Launching page....{using the first image in the first row... The launch page should have the title "Les Fleurs du Mal" (with the "d" being lower case on "du" and using the "Decorative" font) as well as the following introduction: "an online exhibit presented by the W. T. Bandy Center for Baudelaire and Modern French Studies" (also in the "Decorative" font ?) Font reference: http://art-nouveau.kudos.org/en/faq/url.htm.}

1. Les Fleurs du Mal, or The Flowers of Evil, is a collection of poems written by the 19th-century French poet Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867).

Begin Debussy's "Poissons d'or" (4:00), track # 6 on Kocsis CD. This piece will be played through the entire exhibit, first as introductory music, then as background music during the readings, and finally as music by which the exhibit ends.

Alternative options:

1) "La Cathedrale engloutie" (6:53), track # 5 on Rosenberger CD

2) Debussy, "Estampes" (3:48). track # 9 on CD entitled "The Piano"

3) "L'Isle joyeuse" (6:06), track # 8 on Kocsis CD

4) "D'un cahier d'esquisses" (4:51), track # 7 on Kocsis CD

 

 

2. Les Fleurs du Mal was first published by Auguste Poulet-Malassis' publishing house in 1857 and contained 100 poems. Les Fleurs du Mal would eventually be celebrated as having modernized the poetry of Baudelaire's time period while at the same time remaining true to traditional, classical form.

 

 
3. In addition to being a translator, the author of this influential yet controversial book of poems was also a respected critic of the literature, music, and art of his time.  

4. Baudelaire was a visual artist as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Among Baudelaire's acquaintances were artists such as photographer Félix Nadar and painters Félix Bracquemond, Edouard Manet, and Emile Deroy, all of whom portrayed him in portraits of varying styles.

 

 

 

 
6. Baudelaire's self-portraits portray him in a vastly different manner from the portraits carried out by his contemporaries.  

7. One might regard Les Fleurs du Mal as a lyrical complement to Baudelaire's ghostlike illustrations of himself.

 

 

 
8. Among the themes that Baudelaire incorporates into Les Fleurs du Mal are beauty, death, revolt, melancholy, the passage of time, wine, Paris, idyllic escape, and the plight of the artist.

 
9. Baudelaire contemplates the art and destiny of the poet in the poems entitled "La Muse malade," "Bénédiction," "La Mort des artistes," "La Muse vénale," ...

 

Begin Eva le Gallienne's reading of "La Muse Malade", part of track # 2 on the Gallienne and Jordan CD. The exhibit should include the first two stanzas of the poem (1:16-1:47 of track # 2).
10. ... and "L'Albatros,"

 

 

 

11. In poems such as "L'Ame du vin," "Le Vin de l'assassin," "Le Vin des chiffonniers," and "Le Vin du solitaire", Baudelaire muses the transformative effect that wine has on the human spirit.

 

 

 
12. The theme of death predominates in poems such as "Danse macabre," "La Mort des amants," "La Mort des pauvres," and "Le Voyage."

 

 

13. In the poem entitled "Les Phares," Baudelaire renders the artistic styles of the painters Rubens, Leonardo da Vinci, Rembrandt, Michelangelo, Watteau, Goya, and Delacroix in a sequence of sensorial images.

 

 
14. The theme of melancholy is evident in poems such as "Recueillement" and "Chant d'automne", as well as in a series of poems entitled "Spleen."

 

 

Begin Jean Vilar's reading of "Recueillement", track # 9 on the Desailly, Manuel, and Vilar CD. The exhibit should include the first two stanzas of the poem (0:00-0:45 of track # 9).
15. "Une charogne" and "Remords posthume" are examples of poems in which Baudelaire meditates upon the irrevocable passage of time.

 

 
16. The poems "La Beauté" and "Hymne à la beauté" are representative of the many poems in which Baudelaire reflects upon the ideal.

 

 

 

 

 

17. "A une dame créole," "A une Madone," "A une passante," and "Sonnet d'automne" are examples of poems that feature women as their subject matter.

 

 

 
18. Many of the poems that Baudelaire wrote on the subject of women were written for or inspired by women with whom he was personally acquainted.  
19. For example, Baudelaire wrote several poems for a woman named Madame Sabatier, who was well-known in artistic circles for the social gatherings she hosted at her Parisian residence.

 
20. Included among these poems are "Réversibilité," "Harmonie du soir," "Aube spirituelle," "Flambeau vivant," "Confession," "A celle qui est trop gaie," and "Le Flacon."

Begin Pierre Blanchar's reading of "Réversibilité", part of track # 3 on the Blanchar CD. The exhibit should include the first stanza of the poem (2:49-3:12 of track # 3).
21. Another woman whom Baudelaire admired was the actress Marie Daubrun.

 

 
22. Marie Daubrun was the inspiration for the poems "L'Invitation au voyage" and "Causerie."

 

 

23. Baudelaire devoted an ample number of poems to his common-law Creole wife, Jeanne Duval, whom he also portrayed in drawings.

 

 

 

 

 
24. Among the poems written for Jeanne Duval are "Le Chat", "Le Serpent qui danse," "Le Léthé," "Sed non satiata," ..

 

 
25. ... and "Parfum exotique."

 

Begin Louis Jordan's reading of "Parfum exotique" by Louis Jordan, part of track # 3 on the Gallienne and Jordan CD. The exhibit should include the first two stanzas of the poem (0:00-0:28 of track # 3).

26. Shortly after the publication of Les Fleurs du Mal, a court ruling condemned six of the poems as immoral. In consequence of the trial, Baudelaire and his editors were fined various sums of money and the six controversial poems were prohibited from being sold.

 

 

 

 

 

 
27. Among the poems that were subsequently removed from Les Fleurs du Mal are "Le Léthé," "Femmes damnées," "Les Bijoux," "A celle qui est trop gaie," and "Lesbos."  

28. The six prohibited poems would eventually be published again, however, in later editions of Les Fleurs du Mal. They would, in addition, be published alone under such titles as Les Six Pièces interdites and Les Pièces condamnées.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
29. In 1866, the six prohibited poems were published, along with other poems by Baudelaire, in a volume entitled Les Epaves.  
30. The numerous editions of Les Fleurs du Mal that continue to be published today are testimony to the enduring influence of the poems that Baudelaire wrote almost 150 years ago.

 

 
31. Les Fleurs du Mal has been translated into over 30 different languages.

 

 
32. The significant space that Les Fleurs du Mal occupies in literary history is equally evident in the huge quantity of critical studies devoted to the volume of poetry.

critstud-1-h300

 
33. Baudelaire's personal life has provided the subject matter for numerous biographical studies.

 
34. The fame of Les Fleurs du Mal has bestowed upon Charles Baudelaire the stature of world-renowned poet, genius, and cultural icon.  
35. Today, Les Fleurs du Mal continues to serve as inspiration for musicians, ...

 

 

36. ... for visual artists, ...

 

 

 
37. ... for writers of fiction, and, of course, for poets.

 

 

38. Credits

{Exhibit created by Margaret Splane, Isabelle S. Crist, and Suellen Stringer-Hye, with consultation from Yvonne Boyer and special thanks to Rodger Coleman.}{Claude Debussy's "Poissons d'or" is played by Zoltán Kocsis. Charles Baudelaire's "La Muse Malade" is read by Eva le Gallienne, "Receuillement" is read by Jean Vilar, "Réversibilité" is read by Pierre Blanchar, and "Parfum exotique" is read by Louis Jordan.}

 

 
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