Back in 2011 I posted about Gallica’s putting Baudelaire’s proofs online; now you can see every version after that at the amazing FleursDuMal.org:

Fleursdumal.org is dedicated to the French poet Charles Baudelaire (1821 – 1867) and his poems Les Fleurs du mal (Flowers of Evil). The definitive online edition of this masterpiece of French literature, Fleursdumal.org contains every poem of each edition of Les Fleurs du mal, together with multiple English translations.

It’s got the 1857 first edition, the 1861 second edition (“missing censored poems but including new ones”), the 1866 Les Épaves (“scraps” including the poems censored from the first edition), and the 1868 comprehensive edition published after Baudelaire’s death, as well as an Audio section (“Readings of Baudelaire mostly in French”). He’s always been one of my favorite poets, and this is a great resource.

And a very happy new year to all Hatters!


  1. David Eddyshaw says

    Bareka nɛ fʋ yʋʋmpaalig!

    (From the GMT timezone)

  2. David Eddyshaw says

    When I lived in Bawku, I asked my wife to bring back a copy of Fleurs du Mal when she returned from a trip to her native Aberdeen. Sadly she was unable to find a copy in Aberdeen (for shame, Aberdeen!), but she was able to get a (very) used paperback copy from a street vendor in Bawku in time for my birthday.

  3. That’s great!

  4. miyo- ocêhtowi-kîsikanisik!

  5. Happy new year to you, Hat!

    I almost commented on the last post, but continued on to this, as I’m catching up. But the missing words that concern me are articles.

    You will notice in your quote that the French article is missing.

    I have recently finished reading Carlos Ruiz Zafón’s /i/The Labyrinth of the Spirits/>i/ translated by Lucia Graves, Robert Graves’ daughter (mentioned towards the end of the novel as ‘Lucia Hargreaves, raised in Mallorca’).

    As you will see on the back of the title page, the original Spanish title is /I/El Laberinto de los Espiritos/>I/, published by Planeta in 2016.

    Now, in my English, and I’m sure in Lucia’s, the translated title would be /i/Labyrinth of Spirits/>i/. No articles. After cogitation, I concluded that the American publisher (HarperCollins) inserted those definite articles.

    In 1986 I wrote a paper contrasting French and Spanish nouns and verbs with Enlglish ones. In all three languages nouns can take articles or not, causing a subtle change of meaning. In English, using an article indicates definiteness, but the lack of article indicates a vagueness, a generality. In other words, nouns are singular, plural or, when there is no article, collective. This is the jargon as I recall it.

    Yes, I know that change is a dominant characteristic of language. I feel it in my aging bones. Thus, American English long ago eliminated the collective, and American culture dominates via print and screens, eroding other standard Englishes. This is why I feel the missing, the phantom limbs of language.

    I admit, absorbing American Standard English has its pleasures, but I miss what it misses.

    Can anyone tell me how to buy Spanish books cheaply? Yes, I’m sure I’ll feel the missing there, and the cilia (tentacles?) of dominant culture too.

    Edit: Damn, I’ve forgotten how to create italics

  6. John Cowan says

    American English long ago eliminated the collective

    If by that you mean formally singular nouns with plural agreement, I believe it is an innovation in UK English from some time after 1700, which is when U.S. English split off, that spread to the rest of the Empire.

  7. Stu Clayton says

    <i>Text to italicize</i> is displayed as Text to italicize

    You can use “i” as a mnemonic for “italics”. “b” is a mnemonic for “bold”, so

    <b>Text to be bolded</b> is displayed as Text to be bolded

  8. Thanks, JC and Stu! And Happy New Year!

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