Archive for February 15th, 2008

A frenzied passion for art is a canker that devours everything else.

February 15, 2008

Charles Baudelaire

charles_baudelaire2.jpgOne of the greatest French poets of the 19th century, called ‘the father of modern criticism,’ who shocked his contemporaries with his visions of lust and decay. Baudelaire formed with Stéphane Mallarmé and Paul Verlaine the so-called Decadents. Baudelaire was the first to equate modern, artificial, and decadent. In LE PEINTRE DE LA VIE MODERNE (1863, The Painter of Modern Life) Baudelaire argued in favor of artificiality, stating that vice is natural in that it is selfish, while virtue is artificial because we must restrain our natural impulses in order to be good. The snobbish aesthete, the dandy, was for Baudelaire the ultimate hero and the best proof of an absolutely purposeless existence. He is a gentleman who never becomes vulgar and always preserves the cool smile of the stoic.
http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/baudelai.htm