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Fanfarlo by Charles Baudelaire

Fanfarlo (original 1847; edition 2012)

by Charles Baudelaire, Edward K. Kaplan (Translator)

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130492,561 (3.1)3
Authors:Charles Baudelaire
Other authors:Edward K. Kaplan (Translator)
Info:Melville House (2012), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 64 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:19th Century, French

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Fanfarlo by Charles Baudelaire (1847)



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English (3)  French (1)  All (4)
Showing 3 of 3
This was the second selection from Melville House's Novella Book Club this month. I don't generally get on well with French literature or historical books about France so even though I was game to give this short read my best effort I wasn't too impressed. Very verbose with flowery and excessive language. Paragraphs could have been written in a sentence or omitted altogether. Divided mainly into 3 parts, one on the poet, one on the poet's friend, a spurned wife, and the last on the poet and an actress, Fanfarlo, and their love affair. I really had not much of a clue what was going on until the end of the spurned wife's story where finally they get to the point and a small plot develops. Baudelaire was a poet and this is supposed to be his only work of prose, which is good as I have no inclination to read him again. But at least I feel I've broadened my horizons a bit with this read and become a tad more [sic] edjificated :-) ( )
  ElizaJane | Mar 3, 2013 |
Firstly, this is a 50 page short story; this edition of the book looks more meaty because it also contains the entire text in French.

Generally, I like Baudelaire and there are moments when the prose of "La Fanfarlo" shows some of his wit and poetic sensibility. But much of the story suffers from his pretension and his need to drop unnecessary and distracting literary references all over the place. It's a young man's book; so these are not surprising errors. The book is very much in dialogue with the French authors that Baudelaire wished to dethrone and it prevents his authentic and individual voice from emerging.

Though it does have a few interesting thoughts on jealousy, attraction and relationships. Some good parts: "Men caught in the snare of their own mistakes do not like to make an offering of their remorse on the alter of clemency."

" . . . sitting on the edge of the bed with the insouciance, the triumphant serenity of the adored woman . . . "

"What aura of such magical charm does vice cast around certain creatures? What crooked, repulsive aspect does their virtue impart to certain others?" ( )
1 vote fieldnotes | Nov 11, 2008 |
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