Four pages of original holograph notes by Crowley towards a translation of Baudelaire's poem "Le Jet d'eau" ("The Fountain"). Aleister CROWLEY, translates Charles Baudelaire.

Four pages of original holograph notes by Crowley towards a translation of Baudelaire's poem "Le Jet d'eau" ("The Fountain").

ND ( ca. 1915 ). Crowley's rough translation of the poem "Le Jet d'eau," written in manuscript in black ink on the rectos only of four sheets of 10 x 8 inch office-paper with the water-mark "Hammermill Ledger." Crowley had a great affection for the work of the French decadent poet Charles Pierre Baudelaire (1821 – 1867) and made and published numerous translations of his poems, including of course one whole book: Baudelaire's "Little Poems in Prose." These pages represent Crowley's work toward a translation of "Le Jet d'eau", a poem which was originally published in Baudelaire's "Fleurs du Mal." The first two pages seem to be something of a a rough draft, with corrections, observations, notes, etc. It is interesting to see that in working on the poem Crowley was clearly paying attention to the rhythm, not just the words. The second two pages appear to be an (almost) "clean copy" of the translation in the first, although Crowley evidently was ultimately not happy with this, as he has written "No" boldly several times across the stanzas. This may explain why, as far as we can determine, this translation remained unpublished. A note on the first page has "Most chosen from original pencil in my Fleurs du Mal" - suggesting that the basics of the translation were taken from earlier notes he had made in the margins of his personal copy of "Fleurs du Mal." It was one of Crowley's favourite books, that he had owned since his Cambridge days, and now resides in the Yorke collection. Crowley's love of Baudelaire's work was lifelong, and he was translating his work up to the last years of his life. Other more mainstream translators of Baudelaire, including Sir Michael Hamburger who had met Crowley, have declared Crowley's translations to be quite competent. The first page is somewhat toned and has a "rust shadow" from a paper clip at the head, the last two leaves have some minor chipping and creasing at the edges. Still VG + and a rare remembrance of Crowley's delight with the great French poet. Item #68305

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