Romantic Prose Fiction (Comparative History of Literatures in Europlanpoe

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His body of work includes a novella, influential translations of the American writer Edgar Allan Poe, highly perceptive criticism of contemporary art, provocative journal entries, and critical essays on a variety of subjects. Baudelaire's work has had a tremendous influence on modernism, and his relatively slim production of poetry in particular has had a significant impact on later poets. More than a talent of nineteenth-century France, Baudelaire is one of the major figures in the literary history of the world. The extent of the influence of Baudelaire's family background on his life and work has been the subject of some interest to critics.

Drama in the age of Romanticism

In his life-story there are classic ingredients for neurosis, and his adult life was shaped by a triangle of family relations that some believe explains his complicated psyche. He went to Paris on a scholarship and in the course of a long career there became a priest; worked as a tutor for the children of Count Antoine de Choiseul-Praslin, even composing a manual to teach Latin; resigned his priesthood during the Reign of Terror; married Rosalie Janin, a painter, and had a son, Alphonse Baudelaire ; earned a living as a painter; and from the age of thirty-eight until retirement worked his way up the ranks of the civil service.

It is not known whether or not the difference in his parents' ages affected their son, but Baudelaire was just six when his father died, so he had no opportunity to know his father well. Aupick ? His father was an Irishman who died in the military service in France; his mother, who might or might not have been his father's legal wife, died shortly afterward. The young Aupick made his way successfully in the military: with no real family advantages, he was a general by the end of his life, and he had served as the head of the Ecole Polytechnique Polytechnic School in Paris, as ambassador to Constantinople as well as to Spain, and as a senator.

Caroline Dufayis Baudelaire met Aupick at the beginning of , a year into her widowhood, and they were married rather precipitously on 8 November , probably because of the stillborn child born a month later.

Aupick was transferred to Lyon in December , and in January he was transferred back to Paris, where he stayed until , when he was sent as a diplomat to Constantinople. It is understandable that Baudelaire might be jealous of his mother's new husband, as he was deeply attached to his mother both materially and emotionally. Their close relationship was of enduring significance, for during the course of his life he borrowed from his mother an estimated total of 20, francs and much of what is known of his later life comes from his extended correspondence with her.

Although quite possibly Baudelaire's attachment to his mother did lead to his resentment and dislike of his stepfather, it is interesting to note that he did not manifest resentment early on.

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As a schoolboy in Lyons from to Baudelaire's letters to his parents were mostly affectionate and he referred to Aupick as his father. Easy relations within the family persisted through Baudelaire's high-school years at Louis-le-Grand in Paris, where Colonel Aupick had been transferred. Far from being "maudit" cursed in the tradition of his later legend, Baudelaire was actually a prize student of whom both parents were proud.

Even when he was expelled from Louis-le-Grand in for refusing to give up a note passed him by a classmate, stepfather and stepson appeared to be on good terms. Baudelaire began referring to his stepfather as "the General" Aupick had been promoted in in , around the time his family contrived to send the young man on a voyage to the Indian Ocean. To save Baudelaire from his debts, a family council was called in which it was decided to send him on a long voyage in June of , paid for from his future inheritance the parents later agreed to pay for it themselves as a gesture of goodwill.

Baudelaire did not want to go, and in fact he jumped ship at the Ile Bourbon, returning to Paris in February of If the stiff forms of address in his letters of this time are any indication, Baudelaire resented his family's intervention in his way of life and held his stepfather responsible for it. Familial censure only became more institutionalized. By June of Baudelaire had spent nearly half of the capital of the 99, francs he had inherited two years before. Relations among family members soured.

Baudelaire could no longer bear to be around "the General" and there were long periods of time when Mme Aupick was not permitted to see her son. For the next fifteen years Baudelaire's letters to his mother are laced with reproach, affection, and requests for money, and it was only after her husband's death—in , the year of the publication of Les Fleurs du mal The Flowers of Evil —that relations between mother and son began to improve. Financial constraint, alienation, and complex emotions defined Baudelaire's life, and it is against this backdrop of complicated family relations that some of the best poetry in the French language was written.

