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The Fée Verte Absinthe Forum - The Oldest, Largest, Most Authoritative Absinthe Forum. > The Monkey Hole > Arts & Philosphical Sundries
zachM
I just got a copy of paris spleen in today. I havent read it since high school detention. I have such fond memorys of detention. They gave me detention and let me read all the books I wanted. I was pleased to be able to get away from idiots and then read any book I liked. Well any have comments on the book?
Donnie Darko
I love his prose. Les Yeux Des Pauvres is one of my favourites. The Cure have a song called "How Beautiful You Are" which is basically that story to music.

I thoroughly enjoyed detention too. I learned more there than in most classrooms.
zachM
I have a question about something in the book. It is under "Cake" in the last sentence of the first paragraph. Particular segement follows "a small bottle of a certain elixir which chemists at that time sold to tourists to be mixed, on occasion, with snow." What is this elixir? I figured this could be clarified by consulting the original text in french but I dont feel like it at the moment. Perhaps some of you know this substance by this discription.
zachM
I posted this in another thread with no response so I decided to put it here so someone might actually read it. I have a question about something in the book Paris Spleen. It is under "Cake" in the last sentence of the first paragraph. Particular segement follows "a small bottle of a certain elixir which chemists at that time sold to tourists to be mixed, on occasion, with snow." What is this elixir? I figured this could be clarified by consulting the original text in french but I dont feel like it at the moment. Perhaps some of you know this substance by this discription. I have heard of soldiers puting absinthe in snow but never this discription so what might it be. Or is it absinthe?
Head_prosthesis
I don't know the answer
but I pinned it and stuff
cause I like to help.
Donnie Darko
QUOTE(zachM @ Jan 20 2006, 02:41 AM) *

What is this elixir? I figured this could be clarified by consulting the original text in french but I dont feel like it at the moment. Perhaps some of you know this substance by this discription. I have heard of soldiers puting absinthe in snow but never this discription so what might it be. Or is it absinthe?


Doesn't sound like absinthe. Baudelaire was into harder things than Absinthe. Small quantities, chemists and tourists also have little to do with Absinthe.

Here's a shot into left field:
I suspect he might have been talking about a 19th century speedball, AKA mixing opiates with stimulants, possibly laudanum with cocaine. Laudanum was an elixir sold in small bottles by chemists, and snow is a common slang term for cocaine, though I don't know if that term (neige in French) was used to describe cocaine at that time.

This all just a guess based on what I know, I haven't done any research.
zachM
QUOTE(Head_prosthesis @ Jan 20 2006, 01:08 AM) *

I don't know the answer
but I pinned it and stuff
cause I like to help.


You are to kind HEad.
traineraz
QUOTE(Donnie Darko @ Jan 20 2006, 08:26 AM) *

Small quantities, chemists and tourists also have little to do with Absinthe.


blink.gif
Hemingway's Hangover
I love "The Rope". And of course "Any Where Out of the World".

I recently stumbled upon an embossed hardbacked prose translation of "Les Fleur du Mal" that was printed in a limited edition by Sylvan Press in 1947. The prose translations are so-so but the illustrations are phenomenal (by Beresford Egan and C. Bower Alcock…whoever they were). The work is vaugely related to Beardsley's but holds its own for decadent imagery and fine line style.
Sleeper
QUOTE(Donnie Darko @ Jan 20 2006, 09:26 AM) *


Here's a shot into left field:
I suspect he might have been talking about a 19th century speedball, AKA mixing opiates with stimulants, possibly laudanum with cocaine. Laudanum was an elixir sold in small bottles by chemists, and snow is a common slang term for cocaine, though I don't know if that term (neige in French) was used to describe cocaine at that time.


That's what I would think. Probably laudanum, which was available OTC at every drugstore. Not sure about the snow though. If I remember correctly Aleister Crowley (who was into coke and heroin) called it snow, but that was in the 1920s.
Conte d'Ugenta
I checked out my Baudelaire's opera omnia (in the italian translation), then to be sure I checked another version in the original french (Baudelaire is my favourite foreign writer, so I have several versions of his books), and I'm pretty sure that the snow is not cocaine, just because in french it says "…avec l'eau de neige." which means "…with snow water". So the elixir is not supposed to be mixed with snow, but with water obtained FROM snow; probably the english version dropped the "snow water" and left only the snow.

So, I think it could really be absinthe, cause absinthe is actually an elixir, and it's supposed to be diluited with water. Plus it refers to tourists, so this could mean that this elixir is something typical of France, and while absinthe was well known as a french product, laudanum was a medicine used in all the civilized world.
Then for what concerns the "chemist", I have to underline that it says "…in that time was sold…" so it refers to the past, and we all know that absinthe in the beginning was considered a medicine.


So, only suppositions, but I'd trust the "absinthe interpretation".
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