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Baudelaire: The Poems in Prose: 2 (French) Hardcover – 25 May 1989

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`More than any other translator I find that Francis Scarfe sheds light on the poetry of Baudelaire with his meticulous and imaginative renderings'
-- Sean O'Brien

About the Author

Francis Scarfe (1911-86) was a lecturer in French poetry at Glasgow University before and again after World War II. From 1959 to 1978, he was director of the British Institute. In recognition of his contribution to Anglo-French cultural relations he was made a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres (1962), and for his work on Baudelaire he was awarded the Prix de L'Ile Saint-Louis (1966); on his retirement in 1978 he was made a Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur. He was the author of four collections of poetry and of the critical works 'Auden and After' and 'Andre Chenier, His Life and Work'.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Forgotten Revolution 25 April 2006
By Carlo Masi - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Let me get one thing clear - this is a masterpiece. Better or worse than les fleurs du mal? God knows... and it's not the point. Reading the other reviews i felt a potential reader may underestimate one fundamental point: this book, together with others in the production of 'Il Maestro', clears the way for the most significant aesthetical revolution ever happened in poetry: fire to 'la rima', it's time for the Poem in prose!

The (apparently)purely formal beauty must be tried, as it paves the road for the Verlaine - Rimbaud - Huysmans - Nietzsche - Gaugain diapason
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Invitation to the voyage 15 Sept. 2000
By A J King - Published on
Format: Paperback
Any reccomendation is personal, but I've read this little book many times and over the years it's remained a favourite. I personally prefer it to "flowers" mainly because of the dark humour. This is a good translation, others that I've bought as presents for friends don't seem so pure for some reason. My favourites in this collection are: the dog and the Scent Bottle,Temptations,The Generous Gambler,Which One is Real? Trink!The Looking Glass... those are the ones that are permenantly marked in the copy I have before me...I love some of the phrasing : "having a crowd-bath," or "melodious cascades"... but why not read it yourself and email me your favourites? The last words belong the man himself: "We should always be drunk. That is the be-all and end-all, the only choice there is. To no longer feel the horrible burden of Time, which racks your shoulders and blows you downwards to the earth, you must make yourself ceaselessly drunk. But drunk on what? Wine, poetry, virtue - whichever you prefer;only, get drunk."
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A dark, true wit 31 Aug. 2004
By Just a few words - Published on
Format: Paperback
Most poetry is vain and pointless, merely an abundance of rich language and an obscure purpose. Baudelaire's prose poems, by contrast, have an obvious depth to them. Baudelaire's ideas are bold enough to be placed before the reader in plain language and meaning. His view is ruthless, forcing life from its pathetic ordinariness into a celebration of the struggle of life. Trinck! is one of the most simple and greatest poems I have read. The Generous Gambler is Wilde's Picture of Dorian Gray without even a hint of a moral - and all the more realistic for the lack of sentiment. Baudelaire occupies a position between Wilde and Poe, without the former's moral ideals and the latter's pointlessness.

Baudelaire's vision is a rare one - dark, humourous, vigorous and remorseless. A dark, true view of life.

The translation is excellent, with the French available on the opposing page. May it stay in print, always.
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