People learn other languages for many reasons, “survival” is the most common. I started learning French because I love the French culture: I wanted to understand the songs, the films without any subtitles, to read all kind of interesting information in French, to do a Masters at Sorbonne and to read the French classics in the original.
Charles Baudelaire is one of the writers that inspired me to learn French, principally Les Fleurs du mal, that I want to read in the original since I was 15. I feel that I need to learn more to read it fluently and to understand it, the most difficult part of poetry. With luck I will be able to do that by the end of this year.
If you are a French speaker or adventurous enough to try it, and in case you’ve never read it, Project Gutenberg and Wikisource have on-line versions. For time I’m going to enjoy the illustrations of Die Blumen des Bösen (Les Fleurs du Mal) made by Carlos Schwabe to the 1900 edition. BTW, all the images are available to download in high resolution and they aren’t “appropriated” for everyone. (via placeboKatz)
More Baudelaire’s works on-line:
– 53 Poems of Charles Baudelaire in English as a PDF (349k) from Poem Hunter
– Charles Baudelaire – Sa vie, son oeuvre : Le poète maudit at Litteratura. Biography, his characters, articles, studies and his works, including the text of first and second edition of Les Fleurs du Mal to read on-line or download. All in French.
– Charles Baudelaire from Poetes: a text with many links to small articles about Baudelaire works. In French.
– Ebooks libres et gratuits has 6 works of Baudelaire available: Fusées (1re partie des journaux intimes), Mon coeur mis à nu (2e partie des journaux intimes), Hygiène (3e partie des journaux intimes), Les Fleurs du mal, Le spleen de Paris and Poe, Edgar Allan – Sa vie et ses oeuvres, just in French.
– Fleurs du Mal is dedicated to the French poet Charles Baudelaire (1821 – 1867), and in particular to Les Fleurs du mal (Flowers of Evil). Excelent site, with versions of 1857, 1861, 1868 edition, all in French, and English and MP3 recordings of his poems.
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