Talk:Charles Baudelaire

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Miscellaneous discussion[edit]

The authors may want to mention how he went from having a mother that married a military officer, to having "guardians" and a "small inheritance". Did his mom die? At what age? This needs more development. Baudelaire is one of the most anti-female writers of all time and his formative years should have some coverage of this. Stevenmitchell 23:37, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

Any reason for the capital letters in the bibliography, or may I turn them down? They hurt readability for me. --Suitov

I appreciate the fact that someone made the effort to write an article about Charles Baudelaire. However, His place in the pantheon of French poets demands that his life and work receive more thorough treatment than what was written here. I'm thinking of rewriting this entire article, although I am not a student of Baudelaire's work.

It is possible that depressed people find a familiar atmosphere in his poetry, but I don't think Baudelaire should be presented as a model for them. Quite the opposite! Baudelaire's life is an example of how not to live. His greatness lies in his poetic imagination and the art of his poetry. It is for this Baudelaire wanted to be remembered, and it is for this we should remember him.

I am french, and I know Baudelaire's poetry by heart. This article is extremely ill-written, ridiculously so. Comments to the effect that Baudelaire's life was an example of "how not to live", or that he was "decadent" are mediocre, and beyond superficial. Baudelaire was a dandy who enjoyed the parisian life. He spoiled his inheritance through the kind of exuberant lifestyle that one would expect of a typical twenty-something with a lot of cash to spend and a penchant for art, artists, and women. He had to live the rest of his life on a tiny allowance from the estate of his step-father, and the meager proceeds of his writings. Nevertheless, his command of French is pure genius. His brilliant style should be understood as laden with sarcastic provocation, and should never be read as literal description. Saying that he was mysogynistic reveals a complete misreading of his poems; he revered women, and there are numerous poems such as "Le jet d'eau" which exhibit an incredible tenderness toward women. The whole series of "Tableaux parisiens" is a solar and joyful expression of fondness for Paris. The "spleen" aspect of his writings should be understood as a sweet melancholy, and not as a descent to hell. In many respects, he writes an inner voice which is reminiscent of Shakespeare's plaintive tone in the Sonnets, battling with the muse, or lovingly tortured by the Dark Lady. Baudelaire too had his dark lady, be it Jeanne Duval or his bottle of laudanum. When Baudelaire splatters blood and wine in a series of poems, he is liberating French poetry from the obligation of prettiness, and paving the way to surrealism. He is, in that sense closer to Jim Morrison or Lou Reed than to Bing Crosby. While he is precisely un-politically-correct, Baudelaire is a humanist and epicurian at heart. The only valid english translation of his poems was done by Kendall Lappin, who chose to respect the assonance and meter more than the lexicon - his translations read pretty much like the french text, and could help english readers understand this author who is regarded in France as one of the greatest poets ever.--User:ppanzini 06:00, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

"Le jet d'eau" was written by Apollinaire not Baudelaire. Beautiful poem though, I agree. Highdesertrussell (talk) 15:52, 5 May 2008 (UTC)

No, it is Baudelaire's poem; I just looked all through the Pleiade Apollinaire to make certain.

Check your sources and check out the poem. Le Jet d'eau is the matchless Apollinaire ideogram "La colombe poignardée et le jet d'eau" User talk:Highdesertrussell 07:46, 5 November 2010 (UTC)Highdesertrussell

Now about our French contributor's view on Baudelaire: they are just that, subjective views. Some women do find him misogynistic for any number of reasons, some do not. He certainly put women in the exact same place in the symbolic order as most of his contemporaries- as equivalent with/to Nature. And as any close reader of his poetry and journals will know, Baudelaire held nature in contempt.And in his personal life, women were either paragons of virtue, or utterly contemptible- as in Mdm. Sabatier's case, first the former and then the latter. Thus it is not a "misreading" of his poems, just one of many that are possible.It is a minor quibble, but I find personally that the denial of a need to be pretty leads in French poetry to Lautreamont, and not to most of the Surrealists. I will be kind enough to overlook their ignorance of English morphology ("un-politically correct"), and the so-vague-as-to-be-pointless euphemisms, ie "the Dark Lady".

So: moral and ethical criticism of Baudelaire, or of any author are fine, as long as they are sourced, and (just as vitally) placed in the proper section of the entry. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:24, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

It is doubtful that Charles Baudelaire had any interest in Buddism. --Maryevelyn 04:12, 6 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I agree wholeheartedly. I wonder if someone could translate That would be ideal. P.Riis 23:19, 10 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Re: Baudelaire's interest in Eastern religions, here is a quote from one of his Belgian letters, for what it's worth:

"I shall write a detailed chronicle of all the reasons why I hate humanity. When I finally reach *perfect solitude*, I shall find for myself some religion (Tibetan or Japanese), for my scorn of the Koran is too great, and thus make clear my disgust towards universal stupidity."

