Charles Baudelaire Quotes

The old Paris is no more (the form of a city changes faster, alas! than a mortal's heart).
Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), French poet, critic. Flowers of Evil, "The Swan," (1860).
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The pleasure we derive from the representation of the present is due, not only to the beauty it can be clothed in, but also to its essential quality of being the present.
Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), French poet. repr. In Selected Writings on Art and Artists, ed. P.E. Charvet (1972). "The Painter of Modern Life," sect. 1, published in L'Art Romantique (1869).
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Although Samuel had a depraved imagination—perhaps even because of this—love, for him, was less a matter of the senses than of the intellect. It was, above all, admiration and appetite for beauty; he considered reproduction a flaw of love, and pregnancy a form of insanity. He wrote on one occasion: "Angels are hermaphrodite and sterile."
Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), French poet, critic. La Fanfarlo (1847), trans. 1986.
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It is the pleasure of astonishing others, and the proud satisfaction of never being astonished by them.
Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), French poet, critic. The Painter of Modern Life, IX "The Dandy," (1863). On dandyism.
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The dance can reveal everything mysterious that is hidden in music, and it has the additional merit of being human and palpable. Dancing is poetry with arms and legs.
Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), French poet, critic. La Fanfarlo (1847), trans. 1986.
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Dandyism is especially likely to appear in those transitional ages in which democracy is not yet all-powerful and the aristocracy is only partially faltering and debased. In the confusion of such times certain men, déclassé, disgusted, idle, but all endowed with native strength, may conceive the project of founding a new kind of aristocracy, which will be all the more difficult to destroy as it will be based on the most precious and indestructible faculties, and on the God-given gifts which work and wealth cannot bestow.
Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), French poet, critic. The Painter of Modern Life, IX "The Dandy," (1863).
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The poet is like the prince of the clouds Who haunts the tempest and laughs at the archer; Exiled on the ground in the midst of jeers, His giant's wings prevent him from walking.
Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), French poet. L'Albatros, st. 4, Les Fleurs du Mal (1857).
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These beings have no other profession than to cultivate the idea of beauty in their person, to satisfy their passions, to feel and to think.
Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), French poet, critic. The Painter of Modern Life, IX "The Dandy," (1863). On the dandy.
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A frenzied passion for art is a canker that devours everything else.
Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), French poet. repr. In Complete Works, vol. 2, ed. Yves-Gérard le Dantec, rev. by Claude Pichois (1976). L'Ecole Païenne (1852).
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Dandyism does not even consist, as many thoughtless persons appear to believe, in an immoderate taste for the toilet and material elegance. These things are for the perfect dandy only symbols of the aristocratic superiority of his mind.
Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), French poet, critic. The Painter of Modern Life, IX "The Dandy," (1863).
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