For it pleases me, all for your sake, to row
My own oars here on my own sea,
And to soar heavenward by a avenue,
Singing you the unsung praises of Death.
-Pierre Romani, MHynmc: de 1a Mort," A lAttJs deJ MaJlln:f
"Baudelaire', problem ... must have . .. posed iuelfin tbeflt terms: ' How to be a
great poet , bUI neither a Lamartine nor a Hugo nor a Mussel. • I do Dot say that
these words were consciously formul ated, hut they mw i have been latent in
Baudelaire's mind; they even CODStituted what wRi the essential Baudelaire. They
were his rai.!on d 'etat . ... BaudeJai recOJ\8idered Victor Hugo; and it ill nOI impos­
sible to imagine what he thought of him.... Everything that might scandalize, and
thereby instruct and guide a pitilel8 young observer in the way of rull own Cuture
art, ... Baudelaire musl have recorded in his mind. distinguishing the admiration
forced upon him by Hugo', wonderful gifts from the impurities, the impru­
dence.ll , ... that is to .IIay, the chances for life and fame that so great an artist left
behind him to be peaned." Paul Valery, Introduction (Charles Baudelaire, Les
Fleur, duma' , with an introducti on by Paul Valer y [Paris(1926» , pp. x, xii , xiv).!
ProbJemofthe poncif·l (J I ,I}
" For a few years before the Revolution of 1848, ever yone is hesi tating between a
pure art and a social art, and it is only weD after 1852 that Cart pour l 'art gainll the
upper hand ." C. L. de Li efde, Le Sainl.-Simonisme dam to. p Msie fram;aise entre
1825 et 1865 (Haarlem, 1927>, p. 180. (JI ,2)
Leconte de Lisle, in the preface to hi s Poeme, et poe,ie, of 1855: "The hymns and
odes inspired by steam power and electri c telegraphy leave me cold." Cited in
C. L. de LieJde, Le Sainl -Simonisme da ru to. pMsie fram;aise ent re 1825 et 1865,
p. 179. [J l ,3]
Baudelaire', "' w Bonnel Soeurs" <The Kind Sisters> may be compared with the
Saint-Simonian poem "La Rue" <The St reet>, by Savini en Lapointe, shoemaker.
Charles Baudelaire, 1855. PhOtO by Nadar. d'Orsay, Paris; photo copyright
The latter is concerned only with pr08lituti on alld, al the elld, evokes memorietl of
t he youth of the faUen young women:
Oh! Do nOI .eek 10 know aU that debauchery doe.
To wil her l he Bowers a nd mow Ihem down;
In it. working, it i8 premature a. death
And will make you old def,li te your eighlr:e.n years.
Ilil y (I n them! I'il y!
(In Lhe co rner yo .. 8hould knock again$l lhem,
Their angeli c balhed in the glow of good reealled.
Olinde Rodri gues, Poesies sociales des ouvriers (Paris, 1841). 1'1' . 201, 203.
[]1 ,4]
Dat es. Baudelaire's first lett er to Wagner : February 17, 1860. Wagner 's concern
in Paris: February 1 and 8, 1860. Paris premi ere of Tannhawer: March 13. 1861.
When was Baudelaire's article in La Revue europeenne?i [j I ,5]
Baudelair e planned " an enormous work on the pei ntres des moeltr. <painter l of
manners>." C..epet, in this connecti ou. cites his statement : " Inlages-my great . my
primi tive pau ion."s J ac<lues Cripet , "Miettes baudel airiennes," Mercure de
France, 46th year, vol. 262. no. 894. PI" 53 1- 532. [j 1.6]
"Baudel air e ... can still write, in 1852, in the preface to Dllpont 's ChanJom: ' Art
was ther eafter insepar able from moralit y and utilit y. ' And he speaks there of the
' pueri le Utopia of the 8chool or urt fo r art :' .. . Nevertheless . he changes
his mind soon after 1852. This conception of social art may perhaps be explained
by his youthful r elations. Dupont was his friend at the moment when Baudelaire,
' almost fanaticall y republican under the monarchy,' was medit ating a realistic
and communi cator y poetry." C. L. de Li efde, L.e Saint-Simonume donI la ,wesie
ent re 1825 et 1865 <El aarlem, 1927), p. 115. [jla.l ]
Baudelaire soon for got the February Revolution.'; Telling evidence of this fact hal
been I)ublished by J acques Crepet , in "Miettes baudelairiennes" <Baudelairean
Mor sels) (Mercure de France, vol. 262, no. 894, p. 525) , in the form of a review of
the Hutoire de NeuiUy et de sel chateaux, by the abbe BeUanger, a r eview which
Baudelaire probabl y composed at the request of hi s friend the lawyer Ancell e, and
which at the time presumably appeared in the pr ess. There Baudelaire sl)Caks of
the history of the place "from Roman times to the terrible days of Februa ry, when
the chateau was the theater and s()OiI of the most ignoble passions, of orgy and
dest ructi on." [j la,2]
Nadar dcscribcs the outfit worn by Baudelaire, who is encountered ill the vicinit y
of hi s residence <or 1843-1845) . the Hotel Pimodan. " Black trousers drawn well
ahove his polisbed boots ; a blue workman's blouse, stier in its new folds; hi s black
hair, naturall y cur ly, worn long- bis onl y coiffur e; bright linen, strictl y without
starch; a faint moustaclle under hi s nose and II bit of beard on hi s chin; rose-coJ­
ore(1 g1uvt:s, (Iuite new .... Thus arrayed and hatlesl . Baudelaire walke<1 about
his qllo rl ier of the cit y at an ull even pace, both nervous and languid . like a cat .
ehoosing each stone of the pavement as if he had to avoid crushing all egg." Cited
in Firmin MaiJI ard, 1..« Cite des intelkct.IICU (Paris < 1905», p. 362. [j 1 a,3)
Baudelaire- after his enforced sea voyagel-was a well·traveled man. [J l a,4)
Baudelai re 10 Poul et-Malassis, on J anuar y 8, 1860, after a visit from Meryon:
"Mter he left me, I wondered how it was that I, who have always had the mind and
the ner ves to go mad , have never actuall y gone mad . In all seri ousness, 1 gave
heaven a Pharisee's t.hankl for this."" Cited in GuSlave Geffroy, Charles lIferyon
(Paris, 1926), p. 128. [j1a,S]
f rom the <eighth) secti on of Baudelai re's "'Salon de 1859." There one finds , apro­
pos of Mer yon, thil phr ase: "'the profound and complex charm of a capital cit y
",·hich has grown old and wor n in the glories and tribul ati ons of life." A little
further on: " I have rarely seen the natural solemnity of an immense city more
poeticall y reproduced. ThOl e majestic accumul ations of stone; those spirea ' whOl e
fingers point to heaven' ; those obelisks of industr y, spewing forth their conglom.
erations of smoke against tile fi rmament; those prodigies of scaffolding ' round
buildings under repair. al)plying their openwork archi tecture , so par adoxically
beautiful, upon architecture's solid body; that tumultuous sky, charged with an­
ger alld spi te; those limitl en perspecti ves. only increased by the thought of aU the
drama they contain;-he for got not one of the complex element s whi ch go to make
up the painful and glorioul decor of civili zati on .... But a cruel demon hal
touched M. Meryon's brain .... And from that moment we have never ceased
waiting anxiously for some consolillg news of this singular naval officer who in one
short day turned into a mi ghty artist , and who bade farewell to tbe ocean' s solemn
adventures in order to paint the gloomy maj esty of this most disquieting of capi­
taIS."1O Cited in Gustave Geerroy, Charlet lIferyon (Pa ri s, 1926), pp. 125-126.
The editor Delatre conceived a plan to publish an album of l'tferyon's etchings wi th
text by Baudelaire. The plan fell througb; but it had already been ruined for
Baudelaire when Mer yon demanded, instead of a text swted to the poet, a pedan­
tic explication of the pictured monunlents. Baudelai r e complains of the matter in
his leiter of Februar y J6, 1860, to POlilet-Malan il. [j2,2]
Meryon placed these lines under hi s etching L.e Pont -Neuf:
Here lie8 the exact likeness
Of the Ill te Pont-Neur.
AU newly refur bi shed
Per reccll t or(liIl IlIl Ce.
olearned doctors,
Skillr .. 1 ' ..
Why not do for
What'. beell dOlle for thi, 8tolle bri dge?
According to Gerfroy- who evi dentl y takes them from another version of til e etch­
ing-the last two lines ar e: " Will tell why renovations f Have been forced on this
stone bridge." Gustave Geffroy, Cha rle' Meryon (Pa rill . 1926), p. 59. [j2,3]
The fum-Neuf. Etching by Charles Meryon, 1853-1854. SeeJ2,3_
Bizarre features on plates by Mer yon. "The Rue des Chantres": squarely in the
foreground, affi"ed at eye-level on the wall of what would seem to be a nearly
windowl ess house, is a poster hearing the words "Sea Baths." <See Geffroy, Char­
le& Meryon , p_ 144.>-"The College Henry IV, " about which Geffroy writes: "All
around the school, the gardens, and neighboring houses, the space is empty, and
suddenly Meryon begins to fill it with a landscape of mountain and sea, replacing
the ocean of Paris. The sails and masts of a ship appear, some fl ocks of sea birds
are taking wing, and this phantasmagoria gathers around the most rigorous de­
sign, the tall buildings of the school r egularly pierced by windows, the courtyard
planted with trees, ... and the surrounding houses , with their dark rooftops,
crowded chimneys. and blank (Geffroy, Charles Meryon, p. 151}.-'"The
Admiralty": in the clouds a troop of horses, chariots, and dolphins advances upon
the ministry; ships and sea serpent s are not lacking, and several human-shaped
creatures are to be seen in the multitude. "This will be . __ the last view of Paris
engraved by Meryon. He bids adieu to the city where he suffered that onslaught of
dreams at the house, stern as a fortress, in which he did service as a young ensign,
in the springtime of hi s life, when he was just setting out for the distant isles"
(Geffroy, Charle& Meryon , p. 161). 0 Flaneur 0 [J2a, l ]
"Meryon' s e"ecuti oll is incomparable. Beraldi says. The most striking thi.ng is the
beauty and di gnity of his firm, decisive line. Those fine straight edges are said to be
e"ecuted thus: the plate is aet upright on an easel, the etching needle is held at
ann's length (like a rapier ), and the hand moves slowly from top to boltom."
R. Castinelli , "Charles Meryon," Introduction to CharlC1l Meryon, Eaux-forte,
" ,r Paris, p. iii. [J2a,2J
!\teryon produced his twenty-t wo etchings of Paris between 1852 and 1854.
When did the " Paris article" <article de Parn ) first appear? []2.,41
What Baudelaire says about a drawing by Daumier on the subject of cholera
could also apply to certain engravings by Meryon: "'True to its ironic custom in
times of great calamity and political upheaval, the sky of Paris is superb; it is
quite white and incandescent with heat " Charles Baudelaire, LeJ Dmiru de
Daumier (paris <1924» , p. 13. <See]52a,4.) 0 Dust, Boredom 0 [J2a,51
' "The splenetic cupola of the sky"-a phrase from Charles Baudelaire. La Spleen
de Paris. ed. Simon (Pari s), p. 8 ("Chacun sa chimer e").ll [J2a,6]
"The philosophical and literary Catholicism ... of Baudelaire had need of an
intermediate poaition ... where it could take up its abode between God and the
Devil. The titl e Les Limbe. marked this geographi c determination of
Baudelaire's poems, making it possible to understand better the order Baudelaire
wanted to establish among them, which is the order of a journey-more exactly, a
fourth journey after Dante's three journeys in Inferno. Purgatorio, and Paradillo.
The poet of Florence li ved on in the poet of Paris." Albert Thibaudet, Histoire de
la liueraturefram;aise de 1789 ii no.jou.r& (Paris <1936), p. 325.
On the allegorical element. "Dickens ... mentions, among the coffee shops into
which he crept in those wretched days , one in St. Martin's Lane, ' of which I only
recollect that it stood near the church, and that in the door there was an oval glass
plate with COffEE ROOM painted on it, addressed towards the street. If I ever find
myself in a very different kind of coffee room now, but where there is such an
inscription on glass . and read it backwards on the wrong side, MOOR EEFFOC (as I
often used to do then in a dismal reverie), a shock goes through my blood. ' That
wild word, ' Moor Eeffoc, ' is the molto of all effective realism. " G. K. Chesterton,
Dickens (series entitled Y.ede. homme. iUmtre., no. 9), trans. from the English by
Laur ent and Martin-Dupont (Paris, 1927), p. 32.13 [J3,2]
Dickens and stenography: " He describes how, after he had learnt the whole e"act
alphabet, ' there then appeared a procession of new horrors, called arbitrary
characters-the most despotic characters I have ever known; who insisted, for
instance, that a thing like the beginning of a cobweb meant "upectation," and that
a l)en-and-ink skyrocket stood for "disadvantageous.'" He concludes, ' It was al­
most heartbreaking. ' But it is significant that somebody else, a colleague of his,
concllllied. ' There Wi" such a 8horthand writer.'" C. K. Chesterlon, Dick­
ens (eeri es entitled Vie dCI homme, illU$,re8. no. 9), trulil. Laurent and Marl.in­
DIlI)oIII (Paris, 1927), "1' _40-41. •.• (J3,3)

Valery (Introduction 10 l..es Pie""8 du mol (Paris, 1926] . p. xxv) 81Jeaks of a com­
bi nation of "eternit y and int imacy" in Baudelaire. [J3,4)
From the arti cle by Barber d' Aurevilly in Article, jU.!ticolif' pour ChurleJ Bau.de_
laire, auteur dc. ,"' leur' du mal(Paris, 1857), a booklet of thirt y-three pages, with
olher contributions by Dulamon, Assclineau, aDd Thierry, whi ch was pri nt ed at
Baudelaire', expen8e (or the tri al: 16 "'I' he poet, terrifying and ter rified . wanted U8
10 inhale the abomination of that dread basket thaI he carri es, pale canephore. on
his head bristling with horror.... His talent ... is itself a fl ower of evil cuJti vated
in the hot houses of Decadence .... Ther e is something of Dallte in the author of
Les Fleurs du mal, but it is the Dante or an epoch in decline, an atheist and
moderni st Dante, a Dante come after Voltaire." Cited in W. T. Ba ndy, Baudelaire
Judged by lIiJ Contemporurie$ (New York d933», pp. 167- 168 <collection of
telCU in French >. [J3a, t]
Gautier 's not e on Ba udelaire ill Les Poetesfram;ais : Recueil de$ cll efi -d 'oCllllre de
la fJoosiefront;aise, ed . Eugene Crepet (Paris, 1862), vol. 4, Les Contemporairu:
" We !lever read Le$ Fleur, du mal . .. without thinking involunt arily or that tale
by Hawthorne <eutitled " Rappaccini 's Daught er" > .... His muse resembles the
doctor's daught er whom no poison ca n harm, but whose pallid and anemic COml}IClC­
ion bet rays the influence or the mili eu she inhabi u." Cited in W. T. Bandy, Balme­
wire Judged by lIis COnlemporaries (New York), p. 174. <See J29a,3>. [J3a,2)
Main themes of Poe's aest heti c, according to Valer y: philosophy of composition,
theory of the a rtifici al, theory of moderni ty, theory of the strange and elCceptional.
"Thus, Baudelai re'. problem might have--indeed, must have--posed iuelf in
these terms: ' How to be a gr eal poet, bUI neither a Lamartine nor a Hugo nor a
Mussel .' I do not . a y that these words ....ere consciously formuJated , but they must
have been latent in Baudelaire's mind; tll ey even constituted .... hat was the essen­
tial Ba udelaire. They ....ere his raiJon d 'etat . In the domai n of creation, which is
also the domain of pride, the need to cODle out and be distinct is part of life itself."
Paul Valery, Introduction to Baudelaire, Les Fleurs mal (Paris, 1928). p. x. n
Regis Meuae (d .e " Detecti ve NOllet" et l 'i,ljluetlce tie La pellsee scietllifilJue [ Pari s,
1929], ) p. 421 ) poillu to the influt! nce of the " Two Crepusculcs" ("Le CreJluscule
du math, " II. nd " Le ,Iu soir," in Les Fleur, till tIlub, first published
Febr ualoy I . 1852. in /..(1. Senlllille on ccrt ai n pau ages in POII son ,Iu
Terrail 's Drames P(l.ri.f. whi ch begllll to aplJear, in install ments, in 1857.
The title origi nally planned for Spleen de Puria was Le Promeneur solit(l.ire. For
Le Fleur, dll mal it ....as Le, Umbes <Limbo>. [J4, I)
From " Conseil, II UlC j eunes litterateurs": " If one is willing to live in stubborn
contemplation of tomorrow's work, dai ly lH!rsevcrance wi ll serve inspiration."
Charl es Baudelaire, L 'Art romantique. cd. Bachette, vol. 3 (Paris), p.
Baudelaire confesses to having had, " in childhood, the good fortune--(l r the mis­
rort une--of readi ng only books for adul u." Charles Baudelaire, L'Art romon_
tique (Paris). p. 298 (iiDramcs et roma ns honnetes"). " [J4,3)
On Heine: "dus) works are corropted by mat eri aUstic sentiment alit y. " Baude­
lai re, L'A rt romantiqlle , p. 303 (" L' Ecole pai·enne").:!O [j4,4)
A mOlifthat .... andered from Spleen de Paria to " L' Ecole patenne": " Why don ' t the
poor wear gloves when they beg? They would make a fortune." Baudelaire. L'Art
romantique (Paris), )J . 309.:
"The time is not far off when it will be underSlood that every Uterature that refuses
to walk hand in ha nd with science a nd philosophy is a homicidal and suicidal
literat ure." Baudelaire, L 'Art romanlique (Pari s) , I). 309 (collcluding sentence of
" L' Ecole pa"ienne"). Z:2 [J4,6)
Baudelaire on t he child raised in the company of the Pagan School: " His souJ,
constantly elCcited and unappeased, goes about the world, the busy, toiling world;
it goes, I say, like a prostitut e, cr ying: Phutique! Plostique! The plastic-that
frightful ....ord gives me goose flesh ." Ba ude.1aire. L'A rt romatltique (Paris),
p. 307.%3 Compare J 22a,2. (J4,7)
A passage from the portrait of Victor Hugo in which Baude1aire, like an engraver
who sketches his own image in a remarque, has portrayed himself in a subordi­
nate clause: "If he paints the sea, no JeaJcajJe will equal his. The ships which
furrow its surface or which CUt through its foam will have, more than those of
any other painter, the appearance of fierce combatants, the character of will and
of which mysteriously emerges from a geometric and mechanlca1 appa­
ratus of "'ODd, iron, ropes, and canvas ; a monstrous animal created by man to
which the wind and the waves add the beauty of movement." Baudelaire, L'Arl
romantiqul: (Paris), p. 321 ("Victor [J4,8)
A phrase apropos of Auguste Ba rhier : " tile nal ural indoicli ce of those .... ho depend
on inspira ti on. " Baudelaire, L 'Art roma fllique (Paris), p. 335. [J4a, I)
Baudelaire describes the poetry of the lyric poet-in the essay on Banville-in a
way that, point for point, brings into view the exact opposite of his own poetry:
"The word 'apotheosis' is one of those that unfailingly appear under the pen of
the poet when he has to describe ... a mingling of glory and light. And if the lyric
poet has occasion to speak of himself, he will not depia himself bent over a
table, ... wrestling with intractable phrases, ... any more than ht: will show
himself in a poor, wretched, or disorderly room; nor, if he wishes to appear dead,
will he show himself rotting beneath a linen shroud in a wooden casket. That
would be lying." Baudclairt, L'Art romantique (Paris), pp. 370-371.- (j4a,2)
In hi s essay 011 Banville, Baudelaire mentions mythology together with allegory,
arulthen continues: " Mythology is a di ctionary of living hi eroglyphi cs." Baude­
laire, L'A r, romnntique (paris), p. 370.%7 (j4a,3)
Conjunction of the modem and the demonic: "Modem poetry is related at one
and the same tinle to painting, music, sculprure, decorative art, satiric philosophy,
and the analytic spirit .... Some could perhaps see in this symptoms of depravity
of taste. But that is a question which I do not wish to discuss here." Nevertheless,
a page later, after a reference to Beethoven, Marurin, Byron, and I\le, one reads:
"1 mean that modem art has an essentially demoniaca1 tendency. And it seems
that this satanic side of man ... increases every day, as if the devil, like one who
fattens geese, enjoyed enlarging it by artificial means, patient1y force-feeding the
human race in his poultry yard in order to prepare himself a more succulent
dish." Baudelaire, L'Art romafltique (Paris), pp. 373-374.2& The concept of the
demonic comes into play where the concept of modernity converges with
Catholicism. (j4a,4)
Regarding Leconte de Lisl e: "My narural predilection for Rome prevents me
from feeling all the enj oyment that I should in the reading of his Greek poems."
Baudelaire, L'Art romantique (Paris), pp. 389-390:" Chthonic view of the world.
Catholicism. [j4a,5)
It is very important that the modem, with Baudelaire, appear not only as the
signarure of an epoch but as an energy by which this epoch immediately D'anS­
fomls and appropriates antiquity. Among all the relations intO which modernity
enters, its relation to antiquity is aitica1. Thus, Baudelaire sees confinned in
Hugo "the fatali ty which led him .. . partially to transform ancient ode and
ancient tragedy intO the poems and dramas that we know." Baudelaire, L'Art
rQmanh'que (Paris), p. 401 ("Les MisirahleJ").3IJ This is also, for Baudelaire, the
function of Wagner. (j5,Q
The gcsture wilh which the angel chasti ses thtl mi screa nt : "Is it not useful for the
poet. til e philosopher, to take egoisti c Happiness by the hair from time to timtl a nd
say to ii , wllil tl rubbing its nose in blood and dung: 'See your handi""ork a nd
swallow it '?" CharlC3 Baudelaire. L'Arf romanlique (Pari.s) , p. 406 ("us
Miscrclbfes"p' [J5,2)
"The Churcll •... that Pha rmacy where no one has the right 10 slumber! " Baude­
laire , 'An rottlcmtiqlLe (Paris), p. 420 HOlln,..,."). U [J5,3}
" Madame Boval'}', in what is mOlit forceful , moat ambitiou., and also 11I000 t contem·
plative in her nature. has r emained a man. Just a. Pallas Athena spran,; full y
arnlOO from the head ofUus. so this strange androgynous creature has kept alllhe
attraction of a virile soul ill a charming feminine h()(l y." Further along, 011
flaubert: "All intellectual womcn wi ll be grat eful to him for having rai sed the
fenlale to so high a level ... and for having made her share in that combination of
calculation and reveri e which constitutes the perfect being. " Baudelaire, L'Art
romantic/"e. PI" 415,419.
" Hysteria!' Why couldn' t this physiologi cal mystery be made the sum and sub­
stance of a lit erary work-this mystery whi ch the Academi e de Medecine has not
yet solved and whi ch, manifesting itself in women by the sensation of a lump in the
throat that seems to rise ... , shows itself in excitable men by every kind of impo­
tence as well as by a tendency towa rd every kind of excess." Baudelaire, L'Art
ronwntiql/.e (Paris), p. 418 ("Madame Bovary").:U (j5,5)
From " Pierre Dupont": " Whatever the party to which one belongs, ... it is impos­
sible not to be moved by the sight of that sick1y throng breathing the dust of the
workshops, ... sleeping among vermin ...- that sighing and langui shing throng
... which looks long and sadl y a t the sunshine and shadows of the great parks."
Baudelaire, L'Arl romantique (Paris), pp. 198-199.:1.> [J5a, l )
From " Pierre Dupont": " By excluding morality, a nd often even passion, the puer­
il e Utopia of the school of artfor art s,ake was inevitably sterile_ ... When there
appeared a poet , awkward at times, but almost always great , who proclaimed in
impassioned language the sacrcdneu of the Revolution of 1830 and sang of the
destitution o£ England and Ireland, despite his defC(; tive r hymes, despite his pleo­
nasms, ... tbe question was set tl ed, and art was thereafter inseparable from rna-­
ralit y and utility. to Baudelai re, L'Art romantique (Paris), p . 193.- The pallage
refers to Barbier. [J5a,2)
"'The optimism of Dupont, his unlimited trust in the natural goodness of man, hi 8
fanati cal love of na ture constitut e the greatest share of hi s talent ." Baudelaire,
i. 'Art romantique (Paris), p. 201. [J5a,3)
" I was not at aU surprised to find ... in Tannhiiuser, l -ohengrin , ancl The Flying
Dutdww1I . an excell ent met hod of COll struct ion, a spirit of order and divi sion that
recall s the archit ecture of anci ent tragedi es. " Baudelaire, i. 'Ar' romantique
(Paris), p. 225 (" Ri cha rd Wagner et Tannhii u,er"). 311 [J5a,4)
" 1£, in hi s choice of suhj ects and in hi s dramatic meth()(I , Wagner rcsemhl es ant.ill­
uit y, hy the passionate ener gy of his expression he is today thc truest repre-­
sentative of modern nature." Baudelaire, L'Art romalltiqlle (Paris), p. 250.3'J
Baudeillire ill "L'Art philosophique." an essay concerned mainly wil.h Alfred Re­
thel: " I-Iere everything- plactl . dtlcor. furnishings, acCtluoritl8 (see Hogarth, for
is allegory, allusion, hi eroglyph. rtlbus. '" Baudelaire. L 'Art
romafltiqlle. p. 131 ..
There follows a reference to l\li chelet's interpretation of
DUrer's MelancllO{jlll. [J5a,6]
Variant of the passage on Meryon cited by Geffroy, in " Peintres et aqua-forti ste, "
( 1862): " Just the other day a young American artist, M. Whistler, was showi ng ...
a set of etchings ... representing the banks of the Thames; wonderful tangles of
rigging, yardarms and rope; farragos of fog, furnaces, and corkscrews of smoke;
tbe profound and intricate poetry of a vast capital. ... M. Meryon. tbe true type
of the consummat e etcher, could not neglect the call .... In the pungency, finesse,
and sureness of bis drawing, M. Meryon recalls all that was best in the old etchers.
We have rarely seen the natural solemnity of a great capi tal more poetically de­
pi cted. . Those majesti c accumulations of stone; those 'spires whose fingers point to
heaven'; those obelisk! of industry, spewing forth their conglomer ations of smoke
against the firmament ; those prodigies of scaffolding ' round buildings under re­
pair, applying their openwork ar chitecture, of such paradoxical and arachnean
beauty, upon archit ecture's solid body; that foggy sky, charged with anger and
spi tc; those limitless perspe<: tives. only increased by the thought of the dramaB
they contain- be forgot not one of the complex elements which go to make up the
painful and glorious df(:or of civilization. " Baudelaire. L 'Art romanrique (Paris).
pp. [J6,1]
On Guys: " The festivals of the Bairam, ... in tbe midst of which, like a pale SUD,
can be discerned the endleu ennui of the late swtan." Baudelaire. L 'A rt
rique (Paris), p. 83 . .&% [J6,2]
On Guys: " Wherever those deep, impetuous desires, wa r, love. and gami ng, are in
full flood , like OrinOC08 of the human heart ...• our observer is always punctu­
aUy on the spot ." Baudelaire, L 'An romanlique (Paris), p. 87.<U [J6,3]
Baudela.i.rc: as antipode of Rousseau, in the maxim from his essay on Guys : "For
no sooner do we take le::ave of the:: domain of needs and ne::cessities to c=nte::r that of
ple::asures and luxury than we see:: that nature can counsel nothing but aime::. It is
this infallible:: Mother Nature who has created parricide and cannibalism." Baude­
laire, L'Art rom4nHqu( (Paris), p. lOO..j.4 [J6,4)
"Very difficult to note do\'lll in shotthand"-this, from the essay on Guys, is
Baudelaire's appreciation, obviously very modem, of the movement of carriages.
Baudelaire:: , L'Art romanHque (Paris), p. 113Y [J6,5]
Closing sentences of the Cuys essay: " He has gone everywhere in (Iuest of the
ephemeral , the fk'Cling forms of beauty in the life of our day, the characteristi c
Irai lS of wllal , wilh the reader's pennin ioD, we have called ' modernity.' Often
bi za rre. violent. excessive. bUI always full of poetry, he has succeeded, in his
drawings, in distilling the bitter or heady flavor of the wine of Life." Baudelaire,
L'Art romantique (Pari&) , IJ . 114.401 [J6a,l )
The figure of the "mode::m" and that of "allegory" must be brought into relation
with e::ach othe::r: "\\be unto him who se::eks in antiquity anything other than pure
art, logic, and general method! By plunging tOO deeply into the:: past, ... he
renounces the ... privileges provided by circumstances; for almost all our origi­
nality comes from the stamp that Hme imprints upon our feelings <JalSaHons>."
Baudelaire, L'Arl romanl;que (Paris), p. 72 (IOU Pei.nt:re de la vie modemej .41 But
the privilege of which Baudda.i.rc: speaks also comes into force, in a mediated way,
vis-a.-vis antiquity: the stamp of time that imprints itself on antiquity presses out
ofil the allegorical configuration. 1J6a,2J
Concerning·"Spleen et ideal," these reflections from the Guys essay: "Modernity is
the transitory, the fugitive. the contingent; it is one half of art , the other half being
the eternal and immutable.... If any particwar modernity is to be worthy of
becoming antiquity, one must exl.ract from it the mysterious beauty that human
life involuntarily gives it . It is to this task that Monsieur G. particwarly addre8Ses
himself." Baudelaire, L'Art romafltique (Parie), p. 70. In another place (p. 74), he
speaks of " this legendary translation of external life. "48 1J6a,3]
Motifs of the poems in the theoretical prose. "Le Coucher du soleilromantique"
<Romanti c Sunset>: " Dandyism is a sunset ; like the declining daysta r, it is glori­
ous, without heat and full of melancholy. But alaB, the rising tide of democracy ...
is daily overwhelming these laat representatives of human pride" (L'Art roman­
lique, p . 95).-"Le Soleil" <The Sun): " At a time when others are asleep. Monsieur
C. is bending over hi 8 table, darting onto a sheet of paper the same glance thai a
moment ago he was directing toward external things, slcinniahing with his pencil,
his pen, his brush, splashing his gla8S of water up to the ceiling, wiping his pen on
his shirt, in a ferment of violent activity. as though afraid that the images might
escape him, cantankerous though alone. elbowing himself on" (L 'Art romontique,
p.67)."'" (j6a,4)
Nouveaute: "The child sees everything in a state of newness; he is always drunk.
N.othing more resembles what we call inspiration than the delight with which a
child absorbs fonn and color.... It is by this deep and joyful curiosity that we
may explain the fixcd and animally ecstatic gaze of a child confronted ,'lith
something new." Baudelaire, L'Art romantique (Paris), p. 62 ("u Peint:re de la vie
modeme"). Perhaps this explains the dark saying in "I.:Oeuvre et la vic d'Eugcne
Delacroix": "For it is true to say that, generally speaking, the child, in relation to
the man, is much closer to original sin" (L'Art romantique, p. [J7,1}
The slIn: " the boisterous 8UII beating a tattoo upon his windowpane" (L'Arl ro­
manlulue, p. 65); " the landscapell of the greal ci ty ... buffettld by the sun" (L'Arl
romantique, pp. 65-(6). $1 (j7,2)
In "L'Oeuvre ella vie d' Eugcne Delacroix": ' 'The whole vi8ible uni verse it bUI a
Slorehou8e of images and signs." Baudelaire. L 'Art romantique, p. 13. 5Z [J1,3)
From tbe Guye essay: "Beaul y is made up of an eternal, invariable elemelll ...
and of a relati ve. cirCUl1l8t alitial element. whi ch will be ... the age--its fashi ons,
its morals, il8 emoti ons. Witbout thi s second e1emenl . whi ch mi ght be described as
the amusing. enti cing, appetizing icing on the di vine cake. the fi rst elemenl would
be beyond our powers of digestion." Baudelaire, L 'Art romantique. pp.
On nouveaute: " Night ! you' d please me more witbout these stars I whi ch speak a
language I know aU too well ." Flei/rl <d" mab, ed. Payot , p. 139 ("Ob8ession").oW
The subsequent appearance of the Bower inJugendstil is not without significance
for the title UJ Flam du mal. This work spans the arch that reaches from the
tJudium vilfU of the Romans to Jugendstil. {J7,6]
It would be important to determine Poe' s relation to Latinity. Baudelaire's inter·
est in the technique of composition could have led him-in the end-as surely to
Latin culture as his interest in the artificial led him to Anglo-Saxon culture.
\\brking through Poe, this latter area of cultun= also conditions-at the outset­
Baude1aire's theory of composition. Hence, it becomes mon= urgent to ask
whether this doctrine does not, in the end, bear a Latin stamp. [J7,7]
The Lesbiarl$- a painting by Courbet. []7,8]
Nature, according to Baudelaire, knows this one luxury: aime. Thus the sig·
nificance of the artificiaL Perhaps v.'e may draw on this thought for the interpn=ta·
tion of the idea that children stand nearest to original sin. Is it because, exuberant
by naNce, they cannot get out of hann's way? A1. bottom, Baudelaire is thinking
of parricide. (Compare L'Arl romantique [Paris], p. 100.)" (J7a,1]
The key to the emancipation from antiquity-which (see in the Guys essay, Urt
romantique, p. can furnish only the canon of composition-is for Baude1aire
alIegorese. [J 7a,2)
Baudelaire's manner or reci ting. I-Ie ga thered hi s rri ends-Antoni o Watripon,
Gabriel Dantrague, Malan is, Ddvau-"in a modell t care on the Rue Dau­
phine.. . . The poet began by orderi ng punch; then, wil en he saw us all disl)()8ed
loward benevolence. , he would recite to us in a voice at once mincing, soft ,
flut y, oil y, alld yet mordant , some enormit y or othef'--" Le ViII de I' assanin" <The
Murderer ', Wine} or "' Une Churogne" <Carrion >. The contrast between the vi o­
lence or the images untll.he perrect placidity. the suave II lId emphati c accellluation,
of the deliver y was trul y striking." Julea LevaUoit .Milieu de siecle: Memoire, d 'un
criliqlte ( Paris < 1895», pp. 93-94. (J7a,3)
"The famous phrase," who am the SOli or a priest' ; the gl ee he was said to feel in
cating IIUIS, when he would imagine lI e was munching the br ains or small children;
the story or the glazier who, at his retlucst , climbed six flights of stairs under a
hcavy load or windowpanes in oppreuive summer heat , onl y to be told he was not
needed-all just so many insll nitidl , and Ilr obably falsehoods, whi ch he delighted
in amassill g." Jul es L..evallois, Miliel/ de siecle: d 'un critique (Paris).
pp. 94-95. (J7a,4]
A remarkable pronouncement by Baudelaire on Gautier (ci ted in JuJes LevalJois,
Milieu de siecle: d 'lm critiqlte [Paris]. p. 97). It i8 recorded by Charles
de Lovenjoul , "Un DerDier Chapitre de )' histoire des oeuvres de Baluc." in
L'Echo des theatres of August 25, 1846, as follows: "' Fat. lazy, 8lugpsh, he has no
ideas, and can only string words together as the Osage strings beads for a neck­
lace." <See J 36a, I .> (J7a,5]
Highly significant letter from Baudelaire to Touuenel: "Monday, January 21.
1856. My dear Toussenel, I really want to thank you ror your gift. I didn' t know
the val ue of your book-l admit it simply and baldly .... For a long time I've been
rejecting almost all books with a feeling of disgust . It's been a long lime, too, since
I've read anything 80 absolutely instructi ve and amusing. The chapter on tbe
ral con and the birds that hunt on man', bebalf is a masterpiece in itself. I There
are expressions in your book that re.:all those of the great masters and whi ch are
cries or trutb--expressions whose tone is irresistibly philosophical, such as,
' Every animal is a sphinx,' and, with regard to analogy, ' What repose the mind
find8 in gentl e qui etude, sheltered by so fertile and so sinlple a doctrine, for which
none of God's works is a mystery! ' ... What is beyond doubt is tbat you are a
poet. I' ve been saying for a ver y long time that the poet is supremely intelligent ...
and that imagina'ion i8 the most scierll ific of raculties, for it alone can under stand
tile universal analogy, or what a mysti c religion calls correspondence. But when I
try to pubUsh such statements. I' m told I'm mad.... What is absolutely certain is
that I have a philosophical cast or mind that allows me to see clearly what is tnae,
even in although I'm neither a huntsman nor a naturalist .... One idea
been uppermost in my thoughts since I started reading your book-and this is
that you' re a t.rue inteUigence whi ch has wanderell into a sect. Al ilhings consid­
ered, what do YOIl owe to Fourier? Not hing, or very little. Without Fourier you
would still be what you are. RatiOlla l men didn' t awail Fourier 's arri val on ea rth
to reali ze that nalure is a tangl/age, an allegory. a mold , an embossing, ir you
like .... Your book arouse, in me a great many dormanl thoughts-anti where
original sin is concerned. at weU as .. .form molded on an idea, I'\<e of len thought
that noxious, disgusting animals were. lM: rhaps. merel y the coming to lire in bodily
form of man's evil thol/ghts . ... Thus, the whole of noture participates ill original
sin. I Don' t hold my boldncss and straightforwar dness agai nst me, but believe
laire. '-' But your name it Baudelaire,' I replied. ' not Badelair'e.'-'Badelaire.
Baudelaire by corruption. It'8 the same thing.'-'Not at all,' I say. ' Your name
come. from baud (merry) , baudiment (merril y), s 'ebaudir (to make mer ry). You
are kind alld cheerful. '-'No, no, I am wi cked and sad .'" Louis Thomas, Cu­
riosiles sur Baudelaire (Pa ris, 1912), pp. 23-24.
Jule. Janin published an article in 1865, in L 'lndependance bel&e. reproachi ng
HeLll e for hi s mel all choly; Baudelaire drafted a letter ill re8polise. " Baudelai re
maintains that melancholy is the source of aU sincere poetry. " Loui.!l Thomu,
Curiosites IIlr Baudelaire (Paris, 1912), p. 17.
On a vi sil to an Academician,SI Baudelaire refers to Le. Fleur. du bien that ap­
peared in 1858 and claims the name of Ihe aUlhor-Henry (probably Hellri) Bor­
deaux-as his own pseudoll ym. See L. Thomu, Curio. ites . ur Baudelaire (Pari.,
1912), p. 43.
"On the IIi Saint-Loui s, Baudelaire felt al bome ever ywhere; he was as perfectly al
his ease in the street or on the quaye as he would have been in hi8own room. To KO
oul into the i81and was in 110 way to quit his domain. Thus, Olle met him in 8lippers,
bareheaded, and dressed in the tuni c that ICrved as hi. work clothes." Louit
Thomas, Curw5ites , ur Baudemire (Pari8, 19 12), p. 27.
"' When I'm utterly alone,' he wrOle in 1864, ' I'll 8eek out a religion (Tibetan or
Japanese), for I despise the Koran too much, and on my deathbed I'll forawear
that lu t religion to show beyond doubt my di8gu8t with universal stupidity. "' H
Loui8 Thomas, Curiosite• •ur Baudewire (Paris, 1912), pp. 57-58. [JBa,5)
Theophile Gautier, 1854-1855. Photo by Nadar. MUS« d'Onay,
Paris; photo copyright 0 RMN. SeeJ7a,5.
Baudelaire's production is masterly and assured from the beginning. []9, I)
Dates. Fleur" du mal: 1857, 1861, 1866. Poe: 1809-1849. Baudelaire'8 discovery that I am your devoted ... Ch. Baudelaire. " 51 Henri Cordier, No tules SUr' Baude­
of Poe: around the end or 1846.
[J9,2) mire (Pari8, 1900), pp. 5-7. The middle &ec:tion of the Jetter polemicizes against
Tousscnel'8 faith in progress and hi s denunciation of de Maistre.
[JS) Remy de Gourmont has drawn a parallel between Athalie's dream and "Le8 Meta­
morphoses du vampire"; Fontainas has endeavored 10 do likewise with Rugo's "Origin of the name Baudelair e. Here is what M. Georges Barral has written on
" Falltumes" (in Le. Orientale,) and "Les Petites Vi eilles." Rugo: "How many this subj ect in the La Revue des curiosites revolut ionmlires : Baudelaire explained
maidens fair, alas! I' ve seen fade and di e.... One form, above all ...ttft& {j9,3) the etymology of his name, which, he said, came not from bel or beau but from
ba nd or bald. ' My name i8 IOmething terrible, ' he declared. ' As a matter of fact , Laforgue on Baudelaire: "Aft er all the liberties of Romanti cism, he wali the first to the badelaire was a saber with a short , broad blade and a convex CUlling edge, discover these rough comparison. whi ch suddelll y, in the midst of a har moniou8 hooked at the tip.... It wu introduced into France after the Crusades and used
ill Pari8 until arOUlld 1560 for eltecuting crimi nals. Some year s ago, in ]861, dur­
l)Cri ed, cause him to put his fool in hi8 plate; obvious, elCllggerated comparisons
ing elCcavatiollH carri ed oul near I.he Pont-au-Change, they recovered the bade­
which seem at times downri ght Ameri can; di sconcerting purplish fl ash and dazzle:
'Night was thi ckening ... like a partition!' (Ot her exampl es abound.) <Her walk is 'llire used by the executioner at the Grand Chi tel et in til e twelfth century. It was like> a serpent at the end of a sti ck; her hair is an ocean; her head 8waY8 with the dcposih'fl in the MU!!Ce de Cluny. Go and have a look. II i8 frightening to 8ee. I
gentielleu of a young elephant ; her body Jeanli like a frail vessel plunging iu . hudder to think how the profil e of my face approxi matef.l the I)rofile of thi s bade­
yardarm8 into the water; her saliva moullts 10 her mouth like a wave 8wollen by the
nl clting of rumbling g1ucicn; her nook i8 a tower of ivory; her teeth are 8heep
on the hill8 above lIebron.-This i8 Americanism sUIHlrimpol cd on the
metaphori cal language. of the ' Song of Songs. '" Jules Luforgue. MeimlSc, po,t­
humc, (puri8. 1903) . pp. 113-114 ("Notes l ur Baudelaire").ftl Compare J86a.2.
" In the fogs along the Seine. the storm of his youth and the marine auna of hia
memoriea have loosened the strings of an incurably plaintive and shriJI Byzantine
viol. " Jul es Laforgue. MelanSe, po,thume, (Paris , 1903), p. 114 ("Not es sur
Baudelaire")."" [J9,5]
When the first edition of Le, Fleur, du mal appeared, Baudelaire was thirt y-six
yean old. [J9,6]
Le Vava88eur describes him around 1844: " Byron attired like Beau Brummell ."
119, 71
The Petiu Poome, e ll pro,e were fi rst collected posthumously. 119,81
" He WB8 the flnt to brea k with the public." Laforgue, Melange, po"hume, (Paris,
1903), p. 11 5." 119,91
" Baudelaire thecat. Hindu. Yankee, episcopal, alchemitt .-Cat : his way of aaying
' my dear' in thai solemn piece that opens with ' Behave, my Sorrow! '-Yankee:
the use of ' very' before an adj ective; his curt description. of landscape, and the
line ' Mount . my . piril , wander at your ease,' which the initiated rooite in metallic
tones; hi s hatred of eloquence and of poetic confidence.; ' Vaporous pleaaure will
drift out of sight J As ...' what then? Hugo, Gautier, and othen before him would
have made a French, oratori cal comparison; he makes a Yankee one and, without
!!ettled prejudice, remains in the air: ' As a 8ylphid pirouettes into the winp ' (you
can see the iron wires and Biage machinery).-Hindu: his poetry is c10aer to the
Indiall than that of Leconte de Lisle with all his erudition and dazzling intricacy:
'of sobbing fount ains and of birds that sing I endle88 obbligatol to my IrystS.'
Neither a greal hea rt nor a great intellect , but what plaintive nervi'll! What open
senses! Whal a magical voice! " Jule. Laforgue, Melangea po,thumea (Paris, 1903),
pp. 118-119 ("Notes sur Baudelaire"}.M [J9a.l J
One of the few clearly articulated passages of the Argument du livre sur la BeL­
gique-in chapter 27, "Promenade aMalines
: "Profane airs, adapted to peals of
beUs . 11trough the crossing and recrossing melodies. I seemed to hear notes from
"La MarseilJaise.
The hymn of the rabble, as broadcast from the belfries, had
lost a littl e of its harshness. Chopped into small pieces by the hammers. this was
nOI the usual gloomy howling; rather, it had taken on, to my ears, a childish
gracc. It was as though the Revolution had learned to srutter in the language of
Baudelaire, Oeuvres, vol. 2, ed. Y (ve8)-G<eranb Le Dantec (Paris, 1931­
1932), p. 725. [j9a,2J
From the " Note detachee" ill the book on Belgium: " I am 110 dupe , and I have
never been a dupe! I sa y, ' Long live the Revolution! ' as I would say. ' Long live
Destruction! Long live Expiati on! Long live Punishment! Long li ve Death! '"
Baudelaire, Oeuvre" vol. 2. ed. Y.-G. Le Dantec. pp. [j9a,3]
Argument du li vre , ur la BeIgique, chapter 25, "Archit ecture-Churche&--Relig_
ions.'" "Brussels. Churches: Sainte-Cudule. Magnificent siained-glass windows.
Beautiful intense colors, like those with whi ch a profound soul investa aU the
objects of life." Baudelaire, Oeuvre" vol. 2, ed. Y.-G. Le Danlec, p. 722.-"Mort
des amanta"-Jugendstil- Hashish. [J9a,4]
"I asked myself whether Baudelaire ... had not sought , through histrionics and
psychic tran_sfer, to revive the adventures of the prince of Denmark... . There
would have been nOlhing surprising in hi s having performed for himself the drama
of Elsinore." Uon Daudet, Flambeolu (Paris ( 1929», p. 210 ("Baudelaire").
"The inner life ... of Charles Baudelaire . .. seems to have passed . . . in conslant
fl uctuation between euphoria and aura. Hence the double character of his poeml,
which, on the one hand. reprelent a luminous bealitude and, on the other. a slate
of .. . taedium vitae. " Leon Daudet , Flambeaux (Paris), p. 212 ("Baudelaire").
Jeanne Duval. Madame Sabati er-, Marie Daubron. 1110,31
"Baudelaire was oul of place in the stupid nineteenth century. He belonp to the
Renaissance .... This can be felt even in the beynninp of his poems, which recall
those of Honsard." Leon Daudet , Flambeaux (Paria), p. 216 ("Baudelaire: I.e
Malaise et ' I' aura'''). [JIO.4)
lkon Daudet voices a ver y unfavorable judgmenl on Sainte-Heuve's Bamklaire.
Among those who have pictured the city of Paris, Balzac is, so to speak, the
primitive; his human figures art: larger than the streets they move in. Baudelaire
is the first to have conjured up the sea of houses, with its mu1tistory waves.
Perhaps in a context with Haussmann. [JI O.6)
' 'The baudelaire ... is a killd of cutlass .... Broad and shorl and double­
edged •. .. til e ell8l1 reS a deadly t.hrIl81, for the hand that holds il is
near the point. " Vi ctor-Emile !'.Uchel et . Figure, £I'evocateurl (Paris. 19 13) , II . 18
("Baudelaire. ou Le Divillatellr douloureux"). [J IO,7)
"The dandy, Baudelaire has said, 'should aspi re to he sublime, continually. He
should live and sleep in front of a mirror ...... Louis Thoma. , Curiosil es . ur Ballde­
laire (Pari., 19 12), pp. 33--34. (J IO,Sj
Two stam: as by Baudelaire, found on the page of a n album:
Noble strong-armed woman, who sleep and dream
I.hroughoutlong day. with no thought of good or evil ,
who weir robe. proudly elunS in Grecian ' Iyle ;
you whom for many yean (which seem Blow to me now)
my lip" well versed in lU8Ciou. kis!!eB,
cherished with all the devotion of a monk:
priestess of debauch, my sister in lusl ,
who disdained to carry ami nourish
s msle child in your hallowed urn,
but rear and flee the I ppsllins , tir;mata
which virtue carved wi th ill degudi ng blade
in pre!"ant matron,'
Louis Thomas, Curiosites sur BamIelaire (Paris, 1912), p. 37. [J1O,9]
"' He was thefirat 10 write about himself in a moderate confeuional manner, and to
lea\'e off the inspired tone. I He was the first to speak of Paris from the point of
view of one of her daily damned (the light ed gas j ets flickering with the wind of
Prostitution, the r est auranUl and thei r air vents, the hospitals , the gambling, the
logs resounding as they are sawn and then dropped on the paved court yards . and
the chimney corner, and the cats. beds, stockings, drunkards, and modern per­
fumes}--aU in a nobl e, r emote, and superior fashi on .... The first also who ac­
cuses himself r ather than appea ring triumphant, who shows his wounds, hU
la.tiness, his bored uselessness at the heart of this dedicated, workaday century. I
The first to bring t o our Iitera lure the boredom impJj cit in sensuality, together with
its strange decor : the sad alcove, ... and to take pleasure in doing 80•••• The
Painted Mask of Woman and its heavenly utension in sunset ... Spleen and
illness (not the poetic aspects of consumption but rat her neurosis) without ever
once using the word." Laforgue, Melange$ pO$,humet (Paris, 1903), pp. lll­
112.68 (J IOa, l ]
" From the mysterious darkness in which they had germinat ed , sent out sccret
roots , and reared t.lleir fecund st alks, Le. Fleurs du mal have gone on to bl ossom
magnillcelltl y, OIK:ll ing up their somlK: r jagged corollas veine<1 with t he colors of
life and, under all elldl e8s sky of glory alld scandal , scatteri ng their heady IK:r ­
fumes or love, of sorrow, and of dea th." Henri de Regni er, <"Baudelaire et Le.
Fleur. du mul," introductory eS8ay) ill Charles Baudel aire, "Le. Fumr. du nllll" el
mitres poeme. (Pa ris <1930) , p. 18. (J IOa,2]
" Be is alway! polite to what is upy." Jules Laforgue, MeicJnges posthume, (Paris,
1903), p. 114."" [J IOa,3)
Roger Allard- in Baudelaire el "l'Esprit nouveau" (l 'uri8, 1918), p. 8---<ompares
Baudelaire's poems t o Madame Sa ba ti er with Ronsa rd', poems to Helene.
"Two writers proroulldly influenced Baudelaire, or ra ther two books ... . ODe is
the clelicious Diable amOUrellX, by Cazolt e; the other, Diderot's Lv. Religiewe. To
the first, many of the poems owe t heir restless frenzy ... ; with Diderot, Baude­
lai re ga there the somber vi olets of Leshos." At this point , in a Ilote, a citation from
Apollinai re's comment ar y to his edition of Baudelaire's Oeuvres poetique,: " One
woul{1 probabl y 1I0t go wrong in taking Cazolt e as the hyphen that had the
honor of uniting, ill ... Baudelaire, the spirit of the Revolution'8 writ ers with that
of Edga r Poc." Roger All ard, BamIelaire et "I 'Esprit nouveau" (Paria. 1918),
pp. 9-10. <See J 20a,2.) (JIOa,5]
"The flavor of late autumn ... which Ba udelaire savored ... in the literary de­
compositi on of low Latin." Roger All ard , BamIelaire et "" Esprit nouveau" (Paris.
1918), p. 14. (J11, I)
"'Baudelaire ... is the most musical of French poets, along with Racine and Ver­
laine. But whereas RaciDe pl ays onl y the violin, Baudelaire plays the whole or­
chestra. " Andre Suares, Preface to Cha rles Baudelaire, Le, Fleur. du mal (Paris ,
1933), PI)· xxxiv- xxxv. (JlI ,2J
" 1£ Baudel aire is supremely cont ained, as no one since Dante has been. it is be­
ca use he always concentrates 0 11 t he inner life, as Dante focused on dogma." Andre
Suares, Preface 10 Baudelaire, Let Fleur$ du mal (Paria, 1933), p. xxxviii.
[Jll ,3]
Les Fleur. rill mcll is the I,,!ertl o or the century. But Baudelaire's de­
spair carri es him infini tely beyond the wrath of Daut t:." Andre Sua res, Preface to
Baudel aire, Les Fle'tr$ du mal (Paris , 1933), p. xiii. [Jl l ,4]
"There is 110 artist in ver se sUI.erior to Baudelaire!' Andre Suares , Preface to
Baudelaire, Le. Fleurs dll m(11 (Pa ris , 1933), p. xxiii . [JI I .5)
,\ pulJinairc: " Ualulclaire ill the scion of Laclos ami Edgar Poe." Cit ed
ill Roger
AJiard , BlIll<ieillire cl "1'E' pri, " 0 1100011 " (Paris, 1918). p. 8.
Jj ll ,6]
Th "CI " ' "
e 10 l X ue IlUtXlmes cOII$olant es sur I'amour" <Selected Consolator y Maxims
011 Love) cont a ins an excursus on upiness (first I)ublisli etl Mar ch 3, 18<1.6, in Le
Corsai re_SCU(ln ). The beloved has cOllt rllclcd slllal1"ox DIl.1 suffered scars, which
frollt thell 0 11 li re the lover 's Il cli ght : ;' Yuu run a grave risk, if your pockmarked
mistress betrays you, of being able to console your self only with pockmarked
women. For certai n spirits, more precious and more jaded. delight ill ugliness
proceeds from an sentiment still- the thirst for the unknown and the
j taste for til e horrible. It is this sentiment . . . which dri ves cert ain 1)0018 inlo the
diue(: ling room o.r I.he clini c, and women to public exec;utioIl8. I am sincerely sorry
for the man who cannot understand I.hill-he is a harp who lacks a bass string!"
