"I went to the French lycee in Los Angelos, and, like every high school student in the French school system, I studied the work of 19th-century poet Charles Baudelaire. At 15, the height of brooding and dark self-discovery, I recited his poems by heart and thrilled to the exotic language, filled with taboo ideas and strange metaphors involving death and decay. It's a must-read for any depressed adolescent."Wow. Personally, I hit the adolescent nadir all through the ages of 15-17 and only came to be a little (very) more sunny when I got to college. I did my duty and read my Poe constantly when I was a teenager. I memorized several of his poems, and I can still recite "The Raven" if I've had enough to drink. A friend of mine tells me that she knows someone who had her life saved by Poe, by realizing that "there was at least one more fucked up person out there" and that her dark thoughts did not necessarily kick her out of the herd of the rest of us. But I still don't think I'd actually recommend this stuff to depressed teenagers. Look what reading too much Poe did to me: I'm a philosophy student. The sad little dudes should read their Whitman. Uncle Walt can save the day. Or if they really want to read the French, they should read Rimbaud between math and lunch. Totally. Though for you grown-ups, you should read Baudelaire's Paris Spleen. That's yummy stuff.
August 25, 2005
Let them eat evil!
Nevermind how I know. Nevermind where I found The Oprah Magazine that has it. Nevermind etc. Let's just say that I little bird told me that Jodie Foster contributed a list of six books she wants everyone to know she likes to the "Bookshelf" section of Oprah's ad-fest of a publication. The first on the list is The Flowers of Evil, by my personal favorite French poet of the macabre, Charles Baudelaire. You know, I'm just gonna quote this, because I won't get it right otherwise: