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3.8 out of 5 stars11
3.8 out of 5 stars
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on 6 February 2011
I bought this edition to replace the now much thumbed one that I brought back from France. I thought the price would be some guide to its content: usually, you get what you pay for and this version is not particularly cheap. I was disappointed.
The good point first - the translation is unobtrusive. The translator has not distorted meaning by trying to render the original into rhyming English. And it's handy to have an accurate translation on the facing page for those odd words you've forgotten (or never knew in the first place!)
Now for the big disappointment - compared with the 1861 version, this edition has over seventy poems missing, some of them the more re-readable ones, like Danse Macabre, A Une Passante, and Le Serpent Qui Danse.
I would willingly have given up the odd selection from Beaudelaire's prose works that are included for a full Fleurs du Mal, which is how the book is titled. It may be the full text of some other edition but I think this should have been made plain. To me, it's like "A Selection from Les Fleurs du Mal."
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on 4 May 2001
I don't care whether Baudelaire was a Satanist or not, he wrote some fascinating things anyway. The reason I chose this edition, superficial individual that I am, was because of its handsome Art-Deco cover. Books should look nice on the shelf. That said, this is not going to stay on the shelf for long, as it contains both the poetry collection 'Flowers Of Evil' and 'Spleen of Paris' PLUS several critical essays, including 'The Painter of Modern Life'. What's more, it includes the original French text so you can revive your dying school French and pretend you're a coffee-drinking Left Bank intellectual who understands it in the original...or maybe that's just me. Anyway, if you're even vaguely interested in literature or modernism, this is a good book to own.
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on 28 June 2010
I love this book. It took me ages to find the right translation of Baudelaire; my French is GCSE-level at best, and reading Les Fleurs Du Mal in the original language was too difficult for me. Then I saw this. It was the perfect compromise; have the original French, side by side on the page with the English translation. Two birds with one stone. Plus, y'know, the cover is pretty.

And it is lovely. The translation flows beautifully without compromising Baudelaire's words, and as well as the complete Les Fleurs Du Mal the reader is treated to "Spleen of Paris", Critical writings, Art, Music and Literary Criticism and letters. It is poignant, seductive, sorrowful, sarcastic, sensual, terribly French and utterly gorgeous. I cannot recommend this highly enough.
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on 27 October 2011
I wanted to read some Baudelaire but as I'm not fluent in French I felt that reading a dual-language copy would be the best plan. Whilst the translations (particularly for the poetry) often sound a little clunky, they are generally good and were very helpful in my understanding of the French. My favourite part of the book was the selection of prose tales in "Le Spleen de Paris", which in true Baudelaire style offered a less romantic view of city life and exposed its darker elements.
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on 6 May 2011
To be honest, this isn't the best translation of Baudelaire that I've encountered. If you understand some French, you will easily see (as it is after all a dual language edition)that the language it's not that well preserved. It still does Baudelaire's beautiful poetry partial justice, -and dual language books are very useful - but newer translations are often more true to the original text.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 19 February 2009
This book reads like molten metal in one's hands. I came back to this translation by default (I am not a French speaker), having been deeply impressed by another translation many years ago. I write a bit of poetry myself, though of nothing like the same order of course. However, reading these ratcheted my own inner wordsmith into overdrive, and lots of stuff came pouring out. So how could I not be grateful?

It is my intention now to find a set of complete Baudelaire, and also to investigate his biography and a bit of criticism. This is because, it seems to me, that we see in these poems some of the threads that were ultimately to emerge as the cutural movement of Modernism, for the first time, at least to my limited awareness. Perhaps the explicitly agonised paintings of Delacroix, Goya and Velasquez provide prior antecedents? We see the clear intent to shock the complacency of the bourgeoisie. The cultivation of a repuation for evil as a direct challenge to popular notions of what indeed constituted good and evil. In fact I detect in him a man of great paradox, who used the sinister and the evil to hold up a mirror to his times, in the all too knowingly vain hope of awakening his fellows to compassion. A theme we see repeated again and again in the history of Modernism.
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on 10 March 2015
A bit disappointed - was excited to have a dual language version, but the English translations are not excellent, and the commentaries are quite simplistic and old-fashioned. Not the best version for an academic work, but perhaps good for regular readers.
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on 11 October 2014
Interesting book
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on 18 December 2015
very well received gift. packaging slightly flimsy for paperback book but arrived in excellent condition. easy to read and excellent layout as dual language.
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on 6 April 2015
Excellent reference
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