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Mysteries of the City

Mark Ford: Baudelaire and Modernity

21 February 2013
Baudelaire: The Complete Verse 
edited and translated by Francis Scarfe.
Anvil, 470 pp., £10.95, January 2012, 978 0 85646 427 0
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Baudelaire: Paris Blues/Le Spleen de Paris 
edited and translated by Francis Scarfe.
Anvil, 332 pp., £10.95, January 2012, 978 0 85646 429 4
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Seeing Double: Baudelaire’s Modernity 
by Françoise Meltzer.
Chicago, 264 pp., £29, May 2011, 978 0 226 51988 3
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... of acting like Hamlet in the age of progress. In the early poem ‘La Béatrice’ he presents himself wandering through a kind of wasteland, ‘terrains cendreux, calcinés, sans verdure’ (in FrancisScarfe’s prose translation: ‘ashen, vacant lots, burnt to a cinder where no green grew’); he sharpens, Hamlet-like, the ‘dagger’ of his thoughts on his heart. Dickens uses exaggeration and ...

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