Charles Baudelaire's The Duel

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The Duel One of Charles Baudelaire’s best work if not the best is “The Flowers of Evil,” but within lies a small but famous poem known as “Duellum” or “the Duel”, in which he describes his experience with his lover watching a bloody spar take place and likening it to the relationship he himself has with said lover, even phrasing certain connotations implying the sexual aspect of it, though quite subtly. Due to the poem’s fame there came many translation, or attempts to translate, this masterpiece to different languages, yet few ever came close to capturing its true meaning and emotions. In the five examples presented by five different writers; William Aggeler, Roy Campbell, Jacques LeClercq, Anthony Hecht, and Keith Waldrop, it is clear the…show more content…
Yet for the other writers In comparison, their ending lines such as “never ends” and “without end,” seem to cut off the last lines rather abruptly for this type of emotional poem and for their middle stanzas that are quite emotional it does not fit. (Campbell line 14; Hecht line 14) The message derived from these lines simply does not provide an adequate ending. Aggeler’s ending, however, continues the heroic filled tale appropriately and there lies the problem. The heroism Aggeler’s translation displays the same characteristics as an average knightly tale “immortalized” by the love that treads “thronged” through the dark “abyss”, and it is true that love can be indeed heroic and bold, but to raise it to this higher of a level forms a copy out of this text that now belongs with the other romantic over-the-top novels and stories that LeClercq is trying to avoid. (Aggeler line 12, 14) it is Because of LeClercq’s dedication, orderly fashion of the wording and intelligent arrangement that the ending stanza is both far more professional and objective than his fellow

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