Title: The Flowers of Evil
Author: Charles Baudelaire
Challenge status: After publication of the book, both the author and the publisher were prosecuted for the French equivalent of obscenity, aka “outrage aux bonnes mœurs” (trans. “an insult to public decency”). Baudelaire was fined, and six poems were formally banned from publication/dissemnation: “Lesbos”, “Femmes damnés”, “Le Léthé”, “À celle qui est trop gaie”, “Les Bijoux”, and ” Les “Métamorphoses du Vampire”. The ban was not lifted in France until 1949; a second French edition was published in 1861 (with the suppressed poems removed, and new poems added). The censored poems were published in Brussels, in a volume called “Les Épaves” (Scraps). Book #44 on Summer of Banned Books ’13.
Why: Too sexy, Charles
First line: From the first poem, “Bénédiction“:
”Lorsque, par un décret des puissances suprêmes / Le Poète apparaît en ce monde ennuyé / Sa mère épouvantée et pleine de blasphèmes / Crispe ses poings vers Dieu, qui la prend en pitié…”
When, on a certain day, into this harassed world / The Poet, by decree of the high powers, was born, / His mother, overwhelmed by shame and fury, hurled / These blasphemies at God, clenching her fists in scorn…” (Edna St. Vincent Millay translation)
You didn’t think i was going to end with a D.H. Lawrence book, did you?