Intratextual Baudelaire: The Sequential Fabric of the Fleurs du mal and Spleen de Paris

Intratextual Baudelaire: The Sequential Fabric of the Fleurs du mal and Spleen de Paris

by Randolph Paul Runyon

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Overview

Intratextual Baudelaire: The Sequential Fabric of the Fleurs du mal and Spleen de Paris by Randolph Paul Runyon provides a new and provocative answer to the question that has intrigued readers for years: did the poet arrange the Fleurs du mal in a meaningful order? Runyon believes so, but not in the way most have conceived the question.

Barbey d'Aurevilly's claim that there was a "secret architecture" hidden in the Fleurs has long misled scholars by leading them to look for some overarching hierarchical organization, when they should have been looking for how the poems actually fit together, each to each, in the sequential fabric of the text. This is what Runyon has done, in a meticulous reading of every poem and its place in the sequence. Intratextual Baudelaire provides the most thorough analysis available of the textual changes Baudelaire made between the first and second editions and shows why he made them: so that the sequential structure would be preserved despite the addition of new poems and the deletion of those judged obscene.

Extending his analysis to the Spleen de Paris with the same attention to detail and awareness of textual changes, Runyon shows that Baudelaire's prose-poem collection likewise displays a rigorous sequential structure. Both collections are revealed as marvels of self-referential intratextuality. Whether one completely agrees with Runyon or not, Intratextual Baudelaire will certainly generate lively discussion among French studies scholars.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780814211182
Publisher: Ohio State University Press
Publication date: 03/15/2010
Edition description: 2
Pages: 344
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author


Randolph Paul Runyon is professor of French at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Chapter 1 The Fabric of the First Edition: The Fleurs of 1857 17

Chapter 2 The Sequence Rebuilt: The Fleurs of 1861 120

Chapter 3 The "serpent tout entier": Le Spleen de Paris 189

Appendix A The Order of the Poems in the 1857 and 1861 Editions 263

Appendix B The Order of the Poems in Le Spleen de Paris 269

Works Cited 271

Index to Bandelaire's Works 277

General Index 281

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