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Reframing DecadenceC. P. Cavafy's Imaginary Portraits$
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Peter Jeffreys

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780801447082

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801447082.001.0001

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Translating Baudelaire

Translating Baudelaire

L’esprit Décadent and the Early Writings

(p.26) 2 Translating Baudelaire
Reframing Decadence

Peter Jeffreys

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines the influence of Charles Baudelaire on C. P. Cavafy's earliest writings, including essays, fictional narratives, and prose poems. It first considers Cavafy's prose compositions—both expository and fictional—that function as an important index of his particular treatment of fin de siècle decadent tropes. It then discusses the impact of Edgar Allan Poe's aesthetic—refracted through Baudelaire—on Cavafy's evolving views on beauty and poetry. It also explains why Cavafy abandoned a career as a journalist critic and translator, turning his attention instead to poetry, and how Jean Moréas affected Cavafy's oeuvre. In addition, the chapter explores the flâneur in Cavafy's prose poems before concluding with a reading of Cavafy's gothic short story “In Broad Daylight”.

Keywords:   poetry, Charles Baudelaire, C. P. Cavafy, essays, prose poems, Edgar Allan Poe, Jean Moréas, flâneur, short story

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