(My poor translation into English from a Finnish edition of his Belgian letters, "Kurja Belgia!".)--Snowgrouse (talk) 20:50, 29 August 2011 (UTC)

Roger Ebert mentioned (and quoted) this article. [1] -Branddobbe 06:49, Dec 18, 2004 (UTC)

I would be happy to translate from the french, although I am only an amateur francophile and baudelaire lover. How can I present a tentative edition for suggestion using wikimedia? I really don't know much about the wiki software. Dubhousing

I wonder who had the insolence of writing:

"Baudelaire is one of the most famous decadent poets, but before the 20th century, when his work underwent considerable re-evaluation, he was generally considered by many to be merely a drug addict and a very vulgar author."

Why do they not just go back to the monastery?

I'm sure they were just venting their spleen. --BadSeed 05:01, 22 November 2005 (UTC)

I will try to start translating from the French, as soon as I am ready with the Greek translation on the Greek Wikipedia.

--Hieronymus 23:52, 25 July 2005 (UTC)

In the Manet section of the article: Courbet painted Baudelaire in his "L’Atelier du peintre" not Manet. The detail from the Courbet painting is already at the end of the article.Highdesertrussell (talk) 16:04, 5 May 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for noticing that. Manet in fact painted Music in the Tuileries in which Baudelaire, Gautier and Offenbach (among others) are depicted.[2] I've just changed the painting's title in the sentence, but feel free to reword it if you want. Thanks, Korg (talk) 21:38, 13 July 2008 (UTC)

The "Mulatto woman"[edit]

The "mulatto woman" referred to in the article went by the name of Jeanne Duval, and according to most sources, she was Baudelaire's lover for many years.

Most people aren't aware of this, but "mulatto" is a rather dehumanizing and racist term in English. Folks who are biracial don't appreciate being referred to by this term, as it derives from a Spanish word meaning "mule" [[3]].

Also, it renders Duval invisible within the life of her legendary partner. She had to be pretty important to Baudelarie seeing as he dedicated several poems to her ("La Chevelure," "Parfum exotique"---part of the "Black Venus" cycle of love poems). The invisibility of female paramours of famous men is a common oversight in history, but for women of color in love with white men, this oversight is even more true. --Pinko1977 04:49, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

I don't think "mixed-race woman" is an improvement. Cf. "Charles Pierre Baudelaire (pronounced /ˈboʊdəlɛər/; French pronounced [ʃaʁl bodlɛʁ]) (April 9, 1821 – August 31, 1867) was an influential white nineteenth century French poet, critic and acclaimed translator." The Duval sentence can just go, since Duval is mentioned (and linked) earlier in the article, right? Cyrusc (talk) 16:08, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

"Drug Addict"[edit]

Should "Baudelaire is one of the most famous Decadent poets, but before the 20th century, when his work underwent considerable re-evaluation, he was generally considered by many to be merely a drug addict and a very vulgar author." be deleated? It just seems a very un scolarly passage, and contains poor grammar.

Rewrite of entire article[edit]

I quite agree that this article is pretty disgraceful. At the moment it gives the impression of having been mostly written by a not very literate teenager with an interest in death metal. I've tried to make a start by completely replacing the Influence section with something a bit more scholarly; it's not at all comprehensive but it's a start. It seems to me that the Trivia section is actually the best bit, as it conveys a pretty good idea of the kind of debased image of Baudelaire that exists in popular culture. Of course, Baudelaire was a bit of a ham, he really did dress completely in black and he really was interested in Satanism, but his importance and his genius need to be given some sort of informed recognition as well.

Anyway, when I get round to it I'll wikify the sources in the new Notes section. I can at least confirm that the publishing details and page numbers etc. are accurate, I triple-checked them. Lexo 17:29, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

"although he qualified this praise by criticizing what he regarded as ." Something missing here. Xxanthippe 09:50, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

Ooops. Sorry. Fixed it. I'd had a bit about how Rimbaud criticised Baudelaire's form, but it seemed unnecessary and I cut the quote but failed to fix the lead-up to it. Lexo 17:02, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Born in "Paris, Texas"? Somebody's joking, right? Ken Kukec (talk) 18:27, 8 February 2008 (UTC)

This was changed by User:Emiliopucci [4]; I've reverted it. Thank you! Korg (talk) 18:44, 8 February 2008 (UTC)

I support a full re-write of the article. Also: grammatical error in "A controversial figure in his lifetime, Baudelaire's name has become a byword..." The "controversial figure" was Baudelaire--not his name. I'd change the construction, but I can't think of a good fix right now. Anyone?-- (talk) 06:19, 13 December 2008 (UTC)


The trivia section is out of control. Is the point really to mention everybody who's ever mentioned the subject of the article?

