Paris Spleen
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Paris Spleen

4.33 of 5 stars 4.33  ·  rating details  ·  4,957 ratings  ·  156 reviews
Set in a modern, urban Paris, the prose pieces in this volume constitute a further exploration of the terrain Baudelaire had covered in his verse masterpiece, The Flowers of Evil the city and its squalor and inequalities, the pressures of time and mortality, and the liberation provided by the sensual delights of intoxication, art, and women. Published posthumously in 1869,...more
Paperback, 118 pages
Published January 17th 1970 by New Directions Publishing Corporation (first published 1851)
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The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar WildeLes Fleurs du Mal by Charles BaudelaireAgainst Nature by Joris-Karl HuysmansThe Great Gatsby by F. Scott FitzgeraldHeart of Darkness and the Congo Diary by Joseph Conrad
Decadence & the Fin-de-Siècle
16th out of 174 books — 54 voters
The Rings of Saturn by W.G. SebaldLabyrinths by Jorge Luis BorgesA Heart So White by Javier MaríasThe Hour of the Star by Clarice LispectorJourney to the End of the Night by Louis-Ferdinand Céline
Best New Directions Books
30th out of 88 books — 78 voters

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Community Reviews

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I have this book by my bed. Before I drop my eyes into deep sleep I like to read a page or two of this book. It gives me a certain sense ..... of dreams. Wonderful dreams.
Meraviglioso esempio di poesia come metodo per indagare la verità: il poeta sfiora e rivela col suo linguaggio tutto ciò che parole più concrete e meno ambigue lascerebbero, inevitabilmente, nell'ombra. Probabilmente, neppure Baudelaire avrebbe saputo spiegare come si possa far luce su qui misteri senza nominarli; ci accontentiamo, per così dire, dello spettacolo offerto dalla sua prosa, abbandonando ogni pretesa di comprenderne la meccanica, ed evitando così di soffocarne l'incanto. Ma queste p...more
A Hemisphere in a Head of Hair

Long let me inhale, the odour of your hair,
into it plunge the whole of my face, like a thirsty man
into the waters of a spring and wave it in my fingers like a scented handkerchief,
to shake memories into the air.

If you could know all that I see! All that I hear
in your hair! My soul floats upon perfumes as the souls of other men
upon music.

Your hair contains an entire dream, full of sails and masts;
it contains vast seas whose soft monsoons bear me to delightful climat...more
Charles says it best himself: "Which ones of us, in his moments of ambition, has not dreamed of the miracle of a poetic prose, musical, without rhythm and without rhyme, supple enough and rugged enough to adapt itself to the lyrical impulses of the soul, the undulations of reverie, the jibes of conscience?" Probably my favorite of his works.
ماهر الرحمن

لا بد للمرء من أن يكون سكرانا دائما. تلك هي الخلاصة : تلك هي القضية الوحيدة. فلكي لا تشعروا بعبء الزمن الفادح الذي يحطم كواهلكم و يحنيكم إلى التراب ، لا بد لكم من أن تسكروا بلا هوادة.
و لكن بماذا ؟ بالخمر أو بالشعر أو بالفضيلة ، بحسب ما تهوون. و لكن اسكروا.
و إذا حدث مرة ، على سلالم قصر أو على العشب الأخضر لحفرة أو في الوحدة الكئيبة لغرفتك ، أن أفقت ، لأن السكر قد تراجع أو تبدد بالفعل ، اسأل الريح و الموجة و النجمة و العصفور و الساعة و كل ما يهرب و كل ما يتأوه و كل ما يدور و كل ما يغرد و كل...more
بثينة العيسى

أحببت باريس بودلير، شمسها وأرصفتها، تثاؤبات سأمها وكل ما هي عليه. هذا كتاب جميل.
I never really understood the appeal of Les Fleurs du Mal, but so many people love it that I started to feel bad. What was I missing? Along comes this book, Paris Spleen, which is full of prose poems made of equal parts humor, cynicism, and insight (and often all three within a paragraph). I like these poems because reading it, I feel like I have a sense of who Baudelaire might have been as a person...

