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Specializing in Rare and Antiquarian Books on the Occult and more.

Sale Items

BAUDELAIRE, CHARLES. Little Poems in Prose (Translated by Aleister Crowley)

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sale

BAUDELAIRE, CHARLES. Little Poems in Prose (Translated by Aleister Crowley)

300.00 495.00

Paris: Edward W. Titus / Black Manikan (1928). 

First Edition. Hardcover. Small octavo. Limited to 800 copies for sale in France, England and America. This is copy #23. Felt spine over thick grey cloth-covered boards. Felt title label to upper front panel. Top edge gilt. Other edges untrimmed. Quota slip tipped in indicating this copy was apportioned to be sold in the U.S. “Misprint” page tipped-on after limitation page towards end of volume. 148 pages plus “misprint” page and Black Manikin catalog at end of volume. Illustrated with 12 copperplate engravings from the original drawings by Jean de Bosschere.

Some rubbing to felt spine making title unreadable, some browning to edges of cloth, light foxing to preliminaries. The 4 pages of the Black Manikin catalog at end of volume remain unopened along the top edge. Corners remain pretty sharp and binding is strong and firm. A very good copy of this elusive volume. 

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A wonderful collection of fifty prose poems by Baudelaire. Also included is a short Epilogue, Notes, and additional versions of the epilogue by Ralph Cheever Dunning, Pierre Loving, and E. W. T. (Edward W. Titus). Crowley intended to have this book published in 1913 by Wieland & Co. but it was never issued. Two sets of page proofs in wraps are said to survive. Crowley eventually sent the sheets to Titus for publication, making this the first published edition.  

Crowley says of Baudelaire in the preface: “Charles Baudelaire is incomparably the most divine, the most spiritually-minded, of all French thinkers. His hunger for the Infinite was so acute and so persistent that nothing earthly could content him even for a moment. He even made the mistake—if it be, after all, such a mistake!—of feeding on poison because he recognized the banality of food; of experimenting with death because he had tried life, and found it fail him. The thought of Baudelaire has thus been universally recognized as highly unsuitable for the suburbs, as incompatible with any view of life which advocates spiritual complacency, mental and physical contentment. His writings are indeed the deadliest poison for the idle, the optimistic, the overfed: they must fill every really human spirit with that intense and insufferable yearning which drives it forth into the wilderness, whence it can only return charioted by the horses of Apollo and the lions of Demeter, or where it must for ever wander tortured and cast out, uttering ever the hyaena cry of madness, and making its rare meal upon the carrion of the damned.”