I was bold and removed the Trivia section in its entirety. Its main issue, aside from being a bloated list of indiscriminate information including every small mention of Baudelaire's name, is that the trivia had nothing to do with Baudelaire himself. Trivia sections are also highly discouraged in Biography articles (see WP:TRIVIA), and it was already tagged that the information should be integrated into the rest of the article, which, because it was 99% irrelevant, could not have been done. The article can now focus on writing and sourcing info about Baudelaire's life and achievements and perhaps in the future the issue of "Baudelaire in Popular Culture" can be brought up again. María (habla conmigo) 18:46, 6 June 2007 (UTC)

Is there a reason why so many ordinary English nouns are hyperlinked in this article? rape, knife, sins, hypocrisy, etc. This makes for an uncomfortable read.

-- User:Z_amirkhosravi 20:25, 7 September 2007


Considering the very direct influence that Baudelaire's poetry had upon T. S. Eliot, I believe it's fair to add him to the list of writers that Baudelaire influenced. As anyone who's read any of Eliot's poetry knows, Eliot alluded quite blatantly to Baudelaire's works on numerous occasions (the last quarter or so of the first section of The Waste Land, "'The Burial of the Dead", borrows heavily from Les Fleurs du mal) and has written on the topic of Baudelaire's articulation of the modern condition (ennui, anomie) as well as on Baudelaire's particular attitude toward spirituality. SumeragiNoOnmyouji 23:01, 18 August 2007 (UTC)

An earlier English poet, Algernon Charles Swinburne (1837-1909), was also influenced by Baudelaire. His "Ave atque Vale" (1867), was inscribed to the memory of Baudelaire and begins with a quote from "La Servante au grand coeur" [Nous devrions pourtant lui porter quelques fleurs...]. Cimabue13 (talk) 21:23, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

yes Ahmed Russell (talk) 17:45, 13 March 2017 (UTC)

Schizoid Personality Disorder[edit]

I've read but the first 25 pages of Baudelaire by Jean-Paul Sartre, a biography, and a psychoanalysis of his personality, and I'm convinced that he would have met the diagnostic criteria for schizoid personality disorder at least once during his lifetime (by Jean-Paul Sartre's analysis). It seems pretty obvious to me, but I'm a bit surprised to find that this link hasn't been drawn anywhere else. Ironically, there is a book called The Schizoid World of Jean-Paul Sartre and R.D. Lang.

Also, Sartre's Baudelaire may be a good source for this article. MichaelExe (talk) 01:17, 10 October 2009 (UTC)

Sartre’s book on Baudelaire contains many subjective speculations and cannot be considered as being informative about the French poet. Sartre depicted Baudelaire as a detached dandy who thought that nature was hideous and evil. This was in total contrast to the engaged Marxist that Sartre was, himself, trying to become in 1946. Therefore, the book is valuable as a document in the development of Sartre's life, but not as data about Baudelaire. Sartre’s guesses about the content of Baudelaire’s inner thoughts are preposterous; yet he proclaims them in dogmatic fashion as though he could read the mind of a man who died 100 years earlier. Sartre’s book is very interesting but it is not suitable as a source on Baudelaire. (talk) 23:12, 15 October 2014 (UTC)Dieter Hanswurst
It depends on whether Sartre himself made that conclusion in his book (I actually own it, but have yet to read it so unfortunately I don't know). Even then it would only be Sartres conclusion, not the generally accepted theory, so it would have to be clarified that it was Sartre who thought that. But yes it could be notable to mention that Sartre wrote a book about Baudelaire, although I am not sure it is thought of as one of the authoritative books on the subject anymore, I would guess more the authoritative book on how Sartre perceived Baudelaire, which is of course interesting in itself. --Saddhiyama (talk) 08:44, 10 October 2009 (UTC)

The Painter of Modern Life[edit]

I was looking for more information about "The Painter of Modern Life" but didn't see much at all on this page. Considering the impact that essay had on the development of art in the last half of the 19th century and into the 20th century, I expected more. I'm far from an expert -- more familiar indirectly with its impact -- but I would like to request that someone who is more familiar with Baudelaire's art criticism please include more information here and please give "The Painter of Modern Life" its own page. (talk) 16:54, 8 March 2010 (UTC)

Ex links[edit]

I added this link to another online collection of Baudelaire translations. Since I am the author of said translations, I figured I'd give fair warning here to avoid COI. If it seems like shameless self-promotion, feel free to remove it. Szfski (talk) 11:17, 12 April 2010 (UTC)

Please renovate ![edit]

I hope I have given you some space to operate in. (Had I felt bold I'd have deleted everything).

