La Folie Baudelaire
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La Folie Baudelaire

4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  61 ratings  ·  6 reviews
A spectacular act of close reading and looking by a great writer

In La Folie Baudelaire, Roberto Calasso—one of the most original and acclaimed writers on literature, art, culture, and mythology—turns his attention to the poets and writers of Paris in the nineteenth century who created what was later called “the Modern.” His protagonist is Charles Baudelaire: poet of “nerve...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published May 13th 2014 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (first published 2008)
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The structure of Calasso’s book resembles that of the “brothel-museum” of which Baudelaire dreamt in the early hours of March 13, 1856, a Thursday – a dream interrupted at 5am when his mistress, Jeanne Duval, moved a piece of furniture in another room. Baudelaire encounters a fellow poor man of letters with whom he splits a horse cab; they pursue an oneiric, nocturnal version of their daily routine, calling at editors’ offices to submit or solicit reviews, and to present their published books to...more
Jose Luis
Interesante repaso al arte y la literatura del siglo XIX, a través de los caminos abiertos por Baudelaire. El estilo de Calasso hace de esta una obra literaria de primera, más que recomendable, aunque se echa en falta un enfoque más sistemático y más centrado en la figura del poeta, y quizá sobran bastantes de las páginas dedicadas a Ingres, Degas u otros pintores, así como que profundice más en los vínculos con Rimbaud, Lautreamont y otros 'elementos'...
It almost never takes as long to read a book as it did this one (almost two weeks). I feel a bit silly reviewing it, because I don't feel smart enough to comment. It's probably brilliant, and Calasso is amazingly knowledgable in a wide variety of ways (literature, art, languages, philosophy, who knows what else...), but a lot of it went over my head and the prose was in general dense and challenging.

As another reviewer has noted, having finished the book, I don't feel I have gotten to know Baude...more
René  Llatas Trejo
“Quaerens quem devoret”

Roberto Calasso pone de manifiesto esta frase en latín que significa “Buscando a quien devorar” en manos de Baudelaire pues a lo largo del libro es lo que representa el espíritu del poeta. La Folie Baudelaire es un libro que bien podría leerse como una novela, como un ensayo, incluso como una historia de la pintura del siglo XIX; y es que todo parece tejerse a través del arte, de las pinturas, sobre todo de las pequeñas historias que conforman y forman parte de su creación...more
Mark Broadhead
I give up. This is not about Baudelaire. He is just an excuse to talk about 19th-century artists.
I don't read much about visual art, but I don't think Calasso is very good.
The one long analysis of Baudelaire was his recording of a dream. I say 'analysis' but to write this drivel after Freud is hilarious, insulting (to both the reader and Baudelaire), etc.
Oct 26, 2012 Geoff marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Geoff by: Eric
Like Eric said, how could this not be good?
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Roberto Calasso (born 30 May 1941 in Florence) is an Italian publisher and writer. He was born into a family of the local upper class, well connected with some of the great Italian intellectuals of their time. His maternal grandfather Giovanni Codignola was a professor of philosophy at Florence University. Codignola created a new publishing house called La Nuova Italia, in Florence, just like his...more
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