Martin Turnell Baudelaire: A Study of His Poetry

Baudelaire: A Study of His Poetry

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This critical study is a natural product of Martin Turnell's longstanding fascination with Baudelaire. "I can hardly remember a time during the last fifteen of these twenty-five years," he explains in his foreword, "when I did not have a copy of the Fleurs du mal by my bed or went away for any length of time without slipping a copy into my suitcase. You cannot live with a great poet with impunity. The day came when I suddenly discovered that what was intended to be a chapter in a different book had turned into a book on Baudelaire".
For Turnell, author of The Novel in France and The Classical Moment, Baudelaire's reputation rests firmly on his one volume of poetry. If all his other writings had perished, and the Fleurs du mal had survived, Baudelaire's position in world literature would be virtually unaffected. In Baudelaire, then, Turnell seeks to illuminate The Flowers of Evil from every possible angle-presenting background, discussing prosody, imagery, and structure, re-establishing the French poet's claim to originality.