University Press
$24.95 USD - Hardback
$19.99 USD - Electronic book text
$15.95 USD - Paperback / softback

Other Titles from Wesleyan Poetry Series

Asked What Has Changed

Ed Roberson
Jan 2023 - Wesleyan University Press
$24.95 USD - Hardback
$15.95 USD - Paperback / softback

Be Brave to Things

Jack Spicer, edited by Daniel Katz
Oct 2021 - Wesleyan University Press
$35.00 USD - Hardback

The Past

Wendy Xu
Sep 2021 - Wesleyan University Press
$15.95 USD - Paperback / softback
$25.00 USD - Hardback

Other Titles in POETRY / General

BAX 2020

Seth Abramson, Jesse Damiani, edited by Carmen Maria Machado, Joyelle McSweeney
Dec 2020 - Wesleyan University Press
$19.95 USD - Paperback / softback
$15.99 USD - Electronic book text

Bread Crumbs

Cynthia Tremblay
Jun 2020 - Lynx House Press
$12.95 USD - Paperback / softback

Sleeping and Waking

Albert Goldbarth
May 2020 - Lost Horse Press
$18.00 USD - Paperback / softback