This book of linked essays contains the first critical study of Baudelaire's development as a poet, from his youth onwards. It also includes studies of the development of Baudelaire's aesthetic, detailed commentaries on a number of his finest poems, and accounts of three intriguing and crucial 'encounters' with notable contemporaries. Of the essays, three are previously unpublished and four appeared as recently as 1988; the others have been thoroughly updated, revised and in some cases substantially expanded to take full account of recent scholarship. Summaries in English are provided for the seven essays in French, and vice versa. Together, the essays in this volume constitute a new and important contribution to the understanding and appreciation of Baudelaire's work.
Forewords Eva Jacobs, Claude Pichois; Author's preface and acknowledgments; Part I. The Composition of Les Fleurs du Mal: 1. Pour une chronologie des Fleurs du Mal (1967; 1988); 2. Baudelaire-Cramer: les sens de Orfraies (1985); 3. Les Lesbiennes: A verse novel? (1988); 4. Les Limbes: 'The Agitations and Melancholies of Modern Youth' (1988); 5. Les Fleurs du Mal (1857-1865): The resuscitation of the 'pieces sacrifiees' (1988); 6. Poet - or 'architect'? (1966; 1988); Part II. Les Fleurs de Mal: Themes and Interpretations; 7. The amorous tribute (1968); 8. The originality of Le Cygne (1973); Part III. Les Fleurs du Mal: The Creative Process: 9. The Mortimer poems; 10. The Delacroix/Tasso Sonnet of 1844 (1988); 11. Harmonie du soir (1967); 12. Les sept versions des Sept Vieillards (in collaboration with Claude Pichois) (1973); Part IV. Baudelaire-Dufays: 13. Les Esthetiques de Baudelaire: le 'systeme' des annees 1844-1847 (1967); 14. A philosophy of opportunism (1845-1846) (1965); Part V. Encounters: 15. Asselineau, Corot et Les Limbes (1973); 16. Fontainebleau and Denecourt (1968; 1988); 17. 'Un architecte songeur': H. E. Kendall (1956); Notes; Illustrations; F. W. Leakey: publications; Indexes.