Plus, his humor is so odd:
Soup and Clouds

My adorable little minx was serving me supper; throug
Apr 18, 2011 Sara rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: poetry
No matter where! As long as it's out of the world!

Baudelaire has a depth that draws me, fascinates me and excites me.

This is a part of my favourite one:

"Across the ocean of roofs I can see a middle-aged woman, her face already lined, who is forever bending over something and who never goes out. Out of her face, her dress, and her gestures, our of practically nothing at all, I have made up this woman's story, or rather legend, and sometimes I tell it to myself and weep.
If it had been and old man
The liner notes in the back call them prose poems but they're more like weird little vignettes. I really like Baudelaire a great deal. Every piece is refreshing: A Hemisphere In Your Hair, The Shooting Gallery and The Cemetery, Loss Of A Halo, and Beat Up The Poor are a good place to start.
I feel odd labeling a book of poetry as 'read'. That's not how a book of poetry is appreciated. It's not the simple act of opening to page one, reading each page in a linear fashion, then putting it back on the shelf (or in this case, closing the Kindle). Poetry is something that one must refer back to again and again. The images sit in the back of the mind waiting to be recalled again. Then, when the mood strikes, you jump to the bookcase and frantically flip the pages to find that image once a...more
Mike Lester
I once used this book to get into a girl's pants. Ultimately, they did not fit. 4 decadent stars.
Travis Fortney
I don't really understand this book. (it's poetry) But boy is it good.
In many ways, Charles Baudelaire is an adolescent bombast -- he seems to enjoy opium and satanism just a little too much, and his prose-poetry is weighed down by Victorian abstraction (not to mention how much must be lost in translation; Baudelaire's is not the accommodating French of Le Petit Prince). That said, Baudelaire commits to a worthy experiment: to write about his daily life in pensive short prose, bombarding his readers with daring observations, anecdotes and fables. It reminds me a l...more
محمد الهاشمي
بودلير يبقى شاعري الفرنسي الأفضل... ويمثل العلامة البارزة لشعر ما قبل الرومانسية الفرنسية التي أسسها فيكتور هوغو..ولا عجب أن المبدع الانجليزي الرائع إدغار ألان بو تأثر به كثيرا وترجم له.

أما في "سأم باريس" فيغني بودلير -في قصائده النثرية- للكلاب المشؤومة التي تعج بها مدينته وشوارعها.. والتي تعرف السعداء من التعيسين الذي يشبهون كنه بؤسها مع فارق أنها تريد للتعاسة أن تتغير أما البشر التعساء فقابعون في حضيض السأم الذي تحمله هموم الأمس واليوم والغد ويرفضون الاعتراف أنهم أسوأ حالا وحالة من ذوي القوائ...more
I first became aware of this work about a year and a half ago, when reading something about that great punk poet, Patti Smith (as Baudelaire and Rimbaud were two of her biggest influences). But instead of picking up a copy of this work at that time, I first familiarized myself with Baudelaire's Les Fleurs du mal, as that is his better known work. Time passed and I never got around to Le Spleen de Paris as I had intended. But this year, as I continue with my exploration of French writers, I decid...more
Paris Spleen, a wonderful collection of prose poetry by one of the pioneers in modernist literature, Charles Baudelaire. This is a new food for me, I haven’t read anything by Baudelaire, and aside for a course I took last fall on American Poetry I haven’t read that much!