Baudelaire, Oeuvre" vol. 2, ed . Y.· C. Le Dantec. p. 621.711 [JI I ,?)
The idea oC "'correspondences" surfaces already in the "Salon de 1846," where a
passage of KreisleritJna is cited. (See the note by I.e Dantec, OeuureJ, vol. 1,
p.585.)11 (jll t8]
In considering the aggressive Catholicism displayed in Baudelaire's later work,
one must bear in mind that his writing had met with scant success during his
lifetime. l1tis could have led Baudelaire, in rather unusual fashion, to align
himsdf or rather to identify himself with the completed works. His particular
sensuality found its theoretical equivalents only in the process of poetic composi·
tion; these equivalents, however, the poet appropriated to himself as such, uncon­
ditionally and without any sort of revision. They bear the trace of this origin
precisely in their aggressiveness. [J lla,l ]
" He has On a blood-red cr avat and rose gloves. Yes, it is 1840 ... . Some yean,
even ueen gloves were worn. Color disappeared from outfi t. only reluct antl y. For
Ba udel aire was not alone in sporting that purple or brick-colored cravat . Not
alone in wearing pink gloves. His trademark is in the combination of the two
eCfects with the bl ack outfit." Eugene Mar san, Les Cannel de M. Paul Bourget et Ie
bon choix de Philinle (Paris, 1923), pp. 236-237. [JIla,2]
" His utterance., Cautier thought , were fuD of ' capi tal letters and italic • . ' He
appeared .. . surprised at what he himself said, as if he heard in hi. own voice the
words of a stranger. But it must be admitted tbat his women and his . ky, hU
perfumes, }Us nostalgia , hi s Christianity and his demon, his oceans and his trop­
ics, made for a subj ect matter of stunning novelty .... I do not even criti cize hi,
jerky gait , ... which made peopl e compare him to a spider. II was the beginning of
that angul ar gesti cul ation which, little by little, would displace the rounded graces
of the old world. Her e, too, he i. a precursor. n Eugene Manan, Let Ca nnet de
M. Paul Bourge, clle bon choU: de Philinte (Paris, 1923), pp. 239-240. [J ll a,3]
" His gestures were nohle, slow, kept in e10se to the body. Hi s politeness soomed
affected becuuse it wus a legacy of the eighteenth century. Baudelaire being the son
of an old man who had known the sa)ons." Eugene Marsan, Let Cannes de M. Paid
Bourget et Ie boll choU: cle Philint e (Paris, 1923), p. 239. [J l la,4j
There are two tliffer ent versions of debut in Georges
Rency, who rt! prtxiuce!l both, prefers the one by the chronicl er Tardieu. " In a
horrible funk," writes the latter, " Baudel aire r ead a nd atammert!d and t re.mhled ,
his teelh e1laHering, his nose burietl in hia manuscript. It was a disaster." Ca mill e
Lcmonnier, on the olher hand, came away with the " impression of a magnifi cent
talker." Georges Rency. Physiotlomie. litteraires (Bru8lIels, 19(7), pp. 267, 268
(" Charles Baudelai re"). [J 12,1]
" He . . never made a serious effort t o under stand what was external to him."
Georges Rency, Physionomiet litteraires (Brussels, 19(7), I). 274 (" Charle.
Baudel aire").
" Baudel aire is as incapable of love as of lahor. He loves as he writ es, by fits and
sta rt s, a nd then relapses into the dissolut e egoism of a fl ull eur. Never does he show
the sli ght est curiosit y about human affair! or the slight est consciousness of human
evolution .... His art could therefore be said .. . to sin by reason of ils narrow.
ness and singularity; these, indeed, are defects which put off sane and upright
minds such as love clear works of univenal import ." Georges Rency, Phytiono-­
mies litterairet (Brussels , 1907), p. 288 (" Charles Baudel aire"). [J12,3}
" Like many another author of his day, he was not a writer but a stylist . Hi s images
are almost alway, inappropriate. He will say of a look that it is 'gimlet.shaq).' .. .
He will call repent ance ' the last hostelry.' ... Baudelaire is a still worse writer in
prose than in verse . ... He does not even know grammar. ' No French writer ' he
, d '
ar ent for the glory of the nat ion, can , without pride anti without regret"
divert his gue. .. ' The solecism here is not only fl agrant ; it is foolish. " Edmond
Scherer, Etude. fUr la litterature cOlltemporaine, vol. 4 (Paris, 1886), PI" 288­
289 (" Baudelai re"). [J12,4]
is a sign not of decadence in letters hut of the general lowering of
Edmond Scherer, Etlulet tUr la litterature contemporaine. vol. 4
(I an s, 1886), p. 291 (" Charles Ba udel air e"). [J12,5}
Bruneti ere recognizes, with Galltier, that Baudelai re has opened new territ ory for
Among the criticisms regi stered against him by the liter ary is
tillS' " Mo h h I k d
. reover, e was a poet 10' a ac e more than one element of his art- nota­
(according to people who knew him) the ,;ift of thinking directly in ver se."
hcrdinand) B ( ' L 'E I . d I • . .
" r llne lere, lIO utlon e a pOClle iYrlqllc en France (III XJX.
lIecle, vol. 2 (Paris , 189,' ), p. 232 ("Le SYlll i>olisme") . [jI 2.6J
(L 'Evolution de la lyrique en j.' r(ltIce au XIXp &iecle, vol. 2
t I ans, 1894]) di sti ll guishes Ballliel ai r e a ll oll e side from the school of HUij kill all d
0 11 the odl er from the Russian novelists. III hath these lIIovement ii he cur; ellt,
Which. wi th good renton. resist t he decaclence proclaimed by Baudelaire, oPl)Osing
to everythillg hypercuJti vated the primitive simplicit y alld innoccnce of IUtl ural
lIIali. A synt.hesia of thcse antitheticallcndcncies woultllie represenl ed by Wag.
ner.-Bruneti ere tl rrived a t thi s relatively positive e8timatiDn D( Baudelaire Dnly
bela tedl y ( 1892). [J12a, l ]
On Baudelai re in relat iDn toO HugD and Gautier : " lie t reats the great nl BBter!! he
Icarnt--d frDm as he lreat s WDmen: he adores and vilifies them." U.-V. Chatelain,
Baullelaire. l 'hDmme el k p oote (Paris), I)' 21. {j 12a,2]
Baudelaire on Hugo: "Not only does he express precisely and translate literally
what is clearly and distinctly visible, but he expresses with indispensable obscu·
ri ty what is obscure and vaguely reveal ed." C iting this sentence in
I'homme d Ie patte (Paris), p. 22, Chatelain rightly says that Baudelaire is perhaps
the only man orhis rime to have understood the "secret Mallanneism" of Hugo.
" Barely sixty peDple fDllowed the hearse in the sweltering heat ; Banville and
AlIIIelineau . under a gathering st Drm, made beautiful speeches that nDbody cDuld
hear. With the exceptiQn of VeuillDt in L 'Univers , the press WB8 cruel. Everything
bore dDwn Dn his remains. A gale dispersed hi s fri ends; hi s enemies ... called
him ' mad . ", U.-v. Cha telain, Baudelaire. l 'hDmme erie poere (pa ris), p. 16.
{j 12a,4-]
FoOr the experience of the cDrrespondallces, Baudelaire rcfers occasiDnally toO
SwedenboO rg, and alsD t oO hashish. [J12.,5]
Baudelai re at a cOll cert : "TwoO piercing black eyes . gl eaming with a peculiar vivid­
neu, alDne a nimaled the fi gure that seemed frD:ten in its shell ." Loredan Larchey,
Fragments de .souvenirs (Paris, 1901), p. 6 ("Le BQa de Baudelaire--l.' lmpecca­
ble Banvill e"). {j 12a,6]
La rchey is an eyewitness 10 Baudelaire's first visit toO an Academician-a call paid
toO Jules Sandeau. Larchey fInds himself inlheentrance hall soon afler Baudelaire.
" When I a rrived, ... at the appoint ed hDur, a bi zarre spectacie informed me I had
been preceded. All arQund Ihe hat-pegs of the anl echamber was coiled a loUA:
scarl el boa, Qne Qf thDse bQas in chenill e of which yQllng wDrking-class women are
parti cular ly fDnd ." l.. u a rchey. Fragments de souvenirs>, p. 7. [j 12a,7]
TaMeau of decadence: " BehQld Qur grea t ci ties under the fog of tQbacco smoke
thai envelops them, thDrQughl y sodden by alcohDI , infused with morphine: it is
there that humanit y cOlli es unhinged. Hesl assured that this source breeds more
epilepli cs, idi Dts, and anassins than IJOels." Maurice Barn!s, UI FQlie de Charles
Bmuleluire (Pa ris <1926», pp. 1().1..... I05. [j 13, 1]
;' 111 conclusioll , I would Uke t oO imagine that a gQvernment such a8 we CQnceive after
the mQtlcl of HoOhhcs would strive to arresl , by some vigQrQUStheralJeutic method.
the spread of these doctrines. whi ch ar e 118 producti ve o( malingererl and trQuble­
rll akers as t hey are fQr (Drming ci tiJ:ens .... But I think Ihal the wise
despol , afler ca reful refl ecti oll, WQuid refrain from int ervening, fll ilh(uJ toO the
tradi tion of a n agreeable phil oSQphy: Apre. /l OllS Ie deluge." Maurice Barres, La
f olie de Charle. BUlI(/eluire (Pa ris), 1'1" 103- 10.1. [J13,2]
"Baudel aire was perha ps Dnl y a hard-wDrking SQul WhD felt and under stood whal
was li e"" thrQugh Pot:, and WhD disciplin.:t1 himself in the course of hi s life toO
becDme slH!Cia liJ:ed." Ma uri ce Barres, La lie Charle.s Blwdelaire (Paris),
p.98. [J13,3]
"lei us perhaps gua rd against l aking these poeu too qui ckl y for Christians. The
lilUrgicallanguage, the IIUgelS, the Sata ns ... are merely tI mise en scene fQr the
ar list whQ jlltlges thai t he picturesque is ""ell worth a Mass. "'73 Maurice Barres, La
Folie de Charlet Balldeluire (Paris), pp. 44--45. [j 13, 4j
" Hi s best pages are Qverwhelming. He rendered superb prDse int Q diffi cult ver se."
Mll uri ce Barres, La Folie de Chllrle.s HUlldeluire (Paris), I). 54. [j13,5J
"Scatt ered aerQn the sky like luminQUS seeds of gold lIud silver , radjating Dul frDm
the deep darkness of night , the slar!! represent [fQr Baudelaire] the ardor and
energy of the human imaginati on." Elisabeth Schin:tel , tValllr Imd tVn!ursymbolik
bei Poe, Baudelllire lind den fran::; osischen Symbolisten (DUrell [ Hhineiand],
1931). p. 32. [J13,6]
" His voice ... muffled like the nighttime rumble Df vehicles, flhering into plushl y
UphDlsler ed bedrooms." Maurice Ba rres, La Folie de Charles Baudelaire (Paris) .
p.20. (J13,7)
" It mi ght seem, at firsl , thtl t Baudel aire's oeuvre was relati vely infertile. SDme wits
cDmpared it 10 a narrQ"" basin dug with effQrt in a gl oomy spot shrouded in
ha:te .... The innuence of Baudelaire was revealed in 1.£ Pafllaue cOlltemporain
... Qf 1865.... Three fi gur es emerge: .. . Slephane Malla rme. Paul Verlaill e, and
Ma urice HDlIinat. " Ma uri ce Ba rn:s, La Folie de ClJarle. Baudek,ire (l'aris),
pp. 61, 63. 65. [J 13,8]
"And the pl ace occupi. ... 1 by racial epithets amDng Ihe rabble III thai time!"
Maurice Darres. La FQlie lie Ch(Jries Baudelaire (Paris), p. 40. (J13a, l j
FlaulJCrt t o Ba udel aire: " YQU praise Ihe fl esh without ID\'ing it, in II mel ancholy,
det ached way Ihat I filltl sympatheti c. Ah! hDW well yOIl Ulldersl alltll he hQrt:tlom
oOf Ci ted in Maur ice /..0 Folie de Charles lJ(wddllire (Paris),
p.31. [J13a,2]
Baudelaire's predilection forJ uvenal may weU have to do with the lauer's being
aile of tile first urban poets. Compare this observation byTIllbaudct: ;; In survey·
ing the great epochs of urban life, we see that the more the city provides poets
and other people with their intellectual and moral life, the more forcefully poetry
is pushed outside the city. When, ... in the Greek world, that life was fostered
within the great cosmopolitan centers of Alexandria and Syracuse, these cities
gave birth to pastoral poetry. When the Rome of Augustus came to occupy a
similar position of centrality, the sanle poetry of shepherds, ... of pristine nature,
appeared with the Bu(oJiu and the Georgia of Virgil . And in eightecnth-century
France, at the most brilliant moment ... of Parisian existence, the pastoral re­
appears as part of a retum to antiquity. ... The only poet in whom one might
find a foretaste of Baudelairean urbanism (and of other things Baudelairean as
well) would be perhaps, at certain moments, Saint-Amanl." Albert TIUbaudet,
l nlmnm (Paris <1924» , pp. 7-9. . [J13a,3j
" In paning from all these Romantic poets to Baudelaire, we pass from a landscape
of nature to a landscalJe of stone and flesh .... A religious awe of nature, which,
for thcse .. . Romantics, was part of their familiarity with nature, has become
with Baudelaire a hatred of nalure." [?] [J13a,4j
Baudelaire 011 Mussel: "Exccpt at the age of one's first Communion- in other
words, at thc age when everything having to do with prostitut cs and silk stockinga
produces a religious effecl- I have never been able to endure that paragon of
lady-killers, hi!! spoiled-child's impudence, invoking heaven and hell in tales of
wnll er-table COIIVCrl8tiolls, his muddy torrent of mistakes in grammar and pros­
ody, and finall y his utl er incapacit y to Ullder stand the procell by which a reverie
becomell a work of arl .'''1$ Thibaudet , who quotes thill remark illimerieurJ (p. 15),
juxtalJOSCS it one by Brunetiere on Baudelaire: " Hc'. just a Satan with a
furnished al)artmeut , a Beelzebub of the dinner tahl e" (I•. 16). [J13a,5j
"A sonnet like ' A Une Passalltc' (To a Woman Passing a stanza like the last
stanza of that sonnetl' ... could blossom only in the mili eu of a great capital,
wherc human beings Live logether a8 stranger8 to one another and yet as travelers
on the same journey. Amonr; all the capitals, Paris alone produces such beings as a
natural fruit. " Albert Thibaudet , Interieurs (Paris), I'p. 22 ("Baudelaire").
" !-Ie carried about him as sorrowful trophy ... a hurdcn of memori es, so that he
seemed to live in a continual paramnesia .. . . The poet carries within himself a
living duree <perduratiofl) which odors call forth ... lind with whi ch they
gle.... This cit y is a duree, all illveterate life-form, a memory.... If he loved 1I1
... a Jeanne Duval some immemorial stretch of ni ght ... , thi s will be only a
symbol ... of that true duree ... that is consubstanti al wit.h the Life and being of
I'aris. the dllree of those very old, r umpled cr eatures who (it st.:emed 10 him) ought
to form. like the ca pital itself, massive blocks and ullcnding embankments of
memori es. ,. (Refcrence is to " Le, PetilCll Vi eilles.") AllJcrt Thilllludct, Inl erieurJ
(Paris), PI)' 24-27 ("Baudel aire"). (j 14,2j
Thibaudet juxtaposes Baudelaire's "Vil e Charogne" <Carrion> with Gautier ', " La
Comb:li e de la mort" <The Comedy of Death> and Hugo', "L' Epopec du ver n <The
Epic of the Wor,," <l,,' erieur5, p. 46). (j 14,3j
11:Ubaudet adverts very aptly to the COlmection betwt:en confession and mys.
tification in Baudd ain:. TItrough the lauer, Baudela.i.n:'s pride compensates itself
for the former. "Ever since Rousseau's Conju.Ji01lJ, it seems that all our literature
of the personal has taken its departure from the broken·down furniture of relig.
ion, from a debunked confessional." TIUbaudet, l'l/iriturs (Paris), p. 47 ("Baude.
laire"). Mystification a figure of original sin. [J14,4)
Thibaudet (InterieurJ, p. 3,J) cites a r emark from 1887, in which Brunetie.re call,
Baudel aire "a species of oriental idol , mon8trOU. and millshapen, whose natural
deformit y is heightened hy strange colors." [J14,5J
[n 1859 Mistral's Mireille appeared. Baudelaire was i.llcen8ed at the book's suc­
Baudelaire 10 Vigny: "The only praise I ask for this hook i8 that readers recognize
it's not a mere album, but has a beginning and an elld ... •• Cited in Thibaudet ,
InterieurJ (Paris), p. 5. (J14,7j
Thihaudet concludes hi s essay OD Baudelaire with the aUegory of the sick mUle,
who, 0 11 Rastignac Hill on the Right Bank of the Scine. forms a pendant to the
Montagne Sainte-Genevieve on the Left Bank (Pi>. 60-61). (J14,8j
Baudelairc: "of all our great poets, the one who writeR worst- if Alfred de Vigny
be cxcepted." Thibaudet , Interieurs (Paris), p. 58 (" Baudelaire"). [J14,9j
Poul et-Malassis had hi s "shop" in the Passage des Prim:es, call ed in those days the
Passage Mires. (J14a,l j
"Violet boa on whi ch curled his grayillg lock , carefully maint ained, which
ga,·c him a somewhat cleri cal appear ance." dules lIu88on> Champfl eury, SOUIIe­
nir., 'et portrtlit., de jelme$$e (Paris. 1872), p. 144 ("Rencontre dc Baudelaire").
[j 14a,2j
" Il e worked , not Hlways at that mi sunder standing which isolated him
ill Ilis own timc; he worked at it all the more as Ihis mi sunderstanding was already
la king shape ill him8e1f. His pri vate notes, Jlublished posthumously. are painfully
rC"caLing in this rcslJecl .... All SOOIl as this arti st of incomparable subtlety sl)Caks
of hilllscJf, he ill astonishingly awkward. I rrcparabl y he lacks pride--to the poinl
whcre hc reckons inceuanti y with fools, either 10 astound them, to shock them, or
aft er all 10 inform them that he absolutel y does not reckon with fools." Andre
Gide, Preface to Baudelaire, Les Fkun du mal , ed. Edouard Pelletan
(Paris, 1917), pp. xiii_xiy. 08 [J14a,3)
''' This book has not been written for my wives, my daughters , or my sisters,' he
says, of Les Fleurs du mal. Why warn us? Why thi s sentence? Oh, simply
for the pl easure of affronting bourgeois morals . with the words ' my wives' slipped
in, as if careleuly. He values them, however, since we find in his private journal:
'Tltis cannot shock my wives, my daughters, or my sisters. ,,, Andre Gide, Preface
to Charles Baudelaire, Les Fkurs du mal, ed. Edouard Pelletan (Paris, 1917),
p. xiy. a [J14a,4)
" Without doubt, Baudelaire is the artist about whom the most nonsense has been
written. " Andre Gide, Preface to Ch<aries) B<audeJaire), Les Fleurs du mal , ed.
EdOllard Pelletan (Paris, 1917), p. xii. !IO [J14a,5]
" Les Fleurs du mal is dedi cated to what Gautier claimed to be: magician of Frencb
letters, pure artist, impeccable writer-and this was a way or saying: Do not be
deceived; what I venerate is the art and not the thought ; my poems· will have merit
not because of their movement , passion, or thought , hut because of their fonn."
Andre Gide, Preface to Ch. B .• Les Fleur! du mal, ed. Edouard Pelletan (Paris,
1917), pp. xi_xii .BI [J14a,6)
" Now he quietly converses with each one of us." Andre Gide, Preface to Ch. B. ,
Les Fleurs du mal , ed. E. Pelletan (Paris , 1917), p. xy. 1I2 [J14a,7]
Lemaitre in his article " Baudelaire," published originally in the " Feuilleton
Dramatique" section of Le Journol des debars , and written on the occasion of
Crepet's edition of the Oeuvre. posthumes et Correspondance. inedite.: " Worst of
all , I sense that the unhappy man is perfectly incapahle of deyeloping these sibyl­
line notes. The pensee. of Baudelaire are most often only a sort of painful and
pretentious stammering.... One cannot imagine a less philosophical mind.'" Jules
Lemaitre, Le, Contemporains, 4th series (Paris, 1895), p. 21 (" Baudelaire").
Brooding! <See J55a, b . [J15, I)
After Calcutt a. " On his return, he ent ers into possession of his patrimony, seventy
thousand francs. Within two years, he has spent half of it. ... For the next twenty
year s, he Iiyes on the income provided by the remaining thirty-five thousand
francs.... Now, during these twent y years, he runs up no more than ten thousand
francs in new debts. Under these conditions, as you can imagine, he couldn' t have
indulged very often in Neronian orgies!" Jules lA:maitre, U 3 Contemporains, 4th
seri es (Paris, 1895), p. 27. [J lS,2)
Bourget draws a comparison betwetl n Leonardo alld Baudelaire: " We are drawn
irresistibl y to prolonged meditation 011 the enigma of this painter, of this poet. On
being studiously contemplated, the enigma surrenders il8 secret. " Paul Bourget,
E.MI;" de psychologic corltempomine, YOl. 1 (Paris, 19(1), p. 4 ("Baudelaire").
" He excels at begimting a poem with words of unforgett able solemnity, at once
t ragic and rneful: ' What does it matt er to me that you are wise? I Be lovely- and
be sad! .. . ' Elsewhere: "Sudden as a knife you thrust I into Ill y sorry heart. ..
And elsewhere: " Pensiye as cattle resting on the beach, I they are staring out to
sea . . .. '" Paul Bourget, EJSais de psychologie COFl'eml'orClille, vol. 1 (Paris,
19(1). PI'. 34.
Bourget sees in Benjamin Constant , Amiel , and Baudelaire three kindred spirits,
intellects stamped by the esprit d 'analyse, types determined hy decadence. The
detailed appendix to "Baudelaire" is concerned with Const ant 's Adolphe. To­
gether with the spirit of analysis, Bourget considers ennui an element of df!(; a­
dence. The third and last chapter of hi s essay on Baudelaire, "Theorie de la
decadence," deyelops this idea with reference to the late Roman Empire. (j15,S)
1849 or 1850: Baudelaire draws from memory the head of B1anqui. See Philippe
Soupault , Baudeklire (Paris (1931» , illustration on p. 15. [JIS,6)
" It is aU a harmony of artifices, of deliberate contradictions. Let us try to note
some of these. Realism and idealism are mingled. Along with description that takes
extravagant pleasure in the most dismal details of physical realit y there is, at the
same time, r efined expression of ideas and beliefs that exceed the immediate im­
pression made on us by bodies--There is a union of the most profound sensuality
with Christian asceticism .•A horror of life, and an ecstati c joy in life.' writes
Baudelaire somewhere. &.! ... There is al so, speaking of loye, the combination of
adoration and contempt for woman.... Woman is seen as a slave. as an am­
mill , .. . yet to her the same homage, the same prayers are addressed as to tbe
immaculate Virgin. Or rather, she is seen as the uniyersal trap ... and worshipped
for her deadly power. And that is not all: even as one seeks t o render the most
Ilrdem passion, one al so labors to find for it . . . the most unexpected form ...­
that is, what bespeaks the greatest sang-froid and even absence of passion ... .
One believes, or olle pretends to believe, in the devil; he is envisaged by turns, or
simultaneously, as the Father of Eyil and as the great Loser and great Victim; and
Olle delights in proclaiming one's impiety in the language of ... the faithful. ' Pro­
gress' is cursed ; the industrial of the century is execrated , ... and, a t
the same time, the poet reyels in the special color and brilliancy thi s civilization
has brought to human life.. .. Such , . believe, is the basic intent uf Baudelairism:
always to uuite two oppolOed orders of feeling. and, at bottom, two divergent
conceptions of the world and of Iife---the Christian allli the other, or, if YOIl like,
the past and the present. It is a masterpiece of the Will (like Baudelaire, I cll pital­
ize), the last word in im'entiveness ill the realm of feelill g." Jules Lemaitre, Les
COntemporains, 4th series (Paris, 1895), PI' . 28-31 (" Bll udelai.re"). {j 15a, l ]
Lemnitre obser ves that Baudelaire r eally did creat e a ponci/, It cliche. as he set out
to do. [j 15a,2]
"Tbe bloody apparatus of tl e!!truction"-where is tbis pbrase in Baudelaire? 10
" La Dest ruction. "'8:; [j15a,3]
" You couJd Imt him down as the lH: riect embodiment of the ' Pari!!ian pcu imist ,'
two words whi cb earlier would have jarred on being coupled. '" Paul Bourget,
Essai& de J' sychologie contemporaine. vol. 1 (Paris, 1901), p. 14. (J15a,4]
Baudelaire had briefl y cOlisidered reproducing, as the frontispiece to the kCood
edhion of Les Fl.eurs, a dance of death by H. Langlois. (J15a,5)
"Three different men inhabit this man at one and the same time, ... Tbese three
men are all qllit e modern, and more modern still is their synthesis. The crisis of
religious faith , the cit y life of Paris, and the scientmc spirit of the age ... are 80
thoroughly alli ed here as to aplH:ar inseparable.... Faith has died out , whereat
mYllicism, though intell ectuall y discredi ted, still lH:rmeatet the sensibility .... We
could not e . .. the use of liturgical terminology to celebrate sensual pleasure ... or
that curi ous work of ' prose' in decadent Latin style which he entitled 'Franciscae
meae lalltles.' . .. On tilt: other hand, hi s libertine tastes came from Paris. Every­
where in his ... poems is a backdrop of Parisian vice, as well as a backdrop of
Ca tholic ritual. lie hall obviously penetrated- and with hair-rai sing experiences,
we lIIay be 8ure--the m08t wretched strata of tru!! unchaste city. He has eaten at
common dinner lables lH:side painted women whose mOlllhs drip blood through
masks of ceruse. He has slept in brothels. and has known the rancor of broad
dayli ght illuminating, along with the faded curtains. the still more faded face of the
woman-for- hi re. He has sought oul ... the unthinking spasm tbat ... cures tbe
mal de penscr. And, al the u me time, he bas SlOpped and chatted at every street­
corner in town.... He bas led the life of the literary man, .. . and he has ...
whetted the blade of his spirit where that of others wouJd ha\'e been duUed.'" Paul
Bourget , Eu au de psychologie contemporaine. vol. 1 (Parill , 1901), pp. 7-9
("Baudelaire"). (J16.1J
Riviere provides a sequence of felicitous glosses on Baudelaire's poetic proce­
dure: "Strange procession of words! Sometimes like a weariness of the voice, ...
an utterance full of frailty : ' I dream of new Bowers, but who can tell I if this
sordid swamp of mine affords I the mystic nourishment on which they thrive [qui
firaitleur vigueur].' Or: 'a favoring Goddess makes the desert bloom [Cybele, qui
les aime. augmnll( ses vcrdurcs] . . ..' Like those who feel themselves completely
in conunand of what they want to say, he seeks at first the most remote of tenns;
he then invites their approach, conciliates them. and infuses them with a quality
you would not have thought could be theirs.. . Such poetry cannot be the
product of inspiration .... And just as the unfolding thought ... slowly breaks
free of the obscuri ty in which it began, so the poetic trajectOry retains a certain
slowness from its long virtuality: 'How sweet the greenish light of your elongated
eyes.' ... Every onc of Baudelaire's poems is a movement.... Each constitutes
some particular phrase. question, reminder, invocation, or dedi cation, which has
a specific direction." Jacques Riviere. Etudes (Paris), pp. 14-18.- [J16,2)
Frontispiece (by Rops) to the collecti on of Bau{lclaire'lI " oems enlitl ed Les EfXl lJ(!s
(Wreckage). It presents a lIIultifaceted allegory.-Plan 10 ulle an etching by Brac_
(IUemoml as the frontispiece 10 the (secolld e{li tion of) Les Fleurs du mal. Baude_
lai re describes it : "A skel eton turning int o a tree, with leg!! and ribs fOnning the
trunk, the arms stretched Ollt to make a cross and bursti.ng into leaves and buds.
shchering se\'er al rows of POiliOIl OUIL planlll in little 1)OIs, lined up as if in a
deller 's hothouse.''': [J16.3]
Curious notion of SoupauJt 's: "Almost all of the poelll S are more or less di rectl y
inspired by a print or a painting .... Can it be said that he sacrificed to fashion?
He dreaded being alone .... Hill weakneu obliged rum 10 look for things to lean
on." Philippe SoupauJt . Bamlelaire (Pari s <1931» , p. 64. [J16a,1)
" In the years of hi s maturilY and resignati on, he never spoke a word of regret or
compl aint about his chiltlhootl ." Arthur HoLil scher, "Charles Baudelaire," Die
Literatllr. vol. 12, pp. 14-15. [J16a,2)
"These images ... do not ai m to carel! our imaginati oll ; they are di slant and
stlillied, the way a voice sOllmls whcn it emphu i:res somelhing .... Like a word
spoken in our ear when we leaSI expected it , the poet is suddenly hard by: ' You
remember? You remember what I' m saying? Where did we see tbat together, we
who dOIl ' t even know each other?" Jacques Rivier e, Eludes (Paris), PI)' l8-19.
"' Baudelaire under stood the c1airvoyall ce of Ihe heart that does not acknowledge
all it experiences .... It is a hesitatioll . a holding back, a modest gaze,'" Jacques
Riviere, Etudes (Paris), p. 21. [J16a,4]
"Lines of verse so l)tricet . 80 measured. that at first one hesitates to granl them aU
their meaning. A hope sti rs for u minute--JouiJt as to their profundil Y. Bul Olle
need o'nly wait . '" J acqlles ltivi cre, Etudes (Paris). 1" 22. [J16a,5)
On Bautldaire's "Cr t puscul e tlu malin" <Twili ghl of Da yhreak>: "Each linc of
"Crcpuscule till matin"-wit.hout st ridcncy. witll tl cvotioll--i:vokes a mi sftlrtune."
J ucque!! Ri viere , f; tm!es ( Pur is), p. 29. [J16a,6)
"The devotion of II hea rt moved 10 I, y weakness.... Though he SIH:uks of
til e most horribl e things, the fi er CCIlCSS of hi s rt:!! IJecllemi s him a subtle {Irtency. '.
Jacques Ri viere, Eludes (Paris) . lip. 27- 28. (j16a.7)
According to Challlpfi eury, Baudelaire wouJd have bought up all the unsold ileml
from the Salon of 1845. [j16a,8]
" Baudela ire knew tilt: art of trall sforming hi s features as well al allY escaped
convi ct ." d ul es) Chllmvfleury, Sou venir$ el IJOrtrCli11 de jeuncue (Paris, 1872),
p. 135 (" Rellcolltre de Baudelaire").-Courbet complained of the trouble be had
completing the portrait of Baudelaire; the subject lookal different from one day to
the next. [j 16a,9]
Baudelaire's liking for porter.
" Baudelaire's favorite flowers were neither daisy, carnation, nor rose; he would
brea k int o raptures at the sight of those thi ck-leaved IIlantl that look like vipera
ahout to fall on their prey, or spiny hedgehogs. Tormented forms. bold forms­
l uch was this poet's ideal." ChampOeury, Souvenirs el portrcliu de
(Paris, 1872), p. 143. [j16a,1l]
Gide, in his preface to Le, Flell.rs till. mal, lays emphasis on the "centrifugal and
di sint egrating" force which Baudelaire. like DOl toevl ky, recogni:ted in himself and
which he felt to be in opposition to his productive concentration (p. xvii)."
" Thil taste for Boileau and Racine was not an affectation in Baudelaire.... There
is l omething more in Les Fleurs dll mat than the ' thrill of the new'; there ill a
return to traditional French verse.... Even in hi l nervoul mal aile, Baudelaire
retainll a certain sanit y." Remy de Gounoont , Promenades lilterClirel, 2nd seriel
(Pa ris, 19(6), PII . 85-86 ("Baude.laire et Ie songe d ' Athalie"). [j17,2J
Poe (as cited in Remy de Gourmont, PromerladelJ litteraires [Paris, 1904] , p. 371:
" Margi nali a sur Edga r Poe et sur Baudelaire"): Wf he assurance of the wrong or
error of any action is often the one Illl conlluerable force whi ch impels us , aDd
aloll e iml)Cls us, to its prosecution."'" [J17,3)
Construction of " l..' Echec de Baudelaire" <Baudelaire's defeat> , by Rene La·
forgue. As a child, 8audelaire is sUIIPosed to have witnessed the coitus of his nurse
or hi s mother with her (first or l!:Cond?) husband; he would find himself in the
position of third person in a love relationship a nd would settle down in that posi·
tion; he would become a voyeur and frC(IUclit borllellos mainl y as 1.1 voyeur; owing
to thi s same fi.xatioll 011 the visual , hc would b!:Come a criti c and experience a need
for objectivity, "so that nothing is ' lost to view. '" He would belong to a clearly
defma l category of pa tients : " For them. t o st."e mcans to soar above everything,
like eagles , in compl ete securit y, alltlto realize a sort of omnipotence by identifica·
tioll at Ollec with t.he mun and with the womall . ... The8e are the people who then
develop t hai for the absol ute ... ,and who. taking refuge in the domaID
of pure imagination, lose the use of their hearts'" (L 'Echec (Ie Batulewire [Paris,
1931] , "I" 201 , 2(4).1'11 [j17,4]
" Baudelaire loved Aupick without being aware of it , and ... his reason for con­
tinuall y provoking his stepfathcr was in ortlcr to be low:d by him. .. If J eanne
Duval played a Varl in the l)OCt's emotional life allalogous to that played by
."upie!.: , we ca n uml eni tand why Baudelaire was ... sexually posseued by her.
:\lId so ... this union stood, rather, for a homosexual union, in whi ch Baudelaire
c1liefiy played the passive role-that of the woman. " n em! Laforgue, L 'Echec de
8mulelaire (Paris , 1931). PI'· 175, [j17,5)
lIis friemls sometimes called Baudelaire " Monseigneur Brummell ....
On the cOlllvulsioll to li e, as seen in Baudelaire: " The direct and spolltaneous
u pression of a truth becomes , for these lI ubtJe and torment ed consciences, the
equivalent of success . .. in incest ; succe". that is to sa y, in a spbere in which it
can be r ealized simply by 'good sense.' ... For in those casell wbere nonnal sexu.
ality ill repressed, gQOd 5ense is fated to lack an object. " n ene Laforgue, L'Echec
cle BCllu/eluire (Paris, 193 1), p. 87. 9:! [J17,7)
Anatole ""' rance-La Vie litteraire, vol. 3 (Paris, 1891}---on Baudelaire: " His leg­
end, crea ted by his friends a nd admirers , a bounds in marks of bad taste" (p . 20).
"The most wretched wonian at ni ght in the shadows of a disreputable
aUey takes 011 , ill hi s mind, a tragic grandeur : seven demons are in them [!] and the
whole mystical sky IQOks down on this sinner whose soul is in peril. He tells himself
that the vil est ki sses resound through all eternity, and he brings to bear on this
moment ary encounter eighteen centuries of devilishness" (p. 22). " He is attracted
to women onl y to the point lIet!essary for irrevocable 1088 of his soul. He is never a
lover, an(1 he wouJd IIOt even be a debauelwe jf debauchery were not superlatively
inlpious .... !-Ie would have nothillg to do with women if he were lI ot
that , through them, he couM offend God anti make the angels weep" (p. 22).
[j17a,l ]
" At bottom, he had but Ii alf a faith. Onl y hi s spirit was completely Christian. His
heart and intdl!:Ct remai ned empty. There is a story t.hat oll e (lay a naval officer,
one of his friell(ls, showed him a manitou that he had brought back from Mrica, a
1II0nstrous little hcalll:arvt.>tl from a )Jiet!e of wood by a poor black lIIall .-'1t is
awfull y ugly. ' the offi cer, uml he tlll" :w it away di 8duinfull y.-' Take ca re,'
Bauddail·e said in an tOile, ' lest it prove the true god !' They wer e the most
profOund wordil he en:r utt ered. He IJeJieved ill unknown gods-not least for the
pleasure of bl aspheming:' Ana tole France. IA. Vie liuer(Jire, vol. 3 (Paris. 1891),
p. 23 ("Charles 8 ulHldai rc"). [j17a,2]
Letter to of "'eIJruury 18, 1860.
' 'The hYl)Otheliu of Baudelaire's P.G. <paraIY!le senerale> lIas pel"ll isted for half a
celltury 111111 still in cerlaill quarters. il is based on a grou and
dcmOll 81rable error lind is withoUllIllY fOlillilalioll in fact. ... Baudelaire did not
di e from P. G. bill from of the brain, the consequence of a stroke ... a nd
of a ha rdening of the cerebral arteries." Louis-Antoine-justine Caubert , La
l\'evrose de Baudelaire (Bordeau", 1930), pp. 42-43. Tile argument againsl gen­
eral paralysis is made. likewise in a treatise, by Haymond Trial, La lttaladie de
Baudelai re (Pam. 1926), p . 69. But he sees the brain di80rder as a consequence of
syphilis, whereas Caubert believes that syphilis has not been conclusively estab­
li shed in Baudelaire's case (see p. 46); he cites Remond and Voivenel, Le Genie
lirteraire (Paris, 1912). p. 41 : " Baudelaire was. . the vi ctim of sclerosis of the
cerebral art eries. " [j17a,4j
In his essay " l...e Sadismechell Baudelaire," pubLi8hed in La Chronique medicate of
November 15. 1902, Cabanes defends the thesls that Baudelaire was a "sadistic
madman" (p. 727). [JI8,l ]
Ou Camp on Baudelaire' s voyage " to the Indies": " He arranged suppliet of live­
stock for the English a rmy ... , and rode about on elephants while composing
ver se." Ou Camp adds in a note: " I have been told that thi s a necdote is spurious; I
have it from Baudelaire hinlself, and I have no rea&on to doubt its veracit y, though
it may perhaps be fault ed for a surplus of imagination. " Maxime Ou Camp, Souve­
nirs litteraire!l, vol. 2 (Paris. 19(6), p . 60. [j18,2)
Indicative of the reputation that preceded Baudelaire before he had published
a nything of importance is this remark by Gauti er : " I fear that with Baudelaire it
will be as it once was with Petrus Borel. In our younger days. we used to say: Hugo
has only to sit and wait ; as soon as Petrus publishes somet hing, he will
pear.... Today, Ihe name of Baudelaire is brandished before us; we a re told that
when he publishes his poems, Musset , Laprade, and I ",·ill dissolve into thin air. I
don' t believe it for a moment . Baudelai re will burn out just as Petrus did." Cited
in Muime Ou Caml), Soavenirs litteraires, vol. 2 (Paris, 19(6). pp. 61-62.
" As a writ er, Baudelaire had one great defect , of which he had no inkling: he Will
ignorant. What he knew, he knew weU; but he knew very Little. History, physiol­
ogy, archaeology, philosophy aU duded him .... The uternal world scarcely in­
terested him; he saw it perhaps. but assuredly he never studi ed it ." Muime Du
Camp, Souvenirs liftcraires , vol. 2 (Pa ri s, 19(6), p. 65. [J1 8,4)
From the evaluations of Baude.lai re by hi s teachers al til e Lycee Lollis-Ie-G rand:
mind. A few la pses ill (ill Hhel oric). "Conduct somct.imcs rather
unrul y. This Slml cnt , as he himself ad mil!!, st!Cnls convincetl Ihal history is per­
fet:: tl y usd eu'" (i n Hislor y). - Lener of August I L 1839, to his st t pfather, after
earning hi s haccalaureat t: " I did rathcr poorl y ill my examinations. e"cept for
Latin and Greek- in which I did very well . And thi s is what saved me. ''<13 Charles
Uaudelaire. Vers lotitl!l, ed. jules Mouquet (Paris . 1933) , PI). 17, 18,26. {j 18,5)
According tu dusephill > Pel adan, "Theorie planillue de l' anl1rogyne"' (Mercure
lie Fmnce, 21 [ 1910], p. 650), t.he androgyne appears ill Rossetti alld Burne­
jones .
.: r ll est Seilliere, BUill/claire (Pam, 193 1), p. 262, on " tile deat h of artists": " Re­
reading hi s work, I tell myself that, were he making his debut as a writ er now, not
unly would he not be singled out for distinction, but he would be judged mal­
allroit ." {j 18,7)
refers to t.he story " La .' anfarlo" as a document whose importance for
Baudelaire's biography has not beell sufficientl y recognized <Baudelaire, p. 72>.
" Uaudelaire will keep to the end this intermittent awkwardne88 whi ch was so
foreign 10 the dazzlillg technique of a l:Iugo." Ernell t Seilliere. Baudelaire. p. 72.
Key pau aget on the unsuitability of passion in art : the second preface to Poe, the
study of Gauti er. 'J.4 [j 18a,2]
The first lecture in Brussels was concerned with Gautier. Camille I...emonnier com­
pares it to a Mass celehrated in honor of the master. Baudelai re is said to have
displayed , on this occasion. " the grave bcauty of a cardinal of lett cr s officiating at
the alta r of the Ideal. " Cited in Seilliere, Baudelaire (Paris, 1931), p. 123.
" III the drawing room on the Place Royale. Baudelaire had himself introduced al
a fen 'ent di sciple but ... lIugo, ordinarily 80 skillful in sending away his visitors
haPJlY, did 1I 0t understand the character and the exclusivcly Parisian
predil ections of the young mall .... Their relatiollSnonetheless remained cordial.
Hugo ha ving evidentl y nOl read the 'Salon de 1846'; and, in his ' RcnexioDs Sur
(luelqUt . .'s-uns de mes contemporains' <Refl ections on Some of My COllt emporar­
ien, sllOwed very ad mi ring, evclI rather per cepti\<e, if without
great profundity." Ernesl Seilliere, Baudelllire(Paris . 1931 ). p. 129. [J18a,4)
Baudelaire, reports (p.
129). is supposed to Ilave cnjoyed strolling often
along tll C Canal de l' OllrCtl '
[J 18a,5)
,\iJuut the J)ufll ys-Ba uddai re's forehearli 011 mother 's
sidt.. "-ll ot hing is
kIl UWII •
" III 1876. in an artide entitled 'Chez fen mOil mait re' <AI till' Home of My Late
Ment or>. Chuld wOldd evoke. < . the macuhrt: trail in thc physiugnomy of the poet .
Never, according to tlus witness , ... was he more forbidding thllll when he wanted
10 a plHlar jovial; his voice look 011 II disquieting ed ge, while hi.s vi.'! comic« made
one shudder. On the pretext of exorcizing the evil spiri u of hiJl auditors, and with
bUNts of laughter pi er cing 8S SObll , he told them outrageous lales oftrrats beyond
the grave which frO:l!; C the blood in t heir veins." Ernest Seilliere, Baudelaire
Waris. 193 1), p. 150. [J18a,7)
Where in Ovid is the passage in which it is said that the human face was made to
mirror the [J18a,8]
Seillierc note8 that the POCIII S attributed apocryphally 10 Baudelaire were all
necrophilic in character (p. 152). (j 18a,9]
"FinaUy, as we know, the paJl8ional auomaly has a place in the art of Baudelaire, at
least under ODe of its aSIHlCt8. that of I..esb08; lhe other has not yet been made
admissible by the progre88 of moral naturism." Erllest SeiJUere, Baudelaire
(Paris, (931), p . 154. (j18a,IO)
The sonnet "Qyant amoi, sij'avais un beau pare plante d'ifs" (Ai; for me, if only
I had a fine park, planted with YCWS),M which Baudelaire apparently addressed to
a young lady of Lyons some time around 1839- 1840, is reminiscent. in its closing
line-"And you know that too, my beauty, whose eyes are too shrewd"---of the
last line of "A Une Passante." (J19,IJ
The piece "Vocations," in Splttn cit Paro, is of great the
account of the third child, who "lowered his voice: 'It certainly gtves you a
feeling not to be sleeping alone, and to be in bed with your nurse, and Ul the
dark. ... If you ever get the chance, try to do the same-you' ll sed' I Whil.e he
was talking, the eyes of the young author of this had Wlth a
son of stupefaction at what he was still feeling, and the light of the setnng sun
playing in his untidy red curls seemed to be lighting up a sulfurous aw:eole of
passion." fI The passage is as notable for Baudelaire's conception of the sinful as
for the aura of public con/wiD. {j19,2)
Baudelaire to his mother 0 11 J anuary 11, 1858 (eited in Charl es Baudelaire, Vers
Iali,ls, ed. Moulluet [Paris, 1933), p. 130): " You haven' t noticed that in Le, Fleu.r,
dll mal ther e are two poems concerning you, or at 1east a UI mg 0 III Ima I
, I ' t" te details
of our former life " goi ng back to thut time of your widowhood which left me witb
, " I " "' dlaviUe'
such strange and sad mClllories-one: ' Je n al pas ou luC, VOISllle e
(Neuill y), and the other, whi ch foll ows it: ' La servante au grand coeur dont
vow; eti ez j alouse' (Marielle)? I left these lwenll without titles and without
fur ther cla rification, hecause I ha"e a horror of prostituting intimate family
matt en.. ..... [j 19,3J
Leconte de Lisle's Opi.lli on that Baudelaire mUll have composed his poems by
ver sifying a prose draft is taken UI) by Pierre Louys, Oeuvres completes, vol . 12
(Paris, 1930), p. liii ("Suit e aI)(>itique"). Jules Mouqll et comments on thi s view in
CI.urles Baudelaire, I'ers itllim , introduction and notes by Jules Moulluet (Paris,
1933), p. ] 31: "Lt.'Cont e .Ie Lisle and Pierre Louys , c5l rried 51way by their antipa­
thy to the Christian IJOeI of us Fleurs du mtll. dcny that he had any ,wetic
gifl !-Now. acconling to the testimony of fr iends of his youth, Baudel ai re had
start ed out by writing thousands oflines of fluellt vene ' 0 11 any and every sUhj ect,'
whi ch he could Il ardly have done without ' thinking in vene.' He deliherately
reiued in this facilit y when ... , at about the age of twcnty-two, he hegan to write
the poems whi ch he entitled first u s Lesbiennes, then Les Limbe, . ... The Petits
" oe-mes en prose . .. , in which the poet returns to thenl es he had already treated
in ,'cree, were composed at least ten yeartl aft er Les Fleurs du mal. That Baude­
laire had diffi cult y fashioning vertle is a legcnd whi ch he himself perhaps ...
helped spread." [j19,4)
Accordi ng to Raymond Tria l, in La Maladie de Baudelaire (Paris, 1926), p. 20,
recent research has shown that hereditary syphilis and acquired syphilis are not
lIIu tually cxclusive. Thus, ill Baudelaire's case, acquired syphilis would have
joined with the heredit ary strain transmitt ed by the fatber and manifest through
hemiplegia in both and in hi s wife. [j19a,I)
Baudelaire, 1846: " If ever your fl i neur's curiosity has landed you in a street
brawl, perhaps you will have felt the same delight as I have often felt to see a
protector of the puLlic', slumbers-a policeman or a muni cipal guard (the real
army}-thurnpillg a rel)ubli can. And if so, like me, you will have sai d in your
hea rt : ' Thurnl) 0 11 , thump a IittJe harder . ... The man whom thou thumpest is an
ell emy of roses and or perrumes, and a mani ac for utensil$. He is the enemy or
'It'atteau, the enemy of Raphael. Ci ted in n. Trial, La l'tfaladie de Baudelaire ' t<j9
(Paris, 1926), p. 51. [j 19a,2)
"Speak nei ther of upiulli nor of J eanne Duval if you would criticize Les Fleurs da
mal." Gilbert Maire, " La Personnalite de Baudelai re," Mercure de France, 21
(January 16, 1910). 1).244. [j 19a.3)
"To conceive Baudelaire without recourse to his biography-this is the fundamen­
tal object and filllli goal of our ulldertaking." Gilbert Maire, " La Personllalite de
Baudelaire," Mercure de f' rall ce. 21 (J allllary 16, 1910), p. 244. [j 19a,4)
"J il c'-lues Crepet wou.ld li ke us to look on Baudelaire ill sue!. a way that the sincer­
ity uf hi s life woulll assure U8 of the value of hi s work. and that , sympathizing wit.!.
the lIIao. we woul ll learn to love both life and "" ork." Gilhert Maire. " La PCr801l ­
nalite de Baudelaire," Mercllre tie France, 21 (Februar y I , 1910), p. 'U4.
Maire writes (p. 41 7) thai the " incomparable sensibilit y" of Bar res was schooled
on Baudelai re. [j 19a,6]
To Ancell e. 1865: " One can both 1)Q88e!1S a unique geniw and be a f ool. Victor
l:Iugo hus given us a mple proof of that. . .. The Ocean itself tired of hi s com­
puuy. "IOO lJ I9a,7]
Poe: "' I would nol be able t o love,' he will 8sy quite clearl y, ' did not death mix its
breath with that of Beaut y!"181 Ciled in Erncst Seillie.n: , Baudelaire (Paris. 1931),
11 .229. The author refers to the ti me when, aft er the dea th of Mrs . J ane Stanard,
the flft een-year-old Poe wouJd ' I)end long ni ghts in the graveyard. often in the
r ain, at the sit e of her gr ave. [J19a,S]
Baudelaire 10 his mother. concerning Les Fleur. du mal: "This book ... POUCI8e8
... a beaut y thai is sinister and cold: it was created with fury and patience."IM
Lett er from Ange Pechmeja t o Baudelaire, Februar y 1866. The writer exprelllet;
his admirati on, in particular, for the scnsuous int erfusion in the poet' e language.
See Ernest Seill U:re. Baudelaire (Pari l, 1933), pp. 254-255. (J19a,1O]
Baudel aire alCrihes to Hugo an " interrogati ve" poetic character. 1)'.,11
There is probably a cormcction between Baudelaire's weakness of will and the
abundance of power with which certain drugs under certain conditions endow
the will . "ArclUtecle de mes {tenes IJe faisais, a rna volonte, I SOlIS un tunnel de
pierreries I Passer un <dan dompte."I03 [J20,2]
Baudelai re's inner experience!!: ....Commenta tors have somewha t falsified the aitu­
ali oll .. . in insisting overmuch 011 the theory of uni versal anal ogy, 8S formulated
ill the SOllnet 'Correspondances,' while ignoring the reverie to which Baudelaire
was inclined .. . . There were moments of deper sonalization in his existence, mo­
ments of seU-for getting and of communi cation with ' r evealed pa r adises .' . . . At
the end of hi s life .. . , he abj ured the duam • . .. bl aming his moral shipwreck 0 0
his ' penchant for r everie...• Albert Beguin, L'Ame r omantique et Ie reve (Mar­
seilles, 1937), vol. 2, pp. 40 1, 405. [J20,3]
In hi s book i.e Parnaue, Tlu'! r ive points to the Il ccis ive influence of paiuting and
thc graphi c arts on a great muny of Baudelair e's pocms . He sees in thi s a charac­
ter is ti c featu re of the Parnassian school. Moreover , he See8 Baudelai r e's poetry as
an int er penet rati on of Parnassian ami Symbolisltendencies. [J20,4]
" A p r opcns il Y to imagi ne even nalure through the vis ion Ihat Olher s have had of il.
;La Gi!ulli e' COllies out of l\tichclangcl o ; ' Reve pari8icn ,' oul of Simone Martini ; • A
Une l\1adone' is It Baroque sla tue in II SI)anis h cll apd ." Andre TlJiiri ve, Le Par­
na ue (Pa r is. 1929), p. 10 1. [J20,5]
Thcrh 'e fintl s in Baudelaire "cert ain gaucherics, whi ch , today, onc can ' t hel
thinking mighl bc traits of thc 8ublimc." Andre T htir ive , Le Po rnaue ( Pari:'
1929), p. 99. [J20,6]
In an arti cle cnt it lt:d " Une Auccdote cont rouvile s ur Ba udel aire" (A Fabrica ted
AIl eC!tlote about Baudelaire), ill the Fortnightly Revicw section of Ihe Mercllre de
Frtlflce (May 15, 1921), Baudelai re's aUeget.1 sojourn and acti vi ty with a conserva_
ti \·c ncws pll pcr ill Chatea uroux is disputed by Erncst Gaubert, who examined all
t he pcri odica ls from the town, li nd who traces the unced ote back to A. Ponroy (a
fri clI(1 of Ba Uil daire's who had fa nlil y in Chatea uroux). from whom Cr epet gol it.
Mercure de Fnwce. 148, pp. 281- 282. [J20,7]
Daudet, in an inspired speaks or Baudelaire:'s "trap-door dispositioo­
is also that or Hamlet." Uon Daudet, U J ifl" im d 'EmmaiiJ (CQur­
"" deJ PapoBas, 4) (pans <1 928)), p. 101 ("Baudelaire: : I.e Malaise et I'aura''').
... of ... the affirmll tion of a mys terious p resence a t the back of thinp ,
as ID the d CIJths of the sow- the pre&ellce of Eter nity. l:I ence the obsession with
and the need 10 break out of the confines of one's own life throuYt the
Immense prolonguti oll of ancest ral mcmory anti of former lives, " Albert Beguin,
L 'Ame r Olll(lnliqlle ef le r eve (Mlt rscill es, 1937), vol. 2, p . 403. (J20a, I )
Roger Allard in a polemic agai ns t the illt roouctioll to L 'Oeullre poetique de
CharleJ Bmulel(l ire. edi ted by Cuill aume AIJOllinaire (Paris: Bililiotheque des
Curieux). In Ihi s int roducti on , Apollinll ire advances the thesis tha t Ba udel aire
ina ugnrat ing the modern spirit , pl ayed littl e pa rI in it s development;
Influcnee is nCll rl y Ba udela ire is s aid to be a cross betwccn Laclos .li nd Poe.
