Charles Baudelaire Quotes

All forms of beauty, like all possible phenomena, contain an element of the eternal and an element of the transitory—of the absolute and of the particular. Absolute and eternal beauty does not exist, or rather it is only an abstraction creamed from the general surface of different beauties. The particular element in each manifestation comes from the emotions: and just as we have our own particular emotions, so we have our own beauty.
Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), French poet. repr. In The Mirror of Art, ed. Jonathan Mayne (1955). "Salon of 1846," sct. 18, Curiosités Esthétiques (1868).
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You are the majority—in number and intelligence; therefore you are the force—which is justice. Some are scholars, others are owners; a glorious day will come when the scholars will be owners and the owners scholars. Then your power will be complete, and no man will protest against it.
Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), French poet. repr. In The Mirror of Art, ed. Jonathan Mayne (1955). "Salon of 1846: To the Bourgeois," Curiosités Esthétiques (1868).
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The whole visible universe is but a storehouse of images and signs to which the imagination will give a relative place and value; it is a sort of pasture which the imagination must digest and transform.
Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), French poet. repr. In The Mirror of Art, ed. Jonathan Mayne (1955). "Salon of 1859," sct. 3, Curiosités Esthétiques (1868).
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Common sense tells us that the things of the earth exist only a little, and that true reality is only in dreams.
Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), French poet, critic. Artificial Paradise, dedication (1860).
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Poetry and progress are like two ambitious men who hate one another with an instinctive hatred, and when they meet upon the same road, one of them has to give place.
Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), French poet. repr. In The Mirror of Art, ed. Jonathan Mayne (1955). "Salon of 1859," sect. 2, Curiosités Esthétiques (1868).
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Any man who does not accept the conditions of life sells his soul.
Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), French poet, critic. Artificial Paradise, The Poem of Haschish, V. Moral (1860).
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If photography is allowed to stand in for art in some of its functions it will soon supplant or corrupt it completely thanks to the natural support it will find in the stupidity of the multitude. It must return to its real task, which is to be the servant of the sciences and the arts, but the very humble servant, like printing and shorthand which have neither created nor supplanted literature.
Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), French poet. repr. In The Mirror of Art, ed. Jonathan Mayne (1955). "Salon of 1859," sect. 2, Curiosités Esthétiques (1868).
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However incoherent a human existence may be, human unity is not bothered by it.
Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), French poet, critic. Artificial Paradise, An Opium-eater, VIII. Visions of Oxford (1860).
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I consider it useless and tedious to represent what exists, because nothing that exists satisfies me. Nature is ugly, and I prefer the monsters of my fancy to what is positively trivial.
Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), French poet. repr. In The Mirror of Art, ed. Jonathan Mayne (1955). "Salon of 1859," sct. 3, Curiosités Esthétiques (1868).
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The vices of man, as full of horror as one might suppose them to be, contain the proof (if in nothing else but their infinitely expandable nature) of his taste for the infinite; only, it is a taste that often takes a wrong turn.
Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), French poet, critic. Artificial Paradise, The Poem of Haschish, I. The Taste for Infinity (1860).
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