September 9, 2013

Paris Spleen by Charles Baudelaire (Review)

Title: Paris Spleen
Author: Charles Baudelaire
First published: 1851
Add it: Goodreads, The Book Depository
Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Reviews here are getting shorter and shorter as I'm more and more engulfed in Titus Groan. But sometimes I need to make breaks and fit in other stuff, as for example this book of Baudelaire's "poetry" for The Modern and the Postmodern course. The reason for putting "poetry" in quotation marks is that these short writings are called "poems in prose", which means they are just short sketches with some philosophical motive.

The author is killing his time strolling through Paris, making encounters, drinking, smoking, philosophizing and writing it all down. The result is somewhat weird, somewhat enraging and very wacky. I couldn't help wishing the author being put to some medical treatment, because he is not only self-destructive, but also dangerous for others. Baudelaire's embrace of life in all its manifestations resulted in his death of syphilis, by the way. Very predictable.

In my book:
I'm not a fan of "weird french stuff", and this collection was beside the mark. The author could have benefited from more flogging in his childhood.


  1. My daughter took a world literature course last spring in which they read some Baudelaire, and her reaction was pretty similar to yours--slightly freaked out. :)

    1. Well, I congratulate you on such a reasonable daughter! I would be afraid if my hypothetical children told me they liked Baudelaire. I'd start checking their drawers, probably! :)


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