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Las flores del mal

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  42,149 ratings  ·  1,170 reviews
For lovers of timeless classics, this series of beautifully packaged and affordably priced editions of world literature encompasses a variety of literary genres, including theater, novels, poems, and essays.
Paperback, 321 pages
Published August 14th 2006 by Losada (first published June 25th 1857)
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John Tidball If you want to read the most complete and most recent version of Les Fleurs du Mal, I suggest you read my translations which I have published side by…moreIf you want to read the most complete and most recent version of Les Fleurs du Mal, I suggest you read my translations which I have published side by side with the original French poems. You need look no further. https://www.amazon.com/Fleurs-Mal-Flo...(less)
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4.26  · 
Rating details
 ·  42,149 ratings  ·  1,170 reviews


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Kelly
Jan 16, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Francophiles and poetry lovers
Recommended to Kelly by: My European history teacher
After reading Baudelaire, I suddenly find myself wanting to smoke cigarettes and say very cynical things while donning a trendy haircut. Plus, if I didn't read Baudelaire, how could I possibly carry on conversations with pretentious art students?

In all seriousness, though, I wish my French was better, so that I could read it in its intended language. I'm sure it looses something in the translation... but it's still great stuff nonetheless.

And with a title like "Flowers of Evil," how can you go
...more
Lizzy
Sep 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: france, poetry
I read Les Fleurs du Mal many years back, but it is still within me. Just a few words about this beautiful, sometimes nightmarish, masterpiece. What do you expect to feel when reading Charles Baudelaire? Nothing, I expect, falsely innocent, but superior free-flowing dream sequences of surrealism. I loved to read of prophetic dreams with occasional moments of grace, where the fallen world seems to transform itself into an eternally beautiful moment. As always with poetry we have our preferences, ...more
Matt
Mar 12, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Here's a recent essay on Baudelaire from the trusty, always-interesting online mag The Millions:
http://www.themillions.com/2013/04/th...

So as to try to follow that, I've got to disclose a bit of an embarrassment. Baudelaire was, for me, the kind of poet only certain kinds of people liked. By this I don't mean Francophiles or the merely pretentious but there was something that set a devotee of C.B. apart from your average earnest, quavering, verbose, nervous poet or poetry fanboy.

It's hard to
...more
MJ Nicholls
Superlative. Thrilling. Sensual. Naughty. Macabre. Joyous. Liberating. Essential. Poetry for the reluctant poetry reader, i.e. me. (A little distracted here listening to Belle & Sebastian’s Write About Love which I finally acquired. Hence the choppiness). Great translation. Don’t care about reading in the original or what is lost in translation. Each translation adds to or improves the previous and this one reads pretty swell to me. Where do I go from here? Verlaine? Rimbaud? Mallarmé? Pam A ...more
Olivier Delaye
Sep 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Les Fleurs du Mal or The Flowers of Evil or, let’s extrapolate here, The Beauty of Evil is a masterpiece of French literature which should have pride of place in any bookcase worth its name, right between Milton’s Paradise Lost and Dante’s Divine Comedy. For indeed the beauty of evil, what with its mephitic yet oh so alluring aroma, is exactly what this book is about—a collection of poems and elegies reflecting Baudelaire’s views on our poor human condition stemming mainly from our doomed lives ...more
Luís C.
The Poet is an exile on earth. The only ones to let him wrap around and be a giant. The work of Charles Baudelaire represents the end of one epoch and the beginning of another that lasts even today: the Decadentism. Baudelaire's poems are a journey through inwardness and a call to a spiritualistic breath that is drawn beyond Religion and any atheistic and positivist conception. Nature pulsates with spirituality, the consecrated fire of Prometheus is poetic inspiration, and Hate is a demon that c ...more
Jon(athan) Nakapalau
Truly a unique an haunting voice - a visionary poet who forces you to question all that you find comforting - immersion of the self into the torrent of humanity.
James
Jul 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorite poets of all time.

Baudelaire emphasized above all the disassociated character of modern experience: the sense that alienation is an inevitable part of our modern world. In his prose, this complexity is expressed via harshness and shifts of mood.

The constant emphasis on beauty and innocence, even alongside the seamier aspects of humanity, reinforce an existentialist ideal that rejects morality and embraces transgression. Objects, sensations, and experiences often clash, implici
...more
Vit Babenco
Jul 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” Genesis
Ever since the forbidden fruit from the tree of knowledge was eaten any lore became an attribute of evil. So to read books in order to wide one’s horizons is just to sign a pact with the devil.
“Pillowed on evil, Satan Trismegist
Ceaselessly cradles our enchanted mind,
The flawless metal of our will
...more
Antonomasia
translated by Edna St. Vincent Millay & George Dillon

It's outrageous that this wonderful translation is out of print.
After looking at many versions (including Richard Howard, James McGowan, and Cyril Scott who was my second favourite) this was the only one with truly good poems which replicated the original structures and had the glittering night-magic of Baudelaire's sensual, sinister, romantic, gothic wonderland. Which would of course have something to do with one of the translators herse
...more
Eldonfoil TH*E Whatever Champion
This is a step towards possession.