The book, originally published in 1851, depicts modern Paris through vivid and refreshing pieces on morals, time, artistry, freedom etc… with each poem you are drawn into, and quickly brought out of, little scenes that occasional...more
Scot Quaranda
A fantastic collection of poetry by Baudelaire published posthumously. I read this in anticipation of a Coursera class I am taking in February called "The Modern and Postmodern." After having recently diving into modern poetry it was a tad bit easier for me to allow these poems which seem more like mini-essays of observation, to touch me like traditional poetry. This collection seems to inhabit a world both modern and archaic and the observations made are though personal and inwardly reflective...more
The best of Baudelaire - something I revisit when I'm in the mood to sigh. Because it is popular both among modern day francophones and students taking introductory courses, literature connoisseurs sometimes dismiss the swooning praise it garners as evidence of generic, unrefined taste. ("Of course you like Baudelaire's LE SPLEEN DE PARIS. I suppose ROMEO AND JULIET is your favorite play, too?") But Baudelaire and Shakespeare deserve their secure places in the foundations of their respective lan...more
Non, je suis désolée, mais Baudelaire, ce n'est pas ma tasse de thé. Non pas que cet homme n'ait pas de génie, mais la plupart de ces poèmes ne m'interpellent pas.
J'ai eu beau me dire que peut-être, quand je l'avais lu pour la première fois, c'était pour le Bac, alors, comme j'étais contrainte de le lire, je le l'aimais pas. Mais, même quelques années après, sans contrainte, je n'aime pas particulièrement ce poète.
Je n'aime pas qu'il se voit comme un être supérieur, qu'il se voit comme le seul...more
A beautiful set of short prose poems, with rich vocabulary, elegant sentence structure, haunting morals, and often somewhat pessimistic outlooks.

There is overlap between this and Twenty Prose Poems, but there are more stories here, and he has changed a few. I bet he and Edgar Allen Poe would get along, if only for their love of the grisly and grim. Beaudelaire's "prose" makes me fall in love with poetry all over again, and he has now earned a place as one of my favorite poets!
As much as I am not usually a poetry person, I got sucked into this book because of the choice of the author to do prose poetry. They actually kind of reminded me of creepy fairy tales, or a compilation of one's weird dreams. But he was basically exploring the good and evil in people and what he thinks of society. It made me interested in seeking out some other writers known for prose poetry.
Ah, Charles... if you had been born in our time, you'd be a blogger extraordinaire! Decadent, passionate, and misogynistic, this poet stole my heart from Edgar Allen Poe and broke it on the cobbled streets of that Eternal City. Don't come looking for a sympathetic heart...Baudelaire is bitter, despondent, and completely adorable. Read this and tell me he's not a man before his time.
Maha Alhasawi
بودلير شاعر الحركة الرومانسية ،، السحر ،، الرمزية ...شاعر الألم واللذة و باريس الجميلة .. الفاتنة أبداً في إحساس بودلير تكون سأمة ، وكل هذه الحكايا إنما تسير على السأم لتنتهي للعدم
يقول بودلير "أرقد وأعتز بأنني عشت وكابدت في آخرين غيري "
يقول وبقول :
من منا لم يحلم في لحظات الطموح، بمعجزة نثر شعري موسيقي، بلا وزن ولا قافية، طيٌع ومتقطع بما يكفي ليتوافق مع الاختلاجات الغنائية للروح، وتموجات الأحلام، وقفزات الوعي المفاجئة.

هذا الحلم سبق أن داعب خيال الشاعر الفرنسي الشهير شارل بودلير في أربعينيات الق...more
Versão em prova - Relógio d'Água.

Baudelaire retrata, em poesia que a edição transforma em pequenas histórias prosaicas, aspectos tocantes de uma sociedade onde pouco existe mais a contar do que a realidade: Pobreza, egoísmo, cinismo, especialmente retratados num episódio onde um indivíduo oferece uma moeda de prata falsa a um mendigo, pensando que ao mesmo tempo se livrava dela e ficava um pouco mais perto do céu; ou outra onde um mendigo é agredido, segundo o agressor, para ser liberto do servi...more
At times I laughed, at times I cringed: the dark sublime prose of Baudelaire is exquisite in this collection. Never have I read such amazing French writing, and I can't wait to dive into his other collection Les Fleurs de mal someday.
John Doe
Jan 06, 2014 John Doe is currently reading it
This is the best so far.

