First book of the author published under the pseudonym of the late Joseph Delorme and presented as follows:
"The friend whose works we publish was taken from us at a young age, about five months ago. A few hours before he died, he left us a diary, in which the main circumstances of his life are recorded, and a few pieces of verse, almost all of which are dedicated to the expression of individual pain".
The work, although confidential, had a major influence on the young Baudelaire and on the genesis of the Flowers of Evil. Baudelaire was particularly fond of "Parisian poems" and notably The yellow rays...some parts of which deal with themes that are dear to him:
The lamp burned yellow, and the candles were yellow too;
And the slippery glow on the veiled foreheads of virgins
Yellowing their whiteness;
And the priest in his white stole...
Curved a yellowed forehead, like a leaning spike.
Under the reaper's scythe.
Baudelaire shared his infatuation with Sainte-Beuve in missives that became famous:
"The evening after dinner I read again Joseph Delorme with Malassis. Decidedly you were right, Joseph Delorme is the Flowers of Evil of the day before. The comparison is glorious to me. You'll be kind enough not to find it offensive to you." (March 15, 1865)
"The hope of being able to show, one of these days, a new Joseph Delorme hanging his rhapsodic thought on every accident of his loitering and drawing from every object an unpleasant morality." (January 15, 1866)