Al lar d r epl ie . "I . .
S. II our View, Iwo wrll er s profoundJy influell eet.1 Bli udelaire . or
r al hcr Iwo book, 0 - , - D- b'
, . .. ne III ••• I..e l a Ie amoureux (The Devil in Love) , by
Cazoll e; tile othcr, Dider ol 's L(I Religielu e (T he NUll ). Two notes li t this point:
"(1) M. Apollin ll ire could 1101 do otherwise t han nll mc the author of Le Diable
lllll ollrell-t in II lI ole concerning the Ili sl line of tin: SO IlIl I.l I ' Le PO!lsede ': ' One would
Jl r ubahl y 110 1 " . k- C I
. . go " rong 1II la Ill !;: azoll e as tIC hyphcn IIll1t had thc honor of
':llI t ll1g, in Ultluldllire 's mind, Ihc s pirit of the Revolul ion 's wr itcr s wilh that of
Edga r Poe . ('I '1'1 .
. - Ie pocm aecompa nYlllg 11 Iclter frolll Baudelaire to Sainte-Ueuve
COl li be foulltl ili lhe c(litioll furnis lll:d hy M. Apollinaire: ' ... wit h eyes tlarker II II1J
hlue t ha n Ihe N un whose I sall ll.1H1 obscene s tory known 10 1111. ••• '101 A
ew hiles later , we eOllle UpOIl Ihe fi r s t drllft of II Sl ull za of ' Les hos.'" Rugcr AJl unl ,
IJ(l udf!ioir e Cf ·· / ' f .'!J rif 1l 0 1l 1JC1tl/ " ( Puris, 19 11:1) , p. 10. [J20a,2)
UOD Daudet. in " Baudelaire: Le Malai.e et (,aura,'" ask, whether Baudelaire did
not in lonle degree "lay Uamlet Aupick and mother. [J20a,3]
Vigny wrote "I.e Mont des oliviers" partly in order to refute de Maisne, by
whom he was deeply influenced. [J20a,4]
Jules Romains (Les Hommes de bonne volonte. book 2, Crime de QuineHe <Paris,
1932>, p. 17l) compares the Oi-neur to Baudelaire', " rugged swimmer r eveling in
the [J20a,5]
Compare "the secret harvest of the heart" ("I.e Soleil") with "Nothing ever
grows, I once: the hean is harvested" ("Semper eadem")}Oi These fonnulations
have a bearing on Baudelaire's heightened artistic consciousness: the blossom
makes the dilettante; the fruit, the master. [J20a,6]
The enay on Dupont was commissioned by Dupont '! publi sher.
Poem to Sarah , a round 1839. It contains this stanza:
Though to set lOme she lOki her 8Oul,
The good Lord would laugh ir wit h this wretch
I itruck a haught y like BOme Tarluffe.
I who Bell my thought and would be aD author. HI; 1J21,2]
"Le Mauvais Vitrier"-to he compared with Lafcadio's aele S Tatui. <gratuitow
aet>.I OII [J21,3]
"When, your heart on firto: with valor and with
you whipped the moneylenders out of that placc­
you were masLCr then! But now, has not remorse
pierced your side even deeper than the spc:ar?l(lf
'That is, remorse at having let pass 50 fine an opportunity for proclaiming
dictatorship of the proletariat' " Thus inanely comments Seilliere (<Baudeloin
[Paris, 1933],> p. 193) on "I.e Reniement de Saint Pierre." [J21,4]
Apropos these lines from "Lesbos"-"Of Sappho who died on the day .her
blasphemy, I . .. insulting the rite and the
(p. 216) remarks : "It is not hard to see that sOO.'
religion, whose practice consists in blasphenung and m msultmg tradlbonal nt ,
is none other than Satan:' Isn' t the blasphemy, in this case, the love for a young
[J2 1,5]
From the obituary notice, "Charles Baudelaire," byJules appeared
September 7, 1867, in La R ue: "Will he have ten years of munonality? (p. 190).
"Thesc are, moreover, bad times for the biblicistS of the sacristy or of the cabaret!
Ours is an age of gaiety and distrust, one that never long suspends the recital of
nightmares or the spectacle of ecstasies. It has now become clear that no one else
had enough foresight to undenake such a campaign at the period when Baude­
laire began his
(pp. 190-191). "Why didn' t he become a professor of rhetoric or
a dealer in scapulars, this didactician who imitated the blasted and downtrodden,
this classicist who wanted to shock Prudhonune, but who, as Dusolier has said,
was only a hysterical Boileau who went to play Dante anlong the cafes" (p. 192).
Notwithstanding the resounding error in its appreciation of the imponance of
Baudelaire's work,. the contains some perceptivc passages, particularly
those concerned WIth the habttus of Baudelaire: "He had in him something of the
priest, the old lady, and the ham actor. Above all, the harn actor" (p. 189). The
piece is reprinted in Andre Billy, Ul Ecriuaj1lJ de lom/JaJ (Paris, 1931); originally
appeared in La Situah·on. (J2 I ,6]
Key passages on the stars in Baudelaire (ed. Le Dantec): "Night! you'd please me
marc without stars I. which speak a language I know all too welJ- / llong
for darkness, silence, nothmg there . .." ("Obsession," <vol. 1,> p. 88).-Endingof
"w Promesses d' un visage" « vol. 1,> p. 170): the "enomlOus head of hair- 1
. : . in rivals you, 0 Night, 1deep and spreading starless
Ntght! - Yet neither sun nor moon appeared, I and no horizon paled" ("R!ve
parisien," <vol. 1,) p. 116).-"What if the waves and winds are black as ink" ("I.e
<vol. .1,> p. 149).-Compare, however, "Les Yeux de Iknhe," the only
weighty (<vol. 1,> p. 169), and, in another perspective, the constellation
of the stars WIth the aether, as it appears in "Delphine et Hippolyte" «vol. 1 >
p. 160) in "I.e Voyage" «vol. 1,) p. 146 <sec. 3»). On the other hand,
charactensbc that "Le Crepuscule du soir" makes no mention of stars. III [J2 la,1]
:Le Mon joyeux" could represent a reply to Poe's fantasies of decomposition:
and let me know if one last twinge is left... ."11: [J2 I a,2)
A marks the spot where it is said of the stars : "decent planets, at
a tune like this, I renowlce their vigilance-" ("SCpulture").1I1 [J2la,3)
introduces into the lyric the figure of sexual perversion that seeks its
on the street. What is most characteristic, however, is that he does this
With U).e phrase "nembling like a fool " in one of his most perfect love poems "A
Une Passante "llt '
Figure of the big city whose inhabitants arc frightened of cathedrals: "Vast
Woods, you terrify me like cathedrals
("Obsession") .I" [J2Ia,5]
'"Le Voyage" (sec. 7): "Come and revel i.n the sweet deli ght Jof days where it is
always aftcmoo 1" 11' Is . b Id . th . ..
. n. It too 0 to see III e emphasiS 011 this tulle of day
something peculiar to the big city? [J2 1 a.6]
The hidden figure that is the key to "Le Ba1con : the night which holds the lovers
in its embrace as, after day's departure, they dream of the dawn, is starless­
"The night solidified intO a wall.
' 1]21a,7)
"Pas n "' _' "' 1_'
To the glance that encounters the sante contrast \,.:rCorge s poem vun eUler
Begegnung" <Encounte£):
My glances dre:w me from the path I seek
And crazed with magk, mad to clasp, they trailed
The slender bow s.,..ttt limbs in walking curved,
And wet with longing then, they fell and failed
Before: into your own they boldly swerved.
Stefan George, Hym nrn; PilgerJanrtro; Aigabal (Berlin, 1922), pp. 22-23Y'
"'The unexalll pled ogle of a whore I glinting toward you like a l il ver ray I the
wavering moon releases on the lake':l19 10 begins the last poem. And into this
extraordi nary stare, which brings ull controllabl e tears to the eyes of him who
meets it without defenses. Berg looked long lind avidly. For him, however . as for
Baudelaire. the mercenary eye becallle a legacy of the prehistoric world. The
are-light llIoon of the big city shines for him like something out of the age of
hetaerism. He needs only to have it reflected. as on a lake. and the banal reveals
itself as the distant past; the Ilineteenth-<:eotury commodit y betrays ill mythic
taboo. It WaB in such a spirit that Berg cOlllposed Lulu.'" Wiesengrund-Adomo.
" Konzert arie ' Oer Wein,'" ill Willi Reich, Alban Berg, with Berg's own writinga
and with contributions by Theodor Wiesengrund-Adorno and Ernll Krenek (Vi­
enna. Leipzig, Zurich <1937) . p . 106. [J22,2]
What's with the dilation of the sky in Meryon's engraving?
"Lc Crepuscule du marion occupies a crucial position us Fleurs The
morning wind disperses the of myth. Hu.man thelt affarrs a:
exposed to view. The prerevoluuonary dawn glimmers III this poelll . (In fact,
was probably composed after 1850.) [J22,4j
The antithesis between allegory and myth has to be clearly deve1oped. It was
owing to the genius of allegory that Baudelaire did not succumb to the abyss of
myth that gaped beneath his feet at every step. [J22,5j
"'The depths being the multitudes: Victor l-Iugo'8 soli tude bec:omC8 a solitude
overrun, a swarming solitude." Gahriel 80unoure. " Ahime8 ti e Victor
'I ._, (Ju' y 15 1936) ,1.39. The aut hor unti ersc:oreii the element of passIvity
,. e!lI. '" • , , [J22 6]
ill eXI)erience of the '
UNachtgedanken" <Night ThoughtfJ), by Goethe; " 11>it y you, unhappy sta rs, / who
are so l)eauliful und shine so splendidl y, I gladl y guiding til e slrugglillg sail or with
your light , / und yet have 110 nlwa rd frolll gods or men; / for you do not love, you
ha,'e JUl\'Cr known love! / Ceaselessly by everl asting hour8 / your dance is led
acroSS t he wide heavens. / How vast a journey YOIl have made already / since I ,
reposing in my sweetheart 's 1....1118./ forgot my thoughts of you and of the mid­
lIight !"I:!O [J22a, l j
The following argument-which dates from a period in which the decline of
sculpture had become apparent, evidently prior to the decline of painting-is
very instructive. Baudelaire makes exactly the same point about sculpture from
the perspective of painting as is made today about painting from the perspective
of fibn. "A picture, however, is only what it wants to be; there is no other way of
looking at it than on its own terms. Painting has but one point of view; it is
exclusive and absolute, and .therefore the painter's apression is much more
forceful." Baudelaire, Oeuuus, vol. 2, p. 128 ("Salon de 1846,,). Just before this
(pp. 127-128) : "The spectator who moves around the 6gure can choose a hun­
dred different points of view, except the right one.
<Compare> J 4,7. [J22a,2}
On Victor Hugo, around 1840: " At that same period, he b.!gan to reali ze that if
Ol an is the solit ary animal, the solitary man is a man of the crowds [p. 39] .... h
was Victor Ilugo who gave Baudelaire that sense of the irradiant life of the crowd,
and who taught him that ' multitude and solitude [are] equal and interchangeable
terms for the 1H>e1 who is active and productive .... 'In Nevertheless. what a dif­
ference bet ween the solitude whi ch the great artist of spleen chose for himself in
Brussd s in order ' to gain an inalienahle iudividual tranquillit y' and the solitude of
the magus of J er sey, haunt ed at that same moment by shadowy apparitions! ...
Hugo's l olitude is not an envelope , a Noli me tangere, a concelJtrati on of the
individual in his difference. It is. rather, a participation in the cosmic my. terr. an
entry into the realm of primi tive forces'" (pp. 40-41). Gahriel Bounoure, "Abimes
de Vi ctor l:Iugo,'" Mesure! (Jul y 15. 1936), pp. 39-1.1. 1]22a,3]
FrOiIl Le Collier des jours <Til e Neckl ace of Days>, vol. I. cited by RCIll Ydc Gour·
mont ill Judith Caluier (Paris, 1904). p. 15: " A rill g of t.he beU interrupt ed us and
then, wi lllOu t a sound , a very singular person ent ered the rOOIll and made a slight
how of the hent!' I had the impression of a priell without hi s cassock. ' Ah, here's
8alddarius!' cried my father. extending his hand to the newcomer." Baudelaire
offers a glOOIlI )' jest 0 11 til e 8I1iJj (.'t; t of Judith's ni ckname. "Ouragan" <Hurricane).
])23, 1]
"At thc cafe the Di van Le (,delier, Theodore de Ballville would st:e Baude­
laire sitting fi ercdy. ' like 1111 angry Goethe' (a5 he lays in a poem), next to ' the
Il1I(' Assclineall ."· Ikon Dallll!!l . Le Stupide XIX' Sieck (paris, 1922), pp. 139­
140. [J23,2]
Apropos of "The greathearted servant .. . " and the end of " Le Voyage" ("0
Death, oM captain ..."), L. Daudet 81H!aks of a Ronsardian flight (in Le Stupich
XIX' Siecle, p. 140). [J23,3]
"My father had caught a glimpse of Baudelaire, and he told me about his impres­
sion; a hizarre Illld alrabilious prince among boors." Leon Daudet . Le Stupide
XIX' Siijcle (paris. 1922), 1' . 141. [J23,4]
Baudelaire call s Hugo a "genius without borders. "IU
It is presumably no accident that, in searching for a poem by Hugo to provide
with a pendant, Baudelaire fastened on one of the most banal of the banal-"Les
FantOmes." 1n this sequence of six poems, the first begins: "How many maidens
fair, alas! I've seen I Fade and die." The third: "One fonn above all,-'cwas a
Spanish maid." And funher on: "What caused her death? Balls, dances-daz·
zling balls; I They 6lled her soul with ecstasy and j oy." 1bis is followed by the
story of how she caught cold one morning, and eventually sank into the grave,
The sixth poem resembles the close of a popular ballad: "0 maidens, whom such
festiveJtte5 decay! I Ponder the story of this Spanish [J23,6]
With Baudelaire's "La Voix" (The Voice) compare Victor Hugo's liCe qu' on
entend sur la montagne" (What Is Heard on the MountaUl). The poet gives ear
to the world stonn:
Soon with that ....oice confusedly combined,
Two other voices, vague and ....eiled, I find.
And seemed each voice, though mixed, distinct to be,
& tWO aoSS-cuJl"ents ' neath a stream you see.
One from the scas-triwuphant, blissful song!
\bice of the v.raves, which talked themselves among;
The other, which from the earth to ran,
Was fun of sorrow-the complaint of man.
The poem takes, as its object, the dissonance of the second voice, which is set off
against the harmony of the first. Ending:
WhyGod . ..
Joins in the fatal hymn since earth began,
The song of Nanrrc, and the cries ofman?125 [J23,7]
Isolated observlltions from Barhey tI ' AureviUy'& "M. Charl es Baudelaire": " .
sometimes imagine . .. that , if Timon of Athens had had the genius of Arehil ochus,
he would have been able to write in this manner on human nature and to insult it
.... hile rendering it!" (I), 381) . "Conceive, if you will, a language more plastic than
poeti c. a language hewn and like bronze ami stune, in which each ,)hrule
its and fluting" (p. 378). "This profouml drea mer ... II sked himself
... what would become of poetry in passing through a head organized, for exam­
ple. like that of Caligula or l:I eliogabalus" (j). 376) .-"Thu8. like the old Goethe
who transformed himself into a sell er of Turkish pastill es in hi s Divan .. . , the
author of Les Fleurs du mal tur ned villainous, blasphemous. impious £or the sake
of his thought" (Pl" 375-376). Barbey d' Aurevi Uy. XIX Siecle: Les Oeu.­
et les hommes. vol. 3, Les (Paris, 1862). [J23a, l]
"A critic (M . Thierry, in Le Moniteur) made the point recentJy in a very fUle
appreciation; to discover the parentage of this implacable poetry ... oll e must go
back to Dante ... !" (p. 379). This analogy Barbey makes emphati call y his own:
" Dante's muse looked dreamily on the Inferno; that of Les fleurs du mal breathes
it in through inHamed nostrils, as a horse inhales shrapnel" (p. 380). Barbey
d'AureviUy, X IX' Les et les hommes. vol. 3, Les Poetes (Paris,
1862). 1123.,2)
Barbey d' Aurevilly on Dupont ; "Cai n triumphs over the gentJe Abel in this man',
talent and thinking-the Cain who is coarse, ravenous, envious, and fi er ce, and
who has gone to the cities to COll sume the dregs of accumulated resentments and
share in the fal se ideas that triumph ther e!" Barbey d' Aurevilly, Le XIX'
Les Oeuvres et les hommes, vol. 3, Les Pooles (Paris, 1862), p. 242 ("M. Pierre
Dupont "). [J23a,3}
A manuscri pt of Goethe's "Nachl gedallken" bears the notation, ""Modeled on the
1123, ,4)
At the age of eleven, Baudelaire experienced first hand the workers' rebellion of
1832 in Lyons. It appears that no trace remained in him of any impressions that
event might have left. (J23a,5]
"One of the arguments he makes to his guardian, AnceUe, is rather curious. It
seems to hirn that ' the new Napoleonic rt!gime, after illustrations depicting the
battlefield, ought to seek illust rations depicting the arl s and letters. '" Alphonse
Seche, La Vie des fleurs du mal (Paris. 1928), p. 172. [J23a,6]
Tht: sense of "the abyssal" is to be defined as "meaning." Such a sense is always
allegorical. [J24,1]
With Blanqui, the cosmos has become an abyss. Baudelaire' s abyss is starless; it
should not be defined as cosmic space. But even less is it the exotic space of
theology. It is a secu1arized space: the abyss of knowledge and of meanings.
constitutes its historical index? In Blanqui, the abyss has the historical
of mechanistic natural science. In Baudelaire, doesn't it have the social
mdex of noul.lt!tzuti1 Is not the arbitrariness of allegory a twin to that of fashion?
The revi ew. by <Barbey> d'Aurevill y and A..elineau were tumed down by Le PaY'
Explore the question whether a connection exists between the works of the
alld La re81)e(: ti vely.
imagination and U:e"om:spondanus. In any case, these are two wholly
dlSuoct sources for Baudelrure s production. That the first of them has a very
The famous statement by Valery on Baudelaire <see J l,1> back, in essence,
considerable share in the specific qualities of his poetry carnlOt be doubted. The
to the suggestions Sainte-Beuve sent to Baudelaire for his courtroom defense. "In
nexus of meanings might be akin to that of the fibers of spun yam . If't\"C can
the field of poetry, everything was taken. Lamartine had taken the skies. Victor
distinguish between spinning and weaving activity in poets, then the allegorical
Hugo, the earth-and more than the earth. Laprade, the (orests. Mussel, the
imagination must be classed the former.-On the other hand, it is not
dazzling life of passion and orgy. Others, the hearth, rural life, and so on. Theo­
impossible that the correspondences play at least some role here, insofar as a
phile Gautier, Spain and its vibrant colors. What then remained? What Baude­
word, in its way, calls forth an image; thus, the image cou1d detennine the
laire has taken. II was as though he had no choice in the mauer...." Cited in
meaning of the word, or else the word that of the image.
Porchc\ fA Vie douloureuse de Charles Baudelaire <Paris, 1926>, p. 205. [J24a,5]
Disappearance of allegory in Victor Hugo. [J24,4]
Very plausible indication in Porche to the effect that Baudelaire did not produce
the many decisive variants to his poems while seated at his desk. (5«: Porche,
Do Bowers lack souls? Is this an implication of the title Us Fleurs du mal1 1n other
p. 109.)
words, arc Howers a symbol of the whore? Or is this title meant to recallHowcrs
to their true place? Pertinent here is the letter accompanying the two cripwcuk
" finding the poet one evening at a public ball , Charles Monselet acc08ted him:
What a re you doing here?'-' My dear (ell ow,' repli ed Baudelaire, ' J' m watching
<twilight> poems which Baudelaire sent to Femand Desnoyers for his Fontaine­
he death'8 head8 pa,,! '" Alphonse S«he, La Vie des Fleurs du mal « Amiens, )
bleau: Paysages, ligendes, soulJt1lirs,fintaisies (1855). <See beJow, 24a,b
1928), p. 32.
Utter detachment of Poe from great poetry. For one Fouque, he would give fifty
Molieres. The iliad and Sophocles leave him cold. This perspective would accord
" Hi s earnings have been reckoned: the tot al for his entire life does not exceed
perfectly with the theory of l'art pour I'art. What was Baudelaire's attitude?
sixteen thou8and francs. Catulle Mende8 calcu1ated that the author ... would
have received about one (ranc seventy centimes per day as payment (or hi8li terary
labors." Alphonse Seche. La Vae del Flelirs dll mal « Arnien8,) 1928), p . 34.
[J'5,' ]
With the mailing o( t he "Crepuscules" to Fernand Desnoyers (or his Fontaine­
bleau (Paris, 1855): " My dear Desnoyers: You ask me (or some verses (or your
According to Seche, Baudelaire's aversion to a sky that was "much too blue"--or
little anthology, verses about Na ture. I believe; about (orests, great oak trees,
rather, much too br ight - would have come from his stay on the island o( Mauri­
verdure, insects-and perhaps eveD the sun? But you know perfectl y well that I
tius. (See Seche, p. 42.)
can' t hecome sentimental ahout vegetation and that my soul r ebels against this
stra nge new religion.... I shall never believe that the souls of the go<l$ Jive in
S«he speak8 o( a pronounced similarity between Baudelaire'8 letters to ftofile.
plant s. ... I have alwaY8 though t, that there was 80mething irritati ng a nd
Daubr un and his ietl ers to Mme. Sabatier. (See p. 53.)
impudent about Nature in its fresh and rampant state. Cited ill A. Seche, La
Vie des Flellrs dll m(ll <Amien8, 1928), liP. 109-1 10.
[J24a,l ]
According to Seche (p. 65). Champfleury would have takell part with Baudelaire
"Les Aveugles" <Blind Men>: Crepet gives as source for this poem of Baudelaire's
in the (ounding of /"e Saillt public.
a passage from Vetters Eckfenster" <My Cousin's Comer Wmdow)-a
Ilra roml on the pe riod a.round 1845: " We ullderstood little of the use o( table8 (or
passage about the way blind people hold their heads. Hoffmann considers the
worki ng, thi nking, .... For my part , I saw him composing verse8 on
heavenward gaze to be edifying. T4a,2.)
the rUII while he was out in the streelS; I never saw him seated before a ream o(
pa per. " Cit ed in Suche, Ul Vie des Fleurs du mlll ( 1928) , p. 84. [J25,6]
Louis Coudall criticized Baudelaire on Novemhe r 4, 1855. on the hasis o( poom8
publill ll ed ill La Revue des dew: mondes. " Poetry t.hat is ... nauseating, glacial,
The way Baudelaire presented himself during hi8 Brussels lecture on Gautier. a8
straight from the cha rnel house a nd t.he slaughterhouse." Cite(1 in Por­
de8crihed by Camill e LemOllllier in Ul Vie beige: " Uaudelaire made olle t hink of a
clu!, UI Vie doulollrewe de Charles Baudelaire i.e Roman des
nl an of the church, wi th those beautiful ge8tu res of the pulpit. Hi8 80(t linen cuffs
grande. e:culences . vol. 6) (Par is <1926» , p. 202.
flutl cred like the ij lcevei of a clerical frock. He developed hiij subj ect with un
ulmost evungeli culullctuousllcu, proclaiming his veneration for a literary maij ler
ill the Iillirgicallolles of a bishop announcing a mandale. To himself. no douhl , lI e
was celehrat ing a Mass full of glorious images; he had Ihe grave beauty of a ca rdi ­
lI al of leiters offi ciati ng at the altar of the Ideal. Hi8 smoolh, pale vi sage was
shaded ill the halflone of the lamplight. I watched his eyes move like black 8un8.
Hi8 mouth had a life of its own within the life and expressions of hi s face; il was
thin and qui vering with a delicate vibrancy UDder the ura,,·n bow of his words.
And from its haught y height the head commanded the att ention of the intimidated
audi ence." Cited in Seche, La Vie de, Fleur! du mal (1928), p. 68. (J25,7]
Baudelaire transferred his application for the pl aywright Scribe's seat in the
Academi e Franr-aise to that of the Catholic priest Lacordaire. (J25a, l]
Cauti er: "Baudelaire loves ampl e pol ysyllabic words, and with three or four of
these words he sometimes fashions lines of verse thai seem immense, lines that
resonate in such a way as to lengthen the meter." Cited in A. Sec.he, La Vie de'
Flellr$ d" mot « Ami cns,) 1928), p. 195. (J25a,2]
Gaulier: "To the extcnt thai it was possible, he banished elotluence in poetry."
Cited in A. Seehe, La Vie de$ Fleur$ du mal (1928), 1' . 197. (J25a,3]
E. Faguet in an arti cle in La Revue: "Since 1857, the neurasthenia among U8 haa
sca rcely abated; one could even say that it has been on the rise. Hence, ' there is no
cause for wonder ,' as Ronsard once said, that Baudelaire still has his follow­
ers...." Cited in Al phonse Sec.he, La VIC de$ Fleur, du mal (1928), p. 207.
1125. ,4)
Le Figaro publishes (date?) an articl e by Custave Bourdin that was writt en at the
instigati on of Interior Minister Biliaut . The latter had shortl y before, as judge or
public prosecut or, suffered a setback ",ith the acquittal of F1aubert in the trial
against Madame Bovary. A few days laler came Thierry's article in Le Moniteur.
" Wh y did Sainte-Beuve ... leave it to Thierry to tell reader s of I.e Moniteur about
I.es Fleun du m(d? Sainte-Beuve doubtJess refused to wri te about Baudelaire's
book because he deemed it more prudent to efface the ill effect his article on
Madame IJovary had had in thc inner circlcs of the government ." Alphonse Sec.he,
La Vie des Fleu r$ du mal (1928), pp. 156-157.' 27 [J25a,5]
The denunciation in Bourdin's article is treacherously disguised as praise for
precisely those poems singled out in the indicmlent. After a disgusted enumera·
cion orBaudeiaire's topics, he writes: "And in the middle of it all, four poems-'Le
Reniement de Saint Pierre; then ' Lesbos; and twO entitJed ' Femmes damnees' ­
four masterpieces of passion, of art , and of poetry. It is understandable that a poet
of twenty might be led by his imagination to treat these subj ectS, but nOthing
excuses a man over thirty who foists such monstrosities on the public by means
of a book." Cited in Alphonse seche, La Vie des Fleurs du mal (1928), p. 158.
From Edouard Thierry's review of l..e$ Pleu.r! du mal in Le Moniteur (Jul y 14.
1857?): "The Florentine of old would surely recognize, in thi.s Frcnch poet of
loda)" the characteristic ardor, the terrifying utt erance, the ruthless imagery, and
the sonorit y of his br8:i:en lines . .. . Ilea \·e his book and his talent under Dante's
stern warning. ",:- Ci ted in Alphonse Seche, Le Vie de, Fleur, du mal (1928) ,
pp. I60-16 1. [J26,1]
Baudelaire's great dissatisfaction with the frontispiece designed by Bracquemond
according to specifications provided by the poet, who had conceived this idea
while perusing Hyacinthe Langlois' Hil/oire du dames macalms. Baudelaire's
msnuctions: "A skel eton turning into a tree, with legs and ribs fonning the trunk,
the anns stretched out to make a cross and bursting into leaves and buds, shelter­
ing several rows of poisonous plants in little pots, lined up as if in a gardener's
hothouse." (SeeJ16,3.) Bracquemond evidently runs into difficu1ties, and more­
over misses the poet's intention when he masks the skeleton's pelvis with Bowers
and fails to give itS anus the form of branches. From what BaudeIaire has said,
the artist simply does not know what a squdette arborescent is supposed to be, and
he can' t conceive how vices are supposed to be represented as Bowers. (Cited in
Alphonse seche, La Vie de; Fleurs du mal [<Amiens,) 1928}, pp. 136-137, as
drawn from letters.) In the end, a portrait of the poet by Bracquemond was
substiruted for this planned image. Something similar resurfaced around 1862, as
fuulet-Malassis was planning a luxury edition of Lu HeIlrs du mal. He commis­
sioned Bracquemond to do the graphic design, which apparently consisted of
decorative borders and vignettes ; emblematic devices played a major role on
these. (See 5eche, p. 138.)- The subj ect that Bracquemond had failed to ttnder
was taken up by Rops in the frontispiece to In £pave; (1866). 1]26,2]
List of reviewers for LeJ Fleur, du rrm/ , with the newspapers Baudelaire had in
mind for them: Buloz, I..acauuade, Gustave Roul and (La Revu.e europienne);
Codan (i.e Monde iliu.Jtre); Sainte-Beuve (f..e Moniteur); Deschanel (i.e Journal
des debat$); Aurevill y (l..e 1"«)'5); J unin (Le Nord); Armand Fraisse (Le Samt
public de IJfon$); Cuttingucr (La Gazette de France). (According to Sechli ,
p. 140.) !]26,3]
The publication rights for Baudel aire's entire oeuvre were auctioned after his
,il:ath 10 Mi chel Levy for 1.750 francs. {j26,4]
The "Tablea ux Pari siens" appea r onl y with the second edition of Le Fleur, du
Tile definitive till e for the book was proposed by Hippolyte Babou in the Cafe
Lamblin. (J26a, I)
"L' Amour et Ie craue" <Eros and the SkuU). "This poem of Baudelaire's was
inspired by two works of the engraver Henri Gohzius." Alphonse SeciUl, La Vie
des Fleurs du mal « Ami enS, ) 1928), p. 111. (J26a,2)
"A Une Passante. " "M. Crepet mentions as possible source a passage from ' Dina,
la belle Juive,' in Petrus Borel's Champuvert ... : ' For me, the thought that this
lightning flash that dazzled us will never be seen again. .; that two existences
made ... for happiness together, in this life and in eternity, are forever sun­
dered ...- for me, this thought is profoundl y saddening .... Cited ill A. Slkbt':, La
Vie des FleUr! du mal, p. 108. [J26a,3)
" Reve parisien." Like the speaker in tbe IXlCm, Constantin Guys also rose at noon;
hence, accordiug to Baudelaire (letter of March 13, 1860, to Poulet-Malassis). tbe
:9 [J26a,4)
Baudelaire (where?)IJO points to the third hook of the Aeneid as source for "Le
Cygne." (See Scche, p. 104.) [J26a,5)
To the right of the barricade; to the left of the barricade. It is very significant that,
for large portions of the middle classes, there was only a shade of difference
between these two positions. This changes only with Louis Napoleon. For
Baudelaire it was possible (no easy trick!) to be friends with Pierre Dupont and to
participate in theJune Insurrection on the side of the proletariat, while avoiding
any sort of run·in when he encountered his friends from the Ecole Normande.
ChelU1evieres and Le Vavasseur, in the company of a national guardsman.-It
may be recalled, in this context, that the appointment of General Aupick as
ambassador to Constantinople in 1848 goes back to Lamartine, who at that time
was minister of foreign affairs. [J26a,6)
Work 011 l..es Fleurs du mal up through the first edition: fift eell years. [J26a,7)
Proposal of a Brussels pharmacist to Poulet-!'t1alassis: in exchange for a commit­
Dlent to buy 200 copies, he would be allowed to advertise to rt!aders , in the back
pages of u s Paradis artificiels, a hashish extract prepared by hi s firm. Baude­
laire's veto won out with difficult y. [J26a,8)
From <Barbey) d' Aurevilly's letter to Baudelaire of February 4, 1859: " Villain of
genius! In poetry. I knew you to he a sacn. .. 1 viper spewing your venom in the facet!
of the g-s and the g-s. Bul now the viper has sprolltefl wings and is soaring
through the clolilis to shoot its poison into tile very eyes of the Sun! " Cited in
Ernest SeiUi ere, HaUl/claire (Paris, 1931). p. 157. [J27,1)
I.n Honfleur, he had hung two paintings over his bed. One of them, painted by his
father as pendant to the otber, showed an amorous scene; the other, dating from
an earlier time, a Temptation of Saint Anthony. In the cent er of the first pi cture, a
bacchante. [j27,2)
"Sand is inferior to Sade!"131
"We ellsure that our confessions are well rewarded"'U-this should be compared
with the practice of his letters. [j27,4)
Seilliere (p. 234) cites <Barbey> d'Aurevilly: "Poe's hidden objective was to con.
found the imagination of his times.... Hoffmann did not have this terrible
power." Such puissance tm·ible was surely Baudelaire's as weU. [j27,5)
On Delacroix (according to Seilliere, p. 114): "Delacroix is the artist best
e<luipped to portray modern woman in her heroic manifestations, whether these
be understood in the divine or tbe infernal sense .... It seems that such color
thinks for itself, independently of the objects it clothes. The effet!t of the wbole is
almost musical. "133 [J27,6)
Fourier is said to have presented his "minute discoveries" too "pompously."'34
Seilliere represents as his particular object of study what in general determines
the standard for the literature on Baudelaire: "It is, in effect, the theoretical
conclusions imposed on Charles Baudelaire by his life experiences that I am
particularly concerned with in these pages." Ernest Seilliere, Baudelaire (Paris,
1931), p. l. 1J",8]
Eccentric behavior in 1848: "'They' ve just arrested de Flotte,' he said. 'Is it
because his hands smelled of gunpowder? Smell mine!'" Seilliere, Baudelaire
(Paris , 1931), p. 51. [J27,9)
Seilliere (p. 59) rightly contrasts Baudelaire's postulate, according to which the
advent of Napoleon III is to be interpreted in de Maistre's sense as "providen·
tial," with his comment: "My rage at the coup d'etat. How many bullets I braved!
Another Bonaparte! 'What a disgrace! " Both in "Mon Coeur mis aIlU." 135
The book by Seilliere is thoroughly imbued with the position of its author, who is
president of the Academie des Sciences Morales et Politiques. A typical premise:
"The social question is a question of morality" (p. 66). Individual sentences by
Baudelaire are invariably accompanied by the author's marginal glosses.
Hourdin: son-in· law of V'L1lemellllanl. Le Fisaro in 1863 publishes a violent attack
by Pontmartin 0 11 Baudelaire. I.n 1864, he publication of the I'etit. I'oome. en
I,rose afler Iwo installments. Vill emessanl : "Your poems bore everybody. " See
Frulu;ois Porche, La Vie douloureuse de Charles Baudelaire (series entitled Le
Roman des g ro/l(les existellces. vol. 6) (Paris ( 1926». p. 261. [J21a,3J
On Lamartine: "A bit of a Ii trumlH!t , a bit of a ....hore." Cited in Porche,
La Vie douwurell,se de Charles Baudemire (series entitled Le Roman des g randu
existences. vol. 6) (Paris), p. 248. [J21a,4J
Relation to Vi ctor Hugo: " He had IIOli cited from him a preface to the study on
Cautier, and, with the aim of forcing Vi ctor Hugo's hand. had even dedi cated some
poems to him ." Por che, La V' ee douJoureuse de Charles Baudemire (se­
ri es entitled Le Roman de.grandes existences, vol. 6) (Paris), p. 25 1. [J27a,S)
Title of the first publication of pieces from Les Paradis artificie15 in w Revue
contemporaine, 1858: " De I' ldeal artificiel" <On the Artifi cialldeah. [J27a,6J
Sainte-Beuve'. artidc in Le COllstitutionnel of January 20, 1862.13(0 Subsequently,
a. earl y as February 9-as Baudelai re is toying with the idea of declaring hi.
candidacy for L.acordaire's seat instead of for Scribe's, which was hi. original
plan- the admonition: "Leave the Academi c as it is, more surprised than
shocked." Baudelai re withdraws his applicati on. See Porche, ,,," Vie douwureuse
de Charles Haudemire (Paris), p . 247. [J21a,1J
"Note that this innovator has not a single new idea. Mter Vigny, one must wait
until Sully-Prudhomme to lind new in a French poet. Baudelaire never
entertains anything but the mOil threadbare platitudes. He is the poet of aridity
and banality. " Benedicti on": the artist here below is a martyr. "L.'A1batro8
: the
artill Rounder s in reality. "Les Phares": artists are the beacons of humanit y . ...
Bruneti ere is surely right : there is nothing more in "Une Charogne" than the
words of Ecclesiasticus, ' With all Resh, both man and beast , ... are death and
bloodshed. " '131 Emile Faguet, "'Baudelaire," La Revue, 87 ( 1910). p. 619.
[J28, I}
" He has almost no imagination. His inspiration is amallingly meager." E. Foguet ,
" Baudelaire," La Revue. 87 ( 19 10), p. 616. 1128,2J
Faguct draws a comparison between Senancour and Ill ore, in
fa vor of the former. [J28,3J
J .-J . Weiss (Revue cOlllempor(lirle, J anu ary 1858): "This line of ... resem­
hies one of those spillning tops that would hum in t.he gutt er, " Cil ed in Ca mille
Vergni ol, "Cin(l uante anll aprill Baudelaire." Revue de Par is, 24th yea r (1917) ,
p. 687. [J28,4J
pontmartin in his critique of the portrait or Oaudei aire by Nargeol: "Thi8 engrav­
ing shows a face that is hagga rd , . inister, ravaged , and malign; it is the face of a
hero of the Court of Au i1.cs, or of a from Hi cetre." Compare B28,6
(Vischer: the "fresill y behes, led" look). [J28,SJ
Adverse criti cism from BrulleLicre ill 1887 and 1889. In 1892 aud 1893 come the
corrections. The sC(luence: Questions de critique (J une 1887); Essai sur mlittero_
ture contemporaine ( 1889); Nouveaux Essais sur m Iilterature contemporain.e
( 1892); Evolution de kl poesie Iyriqueen France (1 893).1311 [J28,6J
Physiognomy of Baudelaire in hi s last year s: " He has an aridity in all his featuree
whi ch contrasts sharpl y with the intensity of his look. Above all , he has that set
....hi ch indicates a mouth long accustomed to chewing onl y ashes."
Porche. La Vte douloureu.se de Charles /Jaudemire (series entitled Le Roman cks
gra ndesexistences, vol. 6)(Paris <1 926», 1). 291. [J28,1]
1861. Sui cidal Anene Houssaye of La Revue conlemporain learns that
of the Petits Poeme. en prose appea ring ill hi s journal have already appeared
In the La Revue Jantaisiste. Publicati on is suspended ._La Revue de. deux
nlondes rej ects the essay on Cuys.-Le "' igaro brings it out with an "editorial
not e" by Bourdin.
First It:t! tures in Belgium: DeJacr oi", Cautier.
The Minist? of the Interior refuses to iuue il. stamp to Les Paradis artificiels.
(See Porche. p. 226.) What does that . ignify? [J28a,2J
Porche (p. 233) points out that Baudelaire throughout his life retained the mind­
set of a man of. good family:-Very instructive: in this regard: "In every
change th(tt IS some.thing at. once vile and agreeable, some clement of disloyalty
and restlessness. 1hls suflioently explains the French Revolution.
The senti­
Proust-who was also afib defamilk. The historical proj ected into
e lOtlmate. [J28a,3J
M . be .
tween Baudel aire and Proudhon in 1848 at the offices of Proudhon's
dall y lI ewlipaper, Le Rcprese,lllJllt till pellple. A chance encount er it ends with
their I ' d' J '
laving IIIl1er toget ler 011 the Rue Neuve-Vivi enne. [J28a,4J
The hypothesis that Baudelaire, in 1848, helped to found the conservative: news­
paper I.e Rq;riJmla1l1 de I'/ndre Oater edited by Ponroy) comes from ReneJohan­
net, The, newspaper supported the candidacy of Cavaignac. Baudelaire's
at that assuming it took place at all, may have involved a
mystificaoon. Without his knowledge, his trip to Chateauroux was subsidized
through Ancelle, by Aupick. [J28a,Sj
According to Le I)alllec, the second lercel of "Set! Non Satiala" is ill some degree
linked to " Lea t.csbielillea." [J28a,6]
Dy 1843, accordillg to Praroml, a great many l)Oems from L.e FleurJ dll mul were
already writt en. [J28a, 7]
In 1845, "The Gold-Bug" is translated by Alphonse Borghers as " Lc. Scarabee
d'or,1t in IA Revut bn'lanniqut. The next year, La Qyotidienne publishes an adapta­
tion, signed by initials omy, of "'The Murders in the Rue Morgue,lt wherein Fbe's
name goes unmentioned. Decisive for Baudclaire, according to Asselineau, was
the translation of "'The Black Cat,1t by Isabelle Meunier, in La Dimocrah'epacifique
(1847). Characteristically enough, the first of Baudclaire's translations from Poe,
to j udge by the date of publication guly 15, 1848>, was of "Mesmeric Revela­
(J28a, 8]
1855: Baudelaire writes a leiter to George Sand, intercedillg on behalf of Marie
Daubrull . [J28a,9]
"AJwaYd very polite, very haughty, and ver y unctuous at tbe same lime, there was
about him something rem.illi scent of the monk, of the soldier, and of the cosmopoli­
tan." Judith Cladd, BomhommeJ (Paris, 1879), cited in E. alld J. Crepet, Charle.
Baudelaire (Paris, 1906), p. 237. [J29,I)
In his " Not es et documents pour mon avocat ," Baudelaire referll to the leUen on
art and morality whi ch Balzac addn!liIied to Hippolyte Castill e ill the lI ewspaper
LA Semaine.I-IO [J29,2)
Lyonll ill nOled for ita th.i ck fog. []29,3]
In 1845, apparellt sui cide attempt: knife wound in the chesl. []29,4]
" It is IJarti y a Life of leisure that has enabled me to grow.-To my greal detri­
ment- for leiSlire witbout £orhllle breeds debts. ... BUI al so to my great profit. as
regards sensibility and meditati on .. . . Other men of leiters are, for the most IJart ,
ignorant drudges. "(41 Cited in Porche, <LA Vie douumreu.Je de CharleJ
lJall(/eUlire (Paris. 1926) •• p. 116. [J29, 5]
Gontl all 's articl e in Le Figaro of November 4, 1855, wbi ch lOok aim at tbe
puhli cation of poems ill La Revue des deux mondeJ, caused Michel Ui vy to give up
the right s to Fleurs <lu n!CIlto Poulet-Malassis. [J29, 6j
1818: L.e Salut ,mblic. with Cham"f1eury alld Toubill . Fi rst iu ue. Fd.lrllary 27,
writt en and edit e!1 in lelll 1.lIali two bours. In thaI issue, presumably by the hand
or Baudelaire: "A few mi sguided brethn!n have smashed sume mechanical
prenes. . . . All machiner y is sacred , like a work or art" (cited ill Porche.
p. 129).- Compare "the bloody apparatus of Destruction. [J29, 7]
1849 : u Reprbtnlanl de I'lndrt:. Baudelaire's participation not established with
certainty. IT the article "Actudlement" <At the Present Tune> is written by him,
then a certain mystification at the expense of the conservative principals at the
newspaper is not out of the question. (J29.8)
185 1: with DUlwllt and La Chllmbaudie, LA Republique dll peuple. democratic
almanac; " Editor, Baudelaire." Dilly "L' Ame du viii" <The Sou1 of the Wine) is
published there with h.is signatun!. [J29,9]
1852: ",,;th Champfleury and MOli sclet , LA Semaine thi iitrale.
Addresses: February 1854
Hotel de York, Rue Sainte-Anne
May Hfitel du Maroc, Rue de Seine
Hot el Voltaire, Quai Voltaire
December 1858 22 Rue Beautreillis
Summer 1859 Hotel de Dieppe, Rue d' Amsterdam
At the age of twent y-seven, Baudelaire was gr ay at the temples.
From Charles Asselineau, Baudelaire: Recueil d 'AnecdoteJ (in Crepet, CharleJ
Balldelaire [Parill, 1908]. <pp. 279ff.> published in extellJo): the story of
Asselineau's handker ch.ief.l41 Baudelaire's obstinacy. Provocative effecu of h.is
"'diplomacy." His mani a for shockill g people. [J29a, l]
Fr om Gauti er 's obituary for Baudelai re, L.e Moniteur, September 9, 1867: "80m
in India, and l)Ossessing a thorough knowledge of the English language, he made
hi s debut with h.is translationB of Edgar Poe. " Theophile Gautier, Portraits con.
temporaim (Paris, 1874), p. 159. [J29a,2)
A good half of Gautier 's obituary noti ce is occupied witb Poe. The part devoted to
u s "' leurJ du mal delHmds 011 metaphors which Gautier ex:tracts from a story by
Hawthorne: " We never read FleurJ dll mal , by Baudelaire, without thinking
illvo1untarily of that talc hy Hawthorne <elll.itied " nnppaccilli's Daughter"); it has
Ihose somber and metalli c colors. tho8e verdi gris blos80ms and heady perfume8.
Hi s muse resembl es the doc:tor'8 daught er whom 110 I)oison call harm, but wllOse
pallid ami anemi c complcx:ion betrays the influence of Ihe milieu she inhabits ."
Theophile Gautier. PortraitJ cOlltcmporainJ (Paris, 1874), p. 163. <See J3a,2. )
Gautier's characterization of Baudelaire, in his Hutoire du Romantisme, is not
much than a suc«ssion of questionable metaphors. "1ltis poet's talent for
concentration has caused him to reduce each piece to a single drop of essence
enclosed in a crystal fl agon cut with many facets," and so on (p. 350). Banality
the entire analysis. "Although he 10VCl5 Paris as Balzac loved it; al­
though, in his search for rhymes, he wanders through its most sinister and
mysterious lanes at the hour when the refl ections of the lights change the pools of
rainwater into pools of blood, and when the moon moves along the broken
outline of the dark roofs like an old yeUow ivory skull; although he stops at times
by the smoke-<limmed windows of taverns, listening to the croaking song of the
drunkard and the strident laugh of the prostitute, ... yet very often a suddenly
recurring thought takes hinl back to India." Theophile Gautier, Hi.stoirt du Ro­
mantisme (Paris, 1874), p. 379 ("Le Progres de la po6ie depuis
Compare Rollinat! (J29a,4)
Ill teri or of the Hotel Pimodan: no sideboard, no dilling room table, frosted giau
panes. At that point , Baudelai re had a servant. [j29a,5)
1851: new l)()ems in L.e Meuager de l 'Au embIee . The SainI-Simonian Ret/ue poli­
rique tur ns down his manuscripts. Porche remarkl that it looks very much al
though Baudelaire Wall not reall y able to choose where to publish. [j30,l )
The fortune Baudelaire inheri ted in 1842 totaled 75,000 fr ancs (in 1926, equiva­
lent to 450,000 franca). To his coll eagues-Banville-he passed for "very ri ch."
He .oon afterward discreetl y left home. [j30.21
As Porche uicely )luu it « La Vie dOll wllre/Ue de Charle, Baudelaire [Paris,
1926], > p. 98), Ancell e was the embodinlenl of the "legal world." [J30,3)
J ourney to Bordeaux in 1841 by stagecoach, one of the last.-A very severe
stonn Baudelaire went through on board the ship commanded by Captain SaIiz,
the Paquebot tkj Mm du Sud, appears to have left li ttle trace in his work. (J30,4-]
Baudelaire's mother was twenty-sbo: and his father sixty when they married in
1819. []30,5]
In the Hotel Pimooan, Baudelaire wrote with a red goose quill. ]J30,6]
"Mesmeric Revelation," certainly not one of Poe'e nlOre distinguished works. is
the onl y story to be translalt:d by Baudel aire duri ng the Ameri can author 's life­
time. 1852: Poe biogra phy ill La ReVIle de ParM. 1854: hcgi nning of til e trall siati oll
work . [J30,7]
It should be remembered that Jeanne Duval was Baudelaire's first love. (J3o,81
Mtltllings Wilh ltis mothcr in the Louvre dll r ing the ycurs of (li Ssell sioll with AUl'i ck.
The han(IUels organized by Phil oxenc Boyer. Baudelaire gi ves readings of "Une
Charogne," " L.e Vi n de I' useuu in," "DellJhine et IliplJOlytc" (Porche, <1,,(1 Vie <Iou-­
lourew e ele Charle. Bmuldaire ( Pari s, 19261.) p. 158). [J30,IO)
porche (I' . 98) draws allelll.i OIl to the fact that . with AnceUe, ll ml Allpick,
Baudelaire had relations of a typical sort . (J30, 11)
Sexual preoccupations, as revealed by the titles of projected novels : "Les En­
seignements d'un monstre" <Education of a Monster>, "Une InB.me adoree"
<Beloved Slattern>, "La Maitre5se de I' idiot" <The Idiot' s Mistress>, "Les
Tribades" <The Dykes), "I.:Entreteneur" <The Keeper>. (J30,12]
Consider that Baudelaire not infrequently, it appears, loved to humble himself in
long conversations with AnceUe. In this, too, he is afiis tkfamilk. MoTt. along
these lines in his farewell letter: "I shall probably have to live a very hard life, but
I shall be better off that way."IU [J30, 13]
Cladel mentions a " noble and tr anscendent di sser tation" hy Baudelaire on the
physiognomy of language, having to do with the colors of words, their peculi arities
as sources of light , and finall y their moral characteri sti ce. [J30a,11
Indicative of a not uncommon tone in the exchanges betv.'een the two
writers is Champfleury's letter of March 6, 1863. Baudelaire, in a letter now lost,
had declined C hamp8eury's proposal to meet a female admirer of the u Flam
du mal and the writings of Poe, making a point of his dignity. Champfleury
responds: "As for my compromised dignity, I refuse to hear of it. Stop frequenting
places of far worse repute. Try to imitate my life ofhard work; be as independent
as I am; never have to depend on others- and then you can talk. about dignity. I
The word, in fact, means nothing to me, and I put it down to your peculiar ways,
which are both affected and natural" (cited in E. and]. Baude­
laire [Paris, appendix, p. 341). Baudelaire (u tJreJ, pp. 349ff.) writes back
on the same clay. JU [J30a,2)
Hugo to Bll udelaire, August 30, 1857. I-Ie acknowledges receipt of i.e! ,"' leur! dlL
mal. "Art is like the heavens; it is Ihe infinite field. You have just proved that . Your
Flew" du mal are a$ radiant and dazzling as the stars." Cited in CrelK:l . p. 113.
Compare the great letter of Octo her 6, 1859, cont aining Ihe formul a and credo of
progress. [J30a,3)
I' aul de Molene. to Baudel aire. May 14, 1860. " You hll ve this gift for Ihe new,
something Ihat has alwa ys sCt!med to me precioufl--indeed , II lmost sacred ." Cited
in Crepet . p. 4 13. [J30a, 4-)
Ange Pcchmcja, Bucharest, February 11- 23, 1866. 10 this long letter full of great
admiration, an exact outJook on fa pure: "I would say something more: I
am convinced that, if the syUables that go to fonn verses of this kind were: to be
translated by the geometric fomu and subtle colors which belong to them by
analogy, they would possess the agrttable texture: and beautiful tints of a
carpet or Indian shawl. , My idea will strike you as ridiculous ; but I have often
felt like drawing and coloring your verse." Cited in Crepet, p. 415. [J30a,S}
Vign y to Baudelaire, January 27, 1862: " How ... unjust you are, it SoolllS to me,
towa rd thi s lovely bouquet, so variously scented with odors of 5pring, for havi ng
given it a tiLl e il does not deserve, and how much I deplore that poisonous air
which you sometimes pipe in from t he murky bourne of HamJel's graveyard."
Cited in Crepet , p. 441. [J30a,5}
From Ihe lettcr that Baudelaire sent to Empress Eugenie, November 6, 1857: " But
the fine, incr eased by costs that are unintcUigibl e to me, cxcoods the resources of
the proverbi al povert y of poets, and ... ,convinced thai the heart of the Empreaa
iB OIM!n to pit y for all tribul ations, spiritual as well as material , I have conceived
the idea, afler a period of indecision and timidit y that lasted ten days, of appealing
to the gracious goodness of your Majelty and of entreating your interceaaion with
the minister of justice. "141 H. Patry, " I.. du procel del FkurJ dl' mal: line
uUre inedite de Baudel aire a I' lmperatrice," ReVile d'hiJ!oire litteraire de 10
France, 29th year ( 1922), p. 71. !J31,1]
From Schaunard, SouvcnirJ (Paris, 1887): "' I detest the countryside,' say.
Baudelai re in explanation of his hast y departure from Honfl eur, ' particularly in
good weather. The persistent sunshine opprelses me . ... Ah! speak to me of those
everchanging Paril ian skies that laugh or cry according to the wind, and thai
never in their variable heat and humidit y, have any effe<: t on the stupid crops....
I am affronting your convictions as a landscal)C painter, but I must
you further t hat an open body of water is a mOllltroUS thing to me: I It
incarcer ated , contained within the geometric walls of a <Juay. My ravonte wa1kin1
place is the embankment along the Canal de l'Ourcq'" (cited in Crepet , p. 160).
Crepet juxta poses Schaunard'i report with the lett er to Desnoyers, and then re­
marks in closing: "What can we conclude rrom all this? Perhaps simpl y that
Baudelai re belonged to that famil y of unrortunates who desire onl y ""hat they do
not have and lo"'! only the place ""here they are not" (Crepet, p. 161). [J3 1,3]
Baudelaire's ",'as rormerly much discussed. Traces of this deLate are still
to be found ill Crepet (see p. 172). [J31,4]
"The laughter of children iB like t he blossomiug or a fl ower.... II is a
joy. Ami so. ill general, it is more li ke a to
of a dog's tail , or the pur ring of a cat. And Ir there stdl rema1ll8 some dl S11llctlO
the laughter of children ulld snch e)(pn:sl!ions of animal contentment, ...
