Skip to content
Paperback The Flowers of Evil Book

ISBN: 0819568007

ISBN13: 9780819568007

The Flowers of Evil

Select Format:

Select Condition:


Format: Paperback

Condition: Very Good

Save $6.26!
List Price $18.95

1 Available

Book Overview

The poetic masterpiece of the great nineteenth-century writer Charles Baudelaire, The Flowers of Evil is one of the most frequently read and studied works in the French language. In this compelling new translation of Baudelaire's most famous collection, Keith Waldrop recasts the poet's original French alexandrines and other poetic arrangements into versets, a form that hovers between poetry and prose. Maintaining Baudelaire's complex view of sound...

Customer Reviews

6 ratings

A unique book

I've been wanting to read this book for a long time until I found it here and I'm actually really happy with the book, especially with the condition it came in. I asked for a very good condition and thrisftbook delivered. The book is really interesting if you like poems and literature, I dont know much about poems and such but this book is unique, so I recommend it. I'm glad my book came in good condition because I read other reviews that their books came in a bad state. But overall it was a good purchase.

Poems that will grab you!

As you read these stark and beautiful poems you may see into the tortured psyche of the poet who wrote them. Baudelaire had a short and sad life. He contracted syphilis at a young age, and this disease plagued him for all his life until he died at the age of 46. His poetry was written in the mid nineteenth century, and when this book came out in 1857 it shocked the French-speaking world. In fact the book was banned for a time, and when it did come out again six or seven poems were removed from it. The edition that I had had all his poetry including the banned ones, and I recommend that if you're interested in great poetry that you get the complete edition. In his poetry Baudelaire examined evil under a magnifying glass and exposed it for the world to see. His language and imagery are absolutely beyond belief. Baudelaire was a very talented wordsmith and his poetry is lyrical an descriptive. In the cold light of our modern world, Baudelaire's stepping into the world of erotica seems tame compared to what we're used to, but it's easy to see why it shocked everyone at the time. This is beautiful poetry that will come out and grab your soul.


This book, these words, this particular translation takes me there. One of the only books on this planet which can move me to tears time and time again; a julien in my life.

A bilingual tour de force

... This book does indeed include the original French version in its second half, and Richard Howard's breathtakingly vivid and vital English translation in its first half. This is the definitive English translation of Les Fleurs du Mal, and by far my favorite. As to the substance of this remarkable book of poetry, Baudelaire's work is one of such groundbreaking genius on so many levels that it may never be equaled. He has achieved Gustave Flaubert's great aim of "le seul mot juste" (the unique right word) with such consistency that one can only smile in amazement and wonder. The aural music created by this poetry intoxicates as the meaning of the words strikes deep into the heart of the reader, putting into words thoughts and feelings that he could never express. These alternate with shocking and horrifying images that bring to mind Kafka's "Metamorphosis." Longing, irony, desolation, desire, betrayal, anger, melancholy, ecstasy, alienation, and more are Baudelaire's subjects, and his words are the arrows in his quiver that never miss their mark. A few of my favorites are: The Albatross, Elevation, Hymn to Beauty, The Head of Hair, The Cat, Spleen III, The Clock, and Hymn. As a look into the human heart and mind, I rank this work with Michel de Montaigne's "Essays." It would also land on my list of universal, desert-island books.

Richard Howard's Translation

You have to be a detective when you're looking for customer reviews of translations of Great Books Not in English. For example, does anyone know that this is the Richard Howard translation? That would be valuable to know, but this virtual bookstore doesn't think that's important enough to tell you, so I'm telling you. (Then again, who knows where you are reading this?). This certainly is the first and most important thing any literate person buying an English edition of Baudelaire would want to know. Hence, this review.This - Richard Howard's translation, published by Godine - ISBN: 0879234628 - is the most meticulous and lyrical in English. Although it should go without saying, Les Fleurs du Mal is a book of poems. These are poems written in the 19th century. In France. In French. Not 21st century France. Not 21st century French. Certainly not English prose masquerading as verse. Something very specific. So, even before the reader can get to the fact that it's Baudelaire, he needs to be relocated, as it were, and not have to worry about the process. Put another way, getting from there to here requires a guide. No one is better qualified for that task than Richard Howard. And he has succeeded in ways that no previous English translation has managed. This is only possible because, in addition to being the present translator, Richard Howard is one of America's finest poets. As RH knows better than anyone, "giving pleasure means taking pains." This translator has taken pains and given us a heady whiff of CB's "sickly flowers."

Pehaps one of the strongest poetic works ever

Charles Baudelaire revolutionized the litterary world when "les fleurs du mal" was published. But even in this day and age he doesn't fail to make and impact, and even astonish learned readers with his powerful stanzas. Many scholars would probably disagree, but I see his "Hymne à la beautè" as the cornerstone of this truly "beautiful" collection. Ordinary conventions are turned up and down completely when the Frenchman uses oximorons and other tools to exhibit the beauty of "mal" (evil or bad - not even the title can really be translated). It is a work that can not only chance a reader perspectives on language - but transform the entire preattained convictions of how life should or can be perceived.
Copyright © 2019 Terms of Use | Privacy Policy
ThriftBooks® and the ThriftBooks® logo are registered trademarks of Thrift Books Global, LLC
GoDaddy Verified and Secured