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Baudelaire's Fleurs du Mal
| || ||On this day in 1857 Charles Baudelaire's Les Fleurs du Mal was published. Critics now regard it as the one of the most important and influential collections of 19th century poetry, but the newspapers of the day thought it full of "all the putresence of the human heart," and the courts excised six poems found to be "in contempt of the laws which safeguard religion and morality."|
Brief, Bitter, Bierce
| || ||On this day in 1842, the writer-reporter-wit Ambrose Bierce was born in Horse Cave Creek, Ohio. Those familiar with Bierce usually approach him through his Civil War stories and then stay to enjoy, or at least marvel at, his celebrated aphorisms and definitions. These offer a scoff for every situation, and can seem as bitter as they are brief, as in "Once: enough."|