biographies – charles baudelaire


Charles-Pierre Baudelaire was born on 9 April 1821 in Paris and was educated at Lyons and in Paris. He took a degree in 1839 and decided to enter a literary career. As he pursued (condusse) a very irregular life, he was sent to India by his guardians, in 1841. Back in Paris, his life style had not changed. He took part with the revolutionaries in 1848, as was interested in republican politics. In 1857 he produced his first and famous volume of poems, Fleurs du mal first published in the Revue des deux mondes of Baudelaire’s friend Auguste Poulet Malassis. The book was appreciated by the critics more than by the public; author and publisher were prosecuted for offending against public morals. Another edition of the Fleurs du mal, without some poems, but with considerable additions (aggiunte) , appeared in 1861.Baudelaire knew English quite well: his favorite readings were the English “Satanic” romances, such as Lewis’s Monk. In 1846-47 he started appreciating the works of Edgar Allan Poe, and translated them into French. Meanwhile his financial problems got worse. In 1864 he left Paris for Belgium, and became an opium and alcohol addict. Paralysis followed, and he died in maisons de santé in Brussels and in Paris on the 31st of August 1867. Among his best works are : Petits Poèmes en prose; studies on Gustave Flaubert (1857); on Théophile Gautier (1858); Les Paradis artificiels opium et haschisch (1860); Richard Wagner et Tannhäuser à Paris (1861); Un Dernier Chapitre de l’histoire des oeuvres de Balzac (1880)

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