Certainly the possession does not last the entire way through, but even in the less interesting or repetitive poems there are some jarring lines, amplified by a soul in Heat.

Like any elevated piece of literature, Flowers of Evil consumed me to such an extent that at times I forgot I was reading words on a page, its intensity moving my mind into some unknown zone where images, thoughts, and recollections screamed by, colliding with each other. So, too, did I fee
...more
Duane
How to describe this volume of poetry? Avant-garde, modernistic, innovative, original? Yes, all of those, and to use a modern slang word, edgy. So edgy in fact, for mid 19th century France, that Napoleon III's government prosecuted him for "an insult to public decency". Six of the poems were banned until 1949. Don't worry; by today's standards they are not so alarming.
Alan
Dec 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Receuillement/ Blues

Blues, be cool, keep quiet, you mutha,
Intruder, second-story man, you enter with dusk,
It descends. It's here, an atmosphere
Surrounds the town. Builds some up, knocks me down.
Meanwhile the rabble ruled by body
Pleasures, thankless beasts overburdened
Build toward a bundle of remorse
In drugged dances. Blues, take my hand,
Come from them, come here. Look behind me
At the defunct years, at the balconies
Of heaven; in tattered copes, rise out
Of the waters of Regret. The sun sleeps
Mori
...more
Ivana de B.
Apr 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, read-in-2016
As I read this I simply felt as if I understood Baudelaire completely, and as if he understood me.
Then I realized my body craved for a cigarette and was ready to throw a cynical, sarcastic comment.
Eadweard
Beautifully debauched and morbid,
thank you for inspiring the symbolists and decadents.




2016:
Having read a few works by authors who were influenced by this, having seen works of art and illustrations either inspired or based on this, having random lines always swirling and being recited in my head, I thought it was time to revisit this...

Oh the joy I felt reading this again.

Favorite poems:
La Muse malade
La Muse vénale
La Beauté
L'Idéal
Les Bijoux
Parfum exotique
Une Charogne
Le Vampire
À Celle qui e
...more
Jonfaith
Feb 21, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetshere
When my eyes, to this cat I love
Drawn as by a magnet's force,
Turn tamely back upon that appeal,
And when I look within myself,

I notice with astonishment
The fire of his opal eyes,
Clear beacons glowing, living jewels,
Taking my measure, steadily.


My (initial) amateur assessment is that the translation is to blame for my absence of astonishment. There's no way this could be the same genius who gave us Paris Spleen. Maybe I am but confused. Maybe the threads which shriek decay and ennui were of
...more
Denisse
3.5 Not going to lie. I'm not an avid reader of poetry, nor does it impress me much, I'm a full descriptions kind of girl. But I wanted to try and here I am. Way too much negativity all around, but hey! Some poems stuck with me for real. So I'll call it a challenge completed.

Modern Mrs. Darcy Reading Challenge 2019: A book out of your comfort zone.



Lo que nadie conoce, persiguiendo lo nuevo.

¿Por que los autores mas odiados o no valorados en su época son los mejor reconocidos en la actualidad?
...more
Quiver
Baudelaire: poet of the cityscape, founder of modernity, who introduces the commonplace into the poetic: ennui, modernity, darkness, and worms, death, worms, worms. He was controversial, judged for being obscene, yet the controversial nature of his poems is only apparent from a historical point of view. (Those readers unaccustomed to the extreme possibilities of poetic expression will find certain images slightly disturbing even today.)

Baudlaire's modernisation streak not withstanding, I found h
...more
Lynn Beyrouthy
Apr 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
When it comes to the most beautiful literature in the world, I radically believe in the imperial prominence of Nineteenth century French literature.
Charles Baudelaire is one of the poets that tremendously alimented this conviction.

Originally entitled "Les Lesbiennes" and brazenly delineating sexuality and libidinous desires, the poems which Baudelaire composed in the decade of 1840-1850 were continuously censored until 1857, when his work was published with the title "Les Fleurs du Mal".

The be
...more
Terence
Aug 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Terence by: New Book shelf at library
Shelves: poetry
Flowers of Evil was an entirely serendipitous impulse check-out from my local library. I can only imagine that what caught my eye was the title - Flowers of Evil - who could resist? So I pulled it from the shelf, opened it up at random, read a few verses, and said to myself "This isn't bad."

Not only was it "not bad" but it was extraordinarily good; good enough that Baudelaire has joined the list of authors I'll pay money for.

