Marcel Proust (essay date 1921)
SOURCE: "Apropos of Baudelaire," in Baudelaire: A Collection of Critical Essays, edited by Henri Peyre, Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1962, pp. 110-131.
[In the following excerpt, originally published in June, 1921, as a letter to the literary journal La Nouvelle Revue Française, Proust surveys some of the poetic achievements of Les Fleurs du mal.]
I doubt that a poem equalling Hugo's "Booz endormi" could be found in Les Fleurs du mal, that sublime but sardonic book, in which piety sneers, in which debauchery makes the sign of the cross, in which Satan is entrusted with the task of teaching the most profound theology. . . .
No one has...
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