A lot of people have found Baudelaire to be a particularly exciting writer.

I invite to you all to shorten the article further and most importantly to add interesting things such as discussion of the themes of poetry, his innovations - why people have found him so exciting - and perhaps also a mention of modern Baudelaire scholarship.

Many thanks.33gsd (talk) 00:19, 9 August 2010 (UTC)33gsd

The German wikipedia page appears to have a good entry. If I come back to this I can translate and incorporate some into this version. 33gsd (talk) 10:09, 14 August 2010 (UTC)33gsd

Richard Wagner et Tannhäuser à Paris[edit]

Hello. This isn't a question to improve this article, but another on Symbolism in which I'm quoting Baudelaire. Could somebody please confirm whether or not the essay that this article mentions, "Richard Wagner et Tannhäuser à Paris" is the one he wrote in 1861? I only have quotation via a secondary source that doesn't name the article, but gives the year. Many thanks, DionysosProteus (talk) 18:28, 10 April 2011 (UTC)

Further discussion/explanations needed[edit]

A lot of this article consists of Baudelaire quotes. However, since Baudelaire was often deliberately provocative and cruel for the sake of it, these quotes don't necessarily give us a complete picture of what he really thought. I suggest we add some biographical information from his correspondence and from his contemporaries to give a better idea of what his attitudes really were like. I don't mean whitewashing him, of course, just a broader view based on more than just his bitterest quips. For instance, he would make jokes about torturing cats and loving the sound of their pained shrieking, when it was well-established that he was a major cat lover and wrote adoring poems about them (and often had more sympathy for animals than his fellow humans). Above all, many biographers have remarked he was a man of contradictions and dualities (and Baudelaire referred to these dualities himself, such as when he said he was always trapped between the ecstasy of life and the utter terror of life). Some biographer (I momentarily forget who--it may have been the Finnish Kupiainen) even described him as a "homo duplex", a man divided in two, and said that to assess Baudelaire by his poetry alone (forgetting his correspondence and contemporary accounts of him) would reduce him to a "homo simplex", a man only known for his bitterness and love for the macabre and the demonic. When, of course, he was also a seeker of refinement, order, purity and the divine. So it'd be great if we could include both sides here for a more balanced, rounded view.--Snowgrouse (talk) 21:06, 29 August 2011 (UTC)


what happened to Journaux Intimes'?

Ken M Quirici 19:16, 14 September 2013 (UTC)' — Preceding unsigned comment added by Kquirici (talkcontribs)

the grave[edit]

the tomb showing in the picture at the bottom of this article is not charles baudelaire's grave. this is probably a monument dedicated to his memory. Baudelaire lies along with his mother and step father, his name barely mentionned amongst the recollections of honors gained by the latter as a civil servant.

one look at this grave and you can see baudelaire didnt die a national hero, far from it — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:52, 3 August 2014 (UTC)

File:Étienne Carjat, Portrait of Charles Baudelaire, circa 1862.jpg to appear as POTD[edit]

Hello! This is a note to let the editors of this article know that File:Étienne Carjat, Portrait of Charles Baudelaire, circa 1862.jpg will be appearing as picture of the day on January 30, 2015. You can view and edit the POTD blurb at Template:POTD/2015-01-30. If this article needs any attention or maintenance, it would be preferable if that could be done before its appearance on the Main Page. Thanks! — Crisco 1492 (talk) 13:11, 12 January 2015 (UTC)

Picture of the day
Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire (1821–67) was a French poet best known for his collection Les Fleurs du mal (1857), which expresses the changing nature of beauty in modern, industrializing Paris during the 19th century. The author also worked as an essayist, art critic, and translator; in the 1850s and 1860s, he published several translations of works by Edgar Allan Poe.

Photograph: Étienne Carjat
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Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Charles Baudelaire/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

Re:Translating Baudelaire by Clive Scott. In 'The Cambridge Companion to Baudelaire' (2005), Clive Scott wrote the chapter of 'Translating Baudelaire'. He published a book of the same title in 2000. Are there any Chinese works like this?~~~~FOKWH

Last edited at 14:29, 15 December 2006 (UTC). Substituted at 11:17, 29 April 2016 (UTC)