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Complete Poems: Charles Baudelaire Paperback – April 1, 2007

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Editorial Reviews

Review

...".in certain respects [Martin's] translation stands as the best available rendering of the complete poems.."-"The New Criterion --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Charles Baudelaire was a well-known French poet, a translator, a critic, and the author of Les Fleurs du mal, Journaux intimes, and Petits poèmes en prose. Walter Martin is a poet, a translator, and the owner of Chimaera, a bookshop in Palo Alto, California. He lives near San Francisco.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Carcanet Press Ltd.; Later Printing edition (April 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857549392
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857549393
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.2 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,162,752 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Eric Schellenberg on June 28, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This is the first complete translation of Les Fleurs du Mal that I've seen which captures both Baudelaire's symbolic rhyming and his strict syllable count (10 per line in this edition vs. Baudelaire's usual 12).
Martin's translation could be improved by following Baudelaire's order of ideas and literal diction more closely, but he captures the spirit of each poem in a way that makes this volume stand out from most of the previous efforts I've seen.
If you're looking for a Baudelaire translation by a single author, this is a good one to buy.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Arch Llewellyn on May 3, 2003
Format: Paperback
What I like best about this admittedly eccentric translation is the way Walter Martin renders the poems in rhyme. Baudelaire's extreme content--his embrace of putrefaction, filth, sadism and ennui as fit stuff for poetry--owes much of its impact to the tight, disciplined meter he chose for his medium. Most Baudelaire translations don't capture this classical edge in English, turning the poems into free verse or prose. While Martin has to bend the exact meaning a little (often a lot) to get the English to fit, on the whole he does an impressive job of making the verse sound exact and controlled but not too sing-songy. There's no ponderous introduction to bug you either, just a short & highly personal 'Afterthoughts' section with some intriguing insights. This isn't the only translation you'll want to read, but it recovers a side of modernity's bad boy that's hard to find anywhere else.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. A. I. on March 13, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Les Bons: A well-formatted version of Baudelaire for your Kindle.
Les Mals: The translation here is very very loose in most of the poems, with the maintenance of rhymes and the "spirit" of the work trumping anything like exact word-for-word translations.

Oh if only the Oxford University Press could get its act together and fix the formatting of its Kindle version of Les Fleurs (the Kindle version is an unreadable mess as I write here ... early in 2014), Kindle readers wouldn't have to choose an English translation only for its formatting on Kindle.
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