Uploaded by Alyson-Wieczorek on October 27, 2008

To supplement his income, Baudelaire wrote art criticism, essays, and reviews for various journals. His early criticism of contemporary French painters such as Eugene Delacroix and Gustave Courbet earned him a reputation as a discriminating if idiosyncratic critic. In 1847, he published the autobiographical novella La Fanfarlo . His first publications of poetry also began to appear in journals in the mid-1840s. In 1854 and 1855, he published translations of Edgar Allan Poe , whom he called a "twin soul." His translations were widely acclaimed.

Les Fleurs du mal , with its explicit sexual content and juxtapositions of urban beauty and decay, only added to Baudelaire's reputation as a poéte maudit (cursed poet). Baudelaire enhanced this reputation by flaunting his eccentricities; for instance, he once asked a friend in the middle of a conversation "Wouldn't it be agreeable to take a bath with me?" Because of the abundance of stories about the poet, it is difficult to sort fact from fiction.

In the 1860s Baudelaire continued to write articles and essays on a wide range of subjects and figures. He was also publishing prose poems, which were posthumously collected in 1869 as Petits poémes en prose ( Little Poems in Prose ). By calling these non-metrical compositions poems, Baudelaire was the first poet to make a radical break with the form of verse.

French literature , the body of written works in the French language produced within the geographic and political boundaries of France. The French language was one of the five major Romance languages to develop from Vulgar Latin as a result of the Roman occupation of western Europe.

This article focuses on French literature produced within the Hexagon, as the country of France is often called because of the configuration of its boundaries, from the 9th century (to which the earliest surviving fragmentary texts belong) to the present day. Literary works written in French in countries outside the Hexagon, including former dependencies, are discussed under the appropriate national entries. For the French literature of Belgium, for example, see Belgian literature: French . Other related entries of significance are Anglo-Norman literature and African literature: Modern literatures in European languages .

The Romans had introduced written literature, and until the 12th century almost all documents and other texts were in Latin. The first text in the vernacular is the Serment de Strasbourg , the Romance version of the Oath of Strasbourg (842), an oath sworn by Louis the German ( Louis II ) and Charles the Bald ( Charles II ) against their brother Lothar in the partitioning of the empire of their grandfather Charlemagne . A German version also survives. Only a few other texts, all religious in content, survive from before about 1100.

Uploaded by Alyson-Wieczorek on October 27, 2008

To supplement his income, Baudelaire wrote art criticism, essays, and reviews for various journals. His early criticism of contemporary French painters such as Eugene Delacroix and Gustave Courbet earned him a reputation as a discriminating if idiosyncratic critic. In 1847, he published the autobiographical novella La Fanfarlo . His first publications of poetry also began to appear in journals in the mid-1840s. In 1854 and 1855, he published translations of Edgar Allan Poe , whom he called a "twin soul." His translations were widely acclaimed.

Les Fleurs du mal , with its explicit sexual content and juxtapositions of urban beauty and decay, only added to Baudelaire's reputation as a poéte maudit (cursed poet). Baudelaire enhanced this reputation by flaunting his eccentricities; for instance, he once asked a friend in the middle of a conversation "Wouldn't it be agreeable to take a bath with me?" Because of the abundance of stories about the poet, it is difficult to sort fact from fiction.

In the 1860s Baudelaire continued to write articles and essays on a wide range of subjects and figures. He was also publishing prose poems, which were posthumously collected in 1869 as Petits poémes en prose ( Little Poems in Prose ). By calling these non-metrical compositions poems, Baudelaire was the first poet to make a radical break with the form of verse.

Uploaded by Alyson-Wieczorek on October 27, 2008


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