He was “the king of poets,” said Rimbaud, “a true God.” T. S. Eliot called him a deformed Dante and said, “I am an English poet of American origin who learnt his art under the aegis of Baudelaire and the Baudelairian lineage of poets.” In this episode, Jacke takes a look at Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), his masterwork Les Fleurs du Mal (Flowers of Evil), and his intense admiration for Edgar Allan Poe.
“Our dear enemies,” a French writer once said of the English. Englishman John Cleese called them “our natural enemies” and joked “if we have to fight anyone, I say let’s fight the French.” With the exception of a few big twentieth-century alliances, the French and the English have been at each others’ throats for a thousand years. Occasionally this has meant taking up arms and fighting for land or religion or rule. But what about culture? What if the battlefield were a literary one? What if supremacy was determined not by the sword but by the pen? In this episode, Jacke and Mike choose their sides and get ready to wage a literary battle between two proud, rivalrous, and highly literate nations.
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