Baudelaire began making literary connections as soon as he passed the bac, at the same time that he was amassing debts. None of these people became major poets, but they were involved in Baudelaire's first ventures with poetry. Prarond claims to have heard Baudelaire recite as early as some of the poems that were later published in Les Fleurs du mal. Baudelaire considered participating in a collective publication with Levavasseur, Prarond, and another person named Dozon.

He withdrew his contribution, however, because Levavasseur wanted to correct the "idiosyncrasies" in his work. Baudelaire was never without literary acquaintances. As his rejection of Levavasseur's corrections suggested, though, Baudelaire—like the speakers in his poetry—was always an individual within the crowd. Baudelaire's first publications of poetry were probably disguised, for reasons known only to himself.

The poem is not a prodigious showing for someone who was already establishing a reputation for himself in Parisian circles as a poet, and Baudelaire's next official publication of verse did not take place until a full six years later, in Although the statement was not technically accurate in , it illustrates a facet of Baudelaire's reputation.

Even though he had no record of solid achievements, Baudelaire, with his compelling personality, had the ability to impress others, and he was already deliberately cultivating his image with eccentric stories designed to shock and test his acquaintances. For example, he liked to recite to friends his poem "Nightmare," which features a man who witnesses the rape of his mistress by an entire army. Early in his career Baudelaire's reputation was more solidly based on his nonpoetic publications. In he published his only novella, La Fanfarlo , an autobiographically based work that features a tortured hero named Samuel Cramer.

Baudelaire also wrote two of the Salons that contribute to his reputation as a discerning, sometimes prophetic, and often amusing critic. Although Salon de went unnoticed by critics, the next year his Salon de made a good impression on a small circle. Although he does not develop an aesthetic theory in Salon de , Baudelaire does launch his idea that heroism can exist in life's ordinary details.

The essay notably displays a particularly charming feature of Baudelaire's critical writing: the sharp and colorful illustration of points. Heine, sounds comical as it blows through bells; and where nature and man cannot look at each other without laughing. Baudelaire, though, also articulates principles that later took him beyond romanticism to a more radical view of art.

Modern life as inspiration for art is an idea that Baudelaire develops in "Le Peintre de la vie moderne" with reference to the artist Constantin Guys. As Baudelaire observes in , Delacroix works in the grand tradition, and a new tradition has not yet come into being.

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Despite several halfhearted attempts to indulge his parents' desire for his settled employment, throughout the s Baudelaire was committed to his vocation as a poet, and as an artist he did his best to absorb the "spectacle" of Parisian life by living the life of a bohemian and a dandy. After the naming of the conseil judiciaire he affirmed a new identity by changing his name to Baudelaire-Dufayis, adding his mother's maiden name to his father's family name this gesture lasted until the Revolution of He was particular about his dress, and virtually every contemporary description of him describes his changing hairstyles, from flowing locks to a shaved head to short, clipped hair.

Early in the decade he took up with Jeanne Duval, the mulatto mistress with whom he had a long and complicated affair; in the late s he met Marie Daubrun, the second inspiration for the three love cycles of his poetry. He had already had a bout with gonorrhea by this time and had picked up syphilis, the disease that was probably the cause of his death. Baudelaire attempted suicide once, on 30 June He cultivated an interest in art and painting, which fueled his continued accumulation of debts—he was a generally unlucky but enthusiastic collector.

He began a pattern of moving from hotel to hotel to escape creditors and was well acquainted with the seamy side of Paris, a familiarity that is evident in his poems. The year marked the beginning of a strange period in Baudelaire's life, one that does not quite fit with his life as a dandy, and which he himself later labeled "Mon ivresse de " My frenzy in in his Journaux intimes Intimate Journals, Baudelaire—the product of a bourgeois household, the elitist poet of refined and elegant dress, the man who in the s embraced Count Joseph de Maistre, an ultra-royalist aristocrat, and who had already expressed admiration for the aristocratic views of Edgar Allan Poe—participated in the French Revolution of that lead to the overthrow of the constitutional monarchy.