·· . 1 'r to
thill is because Iln!ir laughter is nOI entirely f ree 0 f lUll >1t lOIl , as I S 011 Y prope
litLle scr aps of mcn-that ii, 10 budding Satans." " De l'Essence du nre," Oeuvre"
ed. I.e Dantec. vol. 2, p. 174. ulI {J3t ,S]
knew and also tears; he did not laugh. Virginie would not laugh at
the Sight of a cancature. The sage does nOt laugh, nor does innocence. "The
comic element is a danmablc: thing, and one of di abolical origin.n "De l'Essence
du rue," Oeuvre;, ed. Le Dantec, vol. 2, p. 168 ...
(J3 Ia, l ]
Bauddaire distinguishes the "significative cornic
from the "absolute cornic.nThe
latter alone is a proper objea of reBection: the grotesque. I$O {J31a,2}
Allegorical interpretati on of modern clothing for mell , in the "Salon de 1846": "As
for the gu rb, Ihe outer husk, of the modern hero, ... is it not the necessar y garb of
our suffering age, whi ch wears the symbol of perpetualmollrning even on its thi n
black shoulders? Notice how the black suit and the frock coal possess not onl
their politicallM!ll ut y, which is an expressiou of univer sal equality, but also
poeti c beauty, whi ch is au expression of the public soul- an endless procession of
hired mourners , political mourners, amorous mourners , bourgeois mourners. We
are all of us celebrating some funeral ." OeuvreJ, ed. Le Danlec, vol. 2, p. 134.I S1
[J'h,' ]
incomparable force of fue's description of the crowd. One thinks of early
by Senefdder, like "Ocr Spidclub" Players' Club), "Die Menge::
nach Einbruch der Dunke1heit
Crowd after Nightfall): "The rays of the
lamps, feeble at first in their struggle with the dying day, had now at length
gamed and threw over everything a fitful and garish luster. All was
dark yet splendid-as that ebony to which has been likened the style of Tertui.
lian. 112 Edgar Poe, .N'ouueUu HiJ/oim extraorriinaim, trans. Charles Baudelaire
(Pari, <1886.), p. 94. 0 FUneur D [J'h,4]
is 1I0t fantasy .... Imagination is all almost divine facult y which
perceives ... the intimate and secret relations of things, the correspondences and
analogies." <Baudelaire,) " Notes nouvelles sur Edga r Poe," Nouvelles lIiJ­
tOlreJ extraordinaireJ, pp. [J3 Ia,S}
Purc!y emblematic book illust rati on--ornamented wi th devices-which 8rac­
Iluemond had designed for the 1)lal1l1ed de luxe editiOIl of I'(!J Fkurs (/u mal
1862. Tile onl y copy of the pl ate was solt! by Chnmpfleury, and luter
acquI red hy Aver y (New York). (J3 Ia,6]
COncenting the conception of the crowd in Victor Hugo, two very characteristic
passages from "La Pente de Ia reverie" <The Propensity for Reverie) :
Cro....'d withOUI name! Chaos!-VOices, eyes, footSteps.
Those never scm, those never known.
Allihe Iiving!-cities buuing in the ear
More lhan. any beehive or American woodlJ.
The following passage shows the crowd depicted by Hugo as though with the
burin of an engraver:
The night with its crowd, in this hideous dream,
Came on-growing denser and darker togc:ther­
And, in these regions which no gaze can fathom,
The increase of men meant the deepening of shadow.
All became vague and uncertain; only a breath
That from moment to moment would pass,
As though to grant me a view of the great anthill,
Opened in the far-reaching shadow some valleys of light,
As the wind that blows over the tossing waves
Whitens the foam, or furrows the wheat in the fidds.
Victor Hugo, Oeuvrel comple/el, Pobie, vol. 2 (Les Orientales, Feuiiles d'automne)
(Pam, 1880), pp. 363, 365--366. []32, 1]
Jules Troubat-Sainte-Beuve's secretary-to Poulet-Malassis, April 10, 1866:
"See, then, how poets always end! Though the social machine revolves. and regu­
lates itseU for the bourgeoisie. for professional men , for worker s •... no benevo­
lent statute is being established to guarantee those unruly natures impatient of all
restraint the possibility, at least , of dying in a bed of their own_-' But the
brandy?' someone will ask. What of it ? You too drink. Mister Bourgeois, l'tlister
Grocer; you have as many vices as-and even more than-the poet . .. . Babac
. burns himself out witb coffee; Musset besots himself with absinthe and still pro­
duces hi s most bea utiful stanzas; Murger di es alone in a nursing home, Like Baude­
laire at this very moment. And not one of these writers is a sociali st!" (Cited in
Cr epet , <Baudelaire [Paris, 1906] .> pp. 196-197.) The Lit erary market. (J32,2]
III a draft of the lett er to Jules J anin (1865), Baudelaire plays Juvenal , Lucan , and
Petronius off against Horace. (J32,3]
Letter to Jules Janin: " melancholy, always inseparable from the feeling for ·
beaut y." Oeuvres. ed. Le Dantec, vol. 2, p. 610. (J32,4]
"Every epic intention . .. is the result of an imperfect sense of art." <Baudelaire,>
"Notes nouvelles sur Edgar Poe" (Nouvelles His/oim extraordiMim [paris, 1886],
p. is, in embryo, the whole theory of "pure poetry." (Immobilization!)
According to Crepet « Baudelaire [Paris. 1906] ,> p. 155), most of the drawings left
by Baudelaire portray " macabre scenes ." [J32a,1]
"Among all the hooks ill the world today, the Sible being t.he sole exception, US
Flell rs <III mal is t.he most widely published alld the most often tran8lated into other
languages." Andre Snares, Trois Grands Vi va nts (Pa ri s <1938», p. 269 ("Bande­
laire et U s fleurs <I!l mal"). [J32a,2)
" The life of Baudelaire is a desert for ane<:dotes." Andre Snares, 'lrou Grands
Vivant! (Paris), p. 270 ("Baudelaire et Les Fkur! du mal"). [J32a,3]
" Baudelaire does 1I0t describe." Andre Suares, Troi& GraMS Vivallt$ (Paris),
p. 294 ("Baudelaire et LeI Fkllrs du mar').
III the "Saloll de 1859." vehement inve(; tive against I'amour- apropos of a cri­
tique of the Neo-Greek school: " Yet aren' t we quite weary of seeing paint and
marble squandered on behalf of thi s elderly scamp ... ? ... His hair is thi ckly
curled like a coachman's wi g; his fat wobbling cheeks press against his nostril s and
hi s eyes; it is doubtl ess the elegiac sighs of the univer se which distelld hi s Hesh , or
perhaps I sbould say hi s meat, for it is stuffed, tubulous, and blown out like a hag
of lard hanging on a butcher's hook; on his mountainous back is attached a pair of
butterfly wings." Ch. B., Oeuvres, ed . Le Dante(; (Paris). vol. 2, p. 243.' ;.5
' 'There is a worthy publication in whi ch every contributor knows all and has a
word to say about all, a journal in which every member oCthe staff ... can instruct
us, by turns, in politics. religion, e(;onomi cs, the fine arts, philosophy, and litera­
ture. In this vast monument oC fatuity, which leans toward the future like the
Tower of Pisa, and in which nothing less than the happiness of humankind is being
worked out ..." Ch. 8., Oeuvres. ed . Le Dante<: (Paris), vol. 2, p. 258 ("Salon de
1859"). (Le Globe?)' S6 [J32a,6]
In defense of Ricard: " Imitation is the intoxication of supple and brilliant minds,
and often even a proof their superiority." Ch. B., Oeuvres, ed. Le Danle<:, vol. 2,
p. 263 ("Salon de 1859" ). Pro domo!IS7 [J32a,7]
" That touch of slyness whi ch is always mingled with innocence." Ch. B. , Oeuvres,
ed. Le Dantec, vol. 2, p. 264 ("Salon de 1859"). On Ricard. I.>II [J32a,8]
Vigny in "Le Mont des oliviers" <Mount of OliveS), against de Maistre:
lie haa been on thi s earth for many long age.,
Born from hanh masters and false-speaking sages,
Who still vex the Bpirit of each li ving nation
With spurious conceptions of my true redemption. lW ]]33,1]
" p
aI'S only Leopardi, Edgar Poe, and Dostoevsky e1lperienced such a dearth of
happiness, such a power of desolation. Round about him, thi s century, whi ch in
olher respects seems so Hourishing and multifarious, takes 011 t he terrrible aspect
of a deserl. " Edmond J aloux, "Le Cemenuire de Baudelaire," La Revue
madaire, 30th year, 110. 27 (Jul y 2, 1921), p. 77. [J33,2)
"All by himself, Baudelaire made poetry a method of analysis, a form ofintruspec­
tion. I.n Ihis, he is very much the contemlKl rary of Haubert or of CluUll e Ber­
nard." Edmond J aloux, "Le Centenaire de Baudelai re,"
Lo. Revue hebdo­
madaire, 30th year, no. 27 (July 2, 1921), p. 69. [J33,3J
List of Baudelaire's topics, in J aloux: "nervous irritability of the individual de­
voted to solitude ... ; abhorrence of the human condition and the need to confer
dignity upon it through religion or through art . .. ; love of debauchery in order to
forget or punish oneself . . . ; passion for travel, for the unknown, for the
new; ... predilection for whatever gives rise to thoughts of death (twilight,
autumn, dismal scenes) ... ; adoration of the artificial; complacency in spleen."
Edmond Jaloux, "Lc: Centenaire de Baudelaire," La Rroue hebdomadaire, 30th
year, no. 27 Uuly 2, 1921), p. 69. Here we .sec: how an exclusive regard for
psychologica1 considerations blocks insight into Baudelaire's genuine originality.
Influence of us Fleurs du mal, around 1885, on Rops, Moreau, Rodin. [J33,5J
Influence of"Les Correspondances" on Mallarmel
Baudelaire's influence on Realism, then on Symbolism. Moreas, in the Symbolist
manifestO of September 18, 1886 (u Figaro): "Baude1aire must be considered the
true precursor of the present movement in poetry." [J33,7}
Claudel: " Baudelaire has celebrated the only passion whi ch the nineteenth cen­
tury could feel with sincerit y: Remorse." Cited in Le Cinquantenaire de Charte,
Baudelaire (Paris, 1917), p. 43. <Compare J 53. 1.> [J33,8]
Cinquontenaire eN
"A Dant eStlUe nightmare." Leconte de wle, ci ted in Le
[J33., IJ
CharteJ Bauckmire (Paria, 1917), p. 17.
Edouard Thierry compare8 LeJ Fteu" de mal to the ode written by Mirabeau
duri ng his imprisonment at Vincennel. Ci ted in Le Cinquontenaire de Chane,
Baudemire(Pari s, 1917), p. 19. [J33a,2]
Verl aine (where?): "The profound ori gi nalit y of Baudelaire is ... to have repre­
sented, in a powerful and enential way, modern man.... By thia, I mean only
modern man in the physical sense ... , modern man with hi s senses atirred up ao.d
vibrating. his spirit painfull y subtl e, hia brains saturated with tobacco, and hi.
blood on fire with alcohol. ... Charlea Baudelai re ... may be &aid to personify the
ideal type, the Hero if you will, of this individualit y in sensitivit y. Nowllere else,
.. g 1 ' ~ ~ ~
not e\'en in Heinr ich Heine, will you find It accentuated so stron y. It In
CinqlUJn ,enaire de Chark, Baudelaire (Paris, 1917), p. 18. [J33a,3]
Gauli er (Mademoiselle ere
L..el bian motifl in Balzac (Lo. Fille aux yeux d 'or)j
Maupin); Oelalouche ( Fragoietla ).
Poema ror Marie Oaubrun: "Chant d'automne, " "Sonnet d'automne." [J33a,5]
Meryon and Baudel ai re were born in the 8ame year; Meryoll died a year after
Baudelaire. U33a,6]
In the years 1842- 1845, according to Prarond, Baudelaire was fascinated with III
port rait or a wonl lll n by Greeo in tile Louvre. Cited in Cripet, <CharteJ Baudelaire
( Paris. 1906] ,> p. 70. [J33a,i' ]
Project dated May 1846: "Lea Amours et la mort de Lucain" <The Loves and the
Deat h of Lucan>. [J33a,S]
"lie was twent y-two years old, and he found himsel( immediately provided with
employment at the town haU of the seventh arrondisJement-'in the Registry of
Dea ths,' he kept relH:ating with an ai r of satisfaction." Maurice Rollinat , Fin
d'oeuvre; cited in Gustave Geffroy, Maurice Rollinat . 1846-1903 (Paria, 1919),
p,5, []33.,9J
Barbey d' Aurevilly has placed Rollinat between Poe and Baudelaire; and he caUl
Rollinat "a poet of the tribe of Dante." Cited in Geffroy, Maurice RoUina" p. 8.
Compo8iti on of Baudelairean poems by Hollinat . [J33a,ll]
"La Voix" (The Voice>: " in the pit's deepest dark, I distinctl y see straoge
worldl."I.o [J33.,I2J
According to Charles Toubi n, Baudelaire in 1847 had two domicil es, on the Rue de
Seine and the Rue de Babylone. On days when the rent was due, he often speot the
night with friends in a third. See CrilH:t, <Charles BlJIuielaire, (Pari8, 1906), >
p. 48. [J34,IJ
Crepet (p. 47) count s fourteen addre8&es for Baudelaire between 1842 and 1858,
1I 0t including lIonfieur and some temporary lodgings. He lived in the Quarrier du
Templ e, til e lie Saint-Lows, the Qua rti er Saint-Germain, the Quarrier Mont ­
martre, the Quartier de la Republique. [J34,2]
"You"are passing through a great city that has grown old in civilization-one of
those cities which harbor the most imponant archives of universal life-and your
eyes are drawn upward, sursum, ad sidera; for in the public squares, at the comers
of the crossways, stand motionless figures, larger than those who pass at their
feet, repeating to you the solemn legends of Gl ory, War, Science, and Martyr­
dom, in a mute language. Some are pointing to the sky, whither they ceaselessly
aspired; others indicate the earth from which they sprang. They brandish, or
they contemplate, what was the passion of their life and what has become its
emblem: a tool, a sword, a book, a torch, vita; lampada!& you the most heedless
of men, the most unhappy or the vilest, a beggar or a banker, the stone phantom
takes possession of you for a few minutes and commands you, in the name of the
past, to think of things which are not of the eanh. f Such is the divine role of
sculprure." Ch. B., OeuureJ, ed. Le Dantec, vol, 2, pp. 274- 275 ("Salon de
1859").'61 Baudelaire speaks here of sculprure as though it were present only in
the big city. It is a sculpture that stands in the way of the passerby. 1bis depiction
contains something in the highest degree prophetic, though sculpture plays only
the smallest pan in that which would fulfill the prophecy. Sculpture is found <n
only in the city. [J34,3)
Baudelaire speaks of his partiality for "the landscape of romance," more and
more avoided by painters. From his description, it becomes evident that he is
thinking of structures essentially Baroque: "But surely our landscape painters are
far too herbivorous in their diet? They never willingly take their nourishment
from ruins . . . . I feel a longing for ... crenellated abbeys, reflected in gloomy
pools; for gigantic bridges, towering Ninevite constructions, haums of dizzi.
ness- for everything, in shan, which would have to be invented if it did not
already exist!" Ch. B. , OeuurtJ, ed. Le Dantec, vol. 2, p. 272 ("Salon de 1859j .'.
"Imagination ... decomposes all creation; and with the raw materials accumu­
lated and disposed in accordance wilh rules whose origins one cannot find except
ill the furthest depths of the soul , il creates a new world-it produce8 the 8Cnsation
of newne88." Ch. B., Oeuvre•• vol. 2, p. 226 ("Sp. lon de 1859"). '/0.) [J3b, 1]
011 the ignorance of painlers, with particular reference to Troyon: " He pain18 on
and on; he stol' s up his 80ul and contim. e8 to paint, until at last he becomes liketbe
arti st of the moment .... The imitator of the imitator fmds his own imitators, and
ill this way each pursues his dream of greatness, slopping up his 80ul more and
more thorough1y, and above aU reading nothing, 1101 e\'en The Perfect Cook,
whi ch at any rate would have been able to open up for him a career of greater
glory, if leu profit. " Ch. B. , Oeuvres, vol. 2, p. 219 ("Salon de 1859").'6-1
"The pleasure of being in a crowd is a mysterious expression of sensual joy in the
multiplication of number. ... Number is in all . ... Ecstasy is a number.. .. Relig­
ious intoxication of great cities." Ch. B., OeuurtJ, vol. 2, pp. 626-627
("Fusees").'6l Extract the root of the human being! [J34a,3)
"The arabes<fue is Ihe 1II0st t piritualistic of designs." Ch. n., Oeuvres, vol. 2,
p. 629 ("'Fu8eet"). "'" [J'b,4}
" For my purl , I say: the 80le and t UI)reme pleasure of love li es in the absolute
knowledge of doing evil. Alill man anti woman know, from birlh, that in evil is 10 be
found all voluptuoll ij ness." Ch. B., OeUllre .. , vol. 2. p. 628 ("Fusees").
"VOltaitt jests about OUT immortal soul, which has dwelt for nine months amid
excrement and urine .. .. He might, at least, have traced, in this locali.zation, a
maliciow gibe or satire directcd by Providence against love, and, in the way
humans procreate, a sign of original sin. After all, we can make love only with the
organs of excretion." Ch. Baudelaire, OeuurtJ, vol. 2, p. 651 ("Mon Coeur mis a
nu").'" At this point, Lawrence' s defense of Lady Chatterley should be men­
tioned. [J34a,6)
Beginnings, with Baudelaire, of a devious rationalitation of the charms exened
on him by prostitution: "Love may arise from a generous sentiment-namely, the
liking for prostitution; but it soon becomes corrupted by the liking for owner­
ship" ("Fusees"), "The human heart's ineradicable love of prostitution-source
of man' s horror of solitude.... The man of genius wants to be one--that is,
solitary. I The glorious thing . . . is to remain one by practicing your prostitution
in your own company" ("Mon Coeur mis anuj. Vol. 2, pp. 626, 661."
' [J34a,7]
In 1835 Cazott e's Le Diable amoureux is publisluld, with a I'reface by Gerard de
Nerval. Baudelai re'81ine in "I.e Possede"- "Mon cher Belzebulh, j e t ' adore"--i.
an explicit cilation of Cazotte. " Baudelai re' s verse has a demoniacal sound much
stranger than the diabolism of the age of Louis Philippe." Claudiu8 Grillet , Le
Diable datu la litterature au .siecle (Lyons and Paris, 1935), pp. 95-96.
Leuer to hi. mother on December 26, 1853: "Besides, I am .0 accustomed to
physical discomforts; I know so well how to put two 8hir18 under a torn coat and
trousert 80 threadbare thai the wind cut. through them; I know 80 well bow to put
straw or even paper soles in worn-out shoes that I hardly feel anything except
moral suffering. Nevertheless, I musl confelis thai I have reached the point of
being afraid to make brusque llIovemen18 or to walk very much, for fear of tearing
my clothes eve" more." Ch. B., Derniikes Lertres inedite.s a .sa mere, introduction
and not es by J acques Crepet (Paris. 1926), pp. 44-45.' 70 [J35,2]
The GOlicOUrts rel)Orl in their journal on June 6, 1883, the visit of II young man
from whom they learn that the budding scholars at the high school are divided into
two camps. The future students or the Ecole Normale have taken About lind Sar­
cey aSlhei r models; the othert, Edmond de Goncourt and Uaudelaire. Journal des
Goncouru, vol. 6 (Paris. 1892), p. 26-1. 1]35,3)
To his mot her on March 4, 1860, cOll cerning etchings by Meryon: "The hideous
anll colos8al figure in the frontispiece is one of the li gures decorating Ihe exterior of
Notre Dame. III the backgrountl i8 Paris, viewed from II hei ght . How the devil this
mall manages to so calml y over an abyss. J do 1101 know." Ch. n. , Derniere.s
l.eure.s a sa "uke, introduction and note8 hy JaciluCS Crepet (Paris. 1926),
PI'· 132-133. {j35,4]
In the Dernierell I.ettrell (p. 145), thi s phrase for Jeanne: "that aged beauty who
h a ~ now become an invalid. "171 He wants 10 leave her an annuity after hi s death.
Decisive for the confrontation between Baudelaire and Hugo is a passage from
Hugo's letter of November 17, 1859, to Vdlemam: "'Sometimes I spend the whole
night meditating on my fate, before the great deep, and ... all I can do is exclaim:
Stars! Stars! Stars! " Cited in Claudius Grille!, Victor Hugo .spidte (Lyons and
Paris, 1929), p. 100.17
The multitudes in Hugo: ' "The prophet seeks out solitude. . He goes into the
desert to think. Of what ? Of the multitudes. " Hugo, William Shakespeare, <part 2,
book) 6. [J35,7]
Allegory in the spiritualist protocols from Jersey: " Even pure abstractions fre­
quented Marine-Terrace: Idea, Death, the Drama, the Novel , Poetry, Criticism,
Humbug. They ... preferred to make their appearance during the day, while the
dead came at ni ght ." Claudius GriUet , Victor Hugo ;spirite (Lyons and Paris,
1929), p. 27. [J35a,1]
The "multitudes" in Hugo figure as the "depths of the shadow" in Les Chiitimenu
("La Caravane," part 4), Oeuvres complktes, vol. 4 , Poesie (Paris, 1882), p. 397:
"The day when our plunderers, our tyrant s beyond number, I Will know that
someone stirs in the depths of the shadow." [J35a,2]
On I.es Fleurs du mal: " Nowhere does he make a direct allusion to hashish or to
opium visions. In thi s we must admire the superior taste of the poet, completely
taken up as he is with the philosophic construction of his poem. II Georges Roden­
bach, L'Elite (Paris, 1899), pp. 18-19. [J35a,3]
Rodenhach (p. 19) emphasizes, Like Beguin, the e:f:perience of the correspon­
dancell in Baudelaire. []35a,4]
Baudelaire to <Barbey) d' Aurevilly: " Should you take Communion with hands on
hips?" Cited in Georges Rodenbach, L'Elit e (Paris, 1899), p. 6. []35a,5]
Three generations (according to Georges Rodenbach, L'Elite [Paris. 1899] , PI'. 6­
7) revolve about the "splendid resloration of Notre Dame." The first , forming as it
were an ollter circle, is represented by Victor Hugo. The second, represented by
<Barber> d' Aurevilly, Baudelaire, and Hello, forms an inner circle of devotion.
The third is made up of the group of satani sls: Ruysmans. Guaita. PeIadan.
[J35. ,6]
" However beautiful a house may be, it is fi rst of all- berore we cOll sider its
beauty- so lII any feet hi gh and so many feet wide. Likewise, literature, which is
the most priceless material, is first of all the filling up of so many columns, and a
literary archit ect whose name in it jj.Clf ill not a guarantee of profit has to sell at all
kinds of prices." Ch. B. , Oeuvre", vol. 2, p. 385 ("Conseil s aux jeunes lit­
terateurs"' ). la {j35a,7]
Note from " Fusees": "The portrait of Serenus by Seneca. That of Slagirus by
Saint Jolm Chrysostom. Acedia, the malady of monks. Taedium vitae ..."
Charles Baudelaire, Oeuvres, vol. 2, p. 632. m {j35a,8]
Charl es-Henry Hirsch describes Baudelaire, in comparison to Hugo, a8 "more
capable of adapting to widely varying temperaments, thanks to the keenness of his
ideas, sensations, and words .... The lessons of Baudelaire endure by virtue of
... the strict form which keeps them before our eyes." Cited in Le Cinquantenaire
de Charles Baudelaire (Paris, 1917), p. 41. [J36,1]
A remark by Nadar in his memoirs: Around 1911 , the director of an agency for
newspaper clippings told him that Baudelaire's name used to show up in the news­
papers as often as the names of Hugo, Musset, and Napoleon. See Le Cinquan­
tenaire de Charles Baudelaire (Pari s, 191 7), p. 43. []36,2]
Passage from Le Salut publique attributed by Crepet to Baudelaire: "Citizens
should lIot give heed. . to such as these---to Barthelemy, Jean Journet, and
others who extol the republic in execrable verjj.C. The emperor Nero had the laud­
able habit of rounding up all the bad poets in an amphitheater and Rogging them
cruelly. " Cited in Crepet, <Charle" Baudelaire (Paris, 1906),) p. 81. (J36,3]
Passage from Le Salut publique attributed by Crepet to Baudelaire: " Intellects
have grown. No more tragedies, no more Roman history. Are we not greater today
than Brutus?" Cited in Crepet, p. 81. []36,4]
Crepet (p. 82) quotes the Notes ck M. Champfleury: "De F10tte perhaps belongs
with Wronski , Blanqui, Swedenborg, and others, in that somewhat bizarre pan­
theon which lately elevated Baudelaire, following upon the r eading of his texts, the
event s of the day, and the notori ety attained overnight by certain figures."
"The work of Edgar Poe--wilh the exception of few beautiful poems-is the body
of an art (rom which Baudelaire has blaste<1 the soul. " Andre Suares , Sur la. Vie
(Paris, 1925), vol. 2, p. 99 ("Idees Bur Edgar Poe"). [J36,6]
Baudclaire's theory of imagination, as well as his doctrine of the short poem and
the short story, are influenced by Poe. The theory of ['art pour ['art, in Baude­
laire's formulation, seems to be a plagiarism. (J36,7)
In hi' commemorative add.reu, Banville draw, attention to Baudelaire', c.lauical
technique. (J36,8]
"Comment on paic tlelJ dcttes (Iuand on a du genie" (How a Genius Pays His Debts)
aplM!arcd i.n IS.Ul and contains, under the appellative "the second £riend," the
£ollo",;ng portrait o£ Gautier: '"The sec:ond £riend W8IJ , and still is, rat , lazy, and
sluggish; what is more, he has no ideas and ca n only string words together as the
Osage strings beade £or a necklace." Ch. B., Oeuvres, vol. 2, p. 393Ys (J36a,1)
Hugo: "AI £or nl e, I am conscioue o£ the starry gulf in my 1J0ul." "Ave, dea-mori­
turus te salutat: A Judith Gautier," Victor Hugo, Oeuvres choisies: Poesies et
drames ell vers (Paris <1912» , p. 404. (J36a,2]
In his famous description of the lecture Baudelaire gave on Gautier in Brussels,
Camille Lemonnier represents in a fascinating way the mounting pe.rplaity into
which the lecrurer' s positive glorification of Gautier the They
had got the impression, as the talk went on, that. Baudelarre gomg to nu:n
with some inimitable sarcasm from all he had s3.1d, as from a kind of decoy, m
order to develop a different conception of poetry. And this expectation paralyzed
the listeners. (J36a,3)
' r ' I S y. Robert de Bonnierea,
Baudelaire--Camille Pe etan 8 avonte poe . 0 sa
Memoires d'aujourd'hui , "vol. 3 (Paris, 1888). p. 239. [J36a,4]
Robert de Bonnieres, Memoi res d'aujourd'hui, vol. 3 (Paris, 1888), publiehet, on
pp. 287-288. an exasperated letter sent to by the. o£ Revue
liberale on January 19, 1864, in which he complalDs o£the
by Baudelaire in the coune o£ negotiations over cuts in thc piece "Lea VocaUoDl
(S pleen de Paris ). [J36a,5]
A passage from Rodenbach that exemplifies something typical in the
of the city-namely, the forced metaphor: "In these cities !'>'
of weathercocks, I Birds of iron dreaming [I] of Sight to the skies. Cited m
G. Tourquet-Milnes, 'nu lrifluence if Baudelaire in France and England (London,
1913), p. 19L-Parisian modernity! [J36a,6]
li . f
In the "Salon de 1846" one sees how precise Baudelaire's concept 0
a po nes 0
art already was at that time: section 12 ("De l'Eclectisme et du
section 14 ("De Qyelques Douteurs") show that Baudelaire was consoou.s ear y
on of the need to bring artistic production intO line with certain
section 17 ("Des Ecoles et des ouvriers"), Baudelaire speaks of atorruzanon as f
symptom of weakness. He lauds the schools of old: " 7h.en you had scho:ols 0
painting' now you have emancipated journeymen .. .-a school, .. . IS, the
inlpossibility of doubt.n Ch. B., Oeuum, vol. 2, p. 13 1.11'6 Compare Ie ponaJ! !
On a 8heet with the sketch o£ a £emale figure and two portraitl o£ a male head, aD
dating back to the nineteenth century: " Portrait o£ Blanqui
(Auguste), a good likeness drawn £rom memory by Baudelaire in 1850, lM! rhap'
18-19?" ReprOtluction i.1l i"i:)i Gautier, Charlet BOIuleroire (Brussels, 19(4). p. w.
U37, ' !
"He would churn his brains in order to produce astonislunent." 1bis comment by
Leconte de Lisle occurs in the untit..led article byJuJes Claretie that appears in I.e
10mheau and that reprints substantia] portions of Claretie's obituary notice. Ie
70mbeau de Charle.s Baudelaire (Paris, 1896), p. 91. Effect of the endings of poems!
"0 Poet, you who turncd the work o£ Dante upside down, I Exalting Satan to the
hcights and descending to God. " Closing Unes o£ Verhaeren's "A Charles Baude­
laire," in Le Tombeau de Chartes BllUderoire (Paris, 1896), p. 84. (J37,3]
In Le Tombeau de Charles B(luderoire (Paris, 18%), there is a tcxt by Alexandre
Ourouso£, " l..'Arcrutet: ture set:rete des Fleurs du mat. " It represents an o£t­
rel>cated attempt to establish distinct cyclee in the book, and consists essentially in
the selection o£ the pooms inspired by Jeanne Duval. It makes re£erencc to the
article published by <Barbey> d'Aurevilly in Le Pays on July 24,1857, in which it
Wall maintained for the first time that there is a "secr et archi tecture" in the book.
"The cchoes o£ the unconscious are so strong in him-Uterary creation with
him, so close to physical d£ort-the currents o£ pan ion are so strong. so drawn
out , so slow alld painful, that aU his psychic being resides there with his physical
being." Gustave Kahn, pre£ace to Charles Baudelaire. "Mon Coeur mu a nu" er
"Fusees" (Paris, 1909), p. 5. [J37,5]
" If Poe had been a real influence on him, we would find some trace o£ this in
Bl!.udclaire's way of imagining ... scenes o£ action. In £act , thc greater his immer­
sion in the work o£ the Americau "'"riter, the more he avoids £antaaiel o£ action....
Ilis proj ccted works, his titl es £or novels ... all had to do with various ... psychic
crises. Not one suggcsts an adventure o£ any kind." Custavc Kahn, pre£ace to
Chad cs Baudelaire, "Mon Coe ur mis a nu
ef " Fusees" (Paris, 1909), pp. 12- 13.
Kahn discerns in Baudelaire a " re£u!lul to take the opportunity of£ered by the
lIalurc o£ the lyric pretext ." Gulila\"c Kahn, pre£acc to Ch. B. , "Mon Coeur mis a
1111 " ef ;·Pu.see$" (Paris, 1909), p. 15. [J37,7]
O£ the Fleur! dll m(J1 ilIulJtratcd by Rodin for Paul GaiUmard, Mauclair writes:
"You £eclthat Itodin has 118ndlell thc hook, taken it up 811111111t it down 8 hundred
lilllelJ , that hc reall it while out on walklJ , and at the end o£ a long evcning has
suddenly reopened it under the lamplight and. haunted by a verse, picked up his
IH! II . Olle ca n tell where he paused, what page he creased [!], how unsparing he
mlls t have been of the volume; for he had not been given some d e luxe cop y needing
10 be prole.: led from damage. It was very much, as he himself liked to describe it ,
;his' pocket Baudelaire." Charlea Baudelaire. Vin&, -Sept Poemes des Fleurs du
mal. illus tres par Rodin (Paris, 1918), p. 7 (preface by Camille Mauclair). i
[J37a, l )
The penultimate paragraph in "Chacun sa chimerc:" <To Every Man His Chi·
mera) is distinctly reminiscent ofBlanqui: "And the procession passed by me and
disappeared in the haze at the horizon., just the rounded surface of the
planet prevents the human gaze from following." Ch. B., OeuureJ, vol. I , p. 412.11'
On the painter Jules Noel: uHe is doubtless ODe of those who impose a dail y
amount of l}rogrcn upon themselves." "Salon de 1846," Oeuvre., vol. 2, p . 126.17'
In the comment on Le. Fleurs du mol that Sainte-Beuve send, to Baudelaire in a
letter of eJune> 20, 1857, he finds this to say about the style of the book: "a curiou.
poetic gUt and an almost preciolU lack of constraint in eltprenion." Immediately
foUowing: " with your pearling of the detail, with your Petrarchum of the horri­
ble." Cited in Etienne Char avay, A. de Vigoyet Charle. 8audewire, caodidats Ii
l 'Acmiemie frum.aue (Paris, 1879), p. 134. 1137a,4]
" It seems 10 me that in many things you do not take yourself seriously enoup."
Vigny 10 Baudel aire on J anuary 27, 1862, apropos of Baudelaire', candidacy for
the Academie. Cited in Etienne Charavay, A. de Ylgny et Charles 8oudewire,
cundidcJU ci l 'Academie fron( aue (Paris, 1879), pp. 100-101. 1137a,5]
Jules Mouquet, in ethe introduction to> his edition of Chearies> Bcaudelaire), Ven
retrouuiJ: ManDil (Paris, 1929), looks into the relation between Baudelaire and the
poems published by eG.) Le Vavasseur, E. Prarond, and A. Argonne in Ven
(Paris, 1843). There tum out to be a number of filiations. Apart from actual
contributions by Baudelaire that appear in the second section under the name of
Prarond, there are imponant correspondences, in particular that of "Le Rive
d' un curieux"lto to "Le Reve," by Argonne (pseudonym of Auguste Down).
Among lhe twent y. three poems of Les Flellrs du mal known to have been composed
by the summer of 1843: " Allegorie," " Je n' ai pas oubUc," "La Servanle au grand
coellr," "Lc Crclluscule du matin." 11
" ButuJeluire feels a cert ain reserve about showing his work to the public; he pub­
li s.hcs. his Iwcms under successive pseudonYIJllj: Prarond, Privat d'Angicmont ,
pierre de Fayis. ' La ,"'aufarlo' appears ... on January I , 1847. signed by Charles
Oufays." Ch. B., Ver" retrOUlle •• t!1"1. Jul es. Mou<luet (Paris, 1929). p. 47. [J38,2]
The fuUowing sonnet from the body of work by Prarond is attribut ed by Mou(luet
to Baudelaire:
Born in Ihe mud 11.1 . n. meleuj.de,
The child gre ... up ' l}Cakinl ar5Qt:
By Ihe ale often, he had I r. dullted from the llewe":
Gro...n. he ...ould sell hi8, ister-il. j .ck-of-all. tr. des.
Hi, baclr. h.. Ihe curve of.n old fl ying butl reH:
lie clln sniff out Ihe .... y 11.1 e"ery chell il bordello;
Hil look i8. mixture of arrogance and cunning;
He', the one 11.1 aen·e .. .... tchdog for rioters.
Wu-coated slrinllr.eep' hi, Ihin &Ole. in Ill ace;
On his uncQvered pall et a dirty ...ench laughs
To think of her husband deceived hy unchaste Paris.
Plebeian orator of the lIockroom,
He lalk8 politic. with the corner gro<:er.
Here it ... ha!'. called an e,l/ant de Pflri$.
Charles Ba udelaire, Ven relrouves , ed. Jules Mouquet (Paris, 1929), pp. 103­
Freund contends " that the musicalit y of the poem does not present itself as a
specific .. . techni cal quaUly but is rather the authenti c ethos of the poet ....
Mus.icalit y is the form taken by l'urt pOUr l 'art in poetry." Cajetan Freund, Der
Vert Buudewirel (Muni ch, 1927), p. 46. [J38,4]
011 the publication of poems under the titJe Le. Limbel <Limbo) in Le Meuager de
l'Auemblee, April 9, 1851 : " A email bookl et entitJed La Preue de 1848 contai ns
the foUowing: ' Today we see announced in L'Echo del marchunru de vin a coUec­
tion of poems called Le, Limbe •. These are without doubt socialist poenls and,
ConsequentJy, bad poems. Yel another feUow h88 become a dis.ci ple of Proudhon
th rough either too much or 100 little ignorance. ,., A. de la Fineliere and Georgea
Dcscaux, Charles Baudelaire (serics cntitled EU(li. de bibliographie conlempo.
ruine, vol. I) (Paris, 1868), p. 12. [J38,S]
Modemiry-anticlassical and classical . Anticlassical: as antithesis to the classicaJ
period. Classical: as heroic fulfi1hnent of the epoch that puts its stamp on its
. expression. [J38a, l ]
There is evidentJy a cOIUlection bet¥:een Baudelaire's unfavorable reception in
his reputation as a police spy there, and the letter to I.e Figaro concern.
mg the banquet for Victor HugO.
Note the rigor and elegance of the title Cun'OJilb tJthLtiques.
The teachings of Fuurier: " Although, in nature, there arc certain plant8 which are
more or le88 holy, certain ... animals more or less sacred; and although ... we
may rightl y conchul e that certain nations ... ha\'e been prepared. ... by Provi­
dence fur a determined goal ...- neverthel ess all ( wi sh to do here is assert their
e(luulutilit y in the eyes of HiIII who i.s Illu.l efina hl e." Ch. B., Oeuvre" vol. 2, p. 143
("Ex positi on Universell e, 1855").11.1 [J38a.4]
" One of those narrow-millded mOller,. proj cuorJ of aesthetics (as they are called
by Heinri ch Heine), ... whose stiffened fingers. paralyt ed by the pen , can no
longer run wilh agil it y over the immense keyboa rd of corre,pondence,!" Ch. 8..
Oeuvres , vol. 2, p. 145 ("Expositi on Universell e, 1855").1111 (J38a,S]
" In the manifold productions of art. ther e is something always new whi ch will
forever escape the rules and analyses of tJle school! " Ch . B., Oeuvres, vol. 2,
p. 146 (" Exposition Universelle, 1855").111:; Analogy 10 fashion. (J38a,6]
To the notion of progress in the history of art, Baudelaire opposes a monadologi­
cal conception. "Transferred into the sphere of the imagination ... , the idea of
progress looms up with gigantic absurdity .... In the poetic and artistic order,
inventors rarely have predecessors. Every flowering is spontaneous, individual.
Was Signorelli really the begetter of Michelangelo? Did Perugino contain
Raphael? The artist depends on himself alone. He can promise nothing to future
centuries except his own works." Ch. B., (kuures, vol. 2, p. 149 {"Exposition
UniverselIe, 1855''),1t6 [J38a,7]
Toward a cr itillue of the concept of progreu in gener al: "For this is how disciples
of the phil osophcrs of stcam and sulfur mllt chcs under stand it : progren appears
to t hem onl y in the form of a n indefinite ser ies. Where is that guarant ee?" Ch . B.,
OeuvreJ, vol. 2, p. 149 ("Exposition Uni verseUe. 1855").1" [J38a,8]'
" The story is 101{1 of Balzac ... that one day he found himself in front of a , . ,
melancholy ....intcr scene, heavy with hoarfrost and thinly sprinkled with cottages
a nd wretched-looking peasa nt s; and Ihat. afl er gating at a little house from which
a thill wiHp of smoke was ri sing, he cried, ' How beautiful it is! But what are they
doill g in that cottage? What a re their Ihoughts? What ar e their sorro....s? Has it
been a good harvest ? No doubt they h(lve bills to pay?' Laugh if you will at M. de
Balzac. I do 1I0t kll ow the !Il1 me of the paint er wll ose hOll or it was 10 set the great
nO\'elist 's soul a-qui ver ....ith anxiet y and conj ecture; bUI I think that in thi s way
... he has given us an excellcntlcsson in criticism. You wi ll oftell filill me apprais­
ing II pi cture for the of ideas or of drell llls that il suggests to my
mi.nd:' Ch. B. , Oeuvre;'!, vol. 2, p. 147 ("Exposi li on Ulli verdelle, 1855"}.1811
[)39, 11
Conclusion of the "Salon de 1845": "'The painter, the true painter for whom we a re
looking, will be he who can snatch itll epi c qualit y from Ihe life of lod ay and ca.n
make U 8 see and understand, wil h brll."'1 or with lH!ncil , IlOw grea t and poeti c we
li re in our cr avats a nd our pll tenl -Ieather bools. Next year let us hope thai the true
seekers lII ay grant us the ext raordinar y delighl of celebrating t he advenl of the
,Iew!"' CII . B .• Oeuvres, \'01. 2. PI" 54-55.
'-As for t ilt': til e outer husk, of the modern hero ... , has not this much­
nlaligllell garb its o .... nllati Vtl beaut y and charm? Is it not the necessar y garb of our
suffering age, whi eh wears the symbol of IJerJH!tualmourning even 0 11 its thin bl ack
dlOulders? Notice how the black suit and the frock coat (>ossen not only their
political bcauty, whi cb is an expression of universal equali ty, hut also poet ic
beaut y, whi ch is an expressioll of the publi c soul-an endless procenion of hi red
mou rners, politi cal mourncrs, amoroull mourncrs, bourgeois mour ners. We a re
II U of us celebrating some funer al. I A Ilniform livery of mourning bear s witness t o
ellualil Y .... Don' l these puckered creases, playing like serpents a round the mor­
tified fl esh, bave their own mysteri oll s grace? I ... For the heroes of the Iliad
cannot compare with yOIl , 0 Vautrin, 0 Rastignac, 0 Bi roUeau- nor wi th you, 0
Fontanares, who dared 1101 publicl y recount your sorrowlI .....earing the funereal
and rumpled frock coat of l ooay; nor with you, 0 Honore de Baltac, you the most
beroic, the mOSI amazing, the most r omanti c a nd the most (Joetic of all the cbarac­
ters that you have drawn from YOllr fertile bosom!" Ch. B., Oeuvres. vol. 2,
"p. 134, 136 ("Salon de 1846: De I' I-Ieroi'sme de la vie lll oderne").'90 The la8t
sentence concludes t he secti on. [J39,3]
"For whcn I hear men like Raphael and Veronese being lauded to the skies, with
the manifest intention of diminishing the merit of those who came after them, ...
I ask myself if a merit which is at least the equal of theirs (I will even admit for a
moment, and out of pure compliance, that it may be inferior) is not infinitely
more meritorious, since it has triumphantly evolved in an atmosphere and a
territory which are hostile to it." Ch. B. , Oeuu1?S, vol. 2, p. 239 ("Salon de
1859").191 Lukacs says that to make a decent table today, a man needs all the
genius once required of Michelangelo to complete the dome of SI. Peter's.
Baudelaire's attitude toward progress was not always the same. Certain declara­
tions in the "Salon de 1846" contraSt clearly with remarks made later. In that
essay we find, among other things: "111ere are as many kinds of beauty as there
are habitual ways of seeking happiness. This is clearly explained by the philoso­
phy of progress.... Romanticism will not consist in a perfect execution, but in a
conception analogous to the ethical disposition of the age
(p. 66). In the same
text: "Delao-oix is the latest expression or progress in art" (p. 85). Ch. B.,
Oeuures, vol. 2. '92 [J39a.2]
The importance of theory for artistic creation was not something about which
Baude1aitt was dear, initially. In the "Salon de 1845," discussing the painta'
HaussouUier, he asks: "Is M. Haussoullier perhaps one of who know too
much about their art? Tb.at is a truly dangerous scourge." Ch. B., Oeuvres, vol. 2,
A critique of the idea of progress, such as may become necessary in connection
with a presentation of Baudelaire, must take great care to differentiate itself from
the latter's own critique of progress. TIlls applies still more unconditionally to
Baudelaitt's critique of the nineteenth cenrury and to that entailed by his biogra­
phy. It is a mark of the warped and crassly ignorant portrait of Baudelaire drawn
by Peter Klassen that the poet should appear against the background of a century
painted in the colors of Gehenna. The only thing in this century really worthy of
praise, in the author's view, is a certain clerical practice-namely, that moment
"when, in token of the rttStablished kingdom of the grace of God, the Holy of
Holies was carried through the streets of Paris in an entourage of shining arma­
ments. TIlls will have been an experience decisive, because fundamental, for his
entm existence." So begins this presentation of the poet framed in the depraved
categories of the George circle. Peter Klassen, Baudelaire (V*imar <193 b ), p. 9.
Gauloisme in Baudelaire: "To organize a grand conspiracy for the extermination
of theJewish race. I TheJews who are libranaru and bear witness to the Redemp­
tion." Ch. B., Oeuure.s, vol. 2, p. 666 ("Mon Coeur mis a nuj.I" Gaine has
continued along these lines. (Cheerful assassins!) [J40,1]
"More military metaphors: 'The poets of combat.' ' The vanguard of literature.'
Tlus weakness for military metal)hors is a sign of nat ures that are not themselvet
militant, but are made for discipline--that is to say, for confonni ty. Nature.
congenitally donlestic, Belgian natures that can think only in unison." Ch. B . •
Oeuvres, vol. 2, p. 654 ("Mon Coeur nus anu").I.s [J40,2]
" If a poct delllanded frolll the stat e the right to keep a few bourgeois ill his stable,
l»eople would be very surprised; whereas if a bourgeois demanded a roast l)OCt,
people would find this (Iuite nat uraL" Ch. B., Oeuvres, vol. 2, p. 635
("Fusee@").!"" [J40,3]
"This book is Il otmade for my wives. my daught ers. or my sisters.-I have little to
do with such things." Ch. 8.. Oeuvres , vol. 2, p. 635 [J40,4]
Baudelaire's estrangement from the age: "Tell me in what salon, in what tavern,
in what social or intimate gathering you have heard a si.ngle witty remark uttered
by a spoilcd duld [compare p. 217: "The artist is today ... but a $poj/ed (Mldj a
profound remark, to make one ponder or dream ... ? Ifsuch a remark has been
thrown out, it may indeed have been not by a politician or a philosopher, but by
someone of an outlandish profession, like a hunter, a sailor, or a taxidennist. But
by an artist ... , never." Ch. 8., Oeuum, vol. 2, p. 217 ("Salon de 1859"). TIlls is
a sort of evocation of the "amazing travelers."!· (J40,5]
Gauloiserie in Baudelaire: " I.n illl most widely accepted sense, the word 'Frellch­
nl an' means vaudevilliste . ... Everything thattowef8 or plunges. above or below
him, ca uses him pnHlentJy to take to hi s heels. The sublime always affects him like
a riot , ami he olHl ns lus Moliere olily in fear and trembBng-and beca use SOmeone
has persuaded hUll that Moliere is all amusing aut hor." Ch. 8., Oeuvre" vol. 2.
p. III ("Saloll (Ie 1846: De M. Horace Vernet").I99 (j40,6]
Baudelaire knows , in the "Salon de 1646," "the falallaw of propens.iLies." Ch. B.,
Oeuvres, vol. 2, p. 114.200 (j40,7]
Re tbe title Les Umbes <Limbo), compare the passage from the "Salon de 1846" on
Delacroix's pai.nting Women ofAIgi4!rs : "This little poem of an interior ... seems
sonlehow to exhale the heady scent of a house of ill repute, whicb quickly enough
guides our thoughts toward the fitthomleu limbo of sadneu." Ch. B., Oeuvre"
vol. 2, p. 85.:101 (J40,8]
Apropos a depiction of Samson by Decamps, in the "Salon de 1845": "Samson,
thai anci ent cousin of Hercules and Baron von Miinchhausen." Ch. B., Oeuvre••
vol. 2, p. 24.:10: [J40a,1)
"Thus, France wall diverted from its natural course, as Baudelaire hat shown, to
become a vehicle of the despiritualization- the 'bestialization' --of folk and
slate." Peter Kl assen, Baudeltlire (Weimar d93h), p. 33. [J40a,2]
Closing line of La Ugende des sieck,. part 3, seeti on 38 ("Un Homme aux yewc:
profonds pauait"): "0 scholar of abyssal things alone!" Victor Hugo, Oeuvre.t
complete, . poesie. vol. 9 (Pa ris, 1883), p. 229. [J40a,3]
"The boulder with the pensive prorlle." Victor Hugo, Oeuvres complete" Poesie,
vol. 9 (Paris, 1883), p. 191 (Le Groupe des idylles , no. 12, " Dante"). [J40a,4]
Crouching on t he !lummit , the{:;rim sphinll Naturedreams,
Petrifyi n{:; with it. ab)·••-p ze
The used 10 wondrous flights,
Thllsludious group of Ilale
Suu-guers and scanners of the stars.
The dan iell, the astounded.
The night re"oh' es in riol ' rOlln,llhe sJ.hinx .
If we cOlild once Iifl up it. monstrous pa ....
So flillCi nal inJ!; 10 the mind of yUleryur
(Newloll j!lsl as much as ancien t Hermes),
Undernealh Ihal dark and ratal claw
We' d find Ihi, one word: Love.
" Mull deceives himself! lie &ees how dark aU is for him." Victor Hugo, La Legen.de
dell lIi ecle&, part 3 ("Tine-bres"), in Oeuvre& completes, Poelie, vol. 9 (Paris,
1883), pp. 164-165. Ending of the poem. [J40a,5]
Ending of "La mut! La mut! La nuit!" <Night! Night! Night!):
osepulchen! I hear the fearful organ of the . hadow,
Formed (rom all the cries of IIOmber nature
And the craBh of rocky reefs;
Death play. Ihe clavier resounding through the branche. ,
And the key., now hlack, now white, an aU
Your tombstonew and your bierl.
Victor Hugo, La Legende de ••ikcle. , part 3 ("Tenebrel"), in Oeuvre. complete.,
Poesie, vol. 9 (Paris, 1883), p. 161. [J40a,6]
In La Ligeruu des siiclts The Legend of the Ages), part 3, poems like "Les
Chutes: Fleuves et poetes" <The Falls: Rivers and I\>ets> and
<Disinterestedness)-the one devoted to the torrents of the Rhine, the other to
Mont Blanc-provide an especially vigorous idea of the perception of nature in
the nineteenth century. In these poems we find the allegorical mode of vision
uniquely interfused with the spirit of the vignette. [J40a,7]
From Theodore de Banville. lUes Souvenir. (Paril, 1882), ch. 7 ("Charles Baude­
laire"'). Their first meeting: " Night had come-luminous 80ft enchantress. We bad
left the Luxembourg and weu walking along the outer boulevardl, through streets
whose movement and mysterious tumult the poet of u. Fleurs du mal had always
so attentively cheri shed. Privat d ' Angiemont walked a little apart from UI , in
sil ence" (p. 77). [J41 ,1)
From Theodore de Banvill e, Me. Souvenin (Paris, 1882): " I no longer reeaU
whi ch Mrican country it was in ""hich he was put up by a family to whom his
pa.rents had sent him. At any rate. he quickJy became bored with the conventional
manners of his hostl, and took off by himself for a mountain 10 live with a tall
young woman of color who understood no French , and who cooked hinl strangely
spiced ragouts in a burnished copper cauldron, a round which some naked little
black children were dancing and howling. Oh, but those ragouts! How well he
ctllljured them up, and how one would have loved to try them! " (p. 79). (J41 ,2)
" In hi s lodgi ngs al Ihe Holel Pimoda n, when J wenl there for t.he first time to vi ait
him, t here "" ere no dictionaries, no sepa rate study- not even a wble with wr iling
mUl eriau; lI or waa there a aideboard or a separate dilling room, or anything else
rcsemhling the d&:or o£ a bourgeoil apart ment ." Theodore de Banvill e, Mes
ve/lir. (Paris, 1882), pp. 8 1-82. [J4 1,3)
011 J oseph de Maiatre: " To the pretenaiona and the inaolence of metaphysiu, li e
responded with the historical. " J. Barbey d' Aurevilly, Jo&eph de iUaistre, Blanc
de Saint -Bonnel, Locordaire, Cratry, Caro (Paria, 1910), p. 9. [J4 1,4)
-'Some, like Baudelaire, ... identified tile demon. staggered but reori ented them­
and once more honored G()(1. It would nonetheless be unjust to £rom
these precursors a aurrender of the human faculties as complete as Ihat required,
for example, in the sort of mysterious dawn it seems we have begun to live a t
presellt ." Stanisl88 ."umet , Notre Baudewire [series entitled I.e Ro&eou d 'or, vol.
8] (Pllria, 1926), p . iii . [J4 1,5]
"This great IJOeti c success thus represcnts-if we add to these 1,500 copies the
priut-run of 1,000. plus the overruns from the first edition-a sum total of 2,790
copies maximum UI circulation. What other poet of our day, except Victor Hugo,
could boast of such a demand for his work?" A. de la Fineliere and George.
Desca ux, Charles Bnuderoire [seri e. entitled E..nis de bibliographie contempo­
raine, vol. 11 (Pari s, 1868). Note on the second edi ti on of u. Fleun du mnl.
Poe: "Cyrano de Bergerac become a pupil of the astrOllomer Arago"- J ollrnal des
Concourt , Jul y 16, 1856.
- "lf Edgar Poe dethroned Walter Scott and Mcrimee,
if realism and bohemi anil m triumphed aU down the line, if certain poeml about
which I have nothing to say (for fairness bids me be silent ) were taken seri ously by
... honest and weD-intentioned men , then this would no longer be deeadence but
an orgy." Ponlmartin, I.e Spectaleur, September 19, 1857; cited in lkon Lemon­
Di er, Edgar Poeet La critiquefrarn;aise de 1845 a1875 (Paris, 1928), pp. 187,214.
