• RRP: £35.00
  • You Save: £9.32 (27%)
FREE Delivery in the UK.
Only 2 left in stock.
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon.
Gift-wrap available.
Quantity:1
FREE Delivery on orders over £10.
Used: Good | Details
Sold by Zapper
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Eligible for Amazon's FREE Super Saver/Prime Shipping, 24/7 Customer Service, and package tracking.
Trade in your item
Get a £0.29
Gift Card.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

La Folie Baudelaire Hardcover – 1 Nov 2012


See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Hardcover
"Please retry"
£25.68
£9.99 £9.99

Frequently Bought Together

La Folie Baudelaire + Tiepolo Pink + The Marriage Of Cadmus And Harmony
Price For All Three: £55.49

Buy the selected items together


Free One-Day Delivery for six months with Amazon Student


Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Allen Lane (1 Nov 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846142903
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846142901
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 2.8 x 23.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 472,683 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Written in magnificent and supple prose...it's the most absorbing guided visit that one could imagine of the brothel-museum of Baudelaire's dreams . . . running throughout this account are the contradictory facets of the most gifted man in Paris at that time, Baudelaire, lover and critic of art, poet, journalist, bohemian, and dandy (Marc Fumaroli, Commentaire)

Roberto Calasso [is] the most inquisitively suggestive literary critic in the world today . . (Thomas McGonigle, The Los Angeles Times)

A joy to read (Emma Hogan, Financial Times)

Arresting observations on painters and paintings alike, aided and abetted by some discriminatingly chosen illustrations, beautifully reproduced . . . La Folie Baudelaire is bedazzling (Alex Danchev, The Guardian)

His eye for illuminating anecdote is peerless. Thus he informs us of Alberthe de Rubempré who 'was the mistress, in rapid succession, of Delacroix, Stendhal and Mérimée,' before waspishly adding: 'Each of them spoke too well of her to his best friend-and was then promptly ousted by him.' . . . La Folie Baudelaire is a concrete triumph, for its recreation of Baudelaire's milieu is so intensely vivid as to miraculously transform the distantly anecdotal into the seemingly actual (Lucian Robinson, The Guardian)

What a rare and special book this is, from its opening paragraph . . . But then what a rare writer is the prolific, post-Calvino Italian master Roberto Calasso-72-year-old scholar, translator, author of film scripts, radio and television adaptations, operatic librettos and seemingly most other viable prose forms in the late 20th and early 21st centuries . . . [La Folie Baudelaire is] an ideal introduction in English to one of the most urbane and readable of living masters (Jeff Simon, Buffalo News)

It is a gorgeous, willful, and convincing re-staging of Baudelaire's style . . . (Adam Thirlwell,)

Smoothing the way is the curiously conversational tone in which even the most arcane information is conveyed, as well as the underlying sense that, as the author piles detail upon detail, he's having a huge amount of fun. Calasso may identify with his hero, but there is no Baudelairean melancholy in his work. There's no show-off either-only a sincere delight, an innocent reveling in his own encyclopedic mind at play. This mood is catching, and if one adopts the right dreamy pace, one can commune with Calasso through a kind of imaginative osmosis (Andrea Lee, New Yorker)

[Roberto Calasso is] an ambitious artist-critic, pushing the subject as far as he can, bent on penetrating the mind of both Baudelaire and his time. In the process, he delivers plenty of insight. . . Tough but rewarding, written with bold intelligence and panache (Kirkus)

[Roberto Calasso is] a writer about the foundational myths and tales of human society who has no equal in the sparkle of his storytelling and the depth of his learning . . . His writing . . . these lost voices speak again, in magical, uncanny and something even sinister ways . . . (Boyd Tonkin, The Independent)

About the Author

Born in Florence, Roberto Calasso lives in Milan, where he is publisher of Adelphi. He is the author of Tiepolo Pink, The Ruin of Kasch, The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony, winner of the Prix Veillon and the Prix du Meilleur Livre Etranger, Literature and the Gods, Ka and K.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Roman Clodia TOP 100 REVIEWER on 15 Feb 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
In this non-linear, potpourri of a book, Roberto Calasso meditates on Baudelaire and the post-Romantic emergence of Modernism in the latter half of the nineteenth century in Paris. If you haven't read Calasso before, you should be aware that he's a polymath writer who takes much for granted: this book, for example, assumes we're already familiar with the life and background of Baudelaire as well as with his texts, beyond the famous Les Fleurs du Mal. It also quotes in Latin and French, not extensively, but without translation, and skips blithely along an intellectual arc from Plato to Proust taking in Virgil, Flaubert, Gautier, Mallarmé and Nerval en route.

