A False Translation of Baudelaire, “Les Fenêtres”

A window                                         open
but what we see

by candlelight (delights?)   what can we see derrière une vitre            deep in that dark luminous hole (trou noir ou lumineux.)                   [We have to assume here that window = l’hymen].

This is where we find life.                          [Which sounds horribly awkward in English.]

                                       Better to rewrite Baudelaire:
                                       The body only exists in the dark.

This is a problem of illumination.
                          The body illuminated/illuminates desire. [We can’t escape this.]

[The poem is a sound test] [A deconstruction of the idea of sight as that which allows us to map the boundaries of the other.] And all that leaks through.

                          You can almost hear the sexual machinery humming.

[Clearly, what he is really asking is, How does language create the body. Or is the body a creation of language.]

Across the waves of roofs                 a woman

Out of her face (avec son visage, [ ] avec presque rien) out of almost nothing
I create her.               She is there.  Or [he asks] does she only exist within him.

Maybe a woman is always a half-finished sentence.

I could go on, but I think at this point it’s easier to say that what Baudelaire really wants is to swallow her whole.

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