Books: Cultivated Hysteria

INTIMATE JOURNALS OF CHARLES BAUDELAIRE (128 pp.)—Translafed by Christopher Isherwood, introduction by W.H. Auden—Marcel Rodd ($3).

Something of Baudelaire is in every present-day neurotic whose longing for escape leads to lost weekends and the psychiatric ward. Baudelaire's own lost weekend lasted more than 20 years, but instead of cracking up, he never gave way finally to despair. In fact, he became its almost contemptuous familiar. The random reflections of his Intimate Journals reveal more than the great lyric poet of Fleurs du Mal (1857); they show the nature of the man who somehow dodged the inexorable shooting-down of the fugitive. The Intimate...

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