Quotations From CHARLES BAUDELAIRE


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  • Modernity is the transient, the fleeting, the contingent; it is one half of art, the other being the eternal and the immovable.
    Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), French poet. Selected Writings on Art and Artists, ed. P.E. Charvet (1972). The Painter of Modern Life, sct. 4, first published in L'Art Romantique (1869).
  • I am a cemetery abhorred by the moon.
    Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), French poet, critic. Flowers of Evil, "Spleen II," (1857).

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  • The fact that several men were able to become infatuated with that latrine is truly the proof of the decline of the men of this century.
    Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), French poet, critic. My Heart Laid Bare, XXXI (1887). On the writer George Sand (1804-1876).
  • France is not poetic; she even feels, in fact, a congenital horror of poetry. Among the writers who use verse, those whom she will always prefer are the most prosaic.
    Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), French poet, critic. "Théophile Gautier," part V (1859).

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  • I am bored in France because everyone resembles Voltaire.
    Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), French poet, critic. My Heart Laid Bare, XXXIII (1887).
  • Hugo, like a priest, always has his head bowed—bowed so low that he can see nothing except his own navel.
    Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), French poet. "Squibs," sect. 22, Intimate Journals (1887), trans. by Christopher Isherwood (1930), revised by Don Bachardy (1989). Of Victor Hugo.
  • By nature, by necessity itself, [primitive man] is encyclopedic, while civilized man finds himself confined in the infinitely small regions of specialization.
    Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), French poet, critic. New Notes on E. Poe, part II (1859).

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  • An artist is an artist only because of his exquisite sense of beauty, a sense which shows him intoxicating pleasures, but which at the same time implies and contains an equally exquisite sense of all deformities and all disproportions.
    Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), French poet, critic. New Notes on E. Poe, part IV (1859).

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  • It is this admirable and immortal instinct for beauty which causes us to regard the earth and its spectacles as a glimpse, a correspondence of the beyond.
    Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), French poet, critic. New Notes on E. Poe, part IV (1859).

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  • Progress, this great heresy of decay.
    Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), French poet, critic. New Notes on E. Poe, part II (1859).
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