Flowers of the evil
the Flowers of the evil is a collection of poems published by Charles Baudelaire in 1857. It constitutes one of the most important works of the modern Poésie and exerted a considerable influence on Arthur Rimbaud and Stephan Mallarmé.
The collection should have been called the Limbs or the lesbians ; Baudelaire, on the council of a friend, gives up it. The final title rests on the Paradoxe that Charles Baudelaire made a point of maintaining during all his literary life. Indeed, the author regards Nature as being, by definition, ugly; he regards the beauty as artificial.
Conditions of the publication
It integrates the near total of its poetic production there since 1840.
Baudelaire gives to the editor Auguste Chicken-Malassis the manuscript the February 4th 1857. The April 20th, the French Revue publishes nine poems. The first pulling is carried out with 1.300 specimens, and put on sale the June 23rd. the Monitor publishes the July 14th an eulogistic article of Edouard Thierry.
These morbid flowers will be dedicated to the poet Théophile Gautier, crowned “perfect arts magician Frenchwomen” and “impeccable poet”.
July 5th, 1857, an article of the Figaro of G. Bourdin criticizes “the immorality” of the Flowers of the evil. July 7th, the direction of public Safety (ministry for the Interior) seizes the parquet floor of the offense of “insult to public morals” and for “insult with religious morals”. This last charge is finally abandoned. August 20th, the prosecutor Ernest Pinard, who had also required against Mrs Bovary , pronounces an indictment in front of the 6th Criminal Court. August 21st, Baudelaire and its editors are condemned respectively to 300 and 100 francs of fine, as well as the removal of six parts, for offense of insult to public morals. August 30th, Victor Hugo writes in Baudelaire “Your Fleurs of the evil radiates and dazzles like stars”, and to congratulate it to be condemned by the justice of Napoleon III. In 1859, Victor Hugo will write that the work brings “a new shiver” to the literature. November 6th, Baudelaire written with the empress to ask a reduction of the fine which is reduced to 50 francs by the Minister of Justice.
Chicken-Malassis, taken refuge in Belgium after a 3 months judgment of prison, publishes in February 1866 under the title the Wrecks twenty-three poems of Baudelaire, including six condemned parts. The editor will be condemned on May 6th, 1868 by the magistrates' court of Lille for this publication.
The following edition of 1861 removes the prohibited parts and adds 30 new works. The final and posthumous edition of 1868 will include/understand finally 151 poems, but does not take again the prohibited poems; those will be published, like those of the collection Épaves , in Brussels in 1869 in a Complément with the Flowers of the evil of Charles Baudelaire .
Charles Baudelaire and his editors were rehabilitated by the Court of appeal on May 31st, 1949.
The poet divides his collection into six parts: Spleen and ideal , Parisian Tables , the Wine , Flowers of the evil , Revolt and Death. This construction reflects its advance, its search: spleen and ideal, first of all, constitute a form of exposure; it is the report of the real-world such as the writer perceives it. The 3 following sections proceed about it, insofar as they are attempts at answer to the spleen, of attack of the ideal. Baudelaire ventures for this purpose in drugs ( the Wine ) then tries to drown in the anonymous crowd of Paris to unearth there a form of beauty ( Parisian Tableaux ) before turning to the physical sex and pleasures ( Fleurs of the Evil ). After this triple failure the revolt against the nonsense comes from the existence ( Révolte ) which, it also proving to be vain, shows Death.
Baudelaire throughout its work exploits the vertical and horizontal correspondences (or Baudelairiennes synesthesias) which inspire thereafter by many poets. All its work is built on a moral, spiritual and physical advance. It also highlights the relations between the five directions and the emotions of the Man.
See also: the woman in the Flowers of the Evil
The topic of the woman crosses all the Fleurs of the Evil . The woman is at the same time done all to be sensual, envoûtante but also inaccessible. Baudelaire is inspired especially by three of its amantes: Jeanne Duval, Marie Daubrun, and Apollonie Sabatier.
- the Albatross
- With the Reader
Poems of the Section Parisian Tables
- the Sun;
- With a red-headed Beggar;
- the Swan;
- the seven Old men;
- the Small Old women;
- the Blind men;
- With Busy a;
- the Skeleton plowman;
- the Twilight of the evening;
- the Play;
- macabre Dance;
- Love of the lie;
- XCIX (without title);
- C (without title);
- Fogs and Pluies;
- Parisian Dream;
- the Twilight of the morning.
- Baudelaire, complete Works , volume 1. Library of the pleiad, Gallimard, Paris, 1975. Preface and notes of Claude Pichois.
- Documents on the lawsuit of the Flowers of the evil on Wikisource
- Charles Baudelaire Information - Magazine of information of topicality baudelairienne in the world
- BacDeFrancais.net: comments of poems of the Flowers of the evil , the complete text and a synthesis.
- FleursDuMal.org: resources mainly in English (exits of translation) on the collection.
- Litteratura.com: Charles Baudelaire - His life, its work: The cursed poet.
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