Alex Laser's Reviews > Les Fleurs du Mal

Les Fleurs du Mal by Charles Baudelaire
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's review
Jul 09, 2012

it was amazing

I have not picked up Fleurs du Mal since I was made to read it in college. Now, as then, I again find myself overpowered by Baudelaire's singular talent for beautifying the most grotesque and vulgar aspects of human life and lusts. He is a genius in crafting the most decadent and purple poetry to glorify the evil flowers springing from our inevitable carnality--hatred, jealousy, fear, and contempt. The book reminds me of the rawness and sensationalism that as a teenager drew me to punk rock and hardcore. I loved those genres for their brutal honesty and desire to shatter the rose-colored glasses through which most of us our content to timidly spy on life. Earnestly as any Sid Vicious or Lou Reed, Baudelaire aims to shock and shock he does. His words will jolt even to a modern reader who may believe him or herself to have seen and read it all. But to see him as the Howard Stern of 19th century poetry is to miss the point. Baudelaire speaks for those who have been marginalized and alienated by the rapid pace of modern development--in short, all of us. In writing on the more diabolical subjects of human nature, Baudelaire is challenging us to embrace our flaws live bravely beyond the boundaries of what society deems "right" or "proper", borders which can never in fact circumscribe the limitless boundaries of the human heart.
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Reading Progress

July 9, 2012 – Started Reading
July 9, 2012 – Shelved
July 18, 2012 – Finished Reading

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