Charles Baudelaire revisited /

Main Author: Hyslop, Lois Boe, 1908-
Format: Book
Language: English
Published: New York : Toronto : New York : Twayne Publishers ; c1992.
Series: Twayne's world authors series ; TWAS 827.
Twayne's world authors series. French literature.
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Review by Choice Review

Baudelaire is, to this reviewer, the preeminent poet-critic of modern times. Most original is his concept of synesthesia: the interaction of sensory perceptions as "perfumes, colors and sounds echo each other." This and his emphasis on correspondances (analogies) set the stage for the Symbolist poetry of Mallarm'e, Verlaine, Rimbaud, and Val'ery. His complicated personal life is often revealed in the anguished imagery of Les Fleurs du mal: flowers (poems) drawn from the spleen of evil and suffering. He was, as well, a sensitive critic of art, literature, and music who wrote perceptively about Delacroix, Edgar Allen Poe, Wagner, and others. This brief book cannot do full justice to the genius of Baudelaire. However, the limited format of "Twayne's World Authors" series can be useful capsule to spark further in-depth study of important authors. Here, Hyslop provides a concise summary of the Baudelaire phenomenon: his life, his aesthetics, his critical writings, his lyrical and prose poetry. Undergraduates and general readers will find this an invitation to look for more.-J. C. McLaren, University of Delaware

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.