Beat up the Poor
By Charles Baudelaire

'For two weeks I had shut myself up in my room, and I had surrounded myself with the books fashionable at that time (sixteen or seventeen years ago); I speak of books dealing with the art of making nations happy, wise, and rich, in twenty-four hours. I had thus digested -- swallowed, I mean -- all the ramblings of all those managers of public happiness -- of those who advise all the poor to become slaves, and those who persuade them th...more
I thought Les Fleurs du mal was absolutely brilliant, but this volume left me feeling like I had just encountered someone moody and unpleasant. I did not enjoy reading it.
Much better than his poetry (which may be due to translation, but whatever, I can't speak French), and though often quoted by asshole honor students, it pretty much rules.
En voi sanoa aina ihan ymmärtäväni Baudelairea (onneksi takas löytyy selityksiäkin, hah!), mutta kielen kauneutta ei käy kieltäminen. Runojen tunnelman luovaa proosaa.
Procyon Lotor
estratti: Fiore incomparabile, tulipano ritrovato, allegorica dalia, � in quel paese, non � vero?, � nel bel paese calmo e sognante che si dovrebbe andare a vivere e a fiorire? Tu saresti incorniciata nella tua analogia, e potresti specchiarti, per dirla con i mistici, nella tua propria corrispondenza... Sogni, sempre sogni! E pi� l'anima � ambiziosa e delicata, pi� i sogni la allontanano dal possibile. Ogni uomo porta in s� la sua dose di oppio naturale, incessantemente versata e rinnovata: e d...more
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Brain Pain: Discussion - Week Fifteen - Paris Spleen, by Baudelaire 1 7 May 26, 2014 12:10AM  
Goodreads Librari...: merging problem 9 48 Dec 17, 2013 03:39PM  
what Baudelaire was up to 1 21 Jun 05, 2012 08:36AM  
سأم باريز 1 6 Jun 16, 2009 10:46PM  
  • Illuminations
  • Alcools
  • Collected Poems and Other Verse
  • Selected Poems
  • Paroles
  • Aurélia and Other Writings
  • Capital of Pain
  • Les Chants de Maldoror
  • Artaud Anthology
  • Poems of Paul Celan
  • Darkness Moves: An Henri Michaux Anthology, 1927-1984
  • The Maximus Poems
  • The Poems of François Villon
  • Paris Peasant
Charles Baudelaire was a 19th century French poet, translator, and literary and art critic whose reputation rests primarily on Les Fleurs du mal; (1857; The Flowers of Evil) which was perhaps the most important and influential poetry collection published in Europe in the 19th century. Similarly, his Petits poèmes en prose (1868; "Little Prose Poems") was the most successful and innovative early ex...more
More about Charles Baudelaire...
Les Fleurs du Mal Baudelaire: Poems On Wine and Hashish Flowers of Evil and Other Works/Les Fleurs du Mal et Oeuvres Choisies : A Dual-Language Book (Dover Foreign Language Study Guides) (English and French Edition) Baudelaire Rimbaud Verlaine: Selected Verse and Prose Poems

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“La plus belle des ruses du diable est de vous persuader qu'il n'existe pas."

("The devil's finest trick is to persuade you that he does not exist.")”
“Be always drunken.
Nothing else matters:
that is the only question.
If you would not feel
the horrible burden of Time
weighing on your shoulders
and crushing you to the earth,
be drunken continually.

Drunken with what?
With wine, with poetry, or with virtue, as you will.
But be drunken.

And if sometimes,
on the stairs of a palace,
or on the green side of a ditch,
or in the dreary solitude of your own room,
you should awaken
and the drunkenness be half or wholly slipped away from you,
ask of the wind,
or of the wave,
or of the star,
or of the bird,
or of the clock,
of whatever flies,
or sighs,
or rocks,
or sings,
or speaks,
ask what hour it is;
and the wind,
clock will answer you:
"It is the hour to be drunken!”
More quotes…