As Richard Burton documents extensively in Baudelaire and the Second Republic: Writing and Revolution , Baudelaire did have strong revolutionary sympathies during this period.

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His dedication of Salon de to the "bourgeois" may well have been intended as ironic. Baudelaire wrote a positive and approving preface for Pierre Dupont's Chant des ouvriers Song of the Workers, , which praises the working man. He sought out Pierre-Joseph Prudhon, one of the great writers and thinkers of the revolution.

With Champfleury, a journalist, novelist, and theoretician of the realist movement, he started a short-lived revolutionary newspaper after the provisional government was established. Although a school of criticism has grown up in which Baudelaire is labeled a revolutionary, it would be a mistake to reduce the life and thought of this complex man to political dogma.

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Baudelaire was undeniably fervent, but this fervor must be seen in the spirit of the times: the nineteenth-century romantic leaned toward social justice because of the ideal of universal harmony but was not driven by the same impulse that fires the Marxist egalitarian. It is also possible, given Baudelaire's relationship with his stepfather and his famous cry on the barricades, that at least part of his zeal was motivated by personal feelings. Furthermore, even during this heady period Baudelaire never lost his critical acumen and spirit of contradiction.

He rose repeatedly during speeches for the May 4 elections to interrupt idealistic speakers with pointed, embarrassing questions. A desire for vengeance. A natural pleasure in destruction. To the extent that he considered politics in his later years, his outlook was anti-egalitarian and anti-activist—reminiscent of the aristrocratic conservatism represented by Poe and de Maistre, in other words: "There is no form of rational and assured government save an aristocracy.

A monarchy or a republic based upon democracy are equally absurd and feeble. In and Baudelaire's first translations of Poe's writings were published in Le Pays. A meticulous translator, Baudelaire was known to hunt down English-speaking sailors for maritime vocabulary. Also in the Revue des deux mondes published eighteen poems with the title of Les Fleurs du mal.

In June of the first edition of Les Fleurs du mal was published by the fine letter press of Auguste Poulet-Malassis. A tyrannical author, Baudelaire took rooms near the offices of his publishers so that he could better supervise the placement of every comma.

Thirteen poems were singled out and put on trial. In contrast with the last time he went to court, when he acquiesced to the imposition of a conseil judiciaire , Baudelaire fought this battle to the last.

Comparative Literature

The proceeding betrays some of the misunderstandings that have infected views of his poetry ever since. The third muse for the trilogy of love cycles in Les Fleurs du mal , "Apollonie" as she was also known was without great political influence, and her dubious social standing probably did not lend credibility to Baudelaire's claims for morality. Baudelaire's lawyer unwisely emphasized the last point, which was easily dismissed: that others have gotten away with transgression does not justify one's own. Six of the poems were condemned—the ban on them was not lifted until after World War II, on 31 May —and both Baudelaire and his editors were fined.

Though the trial was an ordeal and certainly did not help improve the poet's relations with his mother General Aupick was dead by this time , the trial was not ultimately detrimental to Baudelaire.

Romantic Prose Fiction (Comparative History of Literatures in Europlanpoe Romantic Prose Fiction (Comparative History of Literatures in Europlanpoe
Romantic Prose Fiction (Comparative History of Literatures in Europlanpoe Romantic Prose Fiction (Comparative History of Literatures in Europlanpoe
Romantic Prose Fiction (Comparative History of Literatures in Europlanpoe Romantic Prose Fiction (Comparative History of Literatures in Europlanpoe
Romantic Prose Fiction (Comparative History of Literatures in Europlanpoe Romantic Prose Fiction (Comparative History of Literatures in Europlanpoe
Romantic Prose Fiction (Comparative History of Literatures in Europlanpoe Romantic Prose Fiction (Comparative History of Literatures in Europlanpoe
Romantic Prose Fiction (Comparative History of Literatures in Europlanpoe Romantic Prose Fiction (Comparative History of Literatures in Europlanpoe
Romantic Prose Fiction (Comparative History of Literatures in Europlanpoe Romantic Prose Fiction (Comparative History of Literatures in Europlanpoe

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