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Les Fleurs du mal (The Flowers of Evil) by Charles Baudelaire is a collection of poems first published in France in 1857. It is widely considered a landmark of what is sometimes called the "symbolist" or "decadent" movement in literature, and substantially influenced subsequent poetry in both English and French.
The book itself is divided into six thematically organized sections, Spleen et Idéal (Spleen and Ideal), Tableaux parisiens (Parisian Scenes), Le Vin (Wine), Fleurs du mal (Flowers of Evil), Révolte (Revolt) and La Mort (Death). Although the poems are technically adept, they are quite different from the austere classicism of the Parnassians or of the classical poetry of the preceding centuries.
Rather than addressing themes of nature or classical antiquity or traditional types of love, the settings are often gritty and urban and include drunkenness, drug abuse, explicit sexuality, homoeroticism, prostitution, and Satanism, and use a lush sensual style. The collection was regarded as scandalous when it first appeared, it was then banned and its author was fined.
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