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Paris Spleen (New Directions Paperbook) Paperback – January 17, 1970

15 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Already
Anywhere Out Of The World
Artist's Confiteor
The Bad Glazier
Beat Up The Poor
The Beautiful Dorothea
Beauty
Cake
The Clock
Comes The Charming Evening
Counterfeit
Crowds
The Desire To Paint
The Dog, And The Scent-bottle
The Double Room
Epilogue
Evening Twilight
The Eyes Of The Poor
The Fairies' Gifts
The Faithful Dog
The Gallant Marksman
The Generous Gambler
Get Drunk
A Hemisphere In Your Hair
Her Hair
A Heroic Death
Invitation To The Voyage
L'invitation Au Voyage
Loss Of A Halo
The Mirror
Miss Bistoury
The Moon's Favors
The Old Clown
The Old Woman's Despair
One O'clock In The Morning
The Poor Child's Toy
Portraits Of Some Mistresses
Projects
Questioning At Midnight
The Rope
Sea-ports
The Shooting Gallery And The Cemetery
Solitude
The Soup And The Clouds
The Stranger
The Temptations, Or Eros, Plutos And Fame
A Thorough-bred
The Thyrsus
To Every Man His Chimera
Venus And The Motley Fool
Vocations
A Wag
Which Is The Real One
Widows
The Wild Woman And The Fashionable Coquette
Windows
-- Table of Poems from Poem Finder®

About the Author

Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867) is most famous for his groundbreaking collection of verse The Flowers of Evil, but his essays, translations, and prose poems have been equally influential.

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Product Details

  • Series: New Directions Paperbook (Book 294)
  • Paperback: 118 pages
  • Publisher: New Directions; Slight Moisture Damage edition (January 17, 1970)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811200078
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811200073
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.4 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #50,197 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 31, 1999
Format: Paperback
The book that helped me overcome my prejudice against poetry--I carried "Paris Spleen" around with me for a couple of weeks after I first read it, and kept turning back to certain poems as I went about my daily errands. Even though it's nearly 150 years old it seems as timely and contemporary as it must have seemed when it was first published--absolutely top-notch.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Uncle Willie on September 13, 2006
Format: Paperback
An elegant, accurate, and readable translation of this wonderful little book that can revolutionize your way of seeing and thinking. Some newer, and in some ways, better translations have appeared since this one became the "standard," but it's still a good buy and a sure bet for reading pleasure.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 27, 1998
Format: Paperback
This is a wonderful book -- Baudelaire's prose poems perfectly capture the spirit of 19th century Paris as it rushes into modernism. Don't be seduced by prettier editions of this book -- it is crucial to get the Varese translation! Also, Walter Benjamin's early to mid twentieth century critique of Baudelarie should not be missed.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By The Wingchair Critic on September 18, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Charles Baudelaire's 'Paris Spleen' (1869) is a wonderfully original work, one happily outside the framework of American literature and its broad range of sensibilities.

Most notably, these 51 short prose poems illustrate how truth, and the most accurate perceptions of life possible, can be reached purely by honing the senses and then melding them with the more passive facilities of the mind; logic and rational thinking, as demonstrated here, are for the vulgar, those in denial, those simply unable to accept the very rich, very broad, self-evident smorgasbord of life.

Baudelaire, both a tragic and a comedic clown, also effortlessly illustrates how melancholy and joy are by no means mutually exclusive categories of human feeling and experience.

Set largely against autumnal landscapes, the wandering poet indulges in "the mysterious and aristocratic pleasure of watching" whenever he is not a direct participant in the events these visionary pieces describe. Solitary, "fluent in outrage," cranky, self-tormented, lovelorn, misanthropic, and pedagogical by turns, these pieces find the poet stalking bereaved widows, peering unseen through the candle-lit windows of neighbor's homes, asking philosophical questions of "enigmatical" strangers, shunning crowds, luxuriating in midnight solitude, greeting the twilight with a bow, reading the time of day in a cat's eyes, "beating the poor," and listening, eavesdropping, and relentlessly observing wherever he goes.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 4, 1998
Format: Paperback
great.....witty...often times very beautiful descriptions of love...smashing into reality....makes you let go of hatred and stand back and chuckle...at the way things are
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The genius of Baudelaire, this book has it! It is poetry in the form of prose that is so pithy and poignant and laser beam sharp. It is the philosophy and poetic genius of one of France's great poets. As one example of the importance of Baudelaire's genius is the poem on page 74 called, Get Drunk. It starts with:
"One should always be drunk. That's the great thing; the only question. Not to feel the horrible burden of Time weighing on your shoulders and bowing you to the earth, you should be drunk without respite. Drunk with what? With wine, with poetry, or with virtue, as you you please. But get drunk."

This small book is one to cherish and pick up periodically from time to time and slap yourself in the face with it, like dumping a bucket of cold water over your head periodically to wake you up and shake you to look at life.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By jafrank on March 3, 2012
Format: Paperback
I think I prefer the flowers of evil, but Baudilaire's attempt to create a poetic prose with these short pieces is still full of lots of fun. He's a cynical provocateur par excellence, and unlike Nietzsche, he doesn't get all bogged down by his own ideas. It made me want to wander around the streets of 19th century Paris and stalk doughy faced, down-on-their-luck peasants all day.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Kate on April 18, 2001
Format: Paperback
Yes, Baudelaire, himself told to his friend Troubat:"These are The flowers of evil again, but with more freedom,much more detailes, and much more mockery". Noone before Baudelaire has ever concepted the poem in prose which would express so many special, original and protesting sensations. This urban, very personal poetry is a product of the metropolitan noisy atmosphere, and as it is surrounded with fog of overpopulated, but yet unexplored areas.This poetry expresses more than the actual meaning of the words is telling.Spleen is created of prose and pure poetry, of the reflection of the analytical spirit and intuitive introspection.The apostle of pain and depression,Baudelaire is the one who analyzes his own and other people's sins, expresses himself as a moralist in this book as well.
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Paris Spleen (New Directions Paperbook)
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