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The Flowers of Evil / Les Fleurs du Mal : English - French Bilingual Edition The famous volume of French poetry by Charles Baudelaire in two languages von Baudelaire, Charles (eBook)

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The Flowers of Evil / Les Fleurs du Mal : English - French Bilingual Edition

Les Fleurs du mal (English: The Flowers of Evil) is a volume of French poetry by Charles Baudelaire. First published in 1857, it was important in the symbolist and modernist movements. The poems deal with themes relating to decadence and eroticism. This Bilingual English - French edition provides the original text by Baudelaire and its English translation by Cyril Scott. The initial publication of the book was arranged in six thematically segregated sections: 1. Spleen et Idéal (Spleen and Ideal) 2. Tableaux parisiens (Parisian Scenes) 3. Le Vin (Wine) 4. Fleurs du mal (Flowers of Evil) 5. Révolte (Revolt) 6. La Mort (Death) Baudelaire dedicated the book to the poet Théophile Gautier, describing him as a parfait magicien des lettres françaises ("a perfect magician of French letters"). The foreword to the volume, Au Lecteur ("To the Reader"), identifying Satan with the pseudonymous alchemist Hermes Trismegistus. The author and the publisher were prosecuted under the regime of the Second Empire as an outrage aux bonnes moeurs ("an insult to public decency"). As a consequence of this prosecution, Baudelaire was fined 300 francs. Six poems from the work were suppressed and the ban on their publication was not lifted in France until 1949. These poems were "Lesbos"; "Femmes damnées (À la pâle clarté)" (or "Women Doomed (In the pale glimmer...)"); "Le Léthé" (or "Lethe"); "À celle qui est trop gaie" (or "To Her Who Is Too Joyful"); "Les Bijoux" (or "The Jewels"); and " Les "Métamorphoses du Vampire" (or "The Vampire's Metamorphoses"). These were later published in Brussels in a small volume entitled Les Épaves (Scraps or Jetsam). On the other hand, upon reading "The Swan" (or "Le Cygne") from Les Fleurs du mal, Victor Hugo announced that Baudelaire had created "un nouveau frisson" (a new shudder, a new thrill) in literature. In the wake of the prosecution, a second edition was issued in 1861 which added 35 new poems, removed the six suppressed poems, and added a new section entitled Tableaux Parisiens. A posthumous third edition, with a preface by Théophile Gautier and including 14 previously unpublished poems, was issued in 1868. Poète maudit ou poète méconnu dans la France de Napoléon III et la Belgique de Léopold Ier, Charles Baudelaire n'a publié que deux volumes de son vivant, les Fleurs du mal et les Paradis artificiels. Il n'en est pas moins la figure centrale du grand tournant littéraire de la décennie 1850-1860, admiré d'emblée par Rimbaud, Verlaine et Mallarmé.


    Format: ePUB
    Kopierschutz: none
    Seitenzahl: 144
    Sprache: Englisch
    ISBN: 9782322125661
    Verlag: Books on Demand
    Größe: 380 kBytes
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The Flowers of Evil / Les Fleurs du Mal : English - French Bilingual Edition


When, after a decree of the supreme powers, The Poet is brought forth in this wearisome world, His mother terrified and full of blasphemies Raises her clenched fist to God, who pities her: -"Ah! would that I had spawned a whole knot of vipers Rather than to have fed this derisive object! Accursed be the night of ephemeral joy When my belly conceived this, my expiation! Since of all women You have chosen me To be repugnant to my sorry spouse, And since I cannot cast this misshapen monster Into the flames, like an old love letter, I shall spew the hatred with which you crush me down On the cursed instrument of your malevolence, And twist so hard this wretched tree That it cannot put forth its pestilential buds!" Thus she gulps down the froth of her hatred, And not understanding the eternal designs, Herself prepares deep down in Gehenna The pyre reserved for a mother's crimes. However, protected by an unseen Angel, The outcast child is enrapt by the sun, And in all that he eats, in everything he drinks, He finds sweet ambrosia and rubiate nectar. He cavorts with the wind, converses with the clouds, And singing, transported, goes the way of the cross; And the Angel who follows him on pilgrimage Weeps to see him as carefree as a bird. All those whom he would love watch him with fear, Or, emboldened by his tranquility, Emulously attempt to wring a groan from him And test on him their inhumanity. With the bread and the wine intended for his mouth They mix ashes and foul spittle, And, hypocrites, cast away what he touches And feel guilty if they have trod in his footprints. His wife goes about the market-places Crying: "Since he finds me fair enough to adore, I shall imitate the idols of old, And like them I want to be regilded; I shall get drunk with spikenard, incense, myrrh, And with genuflections, viands and wine, To see if laughingly I can usurp In an admiring heart the homage due to God! And when I tire of these impious jokes, I shall lay upon him my strong, my dainty hand; And my nails, like harpies' talons, Will cut a path straight to his heart. That heart which flutters like a fledgling bird I'll tear, all bloody, from his breast, And scornfully I'll throw it in the dust To sate the hunger of my favorite hound!" To Heav'n, where his eye sees a radiant throne, Piously, the Poet, serene, raises his arms, And the dazzling brightness of his illumined mind Hides from his sight the raging mob: -"Praise be to You, O God, who send us suffering As a divine remedy for our impurities And as the best and the purest essence To prepare the strong for holy ecstasies! I know that you reserve a place for the Poet Within the blessed ranks of the holy Legions, And that you invite him to the eternal feast Of the Thrones, the Virtues, and the Dominations. I know that suffering is the sole nobility Which earth and hell shall never mar, And that to weave my mystic crown, You must tax every age and every universe. But the lost jewels of ancient Palmyra, The unfound metals, the pearls of the sea, Set by Your own hand, would not be adequate For that diadem of dazzling splendor, For that crown will be made of nothing but pure light Drawn from the holy source of primal rays, Whereof our mortal eyes, in their fullest brightness, Are no more than tarnished, mournful mirrors!"


Souvent, pour s'amuser, les hommes d'équipage Prennent des albatros, vastes oiseaux des mers, Qui suivent, indolents compagnons de voyage, Le navire glissant sur les gouffres amers. À peine les ont-ils déposés sur les planches, Que ces rois de l'azur, maladroits et honteux, Laissent piteusement leurs grandes ailes blanches Comme des avirons traîner à côté d'eux. Ce voyageur ailé, comme il est gauche et veule! Lui, naguère si beau, qu'il est comique et laid! L'un agace son bec avec un brûle-gueule, L'autre mime, en boitant, l'infirme qui volait! Le Poète est semblable au prince des nuées Qui hante la tempête et se rit de l'archer; E

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