[J4 1a,l ]
On aUegory: " Limp arms, like weapons dropped hy one who flees. '$I (J4t.,2!
Swinburne appropriates for himself the thesis that art has nothing to do with
morality. [J41a,3]
"'us Fleur. du mol are a cathedraL" Ernest Raynaud , Ch. 8auderoire (Pa ris,
1922), p . 305 (citui g Gonzague de Reynold, Charles Baudelaire). [J4 1a,4]
" Baudelaire frets and torment s himself ill produci ng tile least word. ... • him,
art ' is a duel in wllicll til e artist sllricks wit h terror before being overcOlue. "':/05
Ernest Ra ynllud. Ch. B(I!ldewire (Paris, 1922) , PI" 3 17- 3 18. [J4 1 a,S]
Raynaud recognizes the incompatibili ty of Baudelaire and Gautier. He devotes a
long chapter to this (pp. 310-345). [J4 Ia.61
"Baudc1aitt submitted to the requirements of . . editors who ex­
ploited the vanity of socialites, amateurs, and novices, and accepted manuscripts
only if one took out a subscription." Ernest Raynaud, Cn. Baudelaire (Paris,
1922), p. 319. Baudelaire's own conduct is the complement of this state of affairs.
He would offer the same: manuscript to several different journals and authorize
reprints without acknowledging them as such. [J4Ia,7]
Daudelai re's e88ay of 1859 011 Ca uti er ; "Cautier . .. could not have misinterpreted
the pit.-ce. This is made clear by I.he faCI Ihat, in writing the preface to the 1863
edition of Le, Fleur, dll m(ll. he wittily repaid Baudelaire for his euay. " Erne8t
Raynollud . Ch. B(lildelaire (Paris, 19'.22), p. 323. [J41a,8)
" In other 1"d1HlC: l8, what witne8Se8 most tellingly to the evil SIH!U of those times is
the story of Balzac, ... who ... aU his life fairly cudgeled his brains 10 master a
styl e, without ever attaining one. .. . [Note: ] The discordancy of those times it
underscored by the f1lcll hallhe prisons of La Roquelle and Mazas were buil t with
the same gusto with which Liberty Trees were planled everywhere. Bonapartist
propaganada was harshly suppressed, bUI the ashes of NalJOloon were brought
home .... The center of Paris was cleared and its streets were opened up, bUlthe
eily was sirangled with a helt o((ortificalions." Ernesl Raynaud, Ch. BUlulelaire
(Paris, 1922), pp. 287- 288. [J41a,9]
Mter referring 10 the marriage of ancient Olympus with the wood sprilee and
fairies of Banville: " For his pari , little wishing 10 join the ever-sweJljng prOCe8liOD
of imilalors on the higll road of Romanticism, Charles Baudelaire looked aboul
him for a path to originality.. . Where to cast his lot? Creat wa. his indeci­
sion .... Then he noti ced dIal Christ, Jehovah, Mary, Mary Magdalene, the an­
gels, and ' their phalanxe.' all occupied a place in this poetry, bUI that Satan never
aplH!a red in it . An error in logic; he resolved to correct lhis .... Victor bad
made ro diablerie a fantastic setting for SOllie ancient legends. Baudelaire, in oon­
trast , (J clunil,. incarcerated modern man-the man oCthe nineteenth cenlury- in
the prison of hcU." AJcide DU80lier, tVo. Gen. de leure. (Paris , 1864), pp. 105-106
("M. Charles Baudelaire").
1J42. 1]
"He certai.nl y would have: made an excellent reporter for the witchcraft trials."
Alcide Dusolier, No; Gens de letlres (paris, 1864), p. 109 ("M. Ch. B."). Baudelaire
must have enjoyed reading that. [J42,2)
With Dusolier, cons iderable ins ight into details, but total absence of any perspec·
tive on the whole: "Obscene mysticism, or, if you prefer, mystica1 obscenity­
here, 1 have said and I repeat, is the double character of iLs Fleurs du mal." Alcide
Dusolicr, No; Gens de lettm (Paris, 1864), p. 112. [J42,3)
;' Wt: would rescrve 1I01hillg, 1I0t even praise. I attest thell to the presence, in
M. Uaudeluire's pOCli.: gall ery. of cert ain lableuu.x pari.tie,u (I wonltl have pre­
ferred eOl/.x:!Qrte. as a mure accurate and' more characteristi c term)
posse!sing great vigor and marvelous prt.-cision." AJeide Dusolier, Nos Gens de
let /res (Paris, 18(4),111' . 112-11 3 ('·l\o1 cryon"). [J42,4]
There is a reference in Dusoli er, apropos of "Fcnunes damnecs," to La ReJigieuse
(The Num-but Diderot is not mentioned. [J42,5)
A further judgment from Dusolier (p. 114); "But can one say, ' Here is a poet'?
'lb, if a rhetor wcrc an orator." The legend about the relation between verse and
pros<: in Baudelaire goes back to Dusolier. Shock! [j42,6)
Closing words: " If ( hall to sum uJl in a phrase what Baudelaire is by nature and
what he would like to persuade u. that he is,( would say wil.hout any hesi tation: he
i! a hysterical Boileau. I May 6, 1863." AJeide Dusolier, Nos Gens de leure.
(Paris, 1864), p. 119. (J42,7]
Baudelaire's horoscope, prepared for Raynaud by Paul Flambart: "The psycho­
logica1 enigma of Baudelaire is seen almost entirely in this alliance of two things
ordinarily the least suited to being linked together: a wonderfully Iluent poetie
gift and a crushing pessimism." Ernest Raynaud, CII. Bauthlaire (Paris, 1922),
p. 54. The Baudelairean psychological antinomy in its tritest fonnulation.
Mis thi s to say that we lIIust nccessa rily assimilate Baudelaire to Dante, as M. de
Reynold, following the lead of Ernest Raynaud, has done? If it i. a question of
I)oetic genius, surely admiration ... can go no furlher. If il is a question of philo­
sophical tendency, ( would merely remark that Dante ... , well in advance of hie
time, introduces into hi. work ideas that are already (Iuite modern, as Lamennais
has nicely demonstrated, whereas Baudelaire ... gives fuD expression to the . pirit
of the Middle Ages Ilnd is, Ilccordinyy, behind the time •. Thus , uthe truth be told,
far from continuing Dante, he differs from him altogether. " Paul Souday, " Con­
zague de Reynold's Charles Baudelaire" (Les Temps , April 21, 1921 , ..Let:
Ul·res"). (J42a,I)
;'; Ne,.,. editiom of Les "' leur. dll mal have been anllounced or are starting to ap­
pear. Up to now there have heen only two on the market , one for six francs, tbe
other. for thn-c francs fifty. And now one at twent y sous." Paul Souday, "te Cin­
IllHmlcnaire de Bamlelairc" (u 'femps, Jline 4, 1917).2Ofo [J42a,2)
Accunling tu Souday- in a re\' iew of DUlidclaire's letters (u TemlJ$ , August 17,
1917}-Duudclairc earned a lolal of 15.000 francs in twenl y. flve yean. (J42a.3)
stul"ll y ships, with their air of idleness and nostal gia.":ro:
Thesis of Paul Desj ardill s: " Bautlclaire is lacking in verve-Ihat is 10 say, hc hu
110 ideas hut only se.flsation... " Desjardins, "Charles Baudelaire." Revue
b/elle (Paris. I887), p. 22. [J42a,5]
"Baudelaire does lI ot give us a lifelike r epresent ati on of ohj ects; he i. morel
cernctl 10 u ..-ep Ihe image in memory than to elmbellish or portray it. " Paul
janlills. ' ;Chllrl es Bautlelaire." Revue bleue (Pllris. 1887). p. 23. [j42a.6]
Souday tries to dismiss the Christian vellcities of BaudeiaiK with a reference to
Pascal [j42a,7]
Kafka says: dependency keeps you young.
" This sensation is then renewed ad infinitum through astonishment .... All of a
sudden, Baudelaire draws back from what is most famili ar to him and eyes it in
horror.... He druw' buckfrom himself; he looks upon himsdfas something quite
lIew and prodigiously int eresting, although a little unclean: ' Lord give nle
and courage to behold f My body and my heart without disgust!' WZOII Paul Det­
j a rdins. "Charles Baudelaire," Revue bleue (Paris, 1887), I). 18. [j42a.9]
BaudelaiK's fatalism: "At the time of the coup d'etat in December, he felt a sense
of outrage. 'What a disgrace!' he cried at first ; then he came to see things ' from a
providential perspective' and resigned himself like a monk." Desjardins, "Charla
Baudelaire," Rroue bJeue (1887), p. 19. (J42a, 10]
Baudelaire-according to Desjardins- unites the sensibili ty of the Marquis de
Sade with the doctrines ofJansenius. (J43,1]
"True civilizati oll ... haa nothing to do with ... table-lurning"2O'J-an allu8ion to
Hugo. (J43,2]
"Que ce 1I0ir ..." (What Will You Say Tonight ...> invoked as the poem
of a " man in whom a decided aptitude (or the most arduous llpeculationll did not
exclude a poetry that ""as solid. warm, colorful, essentially oripnal and humane:'
Charles Barbara, L'Auu" inut du (Pa ris, 1859), p. 79 (the sonnet,
pp.82-83). [J43,3]
Barn!s: " In him the simplest word bet rays the effort by .... hicb be attained 110 hlAia
a level. " Cit ed in Gide, " Baudelaire et M. Faguet ," Nouvelle Revue franfi aise
(November I , 1910), p. 5 13.
2 10
" A phrase of Brunetiere'li is even more to our p"r pOIIC: ' ... He lacks animation
and imagin ation.' ... Agreetl t hat he lacks animation and imagination .... The
question arises (/lince, aft er all , we do have Les Fleurs fill mul) whether il is indeed
essentiall y the imaginat ion whi ch makes the poet ; or, si ll ct: MM. Faguet and
Bruneti erc cert ainly are in favor of giving the name of poetry to a kiml of versified
orlltor y. whether we wouM 11 01 do well 10 hail Baudelaire as 80llICthing other and
morc tlUIII II poet : t he fi rst arti st in poelry:' Andre Gi. lc. " Il autlelaire et
!\t o Faguct :' Nouvelle Revll cfraru;uue. 2 (Novemher I, 19(0), 1',).513-514. Gide
quotell, in connection with this, Baudel aire', fonnula . "The imagillation, that
(Iucen of the faculties," and concedcs that the poet was unaware of t he true state of
affairs (p. 517). 2lI [J43,5]
"The scenting inllpproprialeneSIi of termll , whi ch will irritate some critiCIi so much,
that skillful impre<: iseness of which Raci ll e already made such mastecl y use •...
Ihat that interval . bet ween image and idea, between the word and the
thiJlg. iii just where there is room (or the poeti c emotion to come and dwell ."
A. Gide. '; Ball deiairc el M. NouveUe Revuefrun(;aise, 2 (November I ,
1910). p. 512.:12 [J43,6)
"Endurillg fame is promilled onl y to those wril ers who can offer to succesllive
gClIerations a nouri shment conuantJy renewed; (or every gener ati on arrives 0 11
the scene with its own particul ar hunger." A. Gi de. " Baudelaire et M. Faguet ."
Nouvelle Revue fram;aue, 2 (November 1, 1910), p. 503.
Faguet complains o( the lack of movement in Ba udelaire, and Gide, making
euce to Baudelaire's " I hate aU movement" and to the iterative poems, remarkll:
"As if the greatesl novelty o( his art had not heen to immobilize his poems. 10
develop them ill depth! " Gide, " Baudelaire et M. Faguet ," NouveUe Revue
jronfia ise, 2 (Novemher 1. 19 10), pp. 507, 508.
Of the line, "Limp arms ... ," Proust says, in the preface to (Paul Morand,>
1'endres Sto!/ts (Paris, 192h, p. 15, that it sounds like something from Racine's
- The heraldi c character of the image! (J43a, l j
Very astute judgment by Proust on Sainte-Beuve's behavior toward Baudelaire:,
in the preface to 1'mdm SlocIts.
Of those " lunCl! ... granting a kind o( glory to Ihe crowd ," Proust remarkll «"A
Propos de Baudelaire," Nouvelle Revue franfiaue [June I , 1921] .> p. 646): ..1t
would seem impossible to better Ihat. ",!I: [J43a.3]
" I ha\'c not had time to II I)Cak here o( the pari played in Baudelaire's work hy
anc\ent ci ti es, or of the IIca rlet nOl e Ihey strike, here and there, in the fabric o(ms
poet r y." Marcel Proust . " A Propos li e Baudel aire," NouveUe Revue fru1l(;oi, e
(Julie I, 1921), p. 656.
Proust thinks th at the concluiling linell or hoth <!laclne's) Andronwche a ut!
(ljululcluire's> ;;Le VOyll!;I:" rail fl at. He ill orrellde.1 hy Ihe extremc simplici t y of
Ilh:se endings. [J43a,5]
"A capi tal is 1101 wholl y necclilla ry to ma ll ." SCII II II CQur, Obermunn, etl. FaS(IUelie
(Paris ( 190 I). p. 24,sL"" [J43a,6]
" 1:le was the first , , , to show the woman in her bedroom. in the midst not only of
her jewels and lH!rfumes. but of ilCr makeup, her linen" . her lireuell, t rying to
decide if she prefers a Ictllloped Irem or tI slrllie lrt Ir em, lie compares her, , , to
alli lllaill-to the ekp'I(lIlt. the monkey. and the , nllke," Johu Charpentier, " La
Poe!!ie britanni{IUe el BaUlleiaire," Mercure de France. H 1 (May I , 19'21), p. 613.
On allegory: " Hi s greatest glory, wrot e Thoophil e Caillier [in the preface to the
1863 edition of Le, Fleurs c1u mal) , ' will be to have introduced into the realm of
stylistic possibilitiell whol e cla!!!!es of obj ects. sensations, a nd effects left unnamed
hy Adam, the great Ilomencl ator.' He names . .. the hopes anti regrets, the curiosi­
ti es and fears , that seethe in the darkness of the inner world." J ohn Charpentier,
" La Poesie britannique et Baudelaire," Mercure de France, 141 (May I , 1921),
p. 614. [J43a,S]
" L' lnvitation au voyage ," t ranslated into Russian hy Merezhkovski, became a
gypsy romance entitled " Holubka 1II0'la, " [J43.,9]
In Cl) nllection with " L' lrremedjabl e," Cripet (Les f'if!llrS r/lt mal, ed. Jacques
Cr epet [Paris, 19311, p. 449) cit e!! the foll owing passage from Les Soirees de Saint­
Petersbourg: " That river ",'hieh one crosses but once; that pitcher of the
Danaides, (1/w(IYs full and alway, empty; that liver ofTit yus. always regenerated
under the beak of the vultu re that alwa)', devours it ane"'" ...- these a re so many
Bpeaking hieroglyphs, about which it ill Ulll>Olswl e to be mi staken. "l!1 {j43a, lO]
Letter to Calonne, di rector of La Revue contemporaine. on February 11 , 1859:
" The dance of death is not a pcrson but an allegory, It seems to me that it should
not be capitalizcd, An extremely well -known all cgory." Le, Fleurs du mal, ed.
Crepct (Paris, 1931). p. 459.
Rcgarding " L' A.mour du mCllsonge" d..ave of Det:eih. From a letter to Alphonse de
Calonne: " The word ' royal' will help the reader underst Mnd the metaphor, which
tra nsforms memor y into 11 crOWII of tower s, like those that weigh down the browl
of the goddessCil of rnaturi, y. off ertility. of wisdom." "' lelln du mol, ed. JaC(lues
Crepet ( Paris, 1931), p. 461 :
Pl anll ed cyclc of poems "Oneirocriti c" <Dream Int erprctation): ;' Symptom!! of
ruin. Va!!t Pelasgic Imildings. onc on tOJl of the other. Apurtlllcllts, rooms. templ es,
gall eries. stai rways, cueeu. bel vedcres. lall tern!!. fount ains, slatues,-Fissures
a mi cracks. DampncSIJ resulting from a reservoi r I!. ituatellneu r the sky.-How to
wa r n people and nations? Lct li S whis per warning!! int o t.he ellr!! of the 1II0st intelli ­
gent. f Higll up. II column crackll untl its two clltis shift . Nothing hits collap!!ed as
reI. I can no longer fimlthe "" uy oui. I go down, dum c1imL hack lip. A tower.­
La hyri nth. I never slu:.;rt,lc.! in leu vi ng. I live forever in u huilding on the poillt of
COUUI),i ng. u huiltling hy a I!.eerlll lII aI8(ly.-1 reckon up in my mind,
to amuse myself, whether such a prodigious masa of !! tOlles, marble bl ocks, 8t at­
ues, aud wall!! . whidl are all about to colli(le with one another, will he grcatl y
sullied by that multitude of braills, human fl esh, ami !! hatlered oone!!. - I St!C such
terrible things in nl y dreams that sometimes 1wi d l 1 oould sleep no more, if onl y I
could be sure of not becominr; too wear y." Nallar. Chark$ Baudelaire intirne
1911), pp. 136-131 (Baudelai re, Oeuvres.) ed. Le Dantec:. vol. 2,
1" 696].:: 1 [J44,3]
Proust on " Le Baleon": " Many of the lines in Baudelaire's ' Le Dalcon' convey II.
similar imprcssiun of mystery" (p, 644). This in contrast to Hugo: " Victor Hugo
always does wonderfull y what he hall to do . ... But the fabricating--even when it
is a fabri cating of the impalpable--is always visible." Marcel Prou!!t , " A Propos
de Baudelaire," Nouvelle Revltefram;aise, 16 ( Paris, 1921), pp.
On the iterative pOOmS: " The world of Baudelaire ill a !!trange sectioning of time in
which onl y the red-Jetter days can appear. This explains such frequent expreu ionl
as ' If some evening,' and so on. " M. Proust, " A PrOPO!! de Baudelaire," Nouuclle
Revue fram;uise, 16 (June I , 1921), p. [J44,5)
Meryon's Jetter of March 3 1, 1860, to Nadar: he does nol wish to be photographed
by him. [J44,6)
"As t o Baudelaire's '''age properties'-... they might provide a useful lenoll for
those elegant ladies of the past twent y years, who ... would do well to consider,
when they contemplate the alleged purity of st yle which tbey have achieved with
such infinite t rouble, that a man may be the greatest alill mOl t artistic of writers,
yet describe nothing but beds with ' adjustable curtains' (' Piece!! eondamneel'),
halls like conser vatories ('Une Martyre') , hed s filled with subtle scent s, sofas dee))
us tomb!!, whatnot s loaded with flowen, lamps huming !!o briefly (' Pieces condam­
nees') t hat the only light comes from the coal fIre. Baudelaire's world is a 1)lace to
whi ch, at r are moments, a )H!rfumed breeze from the oll ter air brings refr eshment
and a senile of magic, ... thanks to those porticoes ... ' open onto unknown skies'
(' La l'<l ort '), or ' whi ch the suns of the sea tinged wilh a thousand fires' ('La Vie
anh! rieure'). " M. r'rou8l , "A Propos de Baudelaire," Nouvelle RelJuefru.m;aise,
16 (Jull e l. 192 1), p. 652,n; [J44a,1]
0 11 till' " Pi eccs cOllIl amnees": "'They take their place once more among t.he grand­
est in Ihe book. like those crystal-clea r waves tlilit hcave aft er
a ni ght of storm, a mi, by int crposing tll eir hctween the spectator unt! the
illllllellse !! weep or the oceall , gi\'e a sense of space a lltl di stance to t111l "iew."
I)roust, ,.t\ PropolJ de Baudelaire," Nouvelle H. elme frum,aise, 16 (JUIl t' I . 1921 ).
p. 655. 2!11 [J4h.,2]
"' How did he come 10 be so in ... ? When Vigoy, ragi ll f!; against
womell, thought to fllld the explanation of the mystcry of their sex UI the faelthat
women give suck ... , ill their psychol ogy (' Always the companion whol!e beart it
untrue'), it is easy to l ee why. in his frustrated and j ealous passion, he could write:
' Woman will have Gomorrah, and Man will have Sodom.' But he doell. at least, see
the IWO sexes at odds, facing each other as enemies across a great gulf .... But this
did not hold true of Baudelaire .... Tlus 'connection' between Sodom and Go­
morr ah is what, in the final sec:: tion of my novel, ... I have shown in the person of
a brutill h creature, Charl es Morel (it is usually to brutish creatures that this part
is allotted). But it would seem that Baudel aire cast himself for it , and looked Oil the
role as a privilege. It would be intensely interesting to know why he chol!e to
assume it, and how well he acquittetl himself. What is comprehensible in a Charles
Morel becomes profoundly mysterious in the author of Les Fleur, du. mat." Marcel
Proust , "A Propos de Baudelaire," Revue frtJm;ail e, 16 (June I , 1921),
1'1' . 655-656.
Louis Mcnard- who, under the pseudonym Louis de Senneville. had publisbed
Promelhb! cieli.vre <Prometheus Unbound>-in La Revue philosophique et re­
ligieuse of September 1857 {cited in Les FLeurs du mal. ed. Crel)Ct (Pam. 1930],
pp. 362-363): "'Though he talks incessantly of the vermin and scorpions in lW ROul
and takes himself for the avatar of all vices, it is easy to see that his principal
is an overly W)ertine imagination- a defet: t all too common among thOHl
erudite l)CrllOns who have passed their youth in Reclusion . .. . Let him enter into
the communit y of human life, and he will be able to find a cbar acteristically ele­
vated form for vi brant , wholesome creations. He will be a paterfamili as and will
publish books of the sort that could be r ead to his children. Until then, he will
remai n a schoolboy of 1828, suffering from what Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire calls ar­
rested development." [J45. 1}
From the summation delivered by M. Pinard: " I portray evil with ita intoxica­
tions, you say, but also with its mi series and shames. So be it . But what of aU thOHi
many readers for whom you write (for you publish thousands of copies of your
hook. and at a low price) those numerous readers of every class, age, and condi­
tion? Will they take the antidote of whi ch you speak with 8uch compl acency?"
Cited in Les Fleurs du mal. ed. Crepet (Paris , 1930), p. 334. [J45.2]
An article by Louis Goudall in Le FigaroofNovember 4, 1855, opens the way for
criticisms of "university pedants." Goudall writes, after the publication of
in La Rroue tin deux mOTltUs: "Mter the fading ofrus surprise celebri ty, Baudel;ure
will be associated exclusively with the withered fruits of contemporary poetry."
Cited in Les Fleur; du mal, ed. Crepct (Paris. 1930), p. 306. [J45.3)
In 1850. Asselineau saw Baudel aire with a copy of the I)oems inscribed by a callig­
rapher und bouml in two gilded 'Iuarto volumes. [J45.4)
Crcpet (Fleurs du mal. cd. Crepet . p. 300) saY8 I.hat , ar ound 1B46, many of
Baudduire' s knew his hy heart. Onl y three of til e poems had been
publishe(1 al that point. [J45,5)
May 1852: " Le. Limbes intimate poems of Ceorges Dorant, coll ectt!fl and
published II Y his friend 'I'h. Veron." [j45,6)
,\nnoullcing lA!s Limbes in the second iu ue of L'Echo des m(lrchunds de vin : "Les
/..imbes: poem" hy Charl!!8 Baudelai re. The hook will be published on February
24. 1849. in Paris and Lcipltig. " [j45,7)
Lt'eont e ti e Lisle ill La Revue europbmne of December I , 1861. Among other
things, he sJleaks of " that strange mania for dressing up the di scoveries of mod­
crll industry ill ha{1 verse. " He refers to Baudelaire's ocuvre as "stamped with the
\.igorous seul or long medit ati on." The Inferno plays a big part in his review. Cited
ill /A!s Fleurs elu mul, ed. Crcpet , pp. 385, 386. [j45a,l )
Swinburne' s articl e ill TIl e Speclator of September 6, 1862. The author was
twenty-fi ve years old at the time. [J45a,2]
Paris, fOT Gonzague de Reynold, as "antechamber to the Baudelairean Hell."
Tum to the second chapter, "La VlSion de Paris," in part 2 (entit1ed "L'Art et
l'ocuvre") of his book Charit; &udefairt (Paris and Geneva, 1920), and you find
nothing but a Jongwinded. subaltern paraphrase of certain poems. [J45a,3)
and Baudelaire: "In the one, we lind the mystical and macabre Christi anity
of an age in the process of losing its faith; in the other, the more or less secularized
Christianit y of an age seeking to recover its faith ." Gonzague de Reynold, Charles
Haudeluire (paris and Geneva, 1920), p. 220. (J45a,4)
Reynold draws a schemati c parallel between tbe fifteenth and the nineteenth cen­
turies as periods of decadence. in which an extreme reali sm prevails alongside an
extrenu! ideali sm, together with unrest , pessimism, and egoism. [J45a,5)
Imitatio ChriJti , hook I , paragraph 20, "De amore soli tudinus et silenw": "Quid
POles alibi videre, quod hic non vides? Ecce caelum et terr a et omnia e1ementa:
nll nl ex iu ill omnia sunt faeta."2)(l []45,,6]
Mali arnlC, ill the ollClling piece of Di v(lgRtionJ, " Formerly, in the margins of a
8.\UlltL\IIu;' ·: "This lorrent of tears illuminated by the bengal lighl of the artificer
Satan, who comes from hehind:' Slephane MaUarme, Di vCl gatio1l$ (Paris, 1897),
p.60. [J45a.7)
))t'cern! lCr 4. 1847: ;';' Aft er New Yca r 's Da y, I am starting a new kind of writing, .. .
• No\'e1 . It is not for me to poi nt out to you the gravi ty, the beaut y, and
Ih,· infillil e possibilit.ies of thai art .'" Ch<wrl cs) B(audel ai rc), Lellres a. Sfl mere
(Pari s, 1932), 1" 26.!ll (J45a,8)
OCcemher 8, 18<1.8: "'Another rcason I would be happy if yotl were ahle to comply
with my retltlest is Ihal I very much fear a revolutionary UI)rising, and nOlhing is
more deplorable than t o be utt erly without money at l uch a time." Ch. 8. , l.etlres
ii sa mere (Paris , 1932), p. 33.
" From the cud of the Second Empire down to our own day, the evolution in
philosophy a nd the blooming of l.es Fleurs d" mal have been concomitant . This
explains the peculiar destin y of a work whose fundamental parts, though still
enveloped in shadow, are becoming clearer with evcry passing day." Alfred Capus,
I.e Gauloi.t , 1921 (ci ted in Les f' le"r, du mal, ed. Crepet [Paris, 1931]. )1. 50).
On March 27, 1852, he mentions t o his mother some " sickly articles , hastily writ­
ten ." <Charlt:1l Baudelaire,) Let/res Ii 5a mere (Paris, 1932), p . 39.
March 27, 1852: ' 'To beget children is the only thing which gi ves moral inteWgenCfl
to the female. As for young women without st atus and without children, they show
nothing but c(Hluetry, implacabilit y, and elegant deba uchery." Lettres a. a mere
(Paris, 1932), I). 43.ZJ.I [J46.3]
In a lett er to hi s mot her, Bautlelaire refers to the reading room, in addition to the
cafe, as a refuge in which to work. [J46,4]
December 4, 1854: "Should 1 resign myself to going t o bed and staying there for
lack of clothes?" Lettres a.ta mere (Paris, 1932), p. 74.m (On p. 101, he asks for
the loan of some handkerchiefs.) [J46,5]
Decemhcr 20, 1855, after toying wit h the idea of for a subvention:
" Never will my name appear on filthy govemment pa per." Lettres asa mere,
p.83.ZlI> [J46,6]
Problemati c pau age from a letter of July 9, 1857, concerning Les Fleurs du mal:
" Moreover, alarmed myselfby the horror I was going to inspire. 1cut out a third of
it at the proof stage." Let/res aSCI mere, p. 1l0. m [J46,1]
Spleen de I'Clri$ appear s for a time, in 1857 (lree I)' III . leit er of Jul y 9. 1857), to
have had the titJe I'oemes nocturne.. [J46,8]
Planned essay (Leure. aSCI mere , p. 1. 39) on Machiavelli anti Condorcet . [J46,9)
May 6.1861: ''' And what about COIl! ' you "dll lIay. I wi sh ",'ilh aU my Iltlurt (with
whal sinccril y I alone can kllow) to heli eve that an exterior invisihl e being is
concerncd wi lh my fat e. But wllal can I do to make mYlrelf be li e" e it ?" l.eu res (j sa
me,.e, p. 173. ::111 1J46, lO]
May 6. 1861: " I um forty old alllil camlot think of school wi til oul pai n . allY
1II0rtl than I cun think oflh.: fcur which my stepfather in me," l.ettres Ii $a
mere, )I. 176,u" . [J46a,11
July 10. 1861, on t.he planned de Iu.xe edilion: " Whertl ill the mama who wiU give
l.e$ Fle"r. rlu mal a present to her cltilllren? And where is the papa?n l.eUres a
jCl mere, p. 186. [J46a,2]
lI is eyes strained with worki ng in t he Louvre: "Two bloO(18hot goggle-eyes." Let­
tres ii SCI nuke, p. 191 . [J46a,3)
Oll /..€$ Mi$er(lbfes- August II . 1862 : "The book is di sgusting anti clumsy. On this
lIeore. I""c shown that I POSsesll the art of lying. " Lettre$ Ii 'a mere, p. 212.:.tO
[J46' ,41
June 3. 1863. He spea ks of Parill , " where 1have been bored for months. as no one
was ever bored before." Lettres a$Cl mere, I). 218.W
Condusion or "Ctipuscule du soirn: the muse: herself, who turns away from the
poet to whisper words or inspiration to the air. [J46a,6]
Baudelaire pl anned a " refutation of the preface to the life of Caesar by Napo­
leon HI ." [J46a,7J
In a lett er of May4, 1865, Baudelaire mentions to hill mother an " immensely long"
articl e apl>eari ng in La Revuegermanique. Leure$ Ii ' a mere, p. 260.:': [J46a.8]
March 5, 1866: " I like nothing so much as to be alone. But that is impossibl e; and
it seems that 'he B(ludek,ire $chool exists." Lettre$ a50 me re, p. 301.
December 23, 1865: " If I can eVer regain the freshness and energy I've sometimes
enj oyed. I' ll assuage my wrath in horrible books. J' dlike to set the enti re buman
race against me. Tha t offer s a pleasure that cowd console me for ever ything."
U ltre, aS(I mere, p. 278.!14 [J46a,lO]
"As a munlldvances through life ... • what the world hns agreed to call ' beauty'
lOses much of its importance. .. Henceforth beaut y will be no more than the
promi$e ojlulp(Jilieu. ... Beauty will be the form which promises the most kind­
11CSS, t he 11105 1 loyalt y to an oath. the m081 honest y ill fulfilling a pledge. the most
suhtl eiy in Illulerstantling relationships" (p. 424). And a lillie further on, wi t.h
refercnce to "L' Ecole pai·ellne." to whi ch t hese lines writt en in all allium cOll stitute
a lI ote: " How CQuid I possibl y succeed ill convincing a yQung scatterhrain that 111.1
8CII Sual is mingled with the irresistible sympathy I fw l fQr old women- for
tlluse creatures who have suffered greatly through their lovers, their hushands ,
their I:hiltlren. a llli also through t.hei r own mistakt:1l?" Cil . D., Oell vres completes.
et! . Le Dant ec, "1.11. 2. pp. 424-425.: 1J47, I J ·
.. ...
or S(llUe time, ... it [ has seemed] tu lUe that I am having a bad dream, that l am
hurtling through and that a multitude of wooden, goldeu. nllti ll ilver idQls
are falling with me, tumbling after me, bumping into me, lind breaking my head
alltl bllck. " ell. B .• Oeuvre, complete" vol. 2. pp. 420-42 1 ("L'Ecole
pll"iclille .. Compare the anecdote about Halulduire IIlI d the Mexican idol
<J 171t ,2?). 1]47,2]
Toward the end of the Second Empire, as the regime relaxes itS pressure, the
theory of I'art pour ['art suffers a loss in prestige. (J47,3)
From the argument of the Guys essay, it would appear that Baudelaire's fascina·
tion with this artist was connected above all with his handling of backgrounds,
which differs little from the handling of backgrounds in the theater. But because
these picrures, unlike scenery on a stage, are to be viewed from close up, the
magic of distance is canceled for the viewer without his having to renounce
the j udgment of distance. In the essay on Guys, Bauddaire has characterized the
gaze which here and in oln" plaw he himself rums toward the distance. Baude­
laire dwells on the apression of the oriental courtesan: "She directs her gaze at
the horizon, like a beast of prey; the same wildness, the same indolent distrac­
tion, and also at times the same fixity of attention." Ch. B., OrovrtJ, vol. 2,
In his lwen! L' Heaut ontimorollOl clioS" <The Se.lf-Torlll cllt or), Baudelaire himself"
speaks of hi s shrill voice. {j47,5]
A decisive: value is to be accorded Baude1aire's efforts to capture the. gaze in
which the magic of distance is extinguished. (Compare "L'AmOUT du men­
souge.") Rclevant here: my definition of the aura as the aura of distance opened
up with the look that awakens in an object perceive:d.:m [J47,61
The gaze in which the magic of distance is extinguished: "Let your eyes plunge
into the fixed stare I of satyreSses or water sprites" ("L'Avertisseur" (The Look.­

Among the prose poems pl anll(.'(1butlefl ull wri tt en il "La Fin dll 1II01l(Ie." Its balic
Iheme is perhapl best indicated ill Ihe foUowing passage from "Fusees," no. 22:
"The world is a boul 10 come 10 an end. T he only reason it should continue is that
it exists. Wha l a weak argument , cOml)a retl wit h all the arguments to the contrary,
and el>peciall y the following: 'Whal , in future, is t he world to tlo ill the sight of
hca\'en?' For, supposing it continued to have Ill aterial existence, would this exist­
ence be worthy of the name, or of t he Encycl opetliu of Hil tory? ... For Ill y part, l
who sometimes feel myself elols t in til e ridi culous role of prophet. I kll ow that I shaU
ne\'er rec::eive so lIIuch as a doctor's charity. Lost in this buse worill . jostled by the
lIIob. I am like a weary III ltli who sccs hehind him, ill tilt: {Ieptlls of the yean, onl y
(lisillusiunlll cni alul bilt crlle88. ami in frunl of him unl y a ICIlII »cSI thai liring&
nOl hing ncw .... I jt!elll 10 have wantlered off.... Nevcrthdeu. I shall let tbe&e
1 wish 10 set an exact date 10 III )' anger." CII. B., Oeuvr-e.s;
vol. 2, pp. 639, 64- 1-642. 7OO_ln the mallulK: ript . tllere is a variant for the last
"·J ..
saunen. {j47a,2]
The that lx:gins,. '"'The world is coming to an end" ("Fusees," no. 22),
contams, mtenvovc:n Wlth the apocalyptic reverie, a frightfully bitter critique of
Second Empire society. (It reminds one here and there, perhaps, of Nietzsche'
delineation of "the last man.") 11Us critique displ ays, in part, prophetic [eatu s
Of the coming society, it is that "nothing in the sanguinary,
Ufmatural dreams of the utopians can be compared to what will actuall ha
' ' " y p-
pen. . ..
RI wiIIb
e compe e u ers
, m order to mamtalll therr position and create a
semblance of to to .that would appall present-day mankind,
hardened as It 15. •.• Justice-if, m this fortunate epoch, any justice can still
exist-will forbid the existence of citizens who are unable to make a fonn
Those times are at hand. Who knows whether they : .
here already-whether It 15 not slDlply the coarsening of our natures that k.
. . ha "J>'
m notIong w t son of atmosphere we already breathe;!" Ch B n ..
. . . ., vroUTtS,
vol. 2, pp. 640-641.
"The gi: t of it all ,. in the eyes of and of the French people, is that Napo­
III s great c1aml to renown will have heen that he showed how allYbody at aU,
if only he gets hold of the telegraph and t he printing presses, call govern a great
nation. Anyone who believes that such thill gR can be done without t he people',
lH!mUssion is a ll imbecile. " Ch. H. , Oeuvre. , vol. 2. )1 .655 ("Mon Coeur nUs anil ..

"A of solitude, since my childhood. Despite my family, a nd espeeiaUy ami d
compamon8--a sense of an eternall y lonely destiny." Ch. 8. Oeuvre. vol. 2,
p. 645 ("l\1on Coeur mis ii " [J48,2J
':;ruth, for all its multipli ci t y, is not two-faCed ." Ch. 8 ., Oeuvre •• vol. 2, p. 63
( Saloll dc 1846: Allx Bourgeois"). %.>t [J48,31
"Allegory is one of the
noblest genres of art ." Ch. 8
euvre., vol. 2, p. 30
("Salon de 1845"). m
' 'The will lll llst have becomc a bighly developed alltl productive facult y to be a bl e
to gi\'c its st k r 1
f amp ... to wor s ... 0 t Ie second rank.... The cllj oys the
hij eyc tlrinks ill the sweat ." Ch. n., Oell vre.J. vol. 2, <p. 26) ("Salon de
" The itl ca f . . .
. <} progress. dUll beacon. all invent ion of contemporary phi loso.
JlBSI!! Ii " 1 ' 1 1 .
" . ' CCfl SC( Wit lOut t IC sa nctIOn of Na lure or God- this 1lI001er" lallt ern casts
ark siunlows O\'cr every ob,'et: t
f k
· 1
Lil . 1
)Crt y va lli;; les ' puni shment tii8­
aPpe .. CI 8 0 '
ars. I... ell vre.J. vol. 2, p. 148 (HExpositioli Uni versell e. 1855") .:!.';o,
"Stupidity i8 often the ornament of beaut y. It is what gives to the eyee thai gloomy
limpidit y of blackish and that oily calm of tropical seas." Ch. B., Oeuvre"
vol. 2, p. 622 ("Choi" ti e ma"imcs consolanles sur [j48,7]
"A lalit , gener al rule: in IO\'e, beware of the moon and the ! hlr!; beware of the
Venus de Mil o." Ch. B .• Oell vres. vol. 2, p. 624 ("Chou de maximca consolantea
sur J' amour").2S11 [j48,8]
Baudelaire was always after the gist. His epoch forbade him to fonnulate it in
such a way that its social bearing would become immediately intelligible. Where
he sought in fact to make it comprehensible-in the essays on Dupont, as in the
theon=tical musings in a Cluistian vein-he instead lost sight of it. Nevertheless,
the fonnulation he attains at one point in this context-"How much can you get
for a lyre, at the pawnshop?"-gives apt expression to his insistence on an an
that can prove itself before society. The sentence from Ch. B., Oeuum, vol. 2,
p. 422 ("1.:&ole pa'ienne").2S9 [j48,9]
With rega rd to aUegor y: "What do you expe.: t from hea ven or from the stupidity of
Ihe public? Enough money to raise altars to Priapus and Bacchus in your attica?
... I understand the rage of iconoclallts and of Muslims agai nst images. I admit aU
the remorse of Saint Augustine for the too great pleasure of the eyes." Ch. B.,
Oeuvrea, vol. 2, Pi>. 422, 423 ("L' Ecole paienne"). %60 [J48a,l]
It belongs to the physiognomic profile of Baudelaire that he fosters the gestures of
the poet at the expense of the professional insignia of the writer. In this, he is like
the prostitute who rultivates her physiognomy as sexual object or as "beloved" in
order to conceal her professional dealings. [J48a,2]
lfthe poems of u s EpalXS, in Proust's great image,·l are the foamy wave crests in
the ocean of Baudelairean poetry, then the poems of "Tableaux parisiens" are its .
safe harbor. In particular, these poems contain hardly any echo of the revolution·
ary stonns that \\.'ere breaking over Paris. In this respect they resemble the
of Heym, composed forty years later, in which the corresponding state of affam
has now risen to consciousness while the "Marseillaise" has been interred. The
last two tercets of the sonnet "Berlin III," which describes the sunset in Berlin in
winter, n=ad as follows:
A paupers' graveyard upheaves black, stone after stone;
The dead look out on the red sunset
From their hole. It tastes Like strong wine.
TIley sit knjtting all along the wall ,
Sooty caps on their naked temples,
To the old attack tong, the
Georg Heym, Dichtungell (Munich, 1922), p. 11.
A decisive line for the comparison with Blanqui: "\Vhen earth becomes a trick.
ling dungeon" ("Spleen IV").iIQ [j48a.4)
Thc idea of the immobilization of nature appears, perhaps as refuge for the
prescient imagination inunediately before the war, in poems by Georg Heym,
whose images the spleen of Baudelaire could not yet have louched: "But the seas
congeal. On the waves I The ships hang rotting, morose." Georg Heym. Dl·d!.
fungar (Munich, 1922), p. 73 (collection entitled Umbra uiJtu). [j48a,5]
It would be a big mistake to see in the theoretical positions on art taken by
Baudelaire after 1852-positions which dilfer so markedly from those of the
period around 1848-the fruits of a development. (1b.ere are not many artists
whose work attests so little to a development as that of Baudelaire.) These
positions represent thcoretical extremes, of which the dialectical mediation is
given by Baudelaire' s whole without being entirely present to his con.
scious reflection. The mediation resides in the destructive and purificatory char.
acter of the work. This art is useful insofar as it destroys. Its destructive fury is
directed not least at the fetishistic conception of art. Thus it serves "pure" art, in
the sense of a purified art. 11
The first poems of UJ Fleurs du mal are all devoted to the figure of the poet. From
them it emerges, precisely insofar as the poet makes appeal to a station and a
task, that society no longer has such things to confer. [j49,2)
An examination of those places where the "I" appears in the poems of Baudelaire
might result in a possible classificatory grouping. In the first five poems of us
F'lnm du mal, it surfaces but a single time. And further on, it is not unusual to
find poems in which the "I" does not occur. More essential-and, at the same
time, more deliberate-is the way in other poems, like "Reversibilite" or "Har­
monie du sorr," it is kept in the background. [J49,3]
"La Helle Dorotllt!e"--ell e mllst buy back her eleven-year-old sister.!6J
" I aSsure you Ihal the secontls aTe II OW slrongl y accented , and rush OUI of the clock
cryiug, ' I alii Life, tlllbearahle all tl implacable Life! ' " Ch. 8. , Oeuvre!, vol. I ,
p. 4 11 (" La Chll luhre double"). 7M [j49,5)
From "Quelques mot s d' introducti on" 10 the "Saloll de HI4S": " Anti lit the very
wit h reference 10 thai illlptwtinelttllesigli ali ulI , ' the hourgeois,' we beg 10
state Ihat we in 110 way sharc the prej udi ces uf our great confreres in the world of
art. who for sOlli e yeurs now have h/..'t!n Slri\'ing their ulmost 10 easl anat hema upon
Iha l inoffensive hei llg.... And , fillull y. Ihe r anks of the arti sts themselves cont ai n
Stl lIlany bOlu'geuis thul it is hetl cr, ullthe whole, to suppress a word which does ll ot
allY particular vice of custe." Oeuvre!. vol. 2. PI" 15-16. %(0.; The same ten­
tlt' II CY ill til e preface, ..Allx Uourgeois," of the "Saloll de 1846." [J49.6]
The figure of the lesbian woman belongs among Baudelaire's heroic exemplars.
[He himself gives expression to this in the language of his satanism. It wouJd be
no less comprehensible in an unmetaphysical critical language. ] The nineteenth
cenrury began openl y and without reserve to include the woman in the
of commodity production. The theoreticians were united in their opinion that
her specific femininity was thereby endangered ; masculine traits must necessarily
manifest themselves in women after a while. Baudelaire affirms these traits. At
the same time, however, he seeks to free them from the domination of the
economy. Hence the purely sexual accent which he comes to give this develop­
mental tendency in woman. The paradigm of the lesbian woman bespeaks the
ambivalent position of "modernity" vis-a.-vis technological development. (What
he couJd not forgive in George Sand, presumably, was her having profaned,
through her humanitarian convictions, this image whose traits she bore. Baude­
laire says that she was worse than Sade.):166 [J49a,l ]
The concept of exclusive rights was not so widely accepted in Baudelaire's day as
it is today. Baudelaire often republished his poems two or three times without
having anyone take offense. He ran into difficulties with this only toward the end
of his life, with the PobneJ en prru(. [J49a,2)
From his seventeenth year, Baudelaire led the life of a <litterateur?>. One cannot
say that he ever thought of himself as an "intellectual" or engaged himself on
behalf of "the life of the mind." The registered trademark for artistic production
had not yet been invented. (In this situation, moreover, his imperious need to
distinguish himself and withdraw worked to his advantage.) He refused [Q go
along with the defamation of the bourgeois, under the banner of which there was
mobilized a solidarity of artists and men of letters that he considered suspect.
Thus, in the "Musee classique du Bazar Bonne-Nouvelle" <Classical Museum of
the Good-News Bazaar> (Oeuum, vol. 2, p. 61), he writes: "The bourgeois, who
has few scientific notions, goes where the loud voice of the bourgeois artist
directs him. - If this voice were suppressed, the grocer would carry E. Delacroix
around in niumph. The grocer is a great thing, a divine being whom it is neces­
sary to respect, homo bOT/at uoiuntatisf"lfl In more detail a year earlier, in the
preface to the "Salon de 1845." [J49a,3]
Baudelaire's eccentric individuality was a mask under which he nied [Q con'
ceal-out of shame, you could say-the supra-individual necessity of his way of
life and, to a certain extent, his life history. [J50,l)
To intenupt the course of the world-that was Baudelaire's deepest intention.
1ne intention ofJoshua. [Not so much the prophetic one: for he gave no thought
to any sort of refoml.] From this intention sprang his violence, his impatience,
and his anger; from it, too, sprang the ever-renewed attempts to cut the world to
th e heart [or sing it to sleep]. In this intention he provided death with an accom­
paniment: his encouragement of its work. [J50,2]
Apropos of " Harmonie du floir" and other iterative l)oem8: Baudelaire notes in
Poe " repetitions of the same Line or of ijeverai lineij, insistent reiterations of
"I,rases which simulate the ohesssions of melancholy or of a fixed idea." " Notes
nouveUes sur Edgar Poe," in Nouvelles lIistoires extraordinaires (Paris <1886»,
p.22. 2(,8 lmmobilizat.ion! U50,3)
" Lord give me st rength and courage to behold I my bod y and my heart without
disgust!" With this, juxtapose: "The dandy should aspire to be suhlime. continu­
aUy. He shouM live alld sleep in front of a mirror." Oeu.vres, vol. 2, p. 643 ("Mon
Coeur mis a IIU," no. 5). The lines of verse are from "Un Voyage a Cytlu!re.'­
The close of "La Destruction" (published in 1855 under the title "La Volupte"!)
presents the image of petrified unrest. ("Was like a Medusa-shield, I image of
petrified unrest"-Gottfried Keller, "Verlorenes Recht, verlorenes GlUck.")
On "Le Voyage," opening stanza: the dream of distance belongs to childhood.
The traveler has seen the far distant, but has lost the belief in distance. (J50,6)
Baudelaire-the melancholic, whose star pointed him intO the distance. He didn' t
follow it, though. Images of distance appear [in his poems] only as islands loom­
ing out of the sea of long ago, or the sea of Paris fog. These islands are seldom
lacking in the Negress. And her violated body is the figure in which the distance
lays itself at the feet of what Baudelaire found near: the Paris of the Second
Empire. [J50,7)
The eye growing dim at the moment of death is the Ur-phenomenon of expiring
appearance <Schein>. [J50,8)
"Les Petite8 Vieilles" <The Little Old Women>: "Their eyes. . glint like holes
where water sleeps at ni ght . " 210 {j50,9]
Baudelaire's violent temper belongs together with his destructive animus. 'W! get
nearer the matter when we recognize here, tOO, in these bursts of anger, a
"strange sectioning of rime."71' [J50a,1 J
Baudelaire, in his best passages, is occasionally coarse-never sonorous. His
mode of expression at these points deviates as little from his experience as the
gesrures of a perfect prelate deviate from his person. [J50a,2)
Although the general contours were by then already lost to view, the concept of
allegory in the first third of the nineteenth cenrury did not have the disconcerting
quality that attaches to it today. In his review of us Poisin de Joseph Delonne, in
/..( Globe of April 11, 1829, Charles Magnin brings together Victor Hugo and
Sainte·Beuve with the words: "They both proceed almost continually by figures,
allegories, symbols." <Cited in Charles Augustin Sainte-Beuvc,> Vie, palsies et
jJmsies fk J oseph De/onne (Paris, 1863), vol. 1, p. 295. [J50a,3]
A comparison between Baudelaire and Sainte-Beuvc can unfold only within the
narrow confines of subject matter and poetic workmanship. ror Sainte-Bcuve
was a genial and indeed cozy son of author. Charles Magnin justly writes in u
Globe of April 11, 1829: "His spirit might cloud over for a while, but no sooner
does it compose itself than a fund of narura1 benevolence rises to the surface."
(Here, it is not the benevolence but the surface that is decisive.) "Without doubt
this is the source of that sympathy and indulgence which he inspires in u s . ~
<Cited in> Vie, poisies et prosies lk J oseph Delorme (Paris, 1863), vol. 1, p. 294.
Miserable sonnet by Sainte-Bcuvc (u s Consolab"ons (Paris, 1863], pp. 262-263):
"I love Paris and its beautiful sunsets of autumn," with the closing lines: "And I
depart, in my thoughts mingling I Paris with an Ithaca of beautiful sunsets."
Charles Magnin in his review of us Poesies de Joseph Delorme, in Le Globe. April
I I , 1829: " Doubtless the al exandrine with a variable caesura call s for a stricter
rhyme." <Cited in> Vie, pOOsies et perl$ees de Joseph Delorme (Pari8, 1863), vol. I ,
p.298. USOa,5]
Conception of the poet, according to J oseph Ddonne: "The idea of consorting
with elect beings who sing of their sorrows here below, the idea of groaning in
hannony to their lead, came to him like a smile amid his sufferings and lightened
them a little." Jlie, patsies d fmuies de Joseph Delorme (Paris, 1863), vol. I , p. 16.
The book has an epigraph from Obmnarm; this fact sets a limit to the influence
which Obmnann could.have exercised on Baudelaire. USl,l]
Sainte-Beuvc, notes Charles Magnin, half approving and half deploring, "de­
lights in a cenain crudity of expression, and abandons himself ... to a son of
linguistic shamelessness .... The harshest word, however shocking, is almost
always the word he prefers." u Globe, April 11, 1829, cited in Vie, pobin tt
jJmsies fk Joseph Delorme (Paris, 1863), vol. I , p. 296. Close on this (p. 297),
Magnin reproaches the poet for having presented the girl in the poem "Ma
Muse" as a consumptive: "\>Ve would not mind if the poet showed us his muse
poor, grieving, or ill.cJad. But consumptive!" The consumptive Negress in
Baudelaire. \>Ve get some idea of Sainte-Beuvc's innovations from lines like
"nearby, the opening of a ravine: I A girl washes threadbare linen there day after
day" ("Ma Muse," in vol. I, p. 93), or, from a suicide fantasy, "Some local fellows,
I ... I Mixingjeers with their srupid stories, I Will chat idly over my blackened
remains I Before packing them off to the graveyard in a wheelbarrow" ("Le
Creux de la vallee," in vol. I , p. 114). US I ,2]
Sainte-Beuve's characterization of hill own poetry: " I have endeavored ... to be
origi nal in my fashi on. whi ch is humble and bourgeois, ... calling by their name
the things of private life, but preferring the thatched cottage to the boudoir." Vie .
poesie. el perl$ees (Ie Joseph Delorme (Paris. 1863). vol. I , p. 170 (--PenSf:eS," no.
I ~ ~ I ~
With Sainte-Beuvc, a standard of sensibility: "Ever since our poets, ... instead of
saying ' a romantic grove; a ' melancholy lake,' ... started saying ' a gn=en grove'
and 'a blue lake; alarm has been spreading among the disciples of Madame de
Stael and the Genevan school; and already complaints can be heard about the
invasion of a new materialism .. .. Above aU, there is a dread of monotony, and it
seems far too easy and far too simple to say that the leaves are gn=en and the
\V3.ves blue. On this point, perhaps, the adversaries of the picruresque deceive
themselves. The leaves, in fact, are not always green; the waves not always blue.
Or rather, we find in nature ... neither green, nor blue, nor red, properly speak·
ing; the narural colors of things are colors without names ... . The picturesque is
not a box of paints that can be emptied." <Sainte-Beuve, Vre, poims et ptnsieJ de
] ..",h Dd,,",, (Paris, 1863),>pp. 166-167 ("Pense..; no. 16). (j5l ,4]
"The alexandrine ... resembl es somewhat a pair of tongs. gleaming and golden, if
straight and rigid; it is not for rummaging about in nooks and erannie8.-Our
modern verse i8 to a degree partitioned and arficu.lated in the manner of inse<:tlI,
but , like them, it has wings. " Vie . poellies et peruee. de Joseph Delorme (Pari e,
]863), vol. 1. p. 161 (" Pen!li:e8," no. 9). USb,l ]
The sixth of J oseph Oelorme's pensus aBBembleB a number of examples and
prefigurationB of the modern alexandrine, from Rotrou, Chenier, Lamartine,
Hugo, and Vigny. It notes that they are all informed by " the full . the large, lhe
copious." Typical is thi s venle by Rotrou: " I my8elf have 8ccn them--{the Chrie­
tian!] looking so aercne-I Driving rheir hymn! ro rhe ! kies in bull! oJbronze"
(p. 154). U5",' ]
"The lHK!lry of Andre Cheni er ... is, as it were, the landscape for whi ch La·
martine has done the sky." Delorme. ' ·01. I , pp. 159-160 ("Pensm," no. 8).
