Charles Baudelaire - Life Stories, Books, and Links
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Picture of Charles Baudelaire, author of Les Fleurs du Mal (The Flowers of Evil); poet, literary and art critic; nineteenth century French Literature and poetry
Charles Baudelaire
(1821 - 1867)

Category:  French Literature
Born:  April 9, 1821
Paris, France
Died:  August 31, 1867
Paris, France
Related authors:
Arthur Rimbaud, Edgar Allan Poe
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Charles Baudelaire - LIFE STORIES
6/25/1857     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."
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Paris Spleen   (Le Spleen de Paris)
The Flowers of Evil   (Les Fleurs du Mal)
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Baudelaire's World
by Rosemary Lloyd
Selected Letters of Charles Baudelaire: The Conquest of Solitude
by Rosemary Lloyd (Editor), Charles P. Baudelaire
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@ la lettre
A French-language website offers a biography, chronology of events in the author's life, links, and selected poems from Les Fleurs du Mal:

  • Au lecteur

  • L'Albatros

  • Elévation

  • Correspondances

  • La Beauté

  • Parfum exotique

  • La Chevelure

  • Harmonie du soir

  • L'invitation au voyage

  • La cloche fêlée

  • Spleen I

  • Spleen II

  • Spleen III

  • Spleen IV
  • A Discussion of Four Poems by Baudelaire (Audio)
    Features readings and commentary on poems from Les Fleurs du Mal, and the contributions and importance of Baudelaire. Requires Real Audio.

    "Baudelaire's poetry is preeminently the poetry of modern life. ... That is, modern life takes place in the city. More than any poet who preceeded him, and as a trailblazer for those who followed, Baudelaire is the poet of city life."
    Academy of American Poets
    Baudelaire biography, poetry, and links. Selected poems include "Be Drunk," "The Fountain of Blood," "Sheen," and "Voyage to Cythera."

    "Les Fleurs du mal afforded Baudelaire a degree of notoriety; writers such as Gustave Flaubert and Victor Hugo wrote in praise of the poems. Flaubert wrote to Baudelaire claiming, 'You have found a way to inject new life into Romanticism. You are unlike anyone else [which is the most important quality].' Unlike earlier Romantics, Baudelaire looked to the urban life of Paris for inspiration. He argued that art must create beauty from even the most depraved or 'non-poetic' situations."
    Charles Baudelaire - Biography and Analysis
    Offers a biography, a brief analysis of works including Les Fleurs du Mal, and Petite Poèmes en Prose, a small selection of poetry.

    "As both poet and critic, Baudelaire stands in relation to French and European poetry as Gustave Flaubert and Èdouard Manet do to fiction and painting, respectively: as a crucial link between Romanticism and modernism and as a supreme example, in both his life and his work, of what it means to be a modern artist. His catalytic influence was recognized in the 19th century by Rimbaud, Verlaine, Mallarmè, and Swinburne and, in the 20th century, by Valèry, Rilke, and T.S. Eliot."
    Charles Baudelaire: Une Micro-Histoire
    Search a detailed French-language chronology of events in the author's life, by keyword and/or date. A useful resource for students and teachers engaged in scholarly research.
    John Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory and Criticism
    Find a scholarly essay that examines the poet's contributions to literary theory.

    "Charles Baudelaire (1821-67) is above all celebrated as a poet and practitioner of double consciousness, incarnating two intertwined natures. As flowers and evil play against each other in his poetry -- the naked and the adorned, the female and the male, the religious and the damned -- in his life also he was occupied with a Venus Blanche and a Venus Noire. The way in which his theory and practice interpenetrate each other is itself characteristic of his approach. This Baudelairean imagination, as it works and plays itself out, is a mixture of the erotic and the standoffish, the idealistic and the cynical, the feminine and the masculine. The tension between two opposite poles informs Baudelaire's entire theory, as it does his writing."
    Les Poètes du XIXe Siècle: Charles Baudelaire
    This French-language website features a chronological timeline of life events and various poems and essays by Baudelaire and others, including Arthur Rimbaud, Paul Verlaine, and Victor Hugo. A mailing list and discussion board are also available.
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