The Flowers of Evil – Charles Baudelaire

S$109.00

Sold out!

The Flowers of Evil – Charles Baudelaire

S$109.00

Title: The Flowers of Evil
Author: Charles Baudelaire, various translators. Eugene Karlin (illus.)
Publisher: The Franklin Library, 1977
Condition: Full leather. Near perfect. Book has probably never been opened or read, and therefore we have taken photographs sparingly to preserve the condition. Comes with a “Notes from the Editors” pamphlet.

Sold out!

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Description

This book features:

  • Full top-grade leather binding
  • Genuine 22k gold gilt to all edges, front design, spine, and back
  • Silk moire endsheets
  • Satin bookmark, sewn-in
  • Hubbed spine with raised bands
  • Smyth-sewn binding for durability
  • Premium acid-neutral archival paper that will not yellow

About The Flowers of Evil (from Wikipedia):

Les Fleurs du mal (English: The Flowers of Evil) is a volume of French poetry by Charles Baudelaire. First published in 1857, it was important in the symbolist and modernist movements. The subject matter of these poems deals with themes relating to decadence and eroticism.

The initial publication of the book was arranged in six thematically segregated sections:

Spleen et Idéal (Spleen and Ideal)
Tableaux parisiens (Parisian Scenes)
Le Vin (Wine)
Fleurs du mal (Flowers of Evil)
Révolte (Revolt)
La Mort (Death)

The foreword to the volume, identifying Satan with the pseudonymous alchemist Hermes Trismegistus and calling boredom the worst of miseries, neatly sets the general tone of what is to follow:

Si le viol, le poison, le poignard, l’incendie,
N’ont pas encore brodé de leurs plaisants dessins
Le canevas banal de nos piteux destins,
C’est que notre âme, hélas! n’est pas assez hardie.

If rape and poison, dagger and burning,
Have still not embroidered their pleasant designs
On the banal canvas of our pitiable destinies,
It’s because our souls, alas, are not bold enough!

The preface concludes with the following malediction:

C’est l’Ennui! —l’œil chargé d’un pleur involontaire,
Il rêve d’échafauds en fumant son houka.
Tu le connais, lecteur, ce monstre délicat,
—Hypocrite lecteur,—mon semblable,—mon frère!

It’s Ennui! — his eye brimming with spontaneous tear
He dreams of the gallows in the haze of his hookah.
You know him, reader, this delicate monster,
Hypocritical reader, my likeness, my brother!