Baudelaire, Charles

   A poet and critic, Charles Baudelaire, who was to become a leader of the symbolist school of literature, was born in Paris and educated at the Collège Louis-le-Grand. His childhood and adolescence were unhappy, as his father died when he was six, and he resented his mother's marriage to his stepfather, whom he disliked. Even then, as he later wrote, he felt that he was "destined to be always alone." Scandalized by the bohemian life that he adopted in his youth, his family sent him on a sea voyage to India. He soon returned to Paris, however, determined to devote himself to writing. To support himself, he began to write critical journalism. He also continued a life of dandyism and exploration of the demimonde and the use of stimulants and drugs. Much of his writing expresses his desire to escape from the bonds of life, age, and death. Baudelaire's first important publications were two booklets of art criticism, Les Salons (1845-46), dealing with the work of such contemporaries as eugène delacroix and honoré daumier.
   Baudelaire then achieved literary acclaim with his translations of the works of Edgar Allan Poe, with whom he felt a strong affinity. Baudelaire's major work, a volume of poetry entitled Les Fleurs du mal, appeared in 1857. Immediately after its publication, the government prosecuted him on charges of offending public morals. Although the elite of French literature came to his support, he was fined, and six poems were removed from later editions. His next work, Les Paradis artificiels (1860), a self-analytic book, was inspired by Thomas De Quincey's Confessions of an English Opium-Eater. Baudelaire was also inspired by Richard Wagner (L'Art romantique, 1868) and other artists with whom he identified. Baudelaire possessed great skill for choosing perfectly appropriate phrases, and his gift for language has produced some of the finest verse in the French language. His originality, too, set him apart from the dominant literary schools of his time. His poetry has been praised as a final brilliant summation of romanticism and as a precursor of symbolism. His work deals with the eternal conflict between the ideal and the sensual and depicts all human experiences, from the most sublime to the most sordid. Among Baudelaire's other writings are a collection of prose poems, Petits Poëmes en prose (or Le Spleen de Paris) and his intimate journals, Fusées and Mon Coeur mis a nu, all published posthumously in 1869. Like joris-karl huysmans, Baudelaire is a leading exponent of decadence, a literary style designed to shock, that cultivates artifice and the abnormal and seeks inspiration in aestheticism.

France. A reference guide from Renaissance to the Present . 1884.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Baudelaire, Charles — ▪ French author Introduction in full  Charles Pierre Baudelaire   born April 9, 1821, Paris, France died August 31, 1867, Paris  French poet, translator, and literary and art critic whose reputation rests primarily on Les Fleurs du mal (1857; The …   Universalium

  • Baudelaire, Charles — ► (1821 67) Poeta francés. Frecuentó los medios bohemios y artísticos de la época. En 1845 publicó el Salón de 1845 y, en 1846 Salón de 1846, reportajes sobre las exposiciones artísticas de esos años, en los que defendió a Delacroix. En 1841… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • BAUDELAIRE, CHARLES —    French poet of the romantic school, born in Paris; distinguished among his contemporaries for his originality, and his influence on others of his class; was a charming writer of prose as well as verse, as his Petits Poèmes in prose bear… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Baudelaire, Charles (-Pierre) — (9 abr. 1821, París, Francia–31 ago. 1867, París). Poeta francés. Mientras estudiaba leyes en la universidad, Baudelaire se hizo adicto al opio y al hachís, y contrajo sífilis. Sus gastos exorbitantes en ropa y muebles de la más fina calidad lo… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Baudelaire, Charles (-Pierre) — born April 9, 1821, Paris, France died Aug. 31, 1867, Paris French poet. While a law student he became addicted to opium and hashish and contracted syphilis. His early reckless spending on fine clothes and furnishings led to a life dogged by debt …   Universalium

  • Baudelaire,Charles Pierre — Baude·laire (bōd lârʹ), Charles Pierre. 1821 1867. French writer, translator, and critic. His only volume of poetry, Les Fleurs du Mal (1857, expanded 1861), was publicly condemned as obscene but exerted an enormous influence over later symbolist …   Universalium

  • Baudelaire, Charles (Pierre) —  (1821–1867) French poet …   Bryson’s dictionary for writers and editors

  • Baudelaire — Baudelaire, Charles …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Charles Baudelaire — Baudelaire redirects here. For other uses, see Baudelaire (disambiguation). Charles Pierre Baudelaire Charles Baudelaire ca. 1863 Born April 9, 1821 Paris, France Died August 31, 1867 …   Wikipedia

  • Baudelaire — Charles Baudelaire « Baudelaire » redirige ici. Pour les autres significations, voir Baudelaire (homonymie). Charles Baudelaire …   Wikipédia en Français

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.