Baudelaire Biography

Charles Baudelaire (French: [ʃaʁl bodlɛʁ]; April 9, 1821 – August 31, 1867) was a French poet who also produced notable work as an essayist, art critic, and pioneering translator of Edgar Allan Poe.
 
Baudelaire is one of the major innovators in French literature. His poetry is influenced by the French romantic poets of the earlier 19th century, although its attention to the formal features of verse connect it more closely to the work of the contemporary 'Parnassians'. As for theme and tone, in his works we see the rejection of the belief in the supremacy of nature and the fundamental goodness of man as typically espoused by the romantics and expressed by them in rhetorical, effusive and public voice in favor of a new urban sensibility, an awareness of individual moral complexity, an interest in vice (linked with decadence) and refined sensual and aesthetical pleasures, and the use of urban subject matter, such as the city, the crowd, individual passers-by, all expressed in highly ordered verse, sometimes through a cynical and ironic voice. Formally, the use of sound to create atmosphere, and of 'symbols', (images which take on an expanded function within the poem), betray a move towards considering the poem as a self-referential object, an idea further developed by the Symbolists Verlaine and Mallarmé, who acknowledge Baudelaire as a pioneer in this regard.
Beyond his innovations in versification and the theories of symbolism and 'correspondences', an awareness of which is essential to any appreciation of the literary value of his work, aspects of his work which regularly receive (or have received) much critical discussion include the role of women, the theological direction of his work and his alleged advocacy of 'satanism', his experience of drug-induced states of mind, the figure of the dandy, his stance regarding democracy and its implications for the individual, his response to the spiritual uncertainties of the time, his criticisms of the bourgeois, and his advocacy of modern music and painting (e.g., Wagner, Delacroix)
Anthologies of French verse often dedicate more space to his works than to that of any other 19th-century poet; and, above and beyond any considerations of influence/historic significance, the best of his work is among the finest French poetry[neutrality is disputed].
 
Bibliography
 
Salon de 1845, 1845
Salon de 1846, 1846
La Fanfarlo, 1847
Les Fleurs du mal, 1857
Les paradis artificiels, 1860
Réflexions sur Quelques-uns de mes Contemporains, 1861
Le Peintre de la Vie Moderne, 1863
Curiosités Esthétiques, 1868
L'art romantique, 1868
Le Spleen de Paris (Paris Spleen)/Petits Poèmes en Prose, 1869
Oeuvres Posthumes et Correspondance Générale, 1887–1907
Fusées, 1897
Mon Coeur Mis à Nu, 1897
Oeuvres Complètes, 1922–53 (19 vols.)
Mirror of Art, 1955
The Essence of Laughter, 1956
Curiosités Esthétiques, 1962
The Painter of Modern Life and Other Essays, 1964
Baudelaire as a Literary Critic, 1964
Arts in Paris 1845–1862, 1965
Selected Writings on Art and Artist, 1972
Selected Letters of Charles Baudelaire, 1986
Twenty Prose Poems, 1988
Critique d'art; Critique musicale, 1992

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