"Do you know why, with such infinite patience, I translated Poe? It was because he was like me! The first time I ever opened a book by him I discovered, with rapture and awe, not only subjects which I had dreamt, but whole phrases which I'd conceived, written by him twenty years before.” - Baudelaire, writing to Edouard Manet
“Edgar Poe, who isn’t much in America, must become a great man in France - at least that is what I want.” -Baudelaire
FIRST EDITION IN ORIGINAL WRAPPERS of Baudelaire's translation of Poe's only novel, the first appearance in French. Baudelaire's translations of Poe were enormously influential in establishing Poe's international reputation. A beautiful copy.
Baudelaire’s “translations of Poe’s fiction, published over a period of sixteen years between 1848 (when Poe was still alive) and 1864, comprise five of the twelve volumes in the standard edition of Baudelaire's works. In addition to sacrificing his own creative work in order to translate Poe, Baudelaire published three essays about him in the 1850s… John Weightman has noted that 'no other major figure has ever been known to perform such a sustained act of piety towards a fellow author.' Baudelaire's translations are still considered among the best in any language" (Meyers, Edgar Allan Poe: His Life and Legacy).
On Arthur Gordon Pym and Baudelaire's influence:
"Most developments in Poe and Pym criticism in America have been pioneered in France. This pattern has been remarkably consistent for over a century and a half. Charles Baudelaire's enthusiasm for Poe never produced the cult here [in the USA]… that it produced there as a permanent establishment, where Poe has been recognized as a founder, through Baudelaire's own mediate, of modern French symbolist poetics, both by his theory and his original genius" (Harvey, The Critical History of Edgar Allan Poe's The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym).
Paris: Michel Levy Freres, 1858. Octavo, original green printed wrappers. A few spots of soiling to wrappers. An outstanding copy, very rare in such good condition in the original wrappers.
Price: $1,800 .