USl a,3]
In the preface of February 1829, Sainte-Beuvc provides the poetry ofJ oseph
Delonne with a more or less exact social index. He lays weight on the fact that
Delorme comes from a good family, and even more on his poverty and the
humiliations to which it has exposed him. US l a,4]
What I propose is to show how Baudelaire li es embedded in the nineteenth
century. The imprint he has left behind there must stand out clear and intact, like
that of a stone which, having lain in the ground for decades, is one day rolled
~ ~ ~ ~ I ~
The unique importance of Baudelaire resides in his being the firs t and the most
un8inching to have taken the measure of the self-estrallgeci human being, in the
double sense of acknowledging this being and fortifying it with armor against the
reified world.
Nothing comes closer to the task of the ancient hero in Baudelaire's sense-and
in his century-than to give a fonn to modernity. {j51a,7]
In the "Salon de 1846
(OeuvreJ, vol. 2, p. 134), Baudelaire has described his
social class through the clothes they wear. From this description it emerges that
heroism is a quality of the one who describes, and not at all a quality of his
subject. The "heroism of modem life
is a subterfuge or, if you prefer, a euphe­
mism. The idea of death, from which Baudelaire never broke loose, is the hollow
matrix readied for a knowledge that was nO[ his. Baudelaire's concept of heroic
modernity, it would seem, was first of all this : a monstrous provocation. Analogy
with Daumier. {j52, 1]
Baudelaire's truest posture is ul timately not that of Hercules at rest but that of the
mime who has taken off his makeup. TIlls gt'JtuJ is found again in the "ebbingsn
of his prosodic construction-something that, for several commentators, is the
most precious element of his arJ poetica. (j52,2]
January 15, 1866, on Le Spleen tie Paris: " Finally, I am hopeful that one ofthe8e
days I' ll be able to show a new Joseph Delorme linking his rhapsodi c meditation to
every chance event in his Aaneri e." Ch<arles) B<a udel aire), LeUres (Paris, 1915),
p.493.27] (J52,3]
January IS, 1866, to Sainte-Beuve: " In certain places in Joseph Dewrme I find a
few too many lutes. lyres. harps, and Jehovahs. This clashes with the Parisian
poems. Moreover, you' d come with the aim of destroying aU that ." Ch. B., LeUres
(Paris, 1915), p. (J52, 4]
An image that Baudelaire summons to explain his theory of the short poem,
particularly the sonnet, in a letter to Armand Fraisse of February 19, 1860, serves
better than any other description to suggest the way the sky looks in Meryon:
"Have you ever noticed that a section of the sky seen through a vent or between
two chimneys or two rocks, or through an arcade, gives a more profound idea of
the infinite than a great panorama seen from a mountaintop?" Ch. B., Lettw
(Pam, 1915), pp. 238-239.
Apropos of Pinelli , in " Quelques caricatur istes " I wi sh that
would invent a neologism, that SOlll w ne would manufacture a word destined to
destroy once and for aU thill species of poncif-thepQncifin comluct and behavior,
whi ch creeps into the life of artists as into their works." Ch. B., Oeuvre.. . vol. 2,
p. 2 11. {j52,6]
Baudelaire's use of the concept "allegory" is not always entirely sure: "the ...
allegory of the spider weaving her web between the amI and the line of a fisher­
man, whose impatience never causes him to stir." Ch. 8., OeuureJ, vol. 2, p. 204
{"Qyelques caricaturistes etrangersn).:m [J52a, l]
Aga inst the proposition "Til e genius makes his way. " Cil . 8., Oel/vres, vol. 2,
p. 203 ("Quelques ca ri caturistes ctrangers"). [J52a,2]
About Gavarni : " Like all men of lett ers- being a man of letters himself- he is
sli ghtl y taint ed ...-i th corrupti on." Cia. B., Oeuvres, vol. 2, 1' . 199 ("Quelques cari­
caturistes [J52a,3]
In "Quel1l ues caricaturistes on a drawing by Daumier dealing with
cholera: "True to its ironic custom ill times of great calamit y and political up­
heaval, the sky of Paris is superb; it is quite white and incandescent with heat. ...
The s(luare is deserted and like an oven-more desolate, even, than a populous
slJuare after a riot." Ch. B. , Oeuvres. vol. 2, p. 193.:19 [J52a,4]
In Le Globe of March 15, 1830, Ouvergier de Hauranne writes of Les Consola­
tions: " It is not al all certain that the Posillipo has not inspired!'t1. Saillte-Beuve as
much as his Boulevard d'Enfer" «ciled in Sainte-Beuve, Les Consolations [Paris,
1863],) p. 114). {j52a,5]
CritilJue of Joseph Dewrme and Les Consolations by Farcy, a July insurgent who
fell in battle shortl y after composing these lines: " Libertinism is poeti c when it is a
transport of impassioned pr inciple in li S, when it is audacious philosophy, but not
when it is merely a furtive aberration, a shameful confession. This state of mind
... ill accords ... with the poet , who should always go along unaffected, with head
held hi gh. ami who requires enthusiasm, or tlte bitter depths of passion." From
the manllscript published hy C. A. Sainte-Beuve in Le! Consolations: Pensee5
d 'clOli t (Paris, 1863), p. 125. [J52a,6]
Froill the critique of Sainl e-Beuve by Far cy: " If the crowd is intolerable to him,
the \'astnC811 of space oppresses him eveu more, a situation Ihal is less poetic. He
has not shown the pr ide or the range to take command of all this nature, to listen
to it. understand it , and render its grand spectacles." " He .... as right ," comments
Sai nt e-Beuve (p. 126). C. A. Saillte-Beuve, Les Consolations: Pensees d '(lo{ir
[Poesies de Sui/lte-Rellve, part 2] (Paris, 1863), p. 125. [J52a,7)
Baudelaire's OCUVTe has perhaps gained importance- moral as well as literary­
through the fact that he left no novel. [J52a,8)
mental capacities that matter in Baudelaire "souvenirs" of the human
somewhat the way medieval allegories are SC!uvenirs of the gods. "Baude­
lrure, Claudd wrote, "takes as his subject the only inner experience left to
people of runetcemh century-namely, remorse." Now, this very likely paints
(00 rosy a picture: remorse was no less past its time than other inner oq>c=: .
formerly canonized. Remorse in Baudelaire is merely a souvena like .... ncoca
. h d' , ....pentancc:
, ope. an was overtaken the moment it relinquished
Its place to morne IncunanJe (glum ,, _
. [j53,I)
As after IS5? ,took up the doctrine of ['art pour l'art, he explicitl
through a renunaaaon .which he had undertaken in sovereign spirit at
very mseant he made allegory mlO the armature of his poetry: he gave up win
art as category of the totality of existence.
The brooder, whose startled gaze falls on the fragment in his hand be
all . , comes an
eganst. US3,3]
IT we call t,o much Baudelaire as a poet had to respect his own
precepts, his own W ights, his own taboos, and how stricdy circumscribed on the
othe: the of his poetic labor were, then we may come to see him a
The:e 15 no book of poems in which the poet as such presents
himself With so litde varuty and so much force. 1bis fact provides a basis for the
frequent comparison with Dante. [J53,4)
What proved so fascinating to Baudelaire in late Latin literature, particularly in
Lucan. may have been the use this literature made of the names of gods-a
practice in which it prepared the way for allegory. Usener discusses this.2IIJ
Scenes of horror in Lucan: the Thessalian witch Erichtho, and the profanation of
the dead « BeUum civile,) book 5, lines 507-569); the dese£ration of the head of
Pompey (book 8, lines 663-691); Medusa (book 9, lines 624-(53). [J53,6)
"Le Coucher du soleil romantique"2II:L-landscape as allegory.
Antiquity and Christianity together determine the historical armature of the
allegorical mode of perception; they provide the lasting rudiments of the first
of the High Middle Ages. "The allegorical oudook
has Its ongm In the conHict between the guilt-laden physu, held up as an example
by Christianity, and a purer nalura deorom [narun= of the gods], embodied in the
With the revival of paganism in the Renaissance, and of Christianity
In the Counter-Refonnation, allegory. the form of their conflict, also had to be
n=newed" « Walter Benjamin,) UrJprong des deut.schm TTaumpiels [Berlin, 1928],
p. 226).213 In Baudelaire's case, the matter is clarified if '\'C n=verse the fonnula.
The allegorical experience was primary for him; one can say that he appropri.
ated from the antique world. as from the Christian, no more than he needed to
set going in his poetry that primordial uperience-which had a substrate en­
tirely sui generis. [J53a,I)
The passion for ships and for self-propelled tOys is, with Baudelaire, perhaps only
another expression of the discredit into which, in his view, the world of the
organic has fallen. A sadistic inspiration is palpable here. [J53a,2)
'-All the mi scn:an18 of melodrama-accursed, damned, and fatally marked with a
grin whi ch runs from ea r to eaf'--are in the pure orthodoxy of laughter. , . ,
Laughter is satanic; it is thus profoundly human." Ch. B .• OeIHlre.s. vol. 2, p. 171
(-'De l'Essence du [J53a,3)
It is a shock that brings someone engrossed in reverie up from the depths,
Medieval legends invoke the state of shock peculiar to the researcher whose:
longing for mon=-than-human wisdom has led him to magic; the experience of
shock is cited here as the "derisive laughter of hell." "Here ... the muteness of
matter is overcome. In laughter. above all, matter takes on an abundance of spirit,
in highly eccentric disguise. Indeed, it becomes so spirirual that it far outstrips
language. Aiming still higher, it ends in shrill laughter" (Ursprung des muchm
TTaumpiels, p. 227),* Not only was such strident laughter characteristic of
Baudelaire; it reechoed in hi.s ear and gave him much to think about. [J53a,4)
Laughter is shattered articulation. U5' ,I)
On the Sight of images and the theory of surprise, which Baudelaire shared with
Poe: "Allegories become dated because it is pan of their narure to shock."-The
succession of allegorical publications in the Baroque represents a sort of 8.ight of
images. {j54,2]
On petrified unrest and the 8.ight of images: "The same tendency is characteristic
of Baroque lyric. The poems have ' no forward movement. but they swell up from
within.' If it is to hold its own against the tendency toward absorption, the
allegorical must constandy unfold in new and surprising ways," Ursprong, p. 182
(citing Fritz Strich),W [J54,3]
Once the scheme of allegory has been metaphysically determined according to its
threefold illusionary narure. as "illusion of fn=edom- in the exploration of what is
forbidden ; ... illusion of independence- in the secession from the community of
the pious; ... illusion of infinity- in the empty abyss of evil" (Ursprung, p. 230),­
then nothing is easier than to assimilate whole groups of Baudelairean poems to
this design. The first pan can be n=presented by the cycle "Heurs du mal"; the
second part, by the cycle "Revolt e"; while the third could be elaborated without
difficulty from "Spleen et ideal." {j54,4]
The image of petrified un.resl, in the Baroque, is "the bleak confusion of GoI·
becaulI4': of thf: greedy Irony
gotha, which can be recognized as the schema underlying the allegorical 6gures
which infiltrate. my IIOIII ?
in hundreds of the engravings and descriptions of the period" (Urj/Jrung,
•• L' tHill ulOIl tilliorou menos. " :-':; [J54a,3}

"La petrifaction, but not the unrest on which the gaze of the l1te extent of Baudelaire's impatience can be gauged from these lines in "Sonnet allegorist falls.
d'automne": "My heart, on which everything jars '
except the candor of the
primitive animal.
On the fetish:
El(lleri encel emptied oul and deprived of their substance: "' Last ... we I [of the]
Precioull minf:rall form her polished eyee,
and in her i trange 5ymholic JUlture where
Muse'l prielthood ... I have drunk without thirst and eaten without hUDgerl" angel and ' 1Ihin:>: unit e, where diamond.
(" L' En men de minwt").:-'I
r;old, and steel diuolve into one light ,
shines forever, u&Clesi IU a , tar,
Art appears truly bare and austere in the light of an allegorical consideration :
the IIterile "'oman'lI icy majesty.
And on that last and terrible day,
"Avec ses vetemeota . .. "WI [J54a,5]
To escape the vengeance from above,
He must show barns whose utlermo.!!
" For hours? Forever ! Into that splendid mane I let me braid rubies, ropes of
l)Ca rls to bind I you indissolubly to my desire." ("La Chevelure. "'):M
Recesses sweUwith ripened grain, {j54a,6]
And blooms whose shapes and hues will gain
The suffrage of the Heavenly Host.:m
When he went to meet the consumptive Negress who lived in the city, Baudelaire
saw a much truer aspect of the French colonial empire than did Dumas when he "La Ranfion." Compare "Le Squelette laboureur."
1154,8] took a boat to Tunis on commission from Salvandy.
Concerning t he "strange I«tioning of time," the final st anza of " L' Averti88eur" : Societ y of the Second Empire:
Deapite what he may hope or plan,
VictimJ! in teara. the hangman glorified;
There ia no momenlleft when man
the banquel &eallOned and festooned with blood:
" nol subj ect to the con5tant
the poil!Qn of power clogs the dell)(lt" vei n"
Warning. of Ihill odioull Serpent .
snd the l.eople kias the knout thal lOOllrgel them.
To be compared with "L' Hori oge" and " Reve parisien." 1J54a, 1]
"I.e Voyage...
About laught er : " Beguiled by ghostl y la ughter in the air I his r eason faltert,
The cloudli: "I..e Voyage," aecti on 4, stanza 3. 1155,2]
grasps lit phantom straws." ("Sur Le Tuue en pruon d'Eugene Delacroix.")
Autumnal motif: " L'Ennemi ," " L' lnl prevu," "Semllel" Eadem."
Ilia mirth is the reverll4': of Melmoth'8 8neer
Or the snickeriltf; of Mephistopheles.
Satan in " Les I...itani es de Satan": " great king of subterranean t

" Y
ou licked by the lurid light of a FIIT)"I torch
whose bright eye knows the deep arsenals I Where the bur ied race of metalli s1um­ that burns them to a crisp but leaves III cold.
I>t: rs. "lOU
" Veri pour Ie portrait de M. Honore Oaumier.·"l'JoI [J5b,2J
Gra ni er de Cassagll ac'l theory of the li ubhuma n, wit.h rega rd 10 " Abel el Cain.'"
Tile derisive laugll ier from the cl ouds in " La Beatrice,"
For I_am I not a di'fOnIl IlCf: On the Christian detenninauon of allegory: it has no place in
the cycle
in Ihe divine accord,
On allegory: "L'Amour et Ie crane: Vieux Cul-de-Iampe," "Allegoric." "Une Gra_
vure rarllllslique.'· [JSS,7j
, .. The sky was sUllve. the llelll!erene; for me
from now On everything was 1>100.(1 ), lind black
- tile worse for me--and liS if in a shroud
my heart lay buried in this allegory.
"Un Voyage Ii Cytllere. " 3() 1
"Steeling my nerves to playa hero's part" (" Les Sept Vieillards"). 30:Z
"Les Sept Vieillards" on the subject of eternal sameness. Chorus girls.
of aUegodes: Art, Love, PleaJure, Repentance, Ennui, Destruction, the Now,
Tmle, Death, Fear, Sorrow, Evil, Truth, Hope, Vengeance, Hate, Respect , Jeal­
ousy, Thoughts. (J55,U)
" L' lrremediable"---catalogue of emhlellls.
The allegories stand for that which the commodity makes of the experiences
people have in this century. [J55,13)
The wish to sleep. "I hate all passion, and wit grates on me"
d' automne"). lOO
"A sinuous Reet!e ... I .. . whi ch in darkness rivals you, 0 Night, I deep and
spreading starless Night'" ("leI! Promesses d' un visage"). )O.' (J5S,IS)
"The dizzying stairs that swallow up his sou." ("Sur Le Ta.ue en prisO/I lI 'Eugene
Delacroix").lON {J5S,16]
The affinity Baudelaire felt for late Latin literarure is probably oormected with his
passion for the allegorical art that had its first flowering in the High Middle Ages.
To attempt to judge Baudelaire's intellectual powers on the basis of his philo­
sophical digressions, asJules Lemaitre has done,
is ill·advised. Baudelaire was a
bad philosopher, a better theorist in matters of art; but only as a brooder was he
incomparable. He has the stereotypy in motif characteristic of the brooder, the
in warding off disturbance, the readiness each time to put the
Image at the beck and call of the thought. The brooder is at home among
allegories. (J55a,l ]
TIle attraction which a few basic situations continuall y exerted on Baudelaire
belongs to the complex of symptoms associated with melancholy. He appears to
have been under the compulsion of returning at least once to each of his main
motifs. (JS5a.2]
Baudelaire's allegory bears traces of the violence that was necessary to demolish
the harmonious fal?de of the world that surrounded him. (JSSa,3]
In B1anqui's view of the world, petrified unrest becomes the status of the cosmos
itself. The course of the world appears, accordingly, as one great allegory.
Petrified unrest is, moreover, the formula for Baudelaire's life history, which
knows no development. U55. ,5]
The state of tension subsisting between the most cultivated sensibility and the
most intense contemplation is a mark of the Baudelairean. It is reflected theoreti­
cally in the doctrine of correspondences and in the predilection for allegory.
Baudelaire never attempted to establish any sort of relations between these.
Nevertheless, such relations exist. (J5Sa,6)
Misery and terror-which, in Baudelaire, have their armature in allegorical per·
ception-have become, in Rollinat, the object of a genre. (Ibis genre had its
"artistic headquarters" at Le Chat Noir cafe. Its model, if you will, may be found
in a poem like "Le. Vm de I'assassin." Rollinat was one of the house poets at Le
Chat Noir.) (JSSa,7]
"De I'Essence du rire" contains the theory of satanic laughter. In this essay,
Baudelaire goes so far as to adjudge even smiling as fundamentally satanic.
Contemporaries testified to something frightful in his own manner of laughing.
1bat which the allegorical intention has fixed upon is sundered from the custom­
ary COntexts of life: it is at once shattered and preserved. Allegory holds fast to
the ruins. Baudelaire' s destructive impulse is nowhere concerned with the aboli­
tion of what falls to it. (But compare "Revolte,"J 55,<6>.) (J56,1 J
Baroque allegory sees the corpse only from the outside; Baudelaire evokes it
from within. (JS6,2)
Baudelaire's invectives against mythology recall those of the medieval clerics. He
especially detests chubby-cheeked Cupid. His aversion to this figure has the same
'roOLS as his hatred for Beranger. (JS6,3]
Baudelaire regards art' s workshop in itself [as a site of confusion,] as the "appara­
tus of destruction" which the allegories so often represent. In the notes he left for
a preface to a projected third edition of U J FleurJ du mal, he writes: "Do we show
the ... the mechanism behind our effects? ... Do we display all the rags,
the PaInt, the pulleys, the chains, the a1terations, the scribbl ed-over proof sheets_
in shon, all the horrors that make up the sanctuary of art?" eh. B., Oroures, vol.
I , p. U
Baudelaire a8 mime: " Being as chaste as paper, as sober as water, a8 devout a8 a
woman at Holy Communi on, as harmless as a sacrifi cial lamb, I would 1I0t be
displeased to be taken for a lecher, a drunkard, an infidel , a murderer." Ch. D.,
Oeuvres, vol. I , p. 582 (Studi es for a preface to Les Fleur, du mal).... (j56,5]
Solely for the publicati on of Le, FIeurs du nwl and Peliu Poemes en prose, Dau­
delaire sent notices to more than twent y-five periodica15, not counting the new.­
pape". 1156,6]
Baroque detailing of the femal e body: "I.e Beau Navire" <The Fine Ship>. To the
contrary: "Tout elltiere" <Altogether>. (j56,7]
All egory:
That it', rooli8h to build anything on human heart _
For everything cracke, yes, even love and beaut y,
Ti ll Obli vion Aings them into its hod
And give. them over to Et ernity!
in hia "'Confession. " :J(IJ
Fetish: " who IIOW, rrom Pit to Empyrean scorned I by aU but me ... f ... I my
jet-eyed statue, with brazen brows!" ("J e te donne ces verso ")31' (]56,9]
" M.ichel allgelo f No man's land where every Hercules I becomes a Christ." (" Les
Phares. " )311 (]56a,l )
"An echo repeated by a thousand la byrinths!' ("Les Phare. ..· ) lI2
U56. ,2)
"La Muse venal" shows to what degree Baudelaire occasionally saw the publica­
tion of poems as a fonn of prostitution. (]56a,3J
" Your Christian bloodst ream coursing strong I and steadfast as the copious Clas­
sical vei n." (" La Muse malade. ")313 (J56a,4]
In Baudelaire's case, the really decisive indication of class betrayal is not the
integrity which forbade his applying for a government grant but the incompati­
bility he felt with the ethos ofjournalism. (J56a,5]
Allegory views existence, as it does art, under the sign of fragmentation and ruin.
L'art pour rart erectS the kingdom of art outSide profane existence. Common to
both is the renunciation of the idea of hannonious totality in which- according
to the doctrine of German Idea1ism no less than that of French eclecticism-art
and profane existence are merged. (J56a,6)
Thc portrayal of the crowd in I\>e shows that the description of confusion is not
the same as a confused description. (J56a,7]
Fl owers adorn the individual stations of this Calvary [of male sexuality]. They
are Bowers of evil. (J56a,8)
u s Flnm du mal is the last book of poems to have had a European-wide rever­
beration. Before that : Ossian, and Hei.ne's Bucll tier Lieder <Book of Songs>.
The dialectic of commodity production in advanced capitalism: the novelty of
productS-as a stimulus to demand-is accorded an unprecedented importance.
At the same time, "the eternal return of the same" is manifest in mass production.
In Blanqui' s cosmology, everything hinges on the stars, which Baudelaire ban­
ishes from his world. (J56a,ll]
The renunciation of the magic of distance is a decisive moment in the lyric poetry
of Baudelaire. It has found itS sovereign fomlUlation in the first stanz.a of "Le
Voyage.n (J56a,12]
It belongs to the Vta Dolorosa of male sexuality that Baudelaire perceived preg­
nancy, in some degree, as unfair competition. On the other hand, solidarity
impotence and sterility. (J57,! ]
The passage in which Baudelaire speaks of his fascination with painted theatrical
backdrops- Where? Q1a,4. (J57,2)
Baudelaire's destructive: inlpulse is nowhere concerned with the abolition of what
falls to it. TIlls is re8ected in his allegory and is the condition of itS regressive
tendency. On the other hand, allegory has to do, precisely in itS destructive: furor,
....ith dispelling the ill usion that proceeds from all "given order," whether of art or
of life: the illusion of totality or of organic wholeness which tranSfigures that
order and makes it seem cndurable. And this is the progressive tcndency of
allegory. (J57,3]
\oVhenever humanity- aspiring after a purer, more illlocent, more spiritual exist­
ence than it has been grantcd- looked around for a token and pledge of this
existence in nature, it generall y found it in the plant or animal kingdom. Not so
Baudclaire. His dream of such an existence disdains communi ty with any terres­
trial nature and holds to the clouds. Many of his poems contain cloud motifs (not
to mention the transfiguration of Paris in "Paysage" <Landscape)). What is most
appalling is the defilement of the clouds ("La Beatrice"). [J57,4]
From the perspective of spleen, the buried man is the "transcendental subject of
history." 31> [J57,5]
Baudelaire's financial misery is a moment of his personal Golgotha. It has fur.
nished, together with his erotic misery, the defining features of the image of the
poet handed down by tradition. The Passion of Baudelaire: understood as a
redemption. (j57,6)
Ut us emphasize the solirude of Baudelaire as a counterpan to that of Blanqui.
The latter, too, had a "destiny eternally solitary" ("Mon Coeur mis anu," no.
12).m US7,7)
On the image of the crowd in Poe: How well can the image of the hig city turn
out when the register of its physical dangers-to say nothing of the danger to
which it itselfis aposed-is as incomplete as it is at the time of Poe or Baudelaire?
In the crowd, we see a presentiment of these dangers. (J51,8J
Baudelaire's readers are men. It is men who have made him famous; it is them he
has redeemed,ll' [J57,9j
Baudelaire would never have written poems, if he had had merely the motives
for doing so that poets usually have. [JS7a,11
On impotence. Baudelaire is a "maniac, in revolt against his own impotence."
Incapable of satisfying the sexual needs of a woman, he made a virtue of neces­
sity in sabotaging the spiritual needs of his contemporaries. He himself did not
fail to notice the connection, and his consciousness of this cormection is seen
most dearly in his style of humor. It is the cheerless humor of the rebel, not for a
moment to be confused with the geniality of scoundrels, which at that time was
already on the rise. TIlls type of reaction is something very Frendl; its name, fa
rogne, is not easily rendered into other languages.
It is in its transitoriness that modernity shows itself to be ultimately and most
intimately akin to antiquity. The uninterrupted resonance which Lrs FIe/iTS du
mal has found up through the present day is linked to a certain aspect of the
urban scene, one that came to light on1y with the city's entry intO poetry. It is the
aspect least of all expected. What makes itself felt through the evocation of Paris
in Baudelaire's verse is the infinnity and decrepitude of a great city. Nowhere,
perhaps, has this been given more perfect apression than in the poem "CIipus­
cule du macin," whi ch is the awakening sob of the sleeper, reproduced in the
materials of urban life. Tbis aspect, however, is more or less common to the
whole cycle of "Tableaux parisiens;" it is present in the transparence of the city, as
conjuttd by "Le Soleil," no less than in the allegorical evocation of the LoUVTe in
"Le Cygne." [jS7a,3]
On the physiognomy of Baudelaire as that of the mime: Courbet reports that he
looked different every day. [JS7a,4)
With the inhabitants of Romance-language nations, a refinement of the sen­
soriwn does not diminish the power of sensuous apprehension. With the Ger·
mans, on the other hand, the refinement, the advancing cultivation of sensuous
enjoyment is generall y purchased with a decline in the art of apprehension; here,
the capacity for pleasure loses in concentration what it gains in delicacy. (Com·
pare the "reek of wine-casks"31' in "Le Vm des chiffonniers.") [jS7a,5]
The eminent aptitude for pleasure on the part of a Baudelaire has nothing at all
to do with any son of coziness. The fundamental incompatibility of sensuous
pleasure with what is called Gnniitfi,/zIm·t is the mark of an authentic culrure of
the senses. Baudelaire's snobbism is the eccentric repudiation of complacency,
and his satanism is the readiness to subvelt this habit of mind wherever and
whenever it should arise. [JS8,11
The streets of Paris, in Meryon's rendering, are chasms, high above which 80at
the clouds. US8,2)
Baudelaire wanted to make room for his poems, and to this end he had to push
aside others. He managed to devalue certain poetic liberties of the Romantics
through his classical deployment of rhyme, as he deval ued the traditional alexan­
drine through his introduction of certain ebbings and points of rupture. In shon,
his poems contained special provisions for the elimination of competitors.
Baudelaire was perhaps the first to have had the idea of a market-oriented origi·
nality, which JUSt for that reason was more original in its day than any other. The
crlation of his poncif!lt led him to adopt methods that were the stock in trade of
the competition. His defamatory remarks about Musset or Beranger have just as
mu<:h to do with this as his inutations of Victor Hugo. [JS8,4j
The relation of the crowd to the individual comes, practically of itself, to unfold
as a metaphor in which the differing inspirations of these two poets- Hugo and
Baudelairc-can be grasped. \>\brds, like inlagcs, present themselves to Hugo as
a surging, relentless mass. With Baudelaire, in contrast, they take the side of the
solitary who, to be sure, fades into the multitude, but nOt before appearing with
singular physiognomy to one who all ows her gaze to linger. US8,Sj
What good is talk of progress to a world sinking into ri gor mortis? Baudelaire
found the experience of such a "'orld set down with incomparable power in the
work of Poe, who thus became irreplaceable for him. Poe described the world in
which Baudelaire's whole poetic enterprise had its prerogative. [J58,6)
111e idea of Baudelaire's aesthetic Passion has given to many parties in the critical
Literature on Baudelaire the character of an image d'Epina/. These colored prints,
as is \\'t.U known, often showed scenes from the li ves of saints. [J58a, l]
There are weighty historical circumstances making the Golgotha-way of impo­
tence trod by Baudelaire into one marked out in advance by his society. Only this
would explain how it was that he drew, as traveling expenses along the way, a
precious old coin from among the accumulated treasures of this society. It was
the coin of allegory, with the scythe-wielding skeleton on one side, and, on the
obverse, the 6gure of Melancholy plunged in meditation. [J58a,2]
That the stars do not appear in Baudelaire is the surest indicator of that tendency
of his pocb)' to dissolve illusory appearances:"" [J58a,3)
The key to Baudelaire's relationship with Gautier is to be sought in the mon::: or
less clear awareness of the younger man [?J that even in an his destructive
impulse encounters no inviolable limit. In fact, such a limit cannot withstand the
allegorical intention. Moreover, Baudelaire could hardly have written his essay
on Dupont if the critique of the concept of art entailed by the latter's established
practice had not corresponded to his own radical critique. In n:::ferring to Gautier,
Baudelaire successfully undertook to cover up these tendencies. (J58a.4]
In the 8 ~ e u r , one might say, is reborn the SOrt of idler that Socrates picked out
from the Athenian marketplace to be his interlocutor. Only, there is no longer a
Socrates. And the slave labor that guaranteed him his leisure has likewise ceased
to exist. (J58a,5)
Streets of ill repute. Considering the importance of forbidden fonus of sexuality
in Baudelaire' s life and work, it is remarkable that the bordeUo plays no role in
either his private documents or his work. There is no counterpart, within this
sphere, to a poem such as "Le J eu." The brothel is named but once: in "Les Deux
Bonnes Soeurs." [J58a,6]
For the 8aneur, the "crowd" is a veil hiding the "masses."l2l
. ,' ]
That Hugo's poetry takes up the motif of table-turning is perhaps less notewor·
thy than the fact that it was regularly composed in the presence of such phenom·
ena. For Hugo in exile, the unfathomable, insistent swann of the spirit world
takes the place of the public. [J59,3)
The primary interest of allegory is nOt linguistic but optical. "Images-my great,
my primitive passion.":W (]59,4]
The dabOl"ate theorems with which the principle of "an for an's sake" was
enunciated by its original proponents, as by subsequent literary history, ulti­
mately come down to a speci6c thesis: that sensibili ty is the nue subject of poetry .
Sensibility is, by its nanue, involved in suffering. If it experiences its highest
concretization, its richest detennination, in the sphere of the erotic, then it must
6nd its absolute consununation, which coincides with its trans6guration, in the
Passion. It will define the idea of an "aesthetic Passion." The concept of the
aesthetic appears here with precisely the signi6cation that Kierkegaard gives it in
his crotology. (]59,5)
The poetics of l'art pour I'art blends seamlessly into the aesthetic Passion of us
Flt/m du mal. [J59,6)
The "loss of a halo
concerns the poet 6rst of all. He is obliged to exhibit
himselfin his own person on the marlut. Baudelaire played this role to the hilt. His
famous mythomania was a publicity stunt. (J59,7]
The new dreariness and desolation of Paris, as it is described by Veuillot, comes
on the scene, together wi th the dreariness of men's attire, as an essential moment
in the image of modernity. [J59,8]
Mysti.6cation, with Baudelaire, is an apotropaic magic, similar to the lie among
prostitutes. [J59,9]
The conunodity form emerges in Baudelaire as the social content of the allegori­
cal form of perception. Forn} and content are united in the prostitute, as in their
synthesis. [J59,IO)
Baudelaire perceived the significance of the mass-produced article as clearly as
did Balzac. In this, his "Americanism," of which Lafargue speaks, has its firmest
foundation. He wanted to create a pond/. a cliche. Lemaitre assures him that he
succeeded. [J59a, l]
ApropOs of Valery's r-e8ections on the situation of Baudela.ire. It is inlportant that
Baudelaire met with competitive relations in the production of poeb)'. Of course,
rivalry between poets is as old as the hills. But in the period around 1830, these
rivalries began to be decided on the open market. It was victory in that field-and
nOl the patronage of the gentry, princes, or the clergy-that was to be won. This
condition weighed more heavily on the lyric than on other fonus of poeb)'. The
disorganization of styles and of poetic schools is the complement of that market,
which reveals itsclf to the poet as the "public." Baudelaire: was not based in any
style, and he had no school. It was a real discovery for him that he was compet­
ing against individuals. 1J59a.2)
US Fleur; du mal may be considered an arsenal. Baudelaire wrote cenain of his
poems in order to desl.TU)' others written before him. [J59a,3)
No one felt less at home in Paris than Euny intimacy with
is alien to the allegorical intention. To touch on things means, for it, to violate
them. To recognize things means, for it, to see through them. 'Wherever the
allegorical intention prevails, no habits of any kind can be famled. Hardly has a
thing been taken up than allegory has dispensed with the: situation. Thing and
simarian become obsolete for allegory maR quickly than a new pattern for the
milliner. But to bc=come obsolete means: to grow strange. Spleen lays down
cenrunes between the present moment and the one JUSt lived. It is spleen that
tirelessly generates "antiquity." And in fact, with Baudclaire, modernity is noth­
ing other than the "newest antiquity," Modernity, for Baudelaire, is not SOlely
and not primarily the object of his sensibility; it is the object of a conquest.
Modernity has, for its armature, the allegorical mode of vision. [j59a,4]
The correspondence between antiquity and modernity is the sole constructive
conception of history in Baudelaire. With its rigid annaturt, it excludes every
dialectical conception. [j59a,5]
On the phrase, "I have little to do with such in the draft of a preface to
LeJ Fktm du mal. Baudelaire, who never founded a family, has given the word
"familiar" in his poetry an inflection filled with meaning and with promise such
as it never before possessed. It is like a slow, heavily laden haywagon in which the
poet carts to the bam everything which throughout his life he had to renounce.
Compare "Correspondances," "Bohemiens en voyage," "Obsession." [j60, 1)
The passage "where everything, even honor, turns to magic
could hardly be
better exemplified than by Poe' s description of the crowd. [j60,2]
Concerning the opening line from "La Servante au grand coeur": on the words
"of whom you were so falls an accent that one would not necessarily
expect. The voice, as it were, draws back from "jealous." Therein lies the frailty
of this already long-past situation. (J60,3)
On "Spleen I": through the word "mortality," the city with its offices and its
statistical registers lies embedded in spleen, as in a picture puzzle <f/(xierbi/d).
The whore is the most precious booty in the triumph of allegory-the life which
signifies death. This quality is the only thing about her that cannot be bought,
and for Baudelaire it is the only thing that maners. (J60,5]
Around the middle of the century, the conditions of artistic production under­
went a change. TIus change consisted in the fact that for the first time the fonn of
the commodity imposed itself decisively on the work of art, and the form of the
masses on its public. Particularly vulnerable to these be
seen now urunistakably in our century, was the lyric. It is the uruque dlSUIlctlon
of Les Fleurs du mal that Baudelaire responded to these altered condi·
tions with a book of poems. It is the best example of heroiC conduct to be found
in his life. (J60,6)
'111e heroic bearing of Baudelaire is akin to that of NietzSche. Though Baudelaire
likes to appeal to Catholicism, his historical expcri.ence is that ,,:,hich
NietzSche fixed in the phrase "God is dead." In Nietzsche' s case, this expenence
is projected cosmologically in the thesis that nOthin.g new occurs more. In
NietzSche, the accent lies on eternal recurrence, which the human bemg has to
face wi th heroic composure. For Baudelaire, it is more a matter of "the new,"
which must be wrested heroically from what is always again the same. [J60,7]
The historical experiences which Baudelaire was one of the first to (it is
no accident that he belongs to the generation of Marx, whose pnnapal work
appeared in the year of his de.ath). have become, day, only more
spread and persistent. The trans by C3.PIta! mJune 1848 have, .smce
then, been engraved still mor:: sharply to the ruling And the parncular
difficulties involved in mastenng the poetry of Baudelarre are the obverse of the
ease with which one can give oneself up to it. In a word, there is nothing yet
obsolete about this poetry. This fact has determined the character of most of the
books concerned with Baudelaire: they are feuilletons on an expanded scale.
1J60., 1)
Particularly toward the end of his life, and in view of the limited success of.his
"'ark, Baudelaire more and more threw himsdf into the bargain. He fiW1g him·
self after his work, and thus, to the end, confirmed in his own person what he had
said about the unavoidable necessity of prostitution for the poet. [J60a,2]
One encounters an abundance of stereotypes in Baudelaire, as in the Baroque
poets. [J60a,3]
For the decline of the aura, one thing within the realm of mass production is of
overriding importance: the massive reproduction of the image. [J60a,41
Impotence is tile key figure of Baudelaire's solitude.
An abyss divides him from
his fellow men. It is this abyss of which his poetry speaks. [J60a,51
may assume that the crowd as it appears in Poe, with its abrupt and intemut­
tem movements, is described quite realistically. In itself, the description has a
higher truth. These are less the movements of people going about their .business
than the movements of tile machines they operate. With uncanny fores Ight, Poe
seems to have modeled the gestures and reactions of the crowd on the rhytlml of
these machines. The fianeur, at any rate, has no part in such behavior. Instead, he
fornu an obstacle in its path. His nonchalance would therefore be nothing other
than an unconscious protest against the tempo of the production process. (Com­
pare D2a,1.) [J60a,6]
Fog appears as a consolation of the solitary man. It fills the abyss surrounding
him. [J60a,7]
Baudelaire's candidacy for the Academie was a sociological experiment. [J61 ,1]
Series of types-from the national guardsman Mayeux, through Gavroche, to
the ragpicker, to Vrreloque, to Ratapoil.
[J61 ,2]
Baudelaire' s allegorical mode of vision was not understood by any of his contem­
poraries and was thus, in the end, completely overlooked. [J61,3]
Surprising proclamations and mystery-mongering, sudden attacks and impene­
trable irony, belong to the raison d'itat of the Second Empire and were charac­
teristic of Napoleon III. They are no less characteristic of the theoretical writings
~ ~ ~ - ~ I ~
The cosmic shudder in Victor Hugo has litt1e in common with the naked terror
that seized Baudelaire in his spleen. Hugo felt perfect1y at home in the world of
the spirits. It is the complement of his domestic existence, which was itself not
without horror. [J61,S]
The veiled impon of the first section of "Chant d'automne" : the season is named
only in the tiny phrase "autumn is heret"3:!9 and the following line says that, for
the poet, it has no other meaning than as a foreboding of death. To him, it has
brought no harvest. [J61,6]
In the guise of a beggar, Baudelaire continually put the model of bourgeois
society to the test. His willfully induced, if not deliberately maintained, depend­
ence on his mother not only has a psychoanalytically identifiable cause; it also
has a social cause. [J61,7]
The labyrinth is the right path for him who always arrives early enough at his
destination. For the Baneur, this destination is the marketplace. [J61 ,8]
The path of one who shrinks from arriving at his goal will easily take the form of
a labyrinth. [For the Bineur, this goal is the marketplace.] The same holds for the
social class that does not want to know where it is heading. Moreover, nothing
prevents it from reveling in this roundabout way and hence substituting the
shudder of pleasure for the shudder of death. This was the case for the society of
the Second Empire. [J61 ,9]
\lVhat concerned Baudelaire was not manifest and short-teml demand, but latent
and long-term demand. I.e; FleurJ du mal demonstrates not only that he correct1y
assessed such a demand but, in addition, that this sureness in evaluation is
inseparable from his significance as a poet. [J6 1,lO)
One of the most powerful attractions of prostitution appears only with the rise of
the metropolis-namely, its operation in the mass and through the masses. It was
the existence of the masses that first enabled prostitution to overspread large
areas of the city, whereas earlier it had been confined, if not to houses, at least to
the streets. The masses first made it possible for the sexual object to be reflected
simultaneously in a hundred different fornu of allurement- forms which the
object itself produced. Beyond this, salability itself can become a sexual stimulus;
and this attraction increases wherever an abundant supply of women under­
scores their character as commodity. With the exhibition of girlsl30 in rigidly
uniform dress at a later period, the music hall review explicit1y introduced the
mass-produced article intO the libidinal life of the big-city dweller. [J61a,1]
As a matter of fact, if the rule of the bourgeoisie were one day to be stabilized
(which never before has happened, and never can), then the vicissitudes of
history would in actuality have no more claim on the attention of thinkers than a
child's kaleidoscope, which with every tum of the hand dissolves the established
order into a new array. As a matter of fact, the concepts of the ruling class have in
every age been the mirrors that enabled an image of "order" to prevail. {j61a,2]
In L'Etemite par leJ aJtUJ, Blanqui displayed no antipathy to the belief in prog­
ress; bet'A-'een the lines, however, he heaped scorn on the idea. One should not
necessarily conclude from this that he was untrue to his political credo. The
activity of a professional revolutionary such as Blanqui does not presuppose any
faith in progress; it presupposes only the determination to do away with present
injustice. The irreplaceable political value of class hatred consists precisely in its
affording the revolutionary class a healthy indifference toward speculations con­
cerning progress. Indeed, it is just as wotthy of humane ends to rise up out of
indignation at prevailing injustice as to seek through revolution to better the
existence of future generations. It is just as worthy of the human being; it is also
more like the hwnan being. Hand in hand with such indignation goes the finn
reSolve to snatch humanity at the last moment from the catastrophe looming at
every tum. That was the case with Blanqui. He always refused to develop plans
for what comes "later." [J61a,3]
Baudelaire was obliged to lay claim to the dignity of the poet in a society that had
no more dignity of any kind to confer. Hence the botdfcmnen'e of his public
appearances. [J62,1]
The figure of Baudelaire has passed into his fame. For the petty-bourgeois mass
of readers, his story is an image d'Epinal, an illustrated "life history of a libertine."
This image has contributed greatly to Baudelaire's reputation- little though its
pUlveyors may have Ilumbered among his friends. Over this image another
imposes itself, one that has had a less widespread but more lasting eITect: it shows
Baudelaire as exemplar of an aesthetic Passion. (J62,2]
The aesthete in Kierkegaard is predestined to the Passion. See "The Unhappiest
Man" in Eitner/Or. (J62,3]
The grave as the secret chamber in which Eros and Sexus settle their ancient
quarrel. [J62,4]
The stars in Baudelaire present the rebus image (Vtxia'bild> of the commodity.
They are "the eternal return of the same" in great masses. (J62,5)
Baudelaire did not have the humanitarian idealism of a Victor Hugo or a La­
martine. The emotional buoyancy of a Musset was not at his disposal. He did
not, like Gautier, take pleasure in his times, nor could he deceive himself about
them like Leconte de Lisle. It was not given him to find a refuge in devotions, like
Verlaine, nor to heighten the youthful vigor of his lyric elan through the betrayal
of his adulthood, like Rimbaud. As rich as Baudelaire is in knowledge ofhis craft,
he is relatively unprovided with stratagems to face the times. And even the grand
tragic part he had composed for the arena of his day-the role of the "mod·
ern"-could be filled in the end only by himself. All this Baudelaire no doubt
recognized. The eccentricities in which he took such pleasure were those of the
mime who has to perform before a public incapable of following the action on the
stage-a mime, furthennore, who knows this about his audience and, in his
perfonnance, allows that knowledge its rightful due. (J62,6]
In the psychic economy, the mass·produced article appears as obsessional idea.
ansv.'Crs to no natura1 need.] The neurotic is compelled to channel it violently .
among the ideas within the natura1 circulation process. {j62a,1]
The idea of eternal recurrence transforms the historical event itself into a mass­
produced article. But this conception also displays, in another respect-on iu
obverse side, one could say-a trace of the economic circumstances to which it
owes its sudden topicality. This was manifest at the moment the security of the
conditi ons of life was considerably diminished through an accelerated succession
of crises. The idea of eimuzl recurrence derived its luster from the fact that it was
no longer possible, in all circumstances, to expect a recurrence of conditions
across any interval of time shorter than that provided by etemity. The quotidian
cons tellations very gradually began to be less quotidian. Very gradually their
recurrence became a little less frequent, and there could arise, in consequence,
the obscure presentiment that henceforth one must rest content with cosmic
constellations. Habit, in shon, madt: ready to surrender some of its prerogatives.
Nietz.sche says, "I love shon-lived habits,"331 and Baudelaire already, throughout
his life, was incapable of developing regular habits. Habits are the armature of
long experience <Erfahrunp, whereas tlley are decomposed by individual experi­
ences <Erlebnwn. [j62a,2]
,\ paragraph uf Ihe "Dial)Salmala ad 5e il)SUm- deals wit h boredom. It closes with
Ihe sentence: "My 80ul is like: Ihe Dead Sea, over which no bird can fl y; ",·hen il hu
flown midway, thell it sinks dowli 10 dealh and destruction. " Soren Kierkegaard,
£"III·eder-Oder (Jena, 1911 ), vol. I , p. 33. Compare " I am a graveyard that the
moon abhors" [j62a,3]
Melanchol y, pride, and images. "Carking care i8 my feudal ca8t1e. II is buill like an
eagle's nest upon the peak of a mountain lost in the clouds. No one can lake it by
storm. From this abode I darl down into Ihe world of realit y to 8ei,;e my prey; but
I do not remain down there, I bear my Iluarry alort 10 my stronghold. What I
capture are images." Soren Kierkegaard, Entwecler-Oder (Jena, 1911), vol. I ,
p. 38 ("Diapsalmata ad 8e ipsum").w [j62a,4]
On the use of the term "aest heti c" in Kierkegaard. In choosing a governess, one
lakes inlo account "a180 her aesthetic Ilualifications for amusing the children."
Soren Kierkegaard, Elltl(lecier-Oder (Jena, 1911), vol. I , p. 255 ('"'The Rotation
Melhoo") .:u· [j63,1]
Blan'lui's journey: "One tire8 of living in the country, and moves to the city; one
tirel of one's native land, and travels abroad; one is europamiide <tired of
Europe), and goes to Ameri ca; and 80 on. Finally one indulges in a 5entimental
hope of endl ess jour neyings from star to slar." Soren Kierkegaard, Entweder­
Oder (Jena, 1911 ), vol . I , p. 260 ('"'The Rotation Methoo").m [J63,2]
Boredom: "it cau8es a dizzineS8 like that produced by looking down into a yawning
chasm, and Ihi8 dizzine8s is infinite." Ki erkegaard, Entl(leder-Oder. vol. 1, p. 260
("The Rotation Methoo").SlO [J63,31
On the Passion of the aestheti c man in Ki erkegaard and its foundation in memory:
is emphaticall y the real element of the unhappy man.. .. If I imagine. a
lI1a'l who hilll8c1f had had no ehililhood , ... hut who 1I0W ••• discovered all the
beauty that there is ill childhood, ali(I who would now remember his OWII child­
hood , constantly siliring back into Ihal emptiness oCthe pasl, then I would have an
excellent illustration of the trul y unhappy man." Soren Kierkegaard , Entwecier­
Ocler (Jena. 1911), ,·oJ. I pp. 203-2M ("The Unhappiest Man"). 331 [J63,4]
Baudelaire's desire to write a book in which he would spew his disgust with
humanity into its face reca1ls the passage in which Kierkegaard confesses to using
the either-or as "an interjection" which he would "shout at mankind, just as boys
shout ' Yah! Yah!' aftu aJ ew." Kiukegaard, Entweder-Oder (Jena, 1913), vol. 2,
p. 133 ("'Equilibrium between the Aesthctical and the Ethical in the Composition
of Personality").- (J63.5)
011 the "sectioning of time. " "This . . . is the most adet:luate expression for the
aesthetic existence: it is in the moment . Hence the prodigious oscillation8 to which
the mall who lives aesthetically is exposed." Ki erkeganrd, Entwede,....Oder, vol. 2,
p. 196 ("Equilibrium between the Aesthetical anti the Ethical in the ComllOsition
of PersonaLit y").m (J63,6]
On impotence. Around the middle of the century, the bourgeois class ceases to
be occupied with the future of the productive forces it has unleashed. (Now
appear those counterpans to the great utopias of a More or Campanella, who
had welcomed the accession of this class and affinned the identity of its interests
with the demands of freedom and justice-now appear, that is to say, the utopias
of a Bellamy or a Mollin. which are mainly concerned with touching up the
notion of economic consumption and its incentives.) In order to concern itself
further with the future of the productive forces which it had set going, the
bourgeoisie would first of all have had to renounce the idea of private income.
That the habit of "coziness" so typical of bourgeois comfort around midcentury
goes together with this lassirude of the bourgeois imagination, that it is one with
the luxury of "never having to think about how the forces of production must
devdop in their hands" -these things admit of very little doubt. The dream of
having children is mere1y a beggarly stimulus when it is not imbued with the:
mam of a new narure of things in which these children might one day live, or for
which they can struggle. Even the mam of a "better humanity" in which our
children would "have a better life" is only a sentimental fantasy reminiscent of
Spitzweg when it is not, at bottom, the dream of a better nature in which they
",'Ould live. (Herein lies the inextinguishable claim of the Fourierist utopia, a
claim which Marx had recognized [and which Russia had begun to act on].) The
latter dream is the living source of the biological energy of humanity, whereas the
fonner is only the muddy pond from which the stork draws children. Baude­
laire's desperate thesis concerning children as the creatures closest to original sin
is not a bad complement to this image. [J63a,l )
Re the dances of death: "Modern artists are far too neglectful of those magnificent
allcgories of the !'tliddle Ages." Ch. B., Oeuvres, vol. 2, p. 257 ("Salon de
1859" ).3.0 !J63a,2]
It is impotence that makes for the bitter cup of male sexuality. From this impo­
tence springs Baudelaire' s attachment to the seraphic image of woman, as well as
his fetishism. It follows that Keller's "sin of the poet" - namely, "to invent sweet
images of women, I such as bitter eanh never harbors"lu- is cenainly not his.
Keller's women have the sweetness of chimeras. Baudelaire, in his female 6gures,
remains precise, and therefore French, bccause with him the fetishisti c and the
seraphic clements do not coincide, as they always do in Keller. [J64,I]
"Of courte. !\Iarx and Engel, ironized an absolute idealist faith in progress.
(Engeb conllneluls Fourier for havi ng introduced I.he futll re disappearance of
humanit y into his refl ections on hi story, as Kant int roduct:d the future disappear­
ance of the 80lar 8ystelll. ) In this connection, Engel8 also makes fun of ' the talk
about illimitable human perfectihility. ' ".= Letter of dlermann> Duncker to Crete
Sleffin, JLll y 18, 1938. [J64,2]
The mythic concept of the task of the poet ought to be defined through the
profane concept of the instnunent. - The great poet never confronts his work
simply as the producer; he is also, at the same time, its consumer. Naturally, in
conrrast to the public, he consumes it not as entenainment but as tool. 1lUs
instntmental character represents a use value that does not readily enter in[Q the
exchange value. [j64,3]
On Bauddaire's "Crepuscu1e du soir": the big city knows no tnte evening twi­
light. In any case, the artificial lighting does away with all transition to night. The
same state of affairs is responsible for the fact that the stars disappear from the
sky over the metropolis. Who ever notices when they come out? Kant's tran­
scription of the sublime through "the starry heavens above me and the moral law
within me":u:I could never have been conceived in these teons by an inhabitant of
the big city. [j64,4]
Baudelaire's spleen is the suffering entailed by the decline of the aura. "Adorable
Spring has lost its perfume.nu. [j64,5]
Mass production is the principal economic cause-and class warfare the principal
social cause-of the decline of the aura. [j64a,l ]
De !\Iaistre on the "savage"- a refl ection directed against Rousseau: "One Deed
onJ y glance at the savage to see the curse written ... on the external form of hU
body.... A formidable hand weighing on these doomed races wipes out in them
the two tli stinctive characteristi cs of our grandeur: fore8ight and perfectibility.
The 8avage cuts the tree down to gather the frwt ; he unyokes the ox that the
missionary has just entrusted to him, and cooks it ""ilh wood from the plow."
Juseph LIe Maistre, Les Soiree, de Sc,inl-PetersoourS, ed. Haltier (Paris <1922» ,
p. 23 (second tlialogue). 3l; (J64a,2]
The Knight in the third dialogue: " I ""ould very much like, though it C08t me
dea rl y. II) a truth cll pnlJle of shocking the whole hUlll ll n race. I would
state it plainly to C\'cr)'olle's face ," Jl)seph de Maistre, Les Soirees de SCliflt -Peren­
bOllrs. t:tl. lI alli er, p. 29. [J64a,3]
·' Be""are. alJOve alJ. one very common prejudice ...- IlIt1l1e1y. the belief that the
great reputation of a book all extensive alltl reasoned knowletl ge of
that hook. Such is not the case, I as"lIre you. Tlte grealmajorit y are ca pable of
jUllgi ng solely by the lights or a rather Slnallnumber or men who first deli ver an
opinion. They pass lin, and this opinion survives them. The IUlW hooks arriving on
the scene leave no time ror reading a ny others; and IKIOn these others are judged
only according to a vague reputati on." J oseph de Maistre, Le! Soiree! de Sflint.
Pc,ersoourg, ed . Hattier (Paris), p. 44 (sixth dialogue). (J64a,4]
" The whole ea rtll , continuall y steelH:d in blood , is nothing l.Htt llll immense alt a r 0 11
whi ch ever y Living thing must be sacrificed without end, restraint , wi thout
respite, until the COlisummation or the world, the extinction or evi l, t he deat h or
deatlt ." De Maisl re, Soirees, ed. Hauier, I). 61 (seventh di alogue: " La Guerre").M6
Tbe characters in Le.s SoirEe; de Sailll -Pilmbourg: the Knight has relt the in.8uence
or Voltaire, and the Senator is a mystic, while the Count expounds the doctrine or
the author himself. (J64a,6]
" But do you realize. gentlemen , the lIource or this fl ood or insolent doctrinet which
ull ceremoniously judge God and call him to account ror hi, orders? They come 10
us rrOll1 that great phalanx we call S(lvanU <int ellectuals) a ntI whom we have not
helcn able in tlti s age to keep in their place, which is a secondary one. At other
timet, t here were very rew sa vants, and a very small minorit y or this ver y smaD
minorit y were ungodl y; today one sees nothing hut .!avanU. It is a proressioD, a
crowd, a nation , and among them tlte alr eady unfortuna te exception has become
the rule. On every side they have usurped a limitless influence; yet if there is one
thing cert ain in this world, it is, to my mind, that it is not ror science to guide men.
