Life and work of Charles Baudelaire

… Baudelaire, I’m thinking about you.
P. Antokolsky

For many generations of readers, the French poet Charles Baudelaire remains a lonely dreamer, a romantic ghost in the streets of the world city, waiting in the night for a mysterious beauty wandering the shadow.

Baudelaire is the forerunner of a whole trend in literature and art, called decadence. He was the first to feel the onset of the crisis in the spiritual culture of the late XIX – early XX century and told his contemporaries about this.

The future poet began as a journalist and literary critic. He opened to his compatriots the talent of Delacroix, the music of Wagner and the book of Edgar Allan Poe. Already this he deserved recognition and took a step into the future. But the main thing in his life was a collection of poems “Flowers of Evil”, and remained the poet’s only poetic book.

The book caused a scandal: a criminal case was opened against the author,

and the remainder of the circulation was arrested. But the book has already dispersed and brought popularity to the author. She impressed the reader with her unrestrained frankness, which did not stop at anything. The poet, not afraid to depict himself in a bad way, mercilessly showed the unsightly face of life:

Stupidity, sin, lawless, legal robbery
Melt us, sharpen the soul and body.
And, like beggars – lice, we have been stupid all our lives.
Eating out of conscience, we feed ourselves.
Our penitence is weak, our sin is stubborn.
We recognize the blame for the sake of a generous reward. –
Tears wash away all the spots – so it seems to us.

Such poems as “Padal”, “Dance of Death” sound like a challenge to society and its morals. On the pages of the “Flowers of Evil” we see a poet fiercely to the extreme, with a frenetic imagination and an irreconcilable hostility to everything around him.

In the poem “Albatros” Baudelaire compares poets with proud ocean birds, hovering “under threat,

in a hurricane over an idle crowd”:

So, Poet, you soar above a thunderstorm in the ocean,
Unapproachable for arrows, rebellious fate,
But to walk on the ground amidst whistling and scolding The
gigantic wings hinder you.

The poet’s spirit is always directed “into the shining distance, into the expansive space, into the superstellar mysterious spheres.”

Blessed is he who, shaking off the earth a dreary ashes,
Leaving the world of sorrows to stagnate in the haze of the haze,
Rises proudly upward, floats in pure ether
On powerful, wide-spread wings,

The poet writes in the poem “Vosparenie”. In the work of Baudelaire lives a dislike for everything that destroys beauty. The dream of the victory of beauty was just as strong in his soul, as well as dislike of everything that destroys it. In the poem “Hymn to Beauty” the poet directly addresses her as his beloved:

And that to me, you were born with light or darkness,
When with one you, O eternal my idol –
Oh rhythm, oh color, o sound! – when with one you are
not so sad life, not so terrible world.

Baudelaire’s humor was later reflected in the poetry of French symbolist poets. They inherited from him a romantic passion for beauty, and impeccability of style, and rigor of rhyme, and striking sound. But the inner world of Rambo, Mallarme and other poets that followed Baudelaire will be even more gloomy, more desperate and uncomprehending…

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Life and work of Charles Baudelaire