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18 March 2010

Structure of Les Fleurs du Mal

A fairly factual entry, this: to note the parts of FdM (the 1857 edition). The book is divided into five main sections, after the dedication and the introductory poem, "Au Lecteur".

The largest, "Spleen et Idéal" is largely about the contrast between ideal love, and love as it must be experienced in Baudelaire's decadent world.

Then, in "Les Fleurs du Mal", the focus is more on victims of this world. One way of recuperating "La Martyre" for example is to see it as the depiction of the result of the violence that the world of ennui and spleen can cause.

A short section, "Révolte" contains three poems on religious themes, followed by "Le Vin" and "La Mort".

A whole new section, "Tableaux Parisiens" was added in the edition of 1861.

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