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Paris Spleen , a diverse collection of fifty prose poems, is provided here in a clear, engaging, and accurate translation that conveys the lyricism and nuance of the original French text. Also included is a translation of Baudelaire's early novella, La Fanfarlo , which, alongside Paris Spleen, sheds light on the development of Baudelaire's work over time. Raymond N. MacKenzie's introductory essay discusses Baudelaire's life and the literary climate in which he lived and worked. Focusing on the theory of the prose poem, MacKenzie suggests that Baudelaire turned to this form for both aesthetic and ethical reasons, and because the form allowed him to explore more fully the complexities of the modern, urban, human condition. By turns comic, somber, satiric, and self-questioning, Paris Spleen is one of the nineteenth century's richest masterpieces.