It's random events like finding authors whose work "speaks to me" in so
...more
Kelly
Death, decay, death, WOE, death, despair, death, afternoon tea!, death, death, some more WOE... That's the Eddie Izzard version of this collection.

Didn't finish all of them. I tried reading both the English and the French of every poem, so maybe that had something to do with it. This guy also gives Poe a run for his money in depressing. He translated Poe into French and made the imagery /more/ morose, if you can imagine. The poems I read I loved, though it does get a bit repetitive after awhile.
Kay
I read a majority of the poems in French, which made the experience more beautiful. Each word is like a unique brushstroke of color on a grand canvas, applied with varying degrees of pressure, and each deeply and sensually hued. Baudelaire’s poetry paints gorgeous images of emotion, desire, and wanting that remain with you. Reading Les fleurs was a deeply personal and stirring experience for me. I have many favorites and could provide analyses on a dozen poems or more, but for the sake of length ...more
rose vibrations
May 02, 2012 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
My darling was naked, or nearly, for knowing my heart
she had left on her jewels, the bangles and chains
whose jingling music gave her the conquering air
of a Moorish slave on days her master is pleased

Whenever I hear such insolent harmonies,
that scintillating world of metal and stone
beguiles me altogether, and I am enthralled
by objects whose sound is a synonym for light

For there she lay on the couch, allowing herself
to be adored, a secret smile indulging
the deep and tenacious currents of my love
wh
...more
Rhonda
Feb 14, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was so taken by this book that I memorized whole passages to repeat if only to myself at various times of the day. As I recall, my friends began to think I was mentally ill. Nevertheless, the power of this book was immense on my life as a college junior, I think, and it caused me to fall in love with everything that was French, cynical and wearing a beret, much like a Parisian waiter on his day off. I actually picked this book up because I loved the name, but it also began a long term love aff ...more
Laurie –A Court of Books–
Baudelaire, I love you.
This is for this kind of books that I'm so happy to be native French. I was able to read it in its intended language.

And I.LOVE.IT.

I actually felt IT, what he meant, what he wanted me to feel, what he probably felt himself. Joy. Pain. Sorrow. Grief. Dreams. Depression. Ecstasy. Need. Helplessness. Freedom. Addiction. Adoration. Hatred. Wonder.

Just read it, it worth the try.
Geoff
Feb 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
At this point not much has to be said about the quality of the poems in Les Fleurs du Mal, and this is an especially beautiful translation. The monotypes and the complete original French text make this probably the essential version to have around.

I will add a caveat to this review. While I find Richard Howard's translations to be gorgeous and unique, they are indeed his interpretations, and he does take liberties with the text. An example is in "Reversibilite", where he omits the "Ange" which t
...more
Jamie Martone
Dec 14, 2009 added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who likes Edgar Allan Poe but likes more romance
Charles Baudelaire is with out a doubt my favorite poet. He writes with such passion and emotion I can't help but fall in love. I feel like he is speaking to my soul, letting me into his beautiful world.

He had a tortured soul and you can feel his pain in his work. His poem are so beautiful and bewitched with romance. To me he is a deeply intellectual person so much that it is almost a fault. His poems are filled with deep, twisted, and painful thought. In his poems he lets you see through his ey
...more
Yasiru (reviews will soon be removed and linked to blog)
This translation for Oxford World's Classics by James N McGowan is wonderful enough that I was compelled to buy it, and is offered next to the French text in this excellent paperback for a degree of transparency I am grateful for even with my limited and very much rusty French.

An indispensable resource too is the site http://fleursdumal.org/ which offers multiple older translations, again along with the original French.
Edward
May 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My love of literature began at a young age, in part, with French literature. I loved translations of Alexander Dumas and when I grew past romantic adventures, I was entranced at the clinical realist precision of Balzac. I briefly dated a French woman in New York City who begged me to move with her to Marseilles where I would attend the University of Marseilles (she had magically already procured an application) at the expense of French taxpayers (what liberals call "universal education") so long ...more
Ben
Jun 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I wrote a review of this work last year, which marked my first encounter with Baudelaire. I don't really have much to add this time around -- I wanted to re-read Baudelaire's verse before moving on to his prose poems in Le Spleen de Paris. Baudelaire is a poet of the darkest depths of the human soul, a poet who explores delicately the ills of civilization, the hidden caverns of human sexuality and the problems of the day with sharp insight and clarity (if sometimes in a manner that is very pessi ...more
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2,471 followers
Charles Pierre 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 e ...more
“My heart is lost; the beasts have eaten it.” 219 likes
“The Poet is a kinsman in the clouds
Who scoffs at archers, loves a stormy day;
But on the ground, among the hooting crowds,
He cannot walk, his wings are in the way.”
161 likes
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