Baudelaire's World

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Charles Baudelaire is often regarded as the founder of modernist poetry. Written with clarity and verve, Baudelaire's World provides English-language readers with the biographical, historical, and cultural contexts that will lead to a fuller understanding and enjoyment of the great French poet's work.Rosemary Lloyd considers all of Baudelaire's writing, including his criticism, theory, and letters, as well as poetry. In doing so, she sets the poems themselves in a richer context, in a landscape of real places ...
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Overview

Charles Baudelaire is often regarded as the founder of modernist poetry. Written with clarity and verve, Baudelaire's World provides English-language readers with the biographical, historical, and cultural contexts that will lead to a fuller understanding and enjoyment of the great French poet's work.Rosemary Lloyd considers all of Baudelaire's writing, including his criticism, theory, and letters, as well as poetry. In doing so, she sets the poems themselves in a richer context, in a landscape of real places populated with actual people. She shows how Baudelaire's poetry was marked by the influence of the writers and artists who preceded him or were his contemporaries. Lloyd builds an image of Baudelaire's world around major themes of his writing—childhood, women, reading, the city, dreams, art, nature, death. Throughout, she finds that his words and themes echo the historical and physical realities of life in mid-nineteenth-century Paris. Lloyd also explores the possibilities and limitations of translation. As an integral part of her treatment of the life, poetry, and letters of her subject, she also reflects on published translations of Baudelaire's work and offers some of her own translations.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Drawing on her own translations as well as those of other poets, Lloyd offers a lively discourse on the possibilities and limitations of translation. For academic libraries with large collections of poetry and poetic criticism."—Library Journal, November 2002

"The prose is lively, passionate, even humorous, and scrupulously researched."—Will Stone, Times Literary Supplement, 7 February 2003

"Lloyd's objective is to scrutinize the culture and influences that shaped the French poet. She does not recapitulate his life, except to illustrate something in the verse. . . . Few conventional biographies, though, offer so clear a picture of personality and thought process as does Lloyd's critical study."—Phoebe Pettingell, The New Leader, November/December 2002

"Translators are moody darlings' here ecstatic, there mischievous and ready to betray—and criticism is not more faithful either. Aware of this predicament, Lloyd does not only propose a reading but, most significantly, provides a rich ground on which other readings can be drawn. Ultimately, Baudelaire's world has many entries, and many streets entice the reader with illicit charms."—Carmen Mihaela Barbu, Literary Research/Recherche Litteraire, 2002

"Rosemary Lloyd's latest book brings a fresh approach to Baudelaire studies, thanks to the savvy use of English translations to stress elements easily lost or unappreciated by non-French readers. . . . Although not a biography in the full sense, her study avoids separating the man and the work. Lloyd wants to indicate how a reading that honors the complexities of his writings might proceed. And in this respect Baudelaire's World achieves its goal. . . . Accompanied by some previously unpublished illustrations and printed in an edition at once environmentally responsible and esthetically attractive, Rosemary Lloyd's Baudelaire's World makes a nice acquisition for undergraduate as well as graduate libraries. For Baudelaire specialists there are some excellent finds—such as the plate from Francois Baudelaire's illustrated Latin vocabulary—as well as Lloyd's exemplary translations and shrewd assessments of other translations. Specialists will also be usefully directed to lesser-known aspects of the many-sided Baudelaire. For the non-specialist seeking an introduction, Baudelaire's World is a fine place to start: thorough, balanced, thoughtful, amusing and pleasingly written."—William Olmsted, Nineteenth-Century French Studies, Fall/Winter 2004-2005

"Rosemary Lloyd's superb new interpretation and retranslation of Baudelaire and his world will astonish only those who are not acquainted with her previous work on Baudelaire and Mallarmé. With her elegant expression and highly active intelligence, her unfailing sense of rhythm and tone in reading and in translation, and her sure and extended knowledge of the poet's background and poems, she manages to create a new domain where writer, reader, and critic can find a common and uncommon joy."—Mary Ann Caws, Distinguished Professor of English, French, and Comparative Literature Graduate School, City University of New York

"Baudelaire would have liked this book. As Rosemary Lloyd takes up a range of topics that fuse into a reading of Baudelaire's text, her book adopts a pattern not unlike the fusion of images in the poetry. Returning motifs, especially the recurring use of 'Le Cygne,' tie the thematic chapters together and give the reader a pleasant sense of familiarity."—Dorothy M. Betz, Georgetown University

"Baudelaire's World brings into sharp focus the cultural context, thematic concerns, formal challenges, artistic debates, and biographical details necessary to unlock the complexities of this important nineteenth-century figure. Rosemary Lloyd invites us to embark on a journey which is, at least in part, an exploration of reading. Through engaging discussion and close analysis of key poems and comparative translations, she works out the condensation of themes that defines Baudelaire's writing. Lloyd's meticulous scholarship and acute understanding of Baudelaire, and especially of Baudelaire in English translation, make the complete range of his works (poetry, criticism, journals, correspondence) accessible to the Anglophone reader."—Sonya Stephens, Royal Holloway, University of London, author of Baudelaire's Prose Poems: The Practice and Politics of Irony

Library Journal
Though Charles Baudelaire published only a single volume of poetry, The Flowers of Evil, his use of symbolism and his poetic style were among the most influential of his generation; in fact, he is often considered the founder of modernist poetry. Although he wanted to earn his living as a poet, his biggest success in his lifetime was his translation of the works of Edgar Allan Poe. Stylistically, his poems were the antithesis of Romantic poetry and shocked the aestheticians of his time. His works were considered obscene, and legal proceedings were started against him. Using the poet's themes-childhood, women, reading, dreams, art, nature, the city, and death-the author provides readers with cultural, historical, and biographical contexts for all of Baudelaire's writings, including his criticism, theory, letters, and poetry. Drawing on her own translations as well as those of other poets, Lloyd (French, Indiana Univ., Bloomington; Mallarm : The Poet and His Circle) offers a lively discourse on the possibilities and limitations of translation. For academic libraries with large collections of poetry and poetic criticism.-Pam Kingsbury, Florence, AL Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801440267
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press
  • Publication date: 11/28/2002
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.24 (w) x 9.64 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

Illustrations
Acknowledgments
Brief Chronology
Note and Abbreviations
Ch. 1 To the Reader 1
Ch. 2 The Palimpsest of Memory 10
Ch. 3 Genius Is Childhood Recovered at Will 33
Ch. 4 An Evocative Magic 52
Ch. 5 Anywhere Out of the World 68
Ch. 6 Mundus Muliebris: The World of Women 92
Ch. 7 Talking to Friends 114
Ch. 8 City of Dreams 138
Ch. 9 Nature, the Pitiless Enchantress 165
Ch. 10 The Art of Transposition 188
Ch. 11 The Old Captain Death 209
The Tip of the Iceberg 227
Bibliography of Translations 237
Selected Bibliography 241
Index of Works by Baudelaire 243
General Index 245
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