Saturday, March 17, 2012

What have you read by French authors?

This blog post is directed at my American audience (assuming anyone otherwise is listening), and I thus apologize if it offends and French readers by its ignorance.

Anyway, except for Les Miserables force-fed in high school, not much I can think of. I think that is pretty true for most European languages. A German story here, a Spanish story there.

Well, I was reading a book about Poe recently, on my continuing Poe bent, called The Unknown Poe. The book itself is about half Poe's writings and about half writings about Poe, many of them by French authors.

And that brings me to the point of my blog today. Charles Baudelaire was Poe's most celebrated translator, defender, and apologist, from what I understand. His writings on Poe comprised the best part of the book for me thus far. His use of language leaves me breatheless (which is a monumental complemint to his translator, whose name I cannot remember, certainly a great wordsmith in his own right).

I am now determind (when I get the chance) to look up more works by Baudelaire, which I assume I can find. Although my patience with poetry is not especially robust. Also, Ernest Himingway himself recommends Valéry (I assume he meant Paul Valéry), and I also want to look him up, too.

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