Judicially condemned in 1857 as offensive to public morality, The Flowers of Evil is now regarded as the most influential volume of poetry published in the nineteenth century. Torn between intense sensuality and profound spiritual yearning, racked by debt and disease, Baudelaire transformed his own experience of Parisian life into a work of universal significance. With his unflinching examination of the dark aspects and unconventional manifestations of sexuality, his pioneering portrayal of life in a great metropolis and his daring combination of the lyrical and the prosaic, Baudelaire inaugurated a new epoch in poetry and created a founding text of modernism.
Anthony Mortimer, already praised for his virtuoso translations of Petrarch, Dante and Villon, has produced a new version that not only respects the sense and the form of the original French, but also makes powerful English poetry in its own right.
“Need I tell you that in this terrible book I have put all my heart, all my tenderness, all my religion (disguised), all my hatred? It is true that I shall write the opposite, that I shall swear by all the gods that it is a work of pure art, of mimicry, of mere dexterity – and I shall be lying through my teeth.” - Charles Baudelaire
“Baudelaire is indeed the greatest exemplar in modern poetry in any language, for his verse and language is the nearest thing to a complete renovation that we have experienced.” - T.S. Eliot
“The translations are very good indeed” - John Banville
“The best way yet for us to enter the poet’s dream-like world, producing, as his title says, beauty from the sordid world around him” - Nicholas Lezard,The Guardian
“This should be read by any poetry lover” - Bill Spence,Yorkshire Gazette & Herald
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