Nothing necessary ror this is entrusted to science. Oll e would have to be out or
one's mind to beli eve that God has char ged the academies with teaching us what he
is and what we owe to him. It rests with t he prelates, the nobles. the great officers
or state to be the repositories and guardianll of the sa \'ing truths. to teach nationll
what is bad a nd what good, what t rue a nd what raise, in the moral and spiritual
order. Others have no ri ght to reason on this kind or matter. They It ave the nat ural
sciences to amuse t hem. Wha t a re they complaining about ?" De Maistre, Le.!
Soirees de Soint-Pctcnbourg, ed . Hatti er (Paris), p. 72 (eighth dialogue).3-I7
U65, IJ
On judicial procedures: "Under t he rule or Muslim law, authorit y IJUnishes. even
wit h death, tlte 1111111 it thinks deserves it , al the \·er y moment and pl ace it seizes
him; thi s brusque enrorcement or the law, whi ch lIas 1I 0t lacke(1 hiind admirers. is
nevertheless oll e or the lIIany proors or the hrut aLi zal.ion a mi Iii ville ecnsul'c or
thesc lM!oples. Among us, things are quit e dirrerellt. The culprit must hc arrcstefl;
he lIIust he cha rged; he lIIust ddend himsc!r; he lIIust abovc all settle his conscience
alltl his worldly affairs; practical a rrangemcnts ror hi ll I'uuisiuntlllt mllst be made.
Finall y, to take e\'crything int o account , a certain time mllst he Icrt to ta ke him to
ti m appoinh:11 pl ace or punishmcnt. The Bcarrold is a n alttl r; it ca nnottllcrcrore he
dt ll er SCI up in II certain pluce or moved , except hy authority. These del ays,
praiseworthy in thei r very exce&eivene&e, yet still not laclUli g their blind dct.rac·
tors. are no lese a proor or our lI uperi orit y." De Mais!r!:. us Soiree! de Suint·
peter.!oourg, cd. Hauier (Paris). p. 78 (tenth di alogue).:l,", U65,2)
God appears in de Maistre as
In the seventh dialogue ("La Guerre"), a series or sentences beginning with the
rom1Ula "War is divine. Among these, one or the most extravagant: "War is
divine in the protection granted to the great leaders, even the most daring, who
are rarely struck down in battle.
Soirees de Sainl./ftmbourg. pp. 61-62.Ut
U65a, I)
There is, in Baudelaire a latent tension between the destructive and the idyllic
aspects or death- between its bloody and its palliative nature. [J65a,2]
J ugendsti1 phraseology should still be considered progressive in Baudelaire.
"Destruction's bloody retinue
is the court of allegory.
The historicism or the nineteenth cenrury is the background against which
Baudelaire's "pursuit or modemityn stands out. (Vtllemain, Cousin.) (J6Sa,5]
So long as there is semblance in history, it will find in narure its ultimate refuge.
The commodity, which is the last bunting-glass or historical semblance <&hein),
celebrates its triumph in the fact that narure itself takes on a commodity charac­
ter. It is this commodity appearance (WaTC/Scheim or narure that is embodied in
the whore. "M oney reeds sensuality," it is said, and this ronnula in itself affords
only the barest outline or a state or affairs that reaches weD beyond prostirution.
Under the dominion or the commodity retish, the sex appeal or the woman is
more or less tinged with the appeal of the commodi ty. lL is no accident that the
relations or the pimp to his girlrriend, whom he sells as an "anicle
on the
market, have so inflamed the sexual rantasies or the bourgeoisie. The modem
advertisement shows, from another angle, to what extent the attractions or the
and those or the commodity can be merged. The sexuality that in romler
a social level-was stimulated through imagining the future or the
Productive rorces is mobilized now through imagining the power or capital.
U65, ,6J
The circumstance or the new is perhaps nowhere better illuminated than in the
figure or the Haneur. His thirst ror the new is quenched by the crowd, which
appears self·impelled and endowed with a soul or its own. In raCt, this collective is
nothing but appearance. This "OO\\'Ci," in which the Baneur takes delight, is j ust
the empty mold with which, seventy years later, the <People's
was cast. The /lancur who so prides himself on his alertness, on
his nonconformity, was in this respect also ahead of his contemporaries: he was
the first to fall victim to an ignis fatuus which sina: that time has blinded many
millions. [j66, l )
Baudelaire idealizes the experience of the commodity, in that he ascribes to it, as
canon, lhe experiena: of allegory. [j66,2)
If it is imagination that presents correspondences to the memory, it is thinking
that consecrates allegory to it. Memory brings about the convergena: of imagina­
tion and thinking. [j66,3)
With the new manufacturing processes
that lead to imitations, semblance is
consolidated in the commodity.
Between the theory of natural correspondences and the repudiation of nature
exists a contradiction. It is resolved insofar as within the memory impressions
become detached from individual experiences, so that the long experience stored
up in those impressions is released and can be fed into the allegoricalfimdw. <See
J62',2.> 1166,S]
<Stefaro George translated "Spleen et Ideal" by "Triibsinn und Vergeistigung"
<Melancholy and Spiritualizatiom, thus hitting upon the essential meaning of the
ideal in Baudelaire. [j66,6)
With Meryon, the majesty and decrepitude of Paris come into their own.
In the fonn taken by prostitution in the big cities, the ......"() man appears not only as
commodity but, in a precise sense, as mass-produced article. TIlls is i.ndicated by
the masking of individual expression in favor of a professional appearana:, such
as makeup provides. The point is made still more emphatically, later on, by the
unifonned girls of the music-hall review. [j66,8)
Baudelai re's opposition to progress was the indispensable condition for his suc­
cess at capturing Paris in his poetry. Compared with this poetry, all later big-city
lyric must be accounted feeble. What it lacks is precisely that reserve toward its
subject matler which Baudelaire owed to his frenetic hatred of progress.
In Baudelaire, Paris as an emblem of antiquity contrasts with its masses as an
emblem of modernity. [J66a, 2)
On Le SpJUlI de Pam: news items arc the leaven that allows the urban masses to
rise in Baudelaire's imagination. [J66a.3]
Spleen is the feeling that corresponds to catastrophe in pennanena:.
It is a very speci.£ic experiena: that the proletariat has in the big city-one in many
respeas sinUlar to that which the immigrant has there. [j66a,5)
To the 8ftneur, his city is-evt:n if, like Baudelaire, he happened to be bom
there-no longer native ground. It represents for him a theatrical display, an
3fCna. [J66a,6]
Baudelaire never wrote a whore-poem from the point of view of the whore. {But
compare Brecht, u.sehuchfor Stiidleheu;ohner. no. 5.)l!3 [J66a,7]
Preface 10 Dupont 's poems in 1851; essay on Dupont in 186l. ]j66a,81
In the crctology of the danmed-as that of Baudelaire might be called-infertility
and impotence are the decisive factors. They alone are what give to the cruel and
ill-famed Illoments of desire in scxuallife a purely negative character-something
that is lost, it goes without saying, in the aa of procreation, as in relations de­
signed to last an entire lifetime (that is, in marriage). These realities instituted for
the long term-children, marriage-would lack all assurana: of longevity, had
not the most destructive energies of the human being entered into their creation,
contributing to their stability not less but more than many another energy. But
these relations are legitimated, through this contributi on, only to the extent that
this is really possible for decisive libidinal movements in present-day society.
The social value of marriage rests decidedly on its longevity, insofar as this latter
holds within it the idea of an ultimate and definitive-if continually deferred­
"confrontation" of the spouses. From this confrontation the couple arc preserved
so long as the marriage itself lasts-which is to say, in principle, for the rest of
their lives. ]j67,l )
Relation bem-een commodity and allegory: "value," as the natural buming-glass
of semblance in history, outshines "meaning." Its luster <Sche£m is more difficult
to dispel. It is, moreover, the very newest. In the Baroque age, the fetish charaaer
of the commodity was still relatively undeveloped. And the conunodity had not
yet so deeply engraved its stigma-the proletarianization ofthe producers-on the
process of production. Allegorical perception could thus constitute a style in the
seventeenth century, in a way that it no longer could in the nineteenth. Baude·
laire as alIegorist was entirely isolated. He sought to recall the experiena: of the
colllmodity to an allegorical experience. In this, he was doomed to founder, and
it became clear that the relentlessness of his initiative was exa:eded by the relent·
lessness of reality. Hence a strain in his work that feds pathological or sadistic
only bc;:cause it missed out on reality-though just by a hair. ]j67.2J
It is one and the same historical night at the onset of which the owl of Minerva
(with Hegel) begins its Bight and Eros (with Baudelaire) lingers before the empty
pallet. torch extinguished, dreaming of bygone embraces. 1167,3]
The experience of allegory, which holds fast to ruins, is properly the experience
of eternal transience. [J67,4)
Prostitution can lay claim to being considered "work" the moment work be­
comes prostitution. In fact , the was the first to carry out a radical renun­
ciation of the costume of lover. She already arranges to be paid for her time; from
there, it is only a short distance to those who demand "wages." [J67,5]
Aln:ady at work in jugendstil is the bourgeois tendency to set nature and technol­
ogy in mutual opposition, as absolute antitheses. Thus, Futurism will later give
to tedUlology a destructive anrinatural accent ; in jugendstil, the energies des­
tined to operate in this direction art begirming to unfold. The idea of a world
bewitched and, as it were, denatured by technological development infonns a
good many of its creations. (J67,6)
The prostitute does not sell her labor po\ver; her job, however, entails the fiction
that she sells her powers of pleasure. Insofar as this represents the utmost exten­
sion attainable by the sphere of the conunodity, the prostitute may be considered,
from early on, a precursor of conmlodity capitalism. But precisely because the
commodity character was in other respects undeveloped, this aspect did not need
to stand out so glaringly as would subsequently be the case. As a matter of fact,
prostitution in the Middle Ages does not, for example, display the crudeness that
in the nineteenth century would become the rule. (J67a,I)
The tension between emblem and commercial logo makes it possible to measure
the changes that have taken place in the "'orld of things since the seventeenth
century. [J67a,2]
Strong fixations of the sense of smell, such as Baudelaire seems to have known,
could make fetishism likely. (J67a.3]
to spleen is
The new femlcnt that enters intO the taedium vitae and turns it
Hollowing out of the itmer life. Of the infinite regress of that ,. in
manticism, in a spirit of play, both expanded the space of life 10
circles and reduced it within ever nanower frames, there remained to Baudehure
only the "somber and lucid exchange" with himself, as he represents it it.l the
image of a conversation between the jack of hearts and the queen of spades III an
old pack of cards. I.... 'lter, jules Renard will say: "His hean ... more alone than
an ace of hearts itl the middle of a deck of cards.",us [j67a,5]
TIlcre Illay well be the closest COimection between the allc?ori.cal
and the imagination put in thrall to thinking during haslush mtOXlcauon. At
work in the latter are different sorts of powers: a genius of mdancholy gravity,
another of Arid-like spirituality. [J67a,6]
In view of its position inlll\ediatcly after "La Destruction," <in UJ Fleur; du mal,)
"Vne Martyre" is rich in associations. The allegorical intention has done its work
on this martyr: she is in pieces. [j67a,7]
In "La Mort des amants," correspondences weave away without any hint of al­
legorical intention. Sob and smile-as cloud fonnations of the human face-min·
gle in the tereets. Vtlliers de l' lsle-Adam saw in this poem, according to a letter he
wrote to Baude1aire, the application of the latter's "musical theories." [j67a,8]
"La Destruction" on the demon: "he 6lIs my burning lungs I with sinful cravings
never satisfied."316 The lung as the seat of desire is the boldest intimation of
desire' s unrealizability that can be imagined. Compare the invisible stream in
"Benediction." [j68,1]
Of all the Baudelairean poems, "La Destruction" comprises the most relentless
elaboration of the allegorical intention. The "bloody retinue," which the poet is
forced by the demon to contemplate, is the court of allegory-the scattered
apparatus by dint of which allegory has so disfigured and so unsettled the world
of things that only the fragments of that world art left to it now, as object of its
brooding. The poem breaks off abruptly; it itself gives the impression---doubly
surprising in a sonnet-of something fragmentary. (J68,2)
Compare "Le Vin des chiffonnieu" with "Dans ce Cabriolet ," by Sainte-Beuve
« Les vol. 2 [Paris, 1863]. p. 193):
Seated in thi8 ca briole1. 1 examine the man
Who dri\·e8 me. the man who', littl e more than machine,
UideoU8 with hi8 thi ck hurd, hi8long malted hair :
Vi ce a nd ..ine a nd , 1«1' weigh {Iown hi8 totti,h eyea.
How far then, I thought. eIIn humanity , ink?
And I draw back to the other eorner of the !leat .
The IJOeI goes on 10 ask himself whet her hi s own soul is not just as unkempt as the
soul of the coachman. Baudelaire mentiOIlS this poem in his letter of January 15,
1866, to Saillte-Bcuvc.:
The ragpicker is the most provocative figure of human misery. "Ragtag" <Lump­
" Iprolt tarim in a doublc sense: clothed in rags and occupied with rags. "Here
we have a man whose job it is to pick up the day's rubbish in the capital. He
coUects and catalogues everything thaI the great city has cast off, everything it
has lost, and discarded, and broken. He goes through the archives of debauchery,
and the jumbled alTay of refuse. He makes a selection, an itltelligent choice; like
a miser hoarding treasure, he collects the garbage that will become objects of
utility or pleasure when refurbished by Industrial magic" ("Du VUl et du
haschisch," OeuureJ, vol. I, pp. 249-250). As may be gathered from this prose
description of 185 1, Baudelaire recognizes himself in the figure of the ragman.
The poem presents a further affinity with the poet, immediately noted as such: "a
ragpicker stumbles past, wagging his head I and bumping into walls with a poet's
grace, I pouring out his heartfelt schemes to one I and all, including spies of the
police." :131 [J68,4]
Much can be said on behalf of the supposition that "Le Vin des chiffolUuers" was
written around the time of Baudelaire' s espousal of "beautiful utility." (!be
question CaJUlot be settled with any certainty, because the poem first appean:d in
the book edition of us Rturs du ma/.-"Le Vm de I' assassin" was published for
the first time in 1848-in L'Echo des mardul1uls de vins!) The ragpicker poem
strenuously disavows the reactionary pronouncements of its author. The criti­
cism on Baudelaire has overlooked this poem. (J68a,l j
" Beli eve me, the wine of the barriere! has eff« tivel y preserved the shocks to
which governmental structures have been subject. " [douard FOllcaud, Pari! in­
veIl leur; Phy!iologie de l 'irldu!triefrmu<ai!e (Paris, 1844). p. 10. (J68a,2]
Apropos of "Le Vin des chi.ffonniers": "There's brau in our pockets, I Pierre,
let 's go on a binge; I On Mondays. you know, I I love to knock about . I I know of a
wine for two SOll 8 I Thai's nOI half bat! , I And so, let's go have some fun , I Let's
walk lip to the b(l rriere." H. GOllrdon de Genouillac, Les Refrairu de ta rue, lh
1830 a1870 (Paris, 1879). p. 56. [J68a,3]
Travies often drew the type of the ragpicker. [j6B.,_]
The son of thc proletarian figures in "L'Ame du vin" with the words, "this frail
athlete of Iife"m-an infinitely sad correspondence of modernity and antiquity.
With regard to the "sectioning of time": the hidden construction of "Lc: Vm des
amants" is grounded in the fact that only rather far along docs the now surpris·
ing light fall on the si tuation at hand: thc ecstatic drunkenness which thc lovers
owe to the wine is a morning drunkcnness. "Into thc blue Cl)'stal of the mom'
ing"360_this is the sevcnth linc of this fourtcen-Iinc poem. [J68a,6)
In thc situation of thc lovcrs "cradlcd gently on the wing I of the conniving
whirhvind,":161 it is not far-fctchcd to hear a reminiscence of Fourier. "Thc whirl·
winds of planetary spheres," we read in Silberling's Dictionnaire de .sotiolog;ie pho·
/allsti rienne (Paris, 1911), p. 433, "so measured in their motion tlmt at anyone
momcnt tlley pass over billions of places-arc, in our eyes, tllC seal of divine
justice on tlle fl uctuations of matter" (fuurier, rhione en COllcret 0/1 positiue,
p.320]. [j6B,,7]
Baudelaire builds stamas where it would seem almost impossible to construct
thcm. Thus, in the sixth stanza of "Leshos:" "ambitious hcarts I that yearn, far
from us, for a radiant smilc I tlley dimly glimpse on the rim of otller ski es!''3C
On the desecration of the douds: "Wandcring a wasteland at high noon I ... I
saw a dismal SlOnndoud bearing down I upon my head, bristling with vicious
imps":JIiJ-this is a conception that could stem directly from a print by Meryon.
It is rare in French poetry that the big city is evoked through nothing but the
inmlemate presentation of its inhabitants. lb.is occurs with unsurpassable power
in Shelley's poem on London <cited in MIS). (Wasn' t Shelley's London more
populous than the Paris of Baudelaire?) In Baudelaire, one encounters merely
traces of a similar perception-though a good many traces. In few of his poems,
however, is the metropolis portrayed so exclusively in tenns of what it makes of
its inhabitants as in "Spleen I." This poem shows in a vciled way how the soulless
masses of the hig city and the hopelessly depIcted existence of individuals come
to complement one another. The first is represented by the ccmetel)' and the
suburbs-mass asscmblages of citizens; the second, by the jack of hearts and the
queen of spades. [J69,2]
The hopeless decrepitude of the big city is felt particularly keenly in the first
stanza of "Spleen I." (J69,3]
In the opc:ni.ng poem of u.s F'kurs du mal, Baudelaire accosts the public in a most
unusual fashion. He cozies up to them, if not exactly in a cozy vein. "'ibu could say
he gathers his readers about him like a camarilla. [J69,4]
The awareness of time's empty passage and the taedium uittu arc the twO 'weights
that keep the wheels of melancholy going. In this regard, the last poem of the
"Splecn et ideaJ" sequence corresponds exactly to the sequence "La Mort."
The poem "I.: Horioge" <The Clock> takes the allegorical treatmcnt quite far.
Grouped about the clock, which occupics a special position in the hierarchy of
cmblems, arc Pleasure, the Now, Tune, Chance, VlrtUC, and Repentancc. (On
the sylphid, compare the "wretclled theater" in "I.:Irreparable,"Jt;I and on the um,
thc auberge i.n the same poem. ) (J69.6]
The "grotesquc and livid sky" of "Horreur sympalhiquc"-is the sky of Mel)'on.
On the "sectioning of time," and on "L.: Horloge" in particular, Poe's "Colloquy of
Monos and Una": "There seemcd to have sprung up in the brain lhal of which
no worns could convey to the merely human intelligence even an indistinct
conception. Let me tenn it a mental pendulous pulsation. It was the moral
cmbodimclll of man' s abstract idea of Time . ... By its aid I measured the irregu­
j larities of the clock upon the mantel, and of the watches of the attendants. Their
tickings came sonorously to my cars. The slightest deviation from the true pro­
portion . . . affected me just as violations of abstract truth are WOnt, on eanh, to
affect the moral sense" (Edgar Allan Poe, NQu velles Hisloires extraordinaim <Paris,
1886>, pp. 336-337).36Ii This description is nothing but one great euphemism for
the utter void of time to which man is surn:nclered in spleen. [J69a,l J
"... until night I voluptuously reaches fOT I the horizon, consoling all- , even
hunger, concealing all- I even shame" (liLa Fm de 1a joumee")361-this is the
sununcr lightning of social con.6icts in the night sky of the metropolis. [J69a,2]
"You seem, for selting off Ill y darkness , more I mockingl y to magnify the space I
which bars me from those blue immensities" ("' Je t ' adore a I' egal ..." ). Juxta­
pose: "And the human face-wh.ich Ovid thought was made to mirror the stars­
see it now, no longer expressing anything but a crazy ferocity, or rigid in a kind or
deatll! " (Oellvre" vol. 2, p. 628 ["Fusees ," no. 3]).3611 [J69a,3}
In studying the allegorical in the work of Baudelaire, it would be a mistake to
undervalue the medieval element in relation to the Baroque. It is something
difficult to describe, but may be grasped most readily if we recall how very much
certain passages, certain poems ("Vers pour Ie portrait de M. Honore Oaumier,"
"L'Avertisseur," "i.e Squelette Laboureur"), in their pregnant simplicity, contrast
with others that are overburdened with meanings. This bareness gives them the
sort of expression one finds in portraits by Fouquet. [J69a,4}
A Blanquist look at the terrestrial globe: "I contemplate from on high the globe in
its rondure,' and I no longer seek there the shelter of a hut" ("Le Gout du
neant") .369The poet has made his dwelling in space itself, one could say-or in the
abyss. [J69a,5}
Representations pass before the melancholic slowly, as in a procession. ~
inlage, typical in this complex of symptoms, is rare in Baudelaire. It occurs In
"Horreur sympathique" : "your vast mourning clouds I are the hearses of my
dreams."3?Q [J70,1]
"Then all at once the raging bells break loose, I hurling to heaven their a ~
catelwau!" ("Spleen IV").J71 111e sky that is assailed by the bells is the same Ul
whicll B1anqui's speculations move. [J70,2]
"Behind the scenes, the frivolous decors I of all existence, deep in the abyss, I
I see distinctly other, brighter worlds" ("La Voix"). These arc the worlds of
L'Et(17liti jHJr Ie; astre;. Compare "Le Gouffre" <The Abyss>: "my windows open
on Infin.ity.n:
If we bring together "I.:Inimediable" with the poem Mouquet attributed to
Baudelaire, "UnJour de pluie" <A Rainy Day>, then it becomes quite clear that
what inspires Baudelaire is the state of surrender to the abyss, and we see also just
where this abyss actually opens. The Seine localizes "UnJour de pluie" in Paris.
Of this locale " 'e read: "In a fog heavy with poisonous vapors, I men are buried
like sneaking reptiles; I though proud of their strength, they stumble blind1y
along , more painfully with each step" (vol. 1, p. 212). In "r:Irremediable," this
image of the Parisian streets has become one of the allegorical visions of the abyss
wruch the conclusion of the poem describes as "apt emblems" : "A soul in tonnent
descending I ... into an echoing cavern I ... of vigilant slimy monsters I whose
luminous eyes enforce I the gloom" (vol. 1, pp. 92-93).373 [J70,4]
Apropos of the catalogue of emblems presented by the poem "' L' l rremediable,"
Crepet cites a passage from de Maistre' s Soiree, de Saint-Peter,bourg: "That river
which one crosses but once; that pitcher of the Danaides, alway, full and alway,
empty ; that liver of Tityus , all/my' regenerated under the beak of the vulture that
alway, devours it anew, .. . - these are so many speaking hieroglyphs, about
which it is impossi ble to be mistaken. " l ~ ~ [J70,5]
The gesture of benediction, with outstretched arms, in Fidus (also in Zarathus­
Ira1)-the gesture of someone carrying something. [J70,6]
From the draft of an epilogue to the second edition of I.e, FleurJ dll mal: "your
magic cobbles piled for barricades, I your cheap orators' barollue rhetoric, I
ranting of love while your sewers run with blood, I swirling to hell like mighty
rivers" (vol. 1, p. 229).m [j70a,l]
"Benediction" presents the poet' s path in life as Passion: "he sings the very
Stations of his cross." In places, the poem distantly recalls the fantasy in which
Apollinaire, in u Poete assassini (ch. 16), has imagined the extermination of poets
by l,lllbridled philistines: "and blinding flashes of his intellect I keep him from
noticing tlle angry mob."J76 [J70a,2]
A Blanquist look at humanity (and, at the same time, one of the few verses by
Baudelaire that unveils a cosmic aspect): "the Sky! black lid of that enonnous pot
I ill which UulUmerable generations boil" ("i.e Couverde,,) .:m [J70a,3]
It is, above all, the "' recollections" to which the "familiar eye"3111 appertains. (This
gaze, which is none other than the gaze of certa.in ponraits, brings Fbc to mind.)
"On solemn eves ofHcaveniy harvesting" autumnal Ascen­
SIOIl. [J 70a,5]
"CybeIe, qui les aime, augmente ses Brecht's beautiful transla­
tion: "Cybele, die sie liebt, legt mehr Griin vor" ("Cybele, who loves them,
shows more green") . A mutation of the organic is implicit here. [J70a,6]
"Le Gouffre" is the Baudelairean equivalent of Blanqui's "vision."
"0 worms, black cronies without eyes or ears"oUl- here is something like sympa·
thy for parasites. [J70a,8]
Compari son of eyes to illuminated shopwindows: "Your eyes, lit up like shops to
lure their trade I or fireworks in the park on holidays, I insolently make use of
borrowed power" ("Tu mettrais I'lInivers").:IIl2 [J70a,9]
Concerning "La Servante au grand coeur": the words, "of whom you were so
jealouJ,"3S1 in the first line, do not bear precisely the accent one would expect. The
voice, as it were, draws back from jaJouJe. Ths ebbing of the voice is something
extremely characteristic. (Remark of Pierre Leyris.) [J70a,1O]
The sadistic imagination tends toward mechanical constructions. It may be that,
when he speaks of the "nameless elegance of the human annature," Baudelaire
sees in the skeleton a kind of machinery. The point is made more d early in "Le
Vm de I' assassin": "That bunch! They feel about as much ' as plowshares break­
ing ground-f plow or harrow! Which of them f has ever known True Love."
And, unequivocally: "Blind and deaf machine, fertile in cruelties" ("Tu mettrais
l'univers").331 [J71,1]
"Old·fashioned" and "immemorial" are still united in Baudelaire. The <things>
that have gone out of fashion have become inexhaustible containers of memo­
ries. It is thus the old women appear in Baudelaire's poetry ("Les Petites
Vieilles"); thus the departcd years ("Recueillement"); it is thus the poet compares
himself to a "stale boudoir where old·fashioned clothes f lie scattered atllOng
wilted fern and rose" ("Spleen [J71 ,2)
Sadism and fetishism intertwine in those imaginations that seek to 31mex all
organic life to the sphere of the inorganic. "0 living matter, henceforth you're no
more I Than a cold stone encompassed by vague fear f And by the desert, and
the mist and sun" ("Spleen II").38Ii The assinlilation of the living to dead matter
was likewise a preoccupation of Flaubert's. The visions of his Saint Anthony are
a triumph of retishism, and worthy of those celebrated by Bosch on the Lisbon
altar. [J7l ,3)
If "Le Crepuscule du marin" opens with the sound of reveille in the barrack
squares, one must remember that under Napoleon III, ror reasons easy to under­
stand, the interior of the city was 6lled with barracks. [J71.4]
Smile and sob, as cloud fonnation of the human face, are an unsurpassable
mruUfcstation of its spirituality. U7l ,5)
In "Rcve parisien," the forces of production are seemingly brought to a standstill,
put out of commission. The landscape of this dream is the dauling mirage of the
leaden and desolate terrain that in "De Profundis clamavi" becomes the universe.
"A frozen sun hangs overhead six months ; f the other six, the earth is in its
shroud-f no trees, no water, not one crearure here, , a wasteland naked as the
polar north! "3B7 [J71 ,6]
The phantasmagoria of "Reve parisien" recalls that of the world exhibitions,
where the bourgeoisie cried out to the order of property and production their
"Abide, you are so fair !":l88 [J7l ,7]
Proust 011 "granting a kind of glory to the crowd" ; " It would seem impossible to
better that. "389 [J71a,l)
"And which, on those golden evenings when youftel youne!freviw»:!lIO- the second
half of the line collapses on itself. Prosodically, it works to contradict what it
affirms. TIlls is, for Baudelaire, a characteristic procedure. (J71a,2]
"Whose name is known only to the buried prompter"39L-this comes from the
world of Poe (compare "Remords posthume," "Le Mort joyeux") . [J7la,3]
The only place in u FleurJ du mal where the Bauddairean view of children is
contravened is the fifth stanza of the first section of "Les Petites Vieilles": "the
eyes of a child, a little girl who laughs ' in sacred wonder at whatever shines!»392
To arrive at this outlook on childhood, the poet takes the longest way- the way
leading through old age. [J7la,4]
In Baudelaire's work, poems 99 and 100 of us Fleurs du mal stand apart- as
Strange and solitary as the great Stone gods of Easter Island. we know that they
belong to the oldest parts of the text; Baudelaire himself pointed them out to his
mother as poems referring to her, poems to which he had given no title because
any advertisement of this secret connection was odious to him. What these
mark Out is a death·tranced idyll. Both, but especially the first , breathe an
air of peace such as rarely obtains in Baudelaire. Both present the image of the
fatherless fanlll y; the son, however, far from occupying the place of the father,
leaves it empty. The distant sun that is setting in the first poem is the symbol of
the father, of him whose gaze-"huge open eye in the curious
without jealousy, sympathetic and remote, on the meal. shared by mother and
son. The second poem evokes the image of the fatherless family situated not
around a table but around a grave. The sultriness of life pn:gnant with possibili­
ties has entirely yielded to the cool night air of death. [J7la,S]
The "Tableaux parisiens" begin with a transfiguration of the city. The first,
second, and, if you like, third poem of the cycle work together in this. "Paysage"
is the city's tete-a.-tete with the sky. The only elements of the city to appear on the
poet' s horizon are the "\\'Orkshop full of singing and gossip, and the chimney­
pots and steeples.";w.I Then "Le Soleil" adds the suburbs; nothing of the urban
masses enters into the first three poems of "Tableaux parisiens." The founh
begins with an evocation of the Louvre, but it passes immediately, in the middle
of the second stanza, intO lamentation over the perishabili ty of the great city.
"Drawings to which the gravity I and learning of some forgotten artist I . . . I
have conununicated beauty"3fJ-la Beauti appears here, thanks to the definite
article, as sober and "impassive." It has become the allegory of itself. [J72,2]
On "Bnunes et pluies" <Mists and Rains>: the city has become strange to the
8aneur, and every bed "hazardous."* (Multitude of night lodgings for Baude-.
I"",,.) [J72,']
may be surprised to find the poem "Brumes et pluies" among "Tableaux
parisiens." It verges on imagery of the country. But already Sainte-Beuve had
written: "Oh, how sad the plain around the boulevard!" ("La Plaine, octobn:,"
mentioned by Baudelaire contre Sainte-Beuve onJ anuary 15, 1866).m The land­
scape of Baudelaire' s poem is, in fact, that of the city plunged in fog. It is the
preferred canvas for the embroideries of boredom. [J72,4]
"Le Cygne" <The Swam has the movement of a cradle rocking back and
between modernity and antiquity. In his notes, Baudelaire writes: "Gonce.lvc a
sketch for a lyrical or fairy bo'!/fmJnu ie, a pantomime . ... Steep the whole 10 an
abnonnal, dreanly atmosphere-the atmosphere of great days. Let there be some­
thing Julling about it" ("Fusees," no. 22).391 These great days are the days of
On the "foul demons in the atmosphere" =-' they retum as the "demons. of
cities" in Georg Heym. They are grown more violent but, because they dl5c1aun
their resemblance to the "businessmen," they mean less. (j72,6]
Closing stllllZIl of "Die Dii moncli Ll er Studte" <Delnons of thc Cities>. hy Heym:
nut lh" ,lemOll8 arflsrowing eolo!!!lal.
Th" hor n! oll ll.cir .Irllw Mood from the sky.
Eal'th(IUakes rumble in the bell y or the cities
Benealh thei .. hom' ea. fi l'e in thei r wake.
Georg Heym, DicJ.llmgeli (Munich, 1922), " . 19. [J72a,1]
"Je t' adore a. l'ega! de la voute nocturne" <I adore you no less than the vault of
Night)oIOO- nowhere mon: clearly than in this poem is Sexus played off against
Eros. One must tum from this poem to Goethe's "Selige Sehnsucht" <Blessed
see, by comparison, what powers are conferred on the imagination
when the sexual is joined with the erotic. {j72a,2]
"Sonnet d' automne" describes, in a reserved but scrupulous way, the state of
being that conditions Bauddaire' s erotic experiences: "My heart, on which
everything jars, I . . . I is unwilling to disclose its hdlish secret, I . . . I I hate all
passion. . . I Let love each other gently." 1l:Us is like a distant reprise of the
stanZa in the West-Os/Jjcha DitJan where Goethe conjures out of the houris and
their poet an image of the erotic as a sort of paradisal variant of sexuality: "Their
friendship reward his endeavor, I Compliant with sweet devotions, I Let him live
with them fon:ver : I All the good have modest {j72a,3]
Marx on the Second Republic: " Passions without truth, truths without paJ8ioD;
heroes without heroic deeds, history wi thout events; development, whose sole
dri ving force seems to be the calendar, wearying with constant repetition of the
same tensions and relautions . . .. If any section of history has been painted gray
on gray, it is this." Karl Marx, Der acht:ehnte Br umaire de. Loui.s Bonaparte, ed.
Rjazanov (Vienna and Berlin <1927» , I'p. 45-46.0100 (J72a,4]
The opposite poles of the Bauddairean sensibility find their symbols equally in
the skies. The leaden, cloudless sky symbolizes sensuality in thrall to the fetish;
cloud formations are the symbol of sensuality spiritualized. (J72a,S]
Engels to Man; on December 3, 1851: "For today, at any rate, the au is as free . ..
as the old man on the evening of the Eighteenth Brumai re, so completely unre­
strained that he can 'I help exposing his asinine self in aU directi ons. Appalling
lk:rSIN:<:live of no resistance!''''' (Karl Mar x, Der acht:ehnte Brumaire des Lom.
Ut}!l(lparte, ed. Uj azanov (Vi elllla and Berlin] , p. 9). [J73,1]
EngellJ to Marx 0 11 December 11, 1851: " If, tbiB time, t. he proletari at failed to fight
ell mllue, it WII S Iict:ause it was fuUy aware of its own . impQtcnce and was
I)rcpllrcd to suhmit wi th fatalisti c resignati on 10 a rene"" ed cycle of Republic,
Elll pi re, restoration, and fresh revoluti on, unlil ... it regai ned fresh strengt h"·
(Marx. Dcr ad lt ::e/lnle Brllnwirc, p. 10). [J73,2]
"As is kllo"'·II. May 15 [1848] had no other rel uh save I.hal of removing Blanqui
and his CQlnrade8- thal is. the real leaders of the proletarian party. Ihe revolu­
tionary communists-from the public stage for the enti re duration of the cycle."
Marx, Der achtzehnte Brl/maire. ed. Rj azanov, I)' 28.0I0I0 1J73,3J
America's spirit world enters into the description of the crowd in Poe. Marx
speaks of the rq>uhlic which in Europe "signifies, in general , onl y the political
fonn of revolution of bourgeois society and not its conservative form of life-as
for example, in the United States of North America, where . .. classes .. .
not yet become fixed, ... where the modem means of production ... compen_
sate for the relative deficiency of heads and hands, and where, finally, the fever_
ish, youthful movement of material production ... has left neither time nor
opportunity for abolishing the old spirit world." Marx, acntu/mte BruT1l4irt
p. 30.40;0 It IS
remarkable that Marx invokes the world ofspirits to help explain the
American republic. {J73,4]
If the crowd is a veil, then the journalist draws it about him, exploiting his
numerow connections like so many seductive arrangements of the cloth.
The revolutionary by-elections of March 10, 1850, sellt to the parliament in Pam
an exclusively social-democratic mandat e. But these elec:tions would find "a senti ­
mental commentary in the April by-elec: tion, the election of Eugene Sue." Marx.
Der achlzehnte Brumaire. p. 68.-1(18 (J73,6j
Apropos of "Le Cripuscule du malin." Marx sees in apoleoo lU "a man who doet
oot decide by night in order to eXC<: ute by day, but who decide! by day and exe­
cut e! by night. " Marx, Ver achtzehnte Brumaire, ed. Rjazaoov, p. 79.409 [J73a,IJ
Apropo! of "Le Cr epuscule tlu malin" : "Paris ill full of rumors of a coup d' etat .
The capital is to be filled with troops during the night ; the next morning is to hrirl8
decr oos." Quoted from the European daily press of September and October 185!.
Marx, Ver achtzehnte Brumaire, p. 105.
4 10
[J73a,2] '
Marx calls tbe leaders of the Paris proletariat the "barri cade commanders. " Der
achtzehnte Brumaire, p. 113.
Sainte-Beuve's remark about Lamartine, whose poems represented the sky over
Andre Chenier's landscapes (J51a,3), should be compared with the '""'Dreis of
Marx: "While, in its accord with society, in its dependence on natural forces and
its submission to the authority which protected it from above, the small holding
that had newly come into being was narurally relig1ous, the small holding that is
ruined by debts, at odds with society and authori ty, and driven beyond its own
limi tations narurally becomes irrelig1ous. Heaven was quite a pleasing accession
to the narrow strip of land jWt won, mOR: particularly as it makes the weather ; it
becomes an insult as soon as it is thrust forward as substitute for the small
holding." Marx, Dn- aclltu /mlt: BrumaiTt:, p. 122.m Sainte-Beuve's analogy, com­
bined with this passage from Marx, provides the key to the character and dura·
tion of the political in8uence which Lamartine derived from his poetry. Com­
pare, in this connection, his negotiations with the Russian ambassador, as
reported by Pokrovski <cited in d12,2). (]73a,4]
Ambigui ty of the heroic in the figure of the poet : the poet has about him some­
thing of the destirute soldier, something of the marauder. His fencing (Fechten)
often recalls the meaning of this word'l3in the argot of vagabonds. {j73a,5J
ttbrx on the parasitic creatures of the Second Empire: "Lest they make n mi stake
ill the years, they count the minut es." Marx, Der fl chtzehnte Brumaire. p. 126.
Ambiguity of that conception of the heroic which is hidden in the Baude1airean
image of the poet. "The culminating point of the idie; napolionienrtej is the pre­
ponderance of the anny. The army was the d'nonneur of the
peasants; it was they themselves transfomled UltO .... But the enenues
against whom the French peasant has now to defend his property are ... tax
collectors. The small holding lies no longer in the so-called fatherland, but Ul the
register of mortgages. The anny itself is no longer the of
youth; it is the swamp-Sower of the peasant lumpenproletanat. It COOSlS.ts large
measure of remp/Of41I u, of substitutes, jwt as the second Bonaparte IS himself
only a remp1llfdnt, the substitute for Napoleon .... One see that ALL uu.e;
napolioniennej are ideas of the undeveloped small holding in the freshness of Its
youth; for the small holding that has outlived its day, they are an absurdity:'
Marx, Der acntunnte Brum(1. ire, ed. Rjazanov, pp. 122- 123.
On SataniSllI : '·When Ihe puritans at the Council of Constance complained of the
di ssolute lives of the popes . .., Cardinal Pierre d' Ailly thundered at them: 'Only
the devil in person call still save the Catholic church, and you ask for angels.' In
like manner, afl er the coup d' etat , the French bourgeoisie cried: Only the chief of
Ihe Society of December 10 can still save bourgeois society! Only thef! can lItill l ave
propert),! Onl y perjury can save religion! Only bastardy can 8a,'e the family! Only
disorder can save order!" Marx. Ver achtzehnte Brllmaire, ed. Rjazanov,
p. 12'J. II. [J74,2J
"Oue call visuali ze clearly this upper stratum (I f the Society of December 10, if Qne
refk't!t!l thai VerOIl -Crevcl is its preacher of moralJl alld Granier de Cusagnac its
thinker." Marx. Dcr (Jdl/;: ehrue Brl/maire, ed. Rj azanov. p. 127 .." : [J74.3J
The "mag1c cobbles piled for barricades," in Baudelaire's draft of an
define the limit which his poetry encounters in its immediate confrontaoon WIth
social subjects. The poet says nothing of the hands which move these cobble­
Stones. In "Lc: Vm des chiffonniers," he was able to pass beyond this limit.
UN,' ]
Closing lines of "Le Vin des chiffonniers." ill the version of 1852: "Already God
had given them sweet sleep; I He added wine, divine 80n of the 8UIl. " The distinc.
tion hetween God and man ("Man added wine ...") dates from 1857. (J74a,1)
In the last section of "Salon dc 1846" (section 18, "De I'Heroisme de la vie
modeme"), suicide appears, characteristically, as a "particular passion"-the
only one, among those mentioned, of any real significance. It represents the great
conquest of modernity in the realm of passion: "Except for Hercules on Mount
Oeta, Cato of Utica, and Cleopatra, ... what suicides do you see in the paintings
of the old masters?" Ch. B., OeuurtS, vol. 2, pp. 133-134.m Suicide appears, then,
as the quintessence of modernity. (J74a,2)
In section 17 of "Salon de 1846," Baudelaire speaks of "the funereal and rumpled
frock coal of today" (p. 136); and, before that. of this "uniform livery of mourn.
ing": "Do not these puckered creases , playing like serpenu around the mortified
l1esh, have their own mysterious grace?" (p. 134). Ch. 8., Oeuvre3, vol. 2.-uG
on the winter of 1882-1883, on the Bay of RapaUo: " Mornings, I would
walk in a southerly direction on the splendid road to Zoagli, going up past pines
with a magnificent view of the sea; in the afternoon, ... I walked around the whole.
bay ... aU the way to Portofino. This place and this scenery came even closer to
my heart beuuse of the great love that Emperor Frederick III felt for them .... It
was on these two walks that the whole of Zarathwtra I occurred to me, and
especiall y Zarathustra himself as a type. Rather, he overtook me. " Friedrich
Nietzsche, Also Sprach Zarathwtra, ed. Kroner (Leipzig) , pp. xx-xxi. Compare
this with a description of the Fort du Taureau.
Against the background of his "philosophy of the noontide"-the doctrine of
eternal recurrence-Nietzsche defines the earlier stages ofms thinking as philoso- .
phy of the dawn and philosophy of the morning. He, tOO, knows the "sectioning
of time" and its great divisions. It is certainly legitimate to ask whether this
apperception of time was not an element ofJugendstillf in fact it was, then we
would perhaps better understand how, in lbsen, Jugendstil produced one of the
greatest teduucians of the drama. [J74a,5)
The closer work comes to prostitution, the more tempting it is to conceive of
prostitution as work-something that has been customary in the argot of whores
for a long time now. llUs rapprochement has advanced by giant steps in the
wake of unemployment; the "Keep smiling"m maintains, on the job market, the
practice of the prostirute who, on the love market, flashes a smile at the customer.
The description of the labor process in its relation to nature will necessarily bear
the imprint of its social structure as well. If the human being were not authenlilaUy
exploited, we would be spared the inauthmtil talk of an exploitation of nature.
Ths talk reinforces the semblance of "value," which accrues to raw materials
only by virtue of an order of production founded on the exploitation of human
labor. \-\kre IhiJ exploitation to come to a halt, work, in rum, could no longer be
characterized as the exploitation of nature by man. It would henceforth be con.
ducted on the model of children's play, which in Fourier fonns the basis of the
workn of the Harmonians. To have instiruted playas the canon of
a labor no longer rooted in exploitation is one of the great merits of Fourier. Such
work inspirited by play aims not at the propagation of values but at the ameliora­
tion of narure. For it, too, the Fourierist utopia furnishes a model, of a SOrt to be
found realized in the games of children. It is the image of an earth on which every
place has become an inn . The double meaning of the word (WirtJl!uifl> blossoms
here: all places are worked by human hands, made useful and beautiful thereby;
all, however, stand, like a roadside UUl, open to all. An earth that was cultivated
according to such an image would cease to be pan of "a world where action is
never the sister of dream."UJ On that earth, the act would be kin to the dream.
Fashion determines, in each case, the acceptable limit of empathy.
The unfolding of work in play presupposes highly developed forces of produc­
tion, such as only today stand at the disposal of humanity, and stand mobili.zed in
a direction contrary to their possibilities-that is, they are poised for an emer­
gency. Nevertheless, even in times of relatively undeveloped productivity, the
murderous idea of the exploitation of nature, which has ruled over things since
the nineteenth century, was in no sense determinative. Certainly this idea could
have no place so long as the prevailing image of nature was that of the minister­
ing mother, as reflected in Bachofen's conception of matriarchal societies. In the
figure of the mother, this image has survived the inconstancies of history, though
it obviously has grown more blurred during those periods in which mothers
themselves become agents of the class that risks the life of their sons for its
commercial interests. There is much to suggest that the second marriage of
Baudelaire's mother was not made any more bearable for him by the fact that she
elected to marry a general TIlls marriage evidently has a share in the evolution
of the poet's libido; if the whore became the mastering image of the lauer, this
marriage plays its part. Of course, the whore is, fundamentally, the incarnation of
a nature suffused with commodity appearance. She has even intensified its power
of delusion insofar as, in commerce with her, an always fictive pleasure arises,
one that is supposed to corrcsond to the pleasure of her partner. In other words,
the capacity for pleasure itself now figures as a value in this conunerce-as the
object of an exploitation perpetrated no less by her than by her partner. On the
? thcr hand, one sees here the distorted, more than life-size image of an availabil­
Ity that holds for everyone and is discouraged by none. The unworldly ecstatic
lasciviousness of the Baroque poet Lohenstein has stamped this image in a man­
ner that is highly reminiscent of Baudelaire: ''A beautiful woman, yes, arrayed in
a thousand splendors, I Is a sumptuous table where the many sup and take their
fill, I An inexhaustible weUspring of never failing waters, I 'Ib, of love's swet:t
milk; and from a hundred conduits I TIle luscious neCtar runs" (Daniel Caspers
von Lohenstein, Agrippina [Leipzig, 17241, p. 33). The "beyond" of the choice:
governing relations bet\'.'(:en mother and child, and the here and now of the
choice governing relations bem'(:en prostitute and cliem, make contact at a single
point. 1lUs point defines the situation of Baudelaire' s libido. (Compare: X2,I:
Marx on prostitution.) 1J75a]
The lines from "Selige Sehnsucht"-"No distance can weigh you down, I You
come Bying, fascinated"u'-describe the experience of the aura. The distance that
is there in the eyes of the beloved and that draws the lover after it is the dream of
a better nature. The decline of the aura and the waning of the dream of a better
nature-this latter conditioned on its defensive position in the class struggle-arc:
one and the same. It follows that the decline of the aura and the decline of sexual
potency are: also, at bottom, one. [J76,1]
The fomlUla of L'Elmliti par ttl asiTrJ-"The new is always old, and the old
always most rigorously to the experience of spleen regis­
tered by Baudelaire. [J76,2]
A passage from L'Etmliti par trJ aJtm-"The nwnber of our doubles is infinite
in time and space:.... These doubles exist in 8esh and bone-indeed, in trousen
and jacket, in crinoline and chignon"-may be compared with "Les Sept Viei1­
Doubtless to you my dread seems ludicrous,
unles.s a brotherly shudder 1m you KC:
for all their imminent decrepitude,
these seven monsters had etemallifd
1 doubt if 1 could have survived an eighth
such apparition, father and son ofhlmsdf,
inexorable Phoenix, loathsome avatar!
_ I turned my back on the whole danmcd parade.
The "monstrouS shoreless which the poem evokes in the closing line; is
the agitated universe of L'Eterniti par teJ aJlm. [J76,3]
"The houses seemed to be stretched upward by the mist I and looked like the twO
quays of some swoll en river."·17 An Ullage reminiscent of Meryoll. There is some­
thing similar ill Brecht. [J76,4]
With gloomy irony, Blanqui demonstrates what a "better humanity" would be
worth Ul a nanlre which can never be bener. [J76,5j
Lamartine's industrial Christ reappears at the end of the cenrury. Thus Ver­
haeren, in "Le Depart":
And what would evils matter, and demented hours,
And vau of vice in which the city fermenu,
Uone day, from the depths of fog! and shadows,
A new ChrUt rises, .sculpted in light.,
Who lifu humanity toward him
And baptizes it in the fire ofnewbom starS.
Baudelaire was not possessed of any such optimism-and that was the great
chance: for his presentation of Paris. Cited in Jules Dest::li:e, "Ocr Zug nach der
Stadt," Die neur Zeit, 21 , no. 2 (Stuttgan, 1903) <p. 57b. [J76,6]
In the historical action which the proletariat brings against the bourgeois class,
Baudelaire is a witness; but Blanqui is an expert witness. [J76a,1]
If Baudelaire is summoned before the tribunal of history, he will have to put up
with a great many intenuptions; an interest that is in many respects foreign to
him, and in many respects incomprehensible to him, conditions the line of ques­
tioning. Blanqui, on the other hand, has long since made the question on which
he speaks entirely his own; hence, he appears as an expert where this question is
tried. It is therefore not exactly in the same capacity that Baudelaire and Blanqui
are cited to appear before the tribunal of history. (Compare Nll ,3. ) [J76a,2]
Abandorunent of the epic moment : a tribunal is no sewing circle. Or better: the
proceedings are: instituted, not reponed. [J76a,3]
The interest which the materialist historian takes in the past is always, in part, a
vital interest in its being pasc'- in its having ceased to exist, its being essentially
dead. To have certified this condition with respeCt to the whole is the indispensa­
ble prerequisite for any citation (any calling to life) of particular parts of this
phenomenon of what-has·been. In a word: for the specific historical interest
whose legitimacy it is up to the materialist historian to establish, it must be shown
that one is dealing with an object which in its entirety, actually and irrevocably,
"belongs to history." [J76a,4]
The comparison with Dante can serve both as an example of the perplexity of
the early reception of Baudelaire and as an illustration ofJ oseph de Maistrc's
remark that the earliest judgments concerning an author are: bequeathed to the
subsequent criticism. <SeeJ64a,4.) [J76a,5]
In addition to the Dante comparison, the concept of di auunu figures as a key­
word in the reception. It is there in Barbey d'Aurevilly. Pontmartin, Brunetiere,
Bourget. [J76a.6J
For the materialist dialectician, discontinuity is the regulative idea of the tradition
of the ruling classes (and therefore, primarily, of the bourgeoisie); continuity, the
regulative idea of the tradition of the (and therefore, primarily, of the
proletariat). The proletariat lives more slowly than the bourgeois class. The
examples of its champions, the perceptions of its leaders, do not grow old, or, at
any rate, they grow old much more slowly than the epochs and great personages
of the class. The waves of fashion break against the compact mass of
the downtrodden. The movements of the ruling class, by contrast, having once
come into their ascendancy, maintain in themselves a reference to fashion. In
particular, the ideologies of the rulers are by their namre more changeable than
the ideas of the oppressed. For not only must they, like the ideas of the latter,
adapt each rime to the situation of social conBict, but they must glorify that
situation as fundamentally harmoruous. Such a business is managed only eccen·
trically and desultorily; it is modish in the fullest sense of the word. To undertake
to "salvage" the great figures of the bourgeoisie means, not least, to conccive
them in this most unstable dimension of their operation, and precise1y from out
of that to extract, to cite, what has remained inconspicuously buried beneath­
being, as it was, of so little hdp to the powerful. To bring together Bauddaire and
Blanqui means removing the bushd that is covering the light.
Bauddaire's reception by poets can be easily distinguished from his reception by
theorists. The latter adhere to the comparison with Dante and the concept of
decadence; the former, to the maxim of art for an's sake and the theory of
correspondences. U77,2)
Faguet (wher e?) sees the secret or Baudelaire's influence in the extremely wide­
spread chronic nervousness. U77,3)
The "jerky gait" of the ragpicker (seeJ79a,5) is not necessarily due to the effect of
alcohol. Every few moments, he must stop to gather refuse, which he throws into
his wicker basket. U77,4)
For Blanqui, history is the straw with which infinite time is stuffed.
" I come to a stop, ror I am suddenly exhausted . Up ahead, it appears, the path
descends without warning, precipitously: On all sides, abYHII-1 dare not look."
Nietzsche, (Werke: Gmu- lind KleiIlQktavawgabe,) vol. 12, p. 223 (cited in Karl
LOwith , Nietzsches I'hilosophie der ewigen Wiederkll1ift des Gleichen [Berlin,
1935]. p. 33). [J71a,2)
The hero who asserts himself on the stage of modernity is, in fact, an actor first of
all. He clearly appears as such in "Les Sept Vieillards," in a "scene to match the
actor's plight," "steding" his "nerves to playa hero' s pan."-110 [J71a,3)
The figure of the poet in "Benediction" is a figure from Jugcndstil. The poet
appears, so to speak, in the nude. He displays the physiognomy of Joseph
Oe1onne. [J77a,4)
The "natural benevolence" which Magnin U50a,4) celebrates in Sainte·Beuve­
his coziness, in shon-is the complement of the hieratic bearing of Joseph
Dclonne. [J77a,SI
It can be seen from the portraits that Baudelaire's physiognomy very early
showed the marks of old age. Among other things, this accounts for the oft-noted
resemblance between his features and those of prelates. [J77a,6)
Valles was perhaps the first to complain insistently (as Souday would do later)
about Baudelaire's "backwardness" U21,6). [J77a,7)
Allegory recognizes many enigmas, but it knows no mystery. An enigma is a
fragment that, together with another, matching fragment, makes up a whole.
