Sunday, May 12, 2013

Giveaway: Black Venus by James MacManus

Happy Mother's Day to all the Moms out there. Today I have a wonderful giveaway for our US/CAN followers thanks to Media Muscle and Book Trib. Check out this historical fiction and be sure to enter to win a copy! 

Black Venus
by James MacManus
Publisher: Macmillan
Publication date: May 7, 2013
Genre: Adult Historical Fiction 
Purchase*: Barnes and Noble/Amazon/Book Depository
*purchases through links support this blog


 A vivid novel of Charles Baudelaire and his lover Jeanne Duval, the Haitian cabaret singer who inspired his most famous and controversial poems, set in nineteenth-century Paris. For readers who have been drawn to The Paris Wife, Black Venus captures the artistic scene in the great French city decades earlier, when the likes of Dumas and Balzac argued literature in the cafes of the Left Bank. Among the bohemians, the young Charles Baudelaire stood out—dressed impeccably thanks to an inheritance that was quickly vanishing. Still at work on the poems that he hoped would make his name, he spent his nights enjoying the alcohol, opium, and women who filled the seedy streets of the city. One woman would catch his eye—a beautiful Haitian cabaret singer named Jeanne Duval. Their lives would remain forever intertwined thereafter, and their romance would inspire his most infamous poems—leading to the banning of his masterwork, Les Fleurs du Mal, and a scandalous public trial for obscenity.  James MacManus's Black Venus re-creates the classic Parisian literary world in vivid detail, complete with not just an affecting portrait of the famous poet but also his often misunderstood, much-maligned muse.
Since this book is a fiction novel based upon the french poet Charles Baudelaire we thought it might be fun to share a poems from his masterwork which was banned in Black Venus; Les Fleurs du mal 
Les Fleurs du mal
Les Fleurs du mal translates to The Flowers of Evil and was written by the french poet Charles Baudelaire and first published in 1857. Here is a poem contained within its pages:


L'Invitation au voyage
Mon enfant, ma soeur,
Songe à la douceur
D'aller là-bas vivre ensemble!
Aimer à loisir,
Aimer et mourir
Au pays qui te ressemble!
Les soleils mouillés
De ces ciels brouillés
Pour mon esprit ont les charmes
Si mystérieux
De tes traîtres yeux,
Brillant à travers leurs larmes.
Là, tout n'est qu'ordre et beauté,
Luxe, calme, et volupté.
Des meubles luisantes,
Polis par les ans,
Décoreraient notre chambre:
Les plus rare fleurs
Mêlant leurs odeurs
Aux vagues senteurs de l'ambre,
Les riches plafonds,
Les miroirs profonds,
La splendeur orientale,
Tout y parlerait
A l'âme en secret
Sa douce langue natale.
Là, tout n'est qu'ordre et beauté,
Luxe, calme et volupté.
Vois sur ces canaux
Dormir ces vaisseaux
Dont l'humeur est vagabonde;
C'est pour assouvir
Ton moindre désir
Qu'ils viennent du bout du monde.
—Les soleils couchants
Revêtent les champs,
Les canaux, la ville entière,
D'hyacinthe et d'or;
Le monde s'endort
Dans une chaude lumière.
Là, tout n'est qu'ordre et beauté,
Luxe, calme, et volupté.

Invitation to the Voyage
Imagine, ma petite,
Dear sister mine, how sweet
Were we to go and take our pleasure
Leisurely, you and I—
To lie, to love, to die
Off in that land made to your measure!
A land whose suns' moist rays,
Through the skies' misty haze,
Hold quite the same dark charms for me
As do your scheming eyes
When they, in their like wise,
Shine through your tears, perfidiously.
There all is order, naught amiss:
Comfort and beauty, calm and bliss.
Treasure galore—ornate,
Time-glossed—would decorate
Our chamber, where the rarest blooms
Would blend their lavish scent,
Heady and opulent,
With wisps of amber-like perfumes;
Where all the Orient's
Splendid, rich ornaments—
Deep mirrors, ceilings fine—would each,
In confidential tone,
Speak to the soul alone
In its own sweet and secret speech.
There all is order, naught amiss:
Comfort and beauty, calm and bliss.
See how the ships, asleep—
They who would ply the deep!—
Line the canals: to satisfy
Your merest whim they come
From far-flung heathendom
And skim the seven seas. —On high,
The sunset's rays enfold
In hyacinth and gold,
Field and canal; and, with the night,
As shadows gently fall,
Behold! Life sleeps, and all
Lies bathed in warmth and evening light.
There all is order, naught amiss:
Comfort and beauty, calm and bliss.

Selected Poem from Les Fleurs du mal A Bilingual Edition Charles Baudelaire
Translated by Norman R. Shapiro with engravings by David Schorr
Published by the University of Chicago Press  Copyright notice 

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24 Comments:

At July 17, 2013 at 10:03 PM , Anonymous Debbie Haupt said...

I hope you had a fabulous Mom's day Kim!!!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 10:08 PM , Anonymous Danielle Chapman said...

Thanks for spotlighting and giving away this book! :)

 
At July 17, 2013 at 10:09 PM , Anonymous Diamond Nazaneen said...

Ohhh man! This looks really.freaking.good! Ahhhh I want to read this so badly!! Thanks girl for the amazing giveaway :) hope you're well

 
At July 17, 2013 at 10:09 PM , Anonymous Diamond Nazaneen said...

Lol ;p

 
At July 17, 2013 at 10:30 PM , Anonymous Erin F said...

This sounds fantastic! Thanks for sharing :) I love Historical fiction b/c you really feel like you're there, right in the middle of real events.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 10:49 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

Thanks Diamond, good luck to you, it does sound pretty dang amazing!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 10:50 PM , Anonymous Jennifer Bielman said...

I really like historical fiction because you get a good story with (sometimes) accurate history portrayals or facts.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 10:50 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

I agree, it brings the past to life :)

 
At July 17, 2013 at 10:50 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

You are welcome, good luck!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 10:50 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

I do too, good luck!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 10:51 PM , Anonymous Rose M. said...

I just enjoy reading about another time. Thanks for having the giveaway.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 10:51 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

So do I Rose, you can go anywhere from the comfort of your favorite reading spot, good luck!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 10:51 PM , Anonymous Lauren said...

This sounds interesting! I studied French in college and loved translating exercises with Baudelaire's poetry. So gorgeous!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 10:51 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

Agreed, thank you Lauren!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 10:51 PM , Anonymous Liberty Ann Ireland said...

I speak French but obviously in the US it is a bit hard to come by easily so I was thrilled to see Beaudelaire's peotry in French! Now I am interested in the book! Very clever posting! ;) Thanks Kimba!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 10:51 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

thank you, I didn't have an excerpt and came up with this idea!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 10:51 PM , Anonymous Candace's Book Blog said...

I have a copy of this one for review. I hope to get to it soon!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 10:52 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

Ha..we cover whores need to be careful, this sounds really good!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 10:52 PM , Anonymous kindlemom1 said...

So sorry! Some how I completely missed this post yesterday!
Thanks for the giveaway, I love the cover on this! I hope you had a nice weekend and Mother's Day!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 10:52 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

You are too cute, and this posted late afternoon..good luck!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 10:52 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

Thanks Deb and same to you!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 10:52 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

I agree Erin, good luck to you!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 10:52 PM , Anonymous Trish Hannon said...

I have to read this! It's totally my kind of book Paris, scandal and poetry, yum! It's gone straight on to my wish list. Wish I could enter!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 10:52 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

aww, i am so sorry..i wish I could afford to ship overseas.

 

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