This isn't biography, or `literary criticism', or even art criticism, though it does combine elements of all of those, and spends some time analysing a dream which Baudelaire wrote down.

There are moments of insight, but also moments of opacity: `For Baudelaire, poetry was not a commando of life... nor was it something unbreathable... For Baudelaire, poetry occupied more or less the same place it had always occupied, as for Horace or Racine' - um, `not a commando'?, `unbreathable'? do we know what `place' poetry occupied for `Horace or Racine' and could it really be the same in C1st CE Rome and C17th France?

Even more confusingly is this oddly under-theorised statement about appropriation from other poets: `by this I do not mean functional plagiarism... but the other kind, based on admiration and a process of physiological assimilation that is one of the best protected mysteries of literature' - given the crucial centrality of intertextuality to poststructuralist/postmodern theories of the text, it can hardly be said to be a mystery.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Eleanor TOP 500 REVIEWER on 18 April 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
In "La Folie Baudelaire", the folly of the title is 'a place of fancies and sensuality like every eighteenth-century folie, but also a sanctuary for people lost in a desolate place where you can be either a shaman or an exile, or both'. Roberto Calasso suggests that Paris was such a folly, with Baudelaire as 'some saturnine guardian'. In his expressionistic and discursive tour Calasso encounters Baudelaire (of course) Ingres, Degas, Guys, Manet, Rimbaud, and Flaubert, among others, discussing their work and lives as if he were on personal intimate terms with them, seeing connections and contrasts, and conjuring up the heady atmosphere of intellectual life in nineteenth-century Paris.

I found Calasso's treatment of various painters the most enjoyable and rewarding. His commentary, accompanied by several gorgeous reproductions of the works in question, enriched my understanding and had me running to the computer to view more examples. Calasso's language is, at times, something to be savoured: his description of Ingres's 'slavish submission to the visible', the way the nudes in 'The Turkish Bath' have 'alighted on the canvas over five decades, like flies on flypaper', and the fact that for Baudelaire 'thought was always a stowaway'.

For every lovely sentence, however, there were also ones which felt clumsy or were just confused, for example, what does "For Baudelaire, poetry was not a commando of life." mean? Or "And why does one always notice an underlying moral dimension in the dispute? Certainly never as in Ingres's pompous apothegms: 'Drawing is the probity of art'-one celebrated example."? And why are Ingres's pencil drawings always 'lead pencil' drawings?
Read more ›
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Nadim Bakhshov VINE VOICE on 30 Dec 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Walter Benjamin saw Baudelaire as the quintessential modern poet, one whose eyes are attuned to the modern world, with its endless arcades and fragmentation in traditional forms.

When we encouter Callaso we encounter a writer whose reputation has grown since the impressive The Marriage Of Cadmus And Harmony and the subsequent catalogue of modern life.

Here he turns to Baudelaire and conjures up a world of the flaneur as urban fakir - if such a thing could exist it existed in the body of poets who felt themselves outsiders able to penetrate the void at the heart of modernity, the emptying of content and meaning, reducing the world to a mound of ash and a chest of money.

Thoroughly recommended.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Stromata VINE VOICE on 19 Dec 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Another classy book from the author of 'The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony' and 'Tiepolo Pink'. In this latest offering Roberto Calasso turns his attention to the writing of Charles Baudelaire - not his poetry, however, but his writing on art.
Baudelaire lived in exciting times, championing the likes of Courbet, Delacroix and Manet in a Paris on the very brink of Impressionism. However, this is not by any means a biography but Callasso informs us with broad, effortless brushstrokes, so the reader becomes subtly familiar with the subject.

'La Folie Baudelaire' is a beautifully produced book with a good selection of illustrations, mainly in colour, scattered throughout the text.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Withnail67 TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 18 Dec 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
My previous encounter with this author was his outstanding and captivating take on Greek mythology The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony. This book wanted me through a long warm summer, and reawakened my fascination with the classics in translation. One thing I can't say about the book is it was an easy or particularly relaxing read-Roberto Calasso is an author who makes demands of his readership, and his intellectual achievements take no prisoners. I've been out of touch with his work for some years, and enjoyed the chance of reading and reviewing this book.

In essence, it looks at the figure of Baudelaire as the progenitor of the 20th century modernist artistic and cultural sensibility. If you are familiar with the series and book by Robert Hughes The Shock of the New, this won't necessarily be a surprise to you-what will surprise you is the depth of learning and the impressive case, so brings to bear upon this thesis. But make no mistake-this is a really challenging work of cultural and arts history, but will probably benefit from you having re-read your Penguin classic translation of Baudelaire beforehand. The detail and atmosphere of 19th-century Paris makes it compelling and wholly necessary though. An excellent read, but demanding.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews


Look for similar items by category


Feedback