Invitation to the Voyage
Author: Charles Baudelaire
Translated by Beverley Bie Brahic
9780857425386 | HB | pp. 184 | 2019 | Seagull Books
Invitation to the Voyage is a collection of translated poetry and prose from the influential nineteenth-century French poet Charles Baudelaire.
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‘Baudelaire is indeed the greatest exemplar in modern poetry in any language,’ said T. S. Eliot. We experience Baudelaire in myriad ways through his multifaceted writing. His sensuous poems–dreams of escape to an impossible, preferably tropical, elsewhere–draw us in with their descriptive and perceptual richness. There is also the bitter, compassionate, and desolate Baudelaire. Ultimately, Baudelaire’s true genius might reside in his expressive force and in the tension between his passions and intellect. The latter is most evident in his control of rhetoric and poetic form, and–given the poems’ density of language, thought, and feeling–his astonishing clarity.
This new English rendition of Baudelaire by award-winning translator Beverley Bie Brahic includes poems from his celebrated volumes: Les Fleurs du mal, Les Épaves, Le Spleen de Paris, and Paradis artificiels. It also includes several of his prose poems, as well as an excerpt from his famous essay on wine and hashish. The poems in verse have Baudelaire’s French originals on facing pages; the prose poems, unaccompanied by their originals, are printed near the poems in verse with which they resonate. Complete with the translator’s illuminating introduction and notes, this beautifully crafted volume is an important addition to Baudelaire’s work in English translation.
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About the Contributors
The author (1821-67) was one of the most influential nineteenth-century French poets. His works include Les Paradis artificiels, Les Fleurs du mal, Les Épaves, and posthumous collections Le Spleen de Paris and Petits poèmes en prose, among others.
The translator is also a poet. She has written four collections of poetry, including the 2012 Forward Prize finalist White Sheets, she has translated works by Charles Baudelaire, Yves Bonnefoy, Hélène Cixous and Jacques Derrida. In 2009 her translation of Francis Ponge’s Unfinished Ode to Mud was a Popescu Prize finalist; in 2012 she won the prestigious Scott Moncrieff Prize for Guillaume Apollinaire’s The Little Auto.
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