Flowers of Evil
Charles Baudelaire is one of the best known French poets, controversial and banned in his time, yet considered fundamental to symbolist and modernist literature. His book the Flowers of Evil deals with decadence and eroticism, and upon its release shocked the French public. It was also considered "an insult to public decency" by the state. The poems are beautiful, haunting, and debauched, and are the hallmark of a poetic genius.
Baudelaire was a tortured soul: he contracted syphilis at a young age and battled it his entire life. He inherited a huge some of money but squandered it away and was heavily in debt. Not until the publication of the Flowers of Evil did he gain a sense of himself. This masterpiece, which helped to revive Romantic poetry from its torpor, focused on themes of sex, death, sacred and profane love, metamorphosis, melancholy, the corruption of the city, lost innocence, the oppressiveness of living, lesbianism and wine.
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