Mystery, all the other hand, was invoked from time immemorial in the image of
the veil, which is an old accomplice of distance. Distance appears veiled. Now,
the painting of the Baroque-unlike that of the Renaissance, for example-has
nothing at all to do with this veil. IndeM, it ostentatiously rends the veil and, as
its ceiling frescoes in particular demonstrate, brings even the distance of the skies
intOa nearness, one that seeks to stan1e and confound. 11Us suggests that the
degree of auratic saturation of human perception has 8uctuated widely in the
course of history. (In the Baroque, one might say, the conilict between cult value
and exhibition value was variously played out within the confines of sacred art
itseIf.) While these fluctuations await funher clarifi.cation, the supposition arises
that epochs which tend toward allegorical expression will have experienced a
crisis of the aura. [J77a,S]
Baudelaire mentions, among the "lyric subjeas proposed by the Acadbnie,"
"Algeria, or the conquering civilization." Ch. B., OeuurrJ, vol. 2, p. 593 ("I.:Esprit
de M. Villemainj. Desecration of distance. [J78,1]
On the "abyss": "depths of li pace, allt!gorical or the depths or time." Ch. B. ,
Oelivres. \'01. I. p. 306 (Les l'aradu artificiels. " L ' Bomme-dieu").u, [J78,2)
AlJegorical dismembennent. The music to which one listens under the infiuence
of hashish appears, in Baudelaire, as "the entire poem entering your brain, like a
dictionary that has come alive." Ch. B., OeuIJus, vol. 1, p. 307.0132 [J78,3)
DUring the Baroque, a fonnerly incidental component of allegory, the cmblem,
undergoes exuavagant development. If, for the materialist historian, the medie­
val origin of allegory scill needs elucidation, Marx himself fwnishes a clue for
understanding its Baroque form. He writes in DaJ Kapital (Hamburg, 1922), vol.
1, p. 344: "The collective machine ... becomes more and more perfect, the more
the process as a whole becomes a continuous one-that is, the less the raw
material ~ interrupted in its passage from its first phase to its last ; in other words,
the more Its passage from one phase to another is effected not only by the hand
of man but by the machinery itself. In manufacture, the isolation of each detail
process is a condition imposed by the narure of division of labor, but in the full
developed factory the continuity of those processes is, on the contrary, impe:
tive." us Here may be found the key to the Baroque procedure whereby meanings
art conferred on the set of fragments, on the pieces into which not so much the
whole as the process of its production has disintegrated. Baroque emblc:ms may
be conceived as half·finished products which, from the phases of a production
process, have been convened into monuments to the process of destruction.
During the Thirty Years' War, which, now at one point and now at another
irrunobilizcd production, the "interruption" that, according to Marx, c h a r a c ~
terizes each particular stage of this labor process could be protracted almost
indefinitely. But the real triumph of the Baroque emblematic, the chief exhibit of
which becomes the death' s head, is the integration of man himself into the
operation. The death's head of Baroque allegory is a half-finished product of
the history of salvation, that process interrupted-so far as this is given him to
=lize-by Satan, [J78.']
The financial ruin of Baudelaire is the consequence of a quixotic struggle agaiNt
the circumstances that, in his day, detennined consumption. The individual con­
sumer, who vis-a-vis the artisan commissions work, figures in the marketplace as
customer. There he does his pan in the clearance of a stock. of commodities
which his particular wishes have had no influence whatsoever in producing.
Baudelaire wanted to have such particular wishes reflected not only in his choice
of clothing-the tailor' s was, of all the branches of business, the one that had to
reckon longest with the consumer who commissions work-but aho in his fumi­
nare and in other objects of his daily use. He thus became dependent on an
antiquary who was less than honest, and who procured for him paintings and
antique furninare that in some cases proved to be fakes. The debts which he
incurred through these dealings weighed on him for the rest of his life. [J78a,1]
In the final analysis, the inlage of petrified unrest called up by allegory is a
historical image. It shows the forces of antiquity and of Christianity suddenly
arrested in their contest, named to stone amid unallayed hostilities. In his poem
on the sick muse, with its masterful verse that betrays nothing of the chimerical
narure of the poet'S wish, Baudelaire has devised, as ideal image of the muse's
health, what is really a fommla for her distress: "I'd wish . . . 1Your Christian
blood to flow in waves that scan 1With varied sounds of ancient syllables."' "
[J78 •• 2]
In the poetry of Bauddaitt, notwithstanding the new and original signature
which allegory inscribes there, a medieval substrate makes itself felt beneath the
Baroque dement. This involves what Be.wld calls "the survival of the ancient
gods in medieval humanism."'" Allegory is the vehicle for this survival. 1J79,1]
At the moment when the production process closes itself off to people, the stock
in trade becomes accessible to them-in the form of the departmCIlt store.
On the theory of dandyism. The tailor's is the last line of business in which the
customer is still catered to on an individual basis. Story of the twelve frock
coats.- More and more, the person commissioning work plays a heroic role.
Insofar as the flaneur presents himself in the marketplace, his flanerie reflects the
flucruations of conunodities. Grandville, in his drawings, has often depicted the
advenrures of the strolling conunodity. [J79,4]
On the phrase "racked by their labors":w with the Saint-5imonians, industriaI
labor is seen in the. light of sexual inteccourse; the idea of the joy of working is
patterned after an unage of the pleasure of procreation. Two decades later, the
relation has been reversed: the sex act itself is marked by the joylessness which
oppresses the industrial worker. [J79,5]
It ,:",'Ould be an error to think of the experience contained in the cOrTeJpondanas as
a sunp!e counterpan to cenain experiments with synesthesia (with hearing colors
or seemg sounds) that have been conducted in psychologists' laboratories. In
Baude1aire's case, it is a matter less of the ""rlI·known reactions about which
effete or snobbish an oiticism has made such a fuss than of rhe medium in
. . . ,
which such reacnons occur. This medium is the memory, and with Baudelaire it
~ possessed of unusual density. The corresponding sensory data correspond in
It;. they art teeming with memories, which run so thick. that they seem to have
~ n n?t from this life at all but from some more spacious vie anlirieure. It is this
pnor exIStence that is intimated by the "familiar eyes"m with which such experi­
en·ces scrutinize the one who has them. [J79,6]
What fundamentally distinguishes the brooder from the thinker is that the for­
nIer not only meditates a thing bUl also meditates his meditation of the thing.
The case of the brooder is that of the man who has arrived at the solution of a
great problem but then has forgotten it. And now he broods-not so much over
the matter itself as over his past reflections on it. The brooder's thinking, there­
ears e mlpnm 0 memory. Brooder and allegorist art cut from the same te,
cloth. [J79a,l ]
" Whil e the I'url ianumwry I lCJ rfr afOrder ... destroy[ed] with il lJ own hUllds, in
the struggl e against the other c1R88es of society, all the conditions for its own
r egime, the parLi amentary regi me, the extraparliamentory molt of di e bollrgeoi-­
l ie, on t he olher hand, ... by its brutal maltreatment of its own press. invited
Bonaparte t o 6uppreu and annihil ate iu speaki ng and wriling section, its I)OUti.
cian! and iu literali • ... in order thai it might then he abl e 10 pursue its private 1
affairs with full confidence in the protection of a strong and unrestri cted govern.
menl. tt Karl Marx, De,. ach.;ehnte Brunmire des Louis Bonaporte. ed. Rj azanov
(Vienna a nd Berlin ( 927)}, p. IOO ..f)9 1179a,2]
Baudelaire: is quite as isolated in the literary world of his day as Blanqui is in the
\\'Orld of conspiracies. [j79a,3]
With the increase in displays of merchandise and with the rise. in particular, of
magasiru fk nouutautis, the physiognomy of the commodity emerged more and
more distinctly. Of course, even with his sensitive receptivity. Baudelaire never
would have registered this development had it not passed like a magnet over the
"precious meta] of our will."uo over the iron ore of his imagination. In fact, the
ruling figure of that imagination-allegory-corresponded perfectly to the com­
modity fetish. [J79a, 4]
The bearing of the modem hero, as modeled on the ragpicker: his "jerky gait,"'
the necessary isolation in which he goes about his business, the interest he takes
in the refuse and detritus of the great city. (Compare Baudelaire, "De I'Heroisme
de la vie modeme," in vol. 2, p. 135: "The pageant of ... life ...")"' [J79a,5]
The uncovering of the mechanical aspects of the organism is a persistent ten­
dency of the sadist. One can say that the sadist is bent on replacing the: human
organism with the intage of machinery. Sade is the offspring of an age that was
enraprured by automatons. And La Meruie's "man machine" aIlud«i to the .
guillotine, which furnished rudimentary proof of its truths. In his bloody·minded
fantaSies, J oseph de Maist:n:-Baudelaire's authority on matters political-is
cousin to the marquis de Sade. [J80,1]
The brooder's memory ranges over the indiscriminate mass of dead lore. Human
knowledge, within this memory, is something piecemeal-in an especially preg­
nant sense: it is like the jumble of arbitrarily cut pieces from which a puule is
assembled. An epoch fundamentally averse: to brooding has nonetheless pre­
served its outward gesrure in the puule. It is the gesrure, in particular, of the
alIegorist. 'Ibrough the disorderly fund which his knowledge places at his dis­
posal, the allegorist rummages here and there for a particular piece, holds it next
to some other piece, and tests to see if they fit together- that meaning with this
image or this image with that meaning. The reswt can never be known before­
hand, for there is no narural mediation between the t\'.'O. But this is JUSt how
Iltatters stand with commodity and price. The "metaphysical subtleties" in which
the conunodity delights, according to Marx,"a are, above all, the subtleties of
price fonnation. How the price of goods in each case is arrived at can never quite
be foreseen, neither in the course of their production nor later when they enter
the market. It is exactl y the same with the object in its allegorical existence. At no
point is it written in the stars that the allegorist's profundity will lead it to one
meaning rather than another. And though it once may have acquired such a
meaning, this can a1ways be withdrawn in favor of a diIfermt meaning. The
modes of meaning flucruate almost as rapidl y as the price of commodities. In fact,
the meaning of the commodity is its price; it has, as commodity, no other mean­
ing. Hence, the alIegorist is in his clement with commercial wares. As &neur, he
has empathized with the soul of the commodity; as alIegorist, he recognitts in the
"price tag," with which the merchandise comes on the market, the object of his
broodings-the meaning. The world in which this newest meaning lets him settle
has grown no friendlier. An inferno rages in the sow of the commodity, for all the
seeming tranquillity lent it by the price. [J80,2; j80a, l]
011 fetishi sm: " It may Le that, in the emLlem of the st one, only the most obvious
features of the cold, dry earth a re to be seen. But it is quite conceivable and ... by
no means improbable that the inert mau cont ains a reference to the genuinely
theological conception of the melancholi c which is found in one of the seven deadly
sins. This is acedia ." <Walter Benjamin. > Ursprung des deutscMfI TrauerspielJ
<Berlin, 1928>, p. 151.
On "the exploitation of nature" (J75,2): such exploitation was not always re­
garded as the basis of human labor. To Nietzsche, it quite rightly seem«i worthy
of remark that Descartes was the first philosophical physicist who "compared the
discoveries of the scientist to a military campaign waged against nature." Cited in
Karl Lowith, Kretucks Phi/osophie tier roIigm Wiederk.utif/ des Gieichen (Berlin,
1935), p. 121 (<Nietzsche, WlTU, Grrus- und Kleinok.lIlvaUJgabe,) vol. 13, p. 55).
Nietzsche calls Heraclitus " a &tar devoid of atmosphere......... Cited in Uiwith.
Nietz!Jche!J Philosophie. p. 110 (vol. 10, pp. 45ff.). [J80a,4]
The great physiognomic similarity between Guys and Nietzsche is worth empha­
sizing. Nietzsche ascribes to the pessimism of India "that tremendous, yeaming
rigidity of expression in which the Nothing is reflected" (cited in LOwith,
NietucheJ Phi/ruophie, p. 108 [vol. 15, p. 162]).wS Compare this to the way Baude­
laire descri bes the gaze of the oriental courtesan in Guys (J47,4): it is a gaze
directed toward the horizon, one in which rigid attentiveness and profound
distraction are united. [J80a,5)
On sui cide as signature of modernity. " One cannot sufficientl y condemn Christian­
it y for having devalut:d t l u ~ L'fllue of such II great IJU rifyins nihili stic movemellt, aJ
was perhal)! already being (ormed •... through continual deterrence (rom the
deed ofnihili.JltI . whi ch is suicide" (cited in U:iwith, Nietz,che, Philo,ophie, p. 108
<vol. IS, PII ' 325,186) ...... (J81 ,I)
On the abyu. and on the phra8e " I balk at sleep as ifit werea hol e": " Do you know
the terror whi ch a88ails him who is fallingasleep?-He i! terrified down to hi s toe.,
bef:au8e the ground seems to give way, and the dream begins" «Nietzsche,)
Zora rh w lro, ed. Kroner [Leipzig], p. 215) . .uJ (J81,2)
Comparison of the "sinuous fleece" with the "deep and spreading starleu ight!"
(final Line. of " Le, PromesSC8 d' un vi sage").- [J81,3]
The particulars of the boulevard press att, later, the sum and substance of the
stock market reportS. TItrough the role that it gives to the talk of the town, the
peh'le preJJe paves the way for this stock market infonnation. 1181,4)
His confederates obstruct reality for the conspirator as the masses do for the
Haneur. (J81,S)
On the flight of images in allegory. It often cheated Baudelaire out of part of the
rerums on his allegorical imagery. One thing in particular is missing in Baude­
laire's employment of allegory. This we can recognize if we call to mind Shelley', .
great allegory on the city of London: the third part of "Peter Bell the Third," in
which London is presented to the reader as hell. <See MlS.) The incisive effect of
this poem depends, for the most part. on the fact that Shelley's grasp of allegory
makes itself felt. It is this grasp that is missing in Baudelaire. This grasp, which
makes palpable the distance of the modem JX>Ct from allegory, is precisely what
enables allegory to incorporate into itself the most immediate realities. With what
directness that can happen is best shown by Shelley'S poem, in which bailiffs.
parliamentarians, stock-jobbers, and many other types figure. The allegory, in its
emphatically antique character, gives them all a sure footing, such as, for exam­
ple, the businessmen in Baudelaire' s "Crtpuscu1e du soir" do not have_-Shel1ey
rules over the allegory, whereas Baudelaire is ruJed by it. (J81,6)
Individuality, as such, takes on heroic outlines as the masses step more decisively
into the picture. This is the origin of the conception of the hero in Baudelaire. t.n
Hugo, it is a matter not of the isolated individual as such but of the democratlc
citizen. That implies a fundamental difference between the two JX>Cts. The resolu­
tion of this discord would have, as precondition, the dispelling of the illusion
<Scheim which it refl ects. 'Ibis illusory appearance comes from the concept of the
masses. Considered apart from the various classes which join in its formation,
the mass as such has no primary social significance. Its secondary signi6can
depends on the ensemble of relations through which it is constiruted at anyone
time and place. A theater audience, an anny. the population of a city
masses which in themselves belong to no particular class. The free market mula­
plies these masses, rapidly and on a colossal scale, insofar as each piece of
merchandise now gathers around it the mass of its potential buyers. The totalitar­
ian states have taken this mass as their model. The Vollt..sganeiruclulji <People's
Community> aims to root OUl from single individuals everything that stands in
the way of their wholesale fusion into a mass of consumers. The one implacable
adversary still confronting the state, which in this ravenous action becomes the
agent of monopoly capital, is the revolutionary proletariat. lhls latter dispels the
illusion of the mass through the reality of class. Neither Hugo nor Bauddaire
could be directly at its side for that. [J8Ia,l )
On the inauguration of the heroine: Baudelaire' s antiquity is Roman antiquity. At
only one point-and it is, of course, irreplaceable-does Greek antiquity break
intO his worl d. Greece presents him with that image of the heroine which ap'
peattd to him "'Orthy and capable of being carried over into modem.ity. Greek
names stand at the head (n, of one of his greatest JX>Cms: damnees:
Delphine et Hippolyte." The heroine <is endowed> with the features of lesbian
dove >. (J8la,2)
"Thus. the poet's t hought , after meandering capriciously, opens onto the va8t
perspectives of the past or future; but t hese skies are too vast to be everywhere
pure, and the temper ature of the climate too warm not to brew 8torms. The idle
passerby, who cOllt empl ates lheae areas veiled in mourning, feels tear s of hysteria
come to his eyes." Ch. B. , vol. 2, p. 536 ("Marceline Desbordes-Valmore").449
US' ,I]
On "Le Vm des chiffolUuers": the reference to "police spies" suggests that the
ragman dreams of returning to combat on the barricades. [J82,2)
"City. I am an ephemeral and not-too-discontented citizen of a metropolis obvi­
ously modem because every known taste has been avoided in the fumishings
and in the outsides of the houses, as well as in the layout of the city. Here you
would not discover the least sign of any monument of superstition. In short,
morals and speech att reduced to their sinlplest expression. These millions of
people, who have no need of knowing one another, conduct their education,
their trade, and their old age with such similarity that the duration of their lives
must be several times shoner than is the case, according to some insane statistics,
with people on the continent." Arthur Rimbaud, Ot llum (Paris, 1924), pp. 229­
230 (l liuminatirJTIJ).-I5O Disenchantment of "modernity"! [J82,3)
"Crinlinal s (Ii sgust me if they were castrates ." ArtilUr Rimbaud , Oeuvre$
(Pa ris, 1924), p. 258 (Une e ll ellfer, " MHll vnill Sang");';;1 !]82,4)
One could try to show, using the example of Baudelaire, thatJugendstil arises out
of weariness-a weariness that manifestS itself, in his case, as that of the mime
who has taken offhis makeup. (J82,S)
Modernity, in this work, is what a trademark is on a piece of cutlery or an optical
instnlment. It may be as durable as one could wish; if the company which
produced it at some point goes under, it will come to seem obsolete. But to
impress a trademark on his work was Baudelaire's avowed intention. "To create a
pondf"m And perhaps, for Baude1aire, is no higher honor than to have
imitated, to have reproduced, with his ....."() rk this state: of affairs, one of the most
profane of all in the commodity economy. Perhaps this is Baudc:laiK's greatest
achievement, and cenainJy it is one of which he is conscious: to have become so
quickly obsolete: while remaining so durable. 1182,6;j82a,l]
The activity of the conspirator can be considered a sort of uprooting, comparable
to that occasioned by the monotony and terror of the Second Empire. [J82a,2]
The physiologies
were the first booty taken from the marketplace by the
8aneur-who, so to speak, went botanizing on the asphalt. [j82a,3)
Modernity has its antiquity, like a nightmare that has come to it in its sleep.U4
England remained, until late in the previous century, the graduate school of
social consciousness. From there, Barbier brought back his cycle of poems enti­
tled Lazare d..az.arus> and Gavami his sequence Ce qu 'on lIOit graiU Ii UmdreJ
<What Can Be Seen for Free in Londom, together with his character Thomas
Vue1oque, the figure of hopeless destitution. [J82a,5]
Ben.o.un Augustus, calm of eyt, and Trajan, pure of brow,
Resplendent and unmoving in the great llZtlK,
On you, 0 pantheons, on you, 0 ponals,
Roben Macairc: with his worn-out boou!
Victor Hugo, us Cluih'mentJ, ed. Charpentier (Paris), p. 107 ("ApothCosc").
U82.,' j
" He has against him ... the title of I.e! Fleur! du mal, which is a sham title,
di sagreeably anecdotal , and which particularizes to excess the universalit y of his
impulse." Ilenry Sataille, " Baudelai re," Comoedia (January 7, 1921).
Apropos of "the nearly deafening street"lM and other similar expressions, it
should nOt be forgotten that the roads in those days were generally paved in
cobblestone. [J82a,8)
Nisard ill the foreword to the first t:ilitioll of Le Poote! latin! de III dec(ldetl ce
(1834): " I eml euvor to expl ai ll by what necessit ies ... the human spi rit arrives at
thi s singular t ale of exlla ustion, in whi ch the most bountiful imagi nati oll 8 a re 110
longer capable of true poetry anti ca n manage onl y 10 de.hase the. ir lall gullges wilh
scandal... . 1.11 concl usion. I touch 0 11 certllin re&emblances between the poetry of
our time and that of the time of Lucan.. .. In a country where lit erature governs
the mind8 of men, lind even polil.ics ... lends its voi ce to everything progre8­
sive, .. . critici8m ... is ... a taak li t once lit erary and moral." D. Ninrd, Etude,
de moellr! et de critique , ur Ie, IJOOte, lotin, de 10 decadence (Paris, 1849), vol . 1,
pp. x, xiv. [JS3, I]
On the feminine ideal- " ghastl y thin"-(lf Baudelaire: " But it is essentiall y the
modern woman here, the French wonlan of the period preceding the invention of
the bi cycle." Pierre Caume, " Cau8eries sur Baudelaire. La Nouvelle Revue
(Paris, 1899), vol. 11 9, p. 669. [J83,2)
Nisard denounces, as a sign of decadence in Phaedrus, "8 continual , affected
employment of the abstract for the concrete .... Thu8, instead of a long neck, he
says: ' length of neck, ' colli longitudo." D. Nisard. Etude& de moeur, el de critique
sur le, pOOle! lotin! de fa decadence (Paris, 1849), vol. I , pp. 45. [J83,3]
On the qUe8tiOn of the declining birthrate and of barrenness: "There is no hopeful
expectation of the future, nor any i lan, without some guiding idea, some goaL"
Jules Romains, Ceta tUpelld de vow (Paris <1939» , p. 104. [J83,4)
"IntO the depths of the Unknown"-with this, compare the great passage by
Turgot on the known: "I cannot admire Columbus for having said, 'The earth is
round, and therefore by traveling westward I shall meet the land again: bttause
the simplest things are often the mOSt difficult to find.-But what diuinguishes a
hardy soul is the confidence with which it abandons itself to unknown waters on
the faith of a deduction. What would genius and enthusiasm for truth be in a
man to whom a .cnown truth. had given such courage' " Turgot, Otullf'e.l (Paris,
1844), vol. 2, p. 675 ("!'erne.. et U83,5j
Being reduced to rags is a specific fonn of poverty-by no means the superlative
fonn. "'Poverty takes on the peculiar character of raggedness when it occun
amidst a society whose existence is founded on an intricate and richly articulated
system for the satisfaction of needs. Insofar as poverty borrows bits and pieces
from this system, fragments isolated from all context, it becomes subject to needs
fro,? which it can find no ... lasting and decent deliverance." Hermann Lotze,
Mikrokrumru, vol 3 (Leipzig, 1864), pp. 271-272.'51 [J83a,IJ
Lotze's reflections on the worker who no longer handles a tool but operates a
machine aptly illuminate the attitude of the consumer toward the conunodity
produced under these conditions. "He could still recognize in every contour of
the finished product the power and precision of his own fonnative touch. The
participation of the individual in the work of the machine, by contrast, is limited
to . .. manual operations which bring forth nothing directly but merely supply to
an inscrutable mechanism the obscure occasion for invisible accomplishments."
Hermann Lotze, Mi!roAO.lmO.l, vol. 3 (Leipzig, 1864), pp. 272-273. (J83a,2)
Allegory, as the sign that is pointedly set ofT against its meaning, has its place in
art as the antithesis to the beautiful appearance <Schein) in which signifier and
signified Sow into each other. Dissolve this britt1eness of all egory, and it forfeits
all authority. That, in fact, is what happens with genre. It introduces "life" into
allegories, which in rum suddenly wither like Sowers. Sternberger has touched
on this state of affairs (Panorama <Hamburg, 1938), p. 66): "the allegory that has
become a semblance of life, that has given up its lastingness and its rigorous
validity for the red pottage" of l i f e , ~ justly appears as a creation of the genre. In
Jugendstil, a retrogressive process seems to set in. Allegory regains its brittleness.
On the foregoing remarks by Lotze: the idler, the Haneur, who no longer has any
understanding of production, seeks to become an expelt on the market (on
prices). [J83a,4]
' 'The chapten ' Per secution' and ' Murder' in Apollinaire's Poele usllalllline con­
tain the famous description of a pogrom against poets. Publishing houses are
stormed, books of poems thrown on the fire, poets beaten to death. And the same
scenes are taking place at tbe same time aU over the world. In Aragon, ' Imagina­
tion,' in anticipation of such horrors, manhals its forces for a last crusade."
Walter Benjamin. "Der Silrrealismus ," Die literarnche Welt ,S, no. 7 (February
15, 1929).4.1'1 [J84,1]
"It is hardly a coincidence that the cenrury which has long been that of the
strongest poetic language, the nineteenth century, has also been that of decisive
progress in the sciences." Jean-Richard Bloch, "Langage d'utilite, langage
poetique" (Encyclopidie.franraise, vol. 16 [16-50], p. 13}.lndicate how the forces
of poetic inspiration, having been driven from their earlier positions by science,
were compelled to make inroads into the conunodity world. [J84,2)
On the question raised by J. -R. Bloch, tbe question of the development of science
and of poetic language, Chenier' s " Invention":
All the arts conjoin. and huma n science
Coulcl not extend the hounds of its aUiance
Without enlarging thus the 1IC0IHl for verl!e.
What long lravailto win the univer se!
A new Cyhele and a hundred (Ji(feN! nt wor ldsiHlfall
Our Jason8 finl delivered from the ocea n's thrall :
What a wealth of worth)' &eenes. of images sublime,
Born of those gN!at suhjects N!l!erved for our time! U84,3)
On "Les Sept Vieillards." The very fact that this poem stands isolated within
Baudelaire's oeuvre fortifies the assumption that it occupies a key position there.
If this position has remained unnoticed until now, this may have to do with the
fact that a purely philological commentary has missed the mark with this poem.
Yet the relevant datum is not so far afield. The piece corresponds with a particu­
lar passage from I.e; Paradis arttjideu. It is this passage, however, that can shed
light on the philosophical import of the poem. [J84,4]
The foUowing passage from UJ Paradis arttjicieiJ is decisive for "Les Sept Vieil­
lards." It makes it possible to trace the inspiration for this poem back to hashish:
"The word 'rhapsodic; which so weU portrays a train of thought suggested and
dictated by the outer world and the hazard of circumstance, has a great and more
terrible truth in relation to hashish. Here, human reason becomes mere flotsam,
at the mercy of all currents, and the train of thought is irifinilely more accelerated
and 'rhapsodic.' '' Vol. 1, p. 303.- [J84a,1]
Comparison between Blanqui and Baudelaire, in part deriving from Brecht's
formulations: the defeat of Blanqui was the victory of Baudelaire-of the petty
bourgeoisie. Blanqui succumbed; Baudelaire succeeded. B1anqui appears as a
tragic figure; his bettayal has ttagic greatness; he was brought down by the
enemy within. Baudelaire appears as a comic figure-as the cock whose triumphal
crowing announces the hour of bettayal.f61 [J84a,2)
If Napoleon III was Caesar, then Baudelaire was the Catilinarian existence.
Baudelaire unites the poverty of the ragpicker with the scorn of the cadger and
the despair of the parasite. []84a,4)
The significance of the prose poem "Perte d'awiole
cannot be overestimated.
F'trst of all, there is the remarkable pertinence of the fact that it spotlights the
threat to the aura posed by the experience of shock. (Perhaps this relation can be
clarified by reference to metaphors of epilepsy.) Exttaordinarily decisive, more­
over, is the ending, which makes the exhibition of the aura from now on an affair
of fifth-rate poets.-FmalIy, this piece is important because in it the inhabitant of
the big city appears menaced more by the traffic of coaches than he is nowadays
by automobiles. [J84a,5)
Catilin'e figures in Baudelaire alllong the dandi es. oIQ U8S,I )
Love for the prostirute is the apotheosis of empathy with the conunodity.
"Recueillement" should be presented as Jugendstil poetry. The dijunte; annie;
<dead years)-I6.J as allegories in the style of Fritz Erler. (J85,3]
The hatred for gerue painting that can be discerned in Baudelaire's "Sal ons" is a
sentiment typical of Jugends til. (J85,4]
Among the legends whi ch circul ated about Baudelaire is the foll owi ng: he is sup­
l)(Ised to have read Balzac whil e cro88ing the Gange.. In Henri Grappin , " Le
Mysticisme lwetique de Gustave Flaubert ," Revue de Pnru (December 1 and 15,
1912). p . 852. (J8S,S]
" Life has only one real charm-the charm of gamblins. But what if we do not care
whether we win or lose?" Oeuvres completes . vol. 2, p. 630 ("Fuseee").- (J8S,6]
"Commer ce is essenti aUy satanic . .. , Commerce iSll8taruc because it is one of the
forntJ of egoism-the lowest and vilest ." Oeuvres compUtes, vol. 2. p . 664 ("Mon
Coeur mis anu").-t6S [J8S,7]
"What is love? The need to escape from oneself .... The more a man cultivatee the
arts. the less often he gets an erection . ... To copulate is to aspire to ent er into
another-and the artist never emerges from himself." Oeuvres compUtes, (vol. 2 . ~
pp. 655. 663.
" It is partl y a life of leisure that hal enabled me to grow. To my great detriment­
for leisure without fortune breeds debts... . But also to my great profit , .. re­
ga'rds sensibilit y and meditation and the faculty of dandyism and diUetantism.
Other men of letteTi are, for the most part , base ignorant drudgee. " Oeuvres
completes , vol. 2. p. 659 ("Mon Coeur ...").'16; [J8S,9)
"AI, I have fuUy proved. to work is less wearisome than to amuseonetlelf. " Oeuvres
compUtes, vol. 2, I). 647 ("Mon Coeur ...").- [J85,10]
On the dance of death (compare K7a.3, the passage from Huxley): "The woodcuu
with "' wch the Pari8ian printer Guyot Marchant ornamented the fiTit edition of
the Dante Macabre in 1485 were, very probabl y, imitated from the most cele­
brated oftheu painted death dance8--namely, that which, since 1424, covered the
wall s of the c1oi8ter of the cemetery of the Innocenti in Pari s .... The dancin«
per80n whom we see coming back forty times to lead away the living originally
represents not Death it8elf but a corpse: the living man such as he will presendy
be. In the stanus, the dancer is called "the dead man'" or "the dead woman." It is
a dance of the dead and not of Death.... It is onl y toward the end of the century
that the figure of the great dancer, of a corpse with hollow and fl eshless body,
becollles a skeleton, as Holbei n depicts it. " J . Huizinga, Herbst des Mittewlter,
(Munich, 1928), pp. 204-205.'1m [J85a, l ]
On allegor y. "The characters in Le Romnll de 10 Rose--Bel-Accueil , Ooulce
Mercy, Faux Semblanl , HURlMe Requeste, Danger, Honle, Peur-are on a level
",i th the authenti c medieval representationll of virtues and vices in human form:
allegories or, something more than this, half-believed mythologems." J . Huizi nga,
lIerbst de, MiueWlter. (Munich, 1928), p. 162Y' [J85a,2]
On " the metaphY8ics of the agent provocateur"': " Without being too prejudiced in
the maUer, one may !!till feci" little uneasy in reading Les iIIysteres gowns [Les
Mpt,kes ga larlS des thrWtres de p(lris] m 10 think thaI Baudelaire had a hand in
this. If he himself has diso"'·II(.·tI this piece of youthful extravagance, there are
1I 0netheless good reason" for believing, wilh M. CrCIH: t , that he is in fact one of the
authors. Here theu is a Baudelaire on the brink of blackmail, spiteful toward aU
sliccell!l? Tlus ....ould suggest that throughout his car eer, from these JUysteres to the
Amoenitates Belgicae, the greal poet had need, from time to time, of voiding a sae
of \'enom." Jean Prevost , review of the work mentioned. La No uvelle R e v ~
fra m;aue, 27, no. 308 (May I, 1939) , p. 888. [J85a,3)
Aprol)(lS of Baudel aire'8 "Au l.ectellr." "The fi rst six hooks of the Confeuioru
ha\'e ... a cert ain advantage built into their very subj ect : each reader, insofar a8
he is II Ot the slave of literary or mundane prej udices, becomes an accolllplice."
Andre Monglond, Le Preronwnt u me!rarUi(lU, vol. 2, Le M(li"tre des ames serui­
bies (Grenoble, 1930), p. 295. [J86,1]
In an important passage by de Maisrre, we not only encounter allegory in its
satanic provenance, and in the very perspective that wou1d later be that of Baude:­
laire; we also discover-here invested with the mysticism of Saint·Martin or
Swc:denborg- the cormpondanus. And these latter constitute, revealingly, the
antidote to allegory. The passage is found in the eighth of Les Soiries rh Saint­
Pitmbourg, and reads: "One can form a perfectly adequate idea of the universe
by considering it under the aspect of a vast museum of natural history exposed to
the shock of an earthquake. The door to the collection rooms is open and
broken; there art no more windows. Whole drawers have fallen out, while others
hang by their hinges, ready to drop. Some shells have rolled out into the hall of
minerals, and a hwnmingbird's nest is resting on the head of a crocodile. What
madman. though, could have any doubt of the original intention, or believe that
the edifice was built to look this way? ... The order is as visible as the disorder;
and the eye that ranges over this mighty temple: of nantre reestablishes without
difficulty all that a fatal agency has shattered, warped, soiled, and displaced. And
there is more: look closely and you can recognize: already the effects of a restoring
hand. Some beams have been shored up, some paths cut through the rubble;
and, in the general confusion, a multitude of analQgueJ have already taken their
place once again and come into contact."'" [J86,2]
On Baudelaire's prosody. A phrase has been applied to it that originally referred
to Racine: "graze the prose, but with wings." (J86,3]
COllcernlng Baudelaire's " Voyage 11 Cythcre":
C),t.hera is there. dCllleted and Illgubriou!,
Absurd dealh', head of Ihe drea m of love.
Alld gleaming skull of 1,leul1re .. .
No more bee. sillili ns dewdroll a nd thyme.
Bul a lw..y. the blue sky above.
Victor flll go, /.A!s Con, emplations ("Cerigo"). [J86a, l]
The theory of poeb)' as faculty of expression-"Where other men must suffer
grief in silence,l A god gave me the power to speak my fonnul ated
with particular decisiveness by Lamartine in the "first" CJt is actually the second)
preface to his Miditatioru of 1849. The "suiving for originality at all COSts," to say
nothing of an authentic reflection on original possibilities, preserves the poet­
Baudelaire above all-from a poetics of men: expression. Lamartine writes: "I
imitated no one; 1expressed myself for myself. There was no an in this, but only
an easing of my own heart.... 1 took no thought of anyone in putting down
these lines here and there, unless it was of a ghost and of God." UJ GrandJ
£en'wins tk la France, vol. 2, "Lamartine" (Paris, 1915), p. 365. (J86a,2J
Apropos of Laforgue's remark about the "crude comparisons" in Baudelaire
(J9,4), Ruff observes: "The originality of these comparisons is not so much in
their ' crudity' as in the artificial character-which is to say, human character-of
the images: wall, lid, the wings of a stage. The 'correspondence' is understood in
a sense opposite to that customarily proposed by the poets, who lead us back to
nature. Baudelaire, by an invincible propensity, recalls us to the idea of the
human. Even on the human plane, if he wishes to magnify his description by an
image, he will often look for some other manifestation of hwnanity rather than
having recourse to nature: ' the chimney·pots and steeples, the city' s masu.''''''
Marcel A. Ruff, "Sur l'Architecture des Heurs du ma1," Rroue d'hiJtoire /illiraire
tk la France, 37, no. 3 (July-September 1930), p. 398. Compare the phrase
"whose fingers point to heaven," in the paragraph on Meryon 42,1>.- The same
motif, renden:d innocuous and put into psychological terms, in Rattier's conver·
sion of the fiineur to industtial activity. (J86a,3]
I.n Barbier 's l)Oem " Les Mineunl de Newcastle," the eight h stanza concludes this
way: "And many a one who dreams, within his secret sOll l, I Of domestic comforts,
and his wife' , blue eyes, I Discovers in the pit ', embrace an everlasting lomb."
Auguste 8 arbier, Iambes et poemes (Paris, 1841), pp. 240-241; from the collection
Lazure. which is dated 1837, and whi ch records his impressions of England. Com­
pare the8e line8 10 the last two lines of " Le Crepll scule du soir. " U87,1]
Professional conspirator and dandy meet in the concept of the modem hero.
This hero represents for himself, in his own person, a whole secret society.
011 IIII' gf'll eratiOIi of Valle8: " It is that generation which. under til e storieS! sky of
11m Second Enlpi n: , grew up in the face of a ... future without faith or greatness."
Hermann Wendel , "Jules Die neue Zeit , 31. no. 1 (Stull gart , 1912),
p. 105. (J87,3]
"When is a courtier ... not idle and contemplativeT' La Bruyere.
Regarding "study": "The fl e8h isud, alas! a.nd all the books are read." Mallarme,
"Hrise mari ne," Poesies (paris, 191 7), p. 43Ys (J87,5]
On idleness: " Imagi ne a peq M!tual idleness, ... with a profound hatred of that
idleness." lett er to his mother of Saturday, December 4, 1847. Let .•
'res iI sa mere (Paris d p. 22Y· [J87,6)
Baudelaire speaks [where?] of the " habit of putting off until the neltt day ... so
many important things for 80 many years. nIH [J87,7]
Early high capitalism, defined by Wiesengrund Oetter ofJune 5, 1935) as "mod·
emity in the suict sense." [J87,8)
On idleness: Baudelaire's satanism-of which so much has been made-is noth·
ing man=: than his way of taking up the challenge which bourgeois society Sings
at the idle poet. This satanism is only a reasoned reprise of the cynical and
destructive velleities- delusions, in the main- that emanate from the lower
depths of society . .J1I [J87,9J
On idleness. " Hercules ... labored too, ... but the goal of his career wae really
always a sublime leisure, and for that reason he became one of the Ol ympi ans. Not
so this Prometheus, the invent or of education and enlight enment. ... Becau!Ie he
seduced mankind into working, [he] now has to work himself, whether he wants to
or not. He' ll have plenty of Ol)portunit y to be bored, and will never be free of iliA
chains." Friedrich Schl egel, Lucinde (Leipzig) , pp. 34-35 (" Idyll e fiber den Mfi s­
siggang" <An Idyll of [J87a, l]
"And so this is wha t I said to myself ... : ' 0 Idleness, Idleness! You are the life
breath of innocence and illspiratioll . The blened breathe YOII , and blessed is he
who has YOII ullIl cherishes YOII, YOII holy j ewel , YOIl sole fragment of godlikeness
conle down to liS from I'arudisc!'" Schl egel, p. 29 (" Idylle fiber den Mus·
siggung" ). """ [J87a,2]
" Industry and Lllilit y lire the angels of ,Ieatll who, witll fi ery swords. prevent man '8
return to Paradise .... And ill all purts of the world, it is the right to idleness that
di stinguishes til e superior frOIll t.he inf,'rior c1usses . It is the intrinsic pr inci ple of
ari stocracy. " Schl egel . I,ucirule (Leipzig), II. 32. UL (J87a,3]
" Baudelaire's weighlY phrasing, chllrged as though with Huid eledricity." Jules
Renard. Journlll <inedif . cd. Gallimard (Pari8 <1925» . p. 7.
"Meanwhile darkness dawns, filled with demon familiars I \\'ho rouse, reluctant
as businessmen, to their may nOt be out of place to find here a
reminiscence of Poe's description of the crowd. (J87a,5]
Just as in "A Une Passante" the crowd is neither named nor described, so the
paraphernalia of gambling make no appearance in "I .e Jeu." (J87a,6J
In contrast to Cabet, to Fourier, and to the roving Saint-Simoruan utopians,
Blanqui can be imagined only in Paris. Moreover, he represents himself and his
",-ark as belonging only in Paris. At the opposite pole is Proudhon's conception
of great cities (Alla,2)! (J87a,7]
Extracts from the preface which Pyat wrote for the 1884 edition of Lt Chjffonnier
de Pam <The Ragpicker of Paris>. These statements art important as indin:=ct
evidence of the connections that exist between Baudelaire' s oeuvre and radical
socialism. "This painful but salubrious drama ... has merely carried through the
logical evolution of my thinking, in advance of .. . the same evolution in the
people ... . It is republican thinking in my first play, Um RiooluHon d'aulrtfois <A
Revolution of Old>; republican-democratic in Ango, Ie madn <Ango, the SailOOj
democratic and social in LtJ Deux SerrurinJ <The Two Locksmiths>, DiogtneJ,
and Lt Chiffonni"j but it is always a progressivist thinking tending toward the
ideal, toward . . . completion of the work of '89.... There is no doubt that
national unity has been attained . .. and political unity as well ... ! But social
unity remains unachieved. There art still two classes having little in common but
the air they breathe ... j nothing can unite them but mutual respect and love.
How many wealthy French men marry poor French women? The crux lies
there... . Let us come back toJean.. . . I conceived this drama in prison, to
which I had been condemned in 1844 for having avenged the republic on the
monarchy. Yes, it is a product of imprisorunent, like those other popular protesta·
tions Don Qyixote and RobiTUon CruJQej Jean has at least that in common with
these inunonal masterpieces. I conceived it the evening of the performance of its
elder sibling DiogtneJ, which was produced while J was behind bars. By a very
direct filiation of ideas, the Cynic suggested to me the Ragpicker ; the lantern of
philosophy suggested the candle of the pariah; the tub suggested the wicker
basket; the disinterestedness of Athens suggested the zeal of Paris. Jean was the
Diogenes of Paris, as Diogenes was theJean of Athens. The nawral inclination of
my mind and spirit led me to the people; I am drawn to the cause of the masses.
My poetic practice, ever in hannony with my politics, has not once separated the
author from the citizen. An, in my opinion, .. . - not art for an's sake. but an for
the sake of humanity- should ... gravitate toward the people. In fact, an follows
what is commencing with the gods, continuing with kings, nobles, and
bourgeoisie, and ending with the people. And the initiative for that end, in La
Serrurim, had to reach its basic principle, its very center of gravity, in I.e Chiffon­
njer. For while bourgeois art ... displayed its radiance in Hernani. Ruy Bias, and
other lovers of queens, ... republican an . . . was announcing another dynasty,
that of the ragpickers . ... On February 24, 1848, at noon. after the victory over
the monarchy of Louis Philippe, the drama of ' rags and tatters' was performed
gratis before the armed and triumphant populace. It was during this memorable
performance that the actor ... recovered the crown in the basket. What a historic
day! What an indescribable effea! Author, actors, director, and spectators, all
standing together and clapping their hands to the singing of La Mar.seJ'IlaiJe, to
the sound of cannon.. .. J have spoken of the birth and the life ofJean. k for his
death:Jean was crushed, like the Republic, beneath the landslide of December.'*'
The play had the honor of being condemned together with its author, who had
seen it applauded in London, in Brussels. everywhere except Paris. Thus, in a
society based on the family-and at a time when ... the rights of incest, in &ni,
the rights of adultery, in Antony, the rights of the brothel, in Rolla, aU enjoyed an
open field-Jean, representing the rights of the family, was proscribed by the
saviors of family and society'" Felix Pyat, Lt ChifJonnier de Paris, drama in five
acts (Paris, 1884), pp. iv-viii. [J88;J88a,lJ
It would appear that Baudelaire has given no thought to the classical C(wJO of
flanerie-the arcade. But in the lyric design of "Le Crtpuscule du matin," which
concludes "Tableaux parisiens." the canon of the arcade can be recognized. The
central portion of this poem is composed of nine couplets which, while chiming
one with another, remain well sealed off from the preceding as well as the follow­
ing pairs of lines. The reader moves through this poem as through a gallery lined
with showcases. In each one, the immaculate image of naked misery is on display.
The poem closes with two quatrains that. in their presentation of things earthly
and celestial, match each other like pilasters. (J88a,2J
The infernal tinle of gaming is something Baudelaire got to know less through
the acwal practice of gambling than through those seasons when he was prey to
spleen. [l88a,3]
"' Paris, when seen in a ragpieker ' l hamper, is nothing much .. . . To think that I
have all Pari8 here in this wi cker basket . . . !" From Pyal , Le ChjffoTlTlier, cited in
<Jean) Ca8S0u, Quarante-huit (Paris <1939» . p, 13. (J88a,4J
The Ci te OOrCC'lII 1 was the ragpi ckcrs' metropoli 8. IJSS.,5J
Portrail of B1amlui by Cassou: " Blallqui was formed to act-to acl without 08ten­
tation or sentimenl ality; he could grasp ....hat e\·cr W 88 st.rictl y real and aut henti c in
the situation at hand. Bul the poverly, obscurit y, alltl feebleness of the 8ituation
restri cted hi8 acti on to a 8eries of fruitleS8 8orlie8 and 10 all acceplllllce of long
imprisonment . lie kllew himself condemned 10 a purely preparat ory and symbolic
exiSl CUOO, 10 an attitude of patience with the gloom and fett en. And hi s whole life
was spent in Ihis st ate of mind. I-I e became. ill time , a wan and emaciated old man.
BUI he will never be COII(IUered. He cannot be conquered ." J ean CIISOU, Quar.
j anl e-hlli. (Paris), p . 24. (J89,1)
Concerning Hugo. but also Baudelaire's "Les Petites Vieilles" (neither men­
tioned here by CasSOll): "ror such, indeed, is the novelty of the Romantic em·
rury : it is the scandalous presence of the satyr at the table of the gods, the public
manifestation of beings without name, beings without any possibility of Wt­
eoce-slaves, Negroes, monsters, the spider, the nettle." J ean CasSOll, Qyarante­
huit (Paris), p. 27. (One thinks here of Marx's description of child labor in
It would perhaps not be impossible to find in Baudelaire's poem "Paysage" an
echo of ' 48 and of the mysticism of work characteristic of that time. And it might
not be inappropriate to think, in this cOlUlecrion, of the fonnula coined by Cas­
sou with reference toJ ean Reynaud's Terre et o·el: "The: lAbrkshop expands all
the: way to the: stars and invades e:tc:mi.ty." Jean Cassou, O!Jarante-huil (Paris),
p. 47. [J89,3)
for egier, Des Classes danserelUe, de la population daw res 8rande. ville, <ee de,
moyenJl de Ie! rendre meilieureJl) (Paris . 1840). vol. 2, p. 347: "The wages of the
ragpicker, like those of the worker, are inseparable from the prosperity of indu.­
try. The latt er has , Like nature iuel£, the sublime privilege of breeding with its own
debriJ. This privilege i. the more precious for humanity a. it propagatel lifewithin
the lower levels of society. while making the intermediate and highest leveb the
ornament of wealth. " Ci ted in Cassou. Quarante-huit , p. 73. [J89,4]
" For Dante is the const ant mooel of these men of ' 48. They are imbued with hit
language and his tales, and, like him, are committed to proscription; they are
bearers of a vagabollli homeland. charged with propheti c tidings, accompanied by
shadows and voices." Jean Cassou, Quarante-huit (Pari.), p. Ill. [J89a,l]
Cassoll , describing Daumier's models: " the hunched silhouettes of men in long
shabby frock coats who are looking al engravings, and all those Baudelai-:ean
characters, descendants of J ean-Jacques' solitary walker." Jean Cassou, Quar­
(uue-hllit (Paris), p. 149. [J89a,2)
Regarding a COlUlection that may be felt between Baudelaire's "generosity
heart" and his sadism, one should refer to Proust's portrait of Mlle. Vlflteuil
(which, by the: way, was probably conceived as a self·portrait): "'Sadists' of Mlle.
Vinteuil's sort are creatures so purely S(:ntimemal, so virtuous by nature, that
even sensual appears to them as something bad. a privilege. reserved for
the \vicked. And when they allow themselves for a moment to enjoy it, thq
endeavor to impersonate, to assume: all the outward of wicked peo­
pie, for the:mselves and their partners in guilt, so as to gain the momentary
illusion of having escaped beyond the control of their own gentle and soupulous
narures into the inhuman world of Marcel Proust, Du uti de chn
Swann, vol. 1, p. 236. ""-One might also think here of Anatole note on
the: Bauddairean erotic. Yet one is justi6ed in asking whether every sadism is
like this one, since the concept of evil to which ProUSt relates it seems
to excl ude awareness. Sexual intercourse between human partners (in contrast to
that between animals) includes awareness, and would thus perhaps also include a
or less high degree of sadism. Baudelaire's reflections on the sexual act
would therefore carry more weight than this Proustian apologetic. [J89a,3]
On the subj ect of the ragpicker, compare the conditions in England described by
Marx ill the section "' Di e moderne Mamuaklur," in D4JI Kapital «vol. I, > ed.
Korsch <Berlin, 1932), p. 438). [J89a,4J
Proust on the allegories by Ciotto in Santa Maria dell' Arena: " In later years I
ullderstood that the arresti ng strangeness . . . of these frescoes lay in the gnat part
played ill each of them by its synlbols, while the fact that these were depicted 1I0t as
symbols (for the thought symbolized was nowhere expressed) but as real things,
actually felt or materially handl ed, added something more precise and more literal
to their meaning, something more concrete and more striking to the lesson they
imparted. And even in the case of the poor kit chen-maid, was not our attention
incessantl y drawn to her belly by the load whi ch filled it ... ?" Marcel Proust, Du
Cote de chez Swann (Paris). vol. I , pp. 121_122 ....: [J90, 1]
In Baudelaire's theory of art, the motif of shock comes into play not only as
prosodic principle. Rather, this same motif is operative wherever Baudelaire
appropriates Poe's theory concerning the imponance of surprise in the work of
art.-From another perspective, the motif of shock emerges in the "scornful
laughter of hell"U8 which rouses the startled allegorist from his brooding.
On infonnation, advertisements, and feuilletons: the must be furnished
\vith sensations, the merchant with customers, and the man in the SD"eet with a
worldview. [J90.3!
Apropos of " Rfive parisien," Crepet « in Baudelaire. i.e, FreurJl du mat, Oeuvre,
f;omplktes,) Conard edition [Paris, 1930]. p. 463) ci tes a passage from a leiter to
Alphonse de Calonne: "Mo\'ement generall y implies noise. to the extent that
Pythagoras attribut ed music to the moving spheres. Bllt dream, whi ch separates
tltill g5 and hrea ks them Ilown, creates the new."IW CrelH!1 further cites an article
which Ernest llelJo published in La of Novemher 1858, under the
tille " Ou genre fantastillue" <The Genre of the Fant astic), and wlti ch Baudel ai re
would have seen. lIell o wriles: " In the symbolic order. beauty stand. in inverse
proportion to life. The naturalill thus c1aSlJilics nature as follows: animal kingdom
fi n t . vegetable kingdom next . mineral kingdom lall t . He i , guided by the order or
Life. The poet will aay: miner al kingdom flMlt, vegetabl e kingdom after that, and
Ilnimal kingdom la81. He he guided hy the order of beauty." {j90,4]
Apropos or " L' Horloge," Crevet (Conard, p. 450): "A corrCSIH)II de nt for L'l nter­
rtlediaire de5 chercheurs et curieux <The Organ of the Inquisitive and the Curi­
.. OUS>, M. Ch. Ad. C. (September 30, 1905). reported that Baudelaire had removed
the hand!! from hi. clock and written on the face: ' It', later than you trunk! ' "
[J90a,l ]
On novelty and the familiar : "One of my dreams was the synthesis .. . of II certain
aeagirt place and its medieval past . ... This dream in which . . . the sea had
turned gothic, thi s dream in whicll . .. I believed that I was attaining to the imp<NI.
sibl&-it seemed to me that I had often dreamed it before. But as it is the property
of what we imagine in our sleep to multipl y itself in the past , and to appear, even
when novel, famiUar, I supposed that 1was mi staken. " Marcel Proust , La Cote de
Cuermantes (Paris, 1920), vol. I , p. 131.
049 1
A rigorously Baudelairean reminiscence in Proust, to which, above all, the com·
ments on Meryon <in "Salon de 1859") should be compared. Proust speaks of
railroad stations as "those vast, glass·roofed sheds, like that of Saint·Lazare into
which I must go to find the train for Balbec, and which extended over the rent
bowels of the city one of those bleak and boundless skies, heavy with an
lation of dramatic menaces, like certain skies painted with an almost ParisUU\
modernity by Mantegna or beneath which could be
only some solenm and tremendous act, such as a departure by tram or
Elevation of the Cross." Marcel Proust, A /'Omhrc deJjcuncJfillcJ cnjicurJ (Paris),
, n
vol. 2, p. .
The stanza beginning"lf rape and areon," frolll "Au Leeteur," ill cited by Prou. t
«La Pruonniere (Paris, 1923), vol. 2> p. 241) with this characteristic addition:
" But I can at least assume that Baudelaire is 1I0t sincere. Whereas
evsky ..." At ili8ue ill the latter 's " preoccupati on with murder. " This all in a
. . h AlOO ' .f9J [j90a,41
conversaUon Wlt rune.
Apropos of "A Une Passante" : "When Albertine returned to my room, she was
weari ng a gannent of black satin which had the effect of making her §Cern. paler, or
turning her into the pallid, ardent Parisian, etiolated by wallt of fresh air, by the
atmosphere of crowds and ,.erhaps by habitual vi ce. whose eyes seemed more
restJe89 because they were not brightened by any color in her cheeks. " Marcel
Proust , u. PrUOnrliere (Pari s, 1923), vol. I , p. 138.- [j90a.51
Meryon shows himself equal to the competition provided by It was
probably the last time this was possible for a graphic artist, as far as the of
the city is concerned. Writing about medieval Paris, Stahl says on site of
the ancient curia "arose buildings that were much too large, agamst which the
houses abutted with one yard after another, ... and with blind alleys. Photogra­
phy is useless here. Hence, ""e tum to the engravings of the great draftsman
Meryon.n Fritz Stahl, PartJ (Berlin <1929»), p. 97. [J91 ,I)
Insight into the physiognomy of "overpopulated Paris
is afforded by the back·
ground-empty of human beings-in Meryon's Pont au changc. On this back·
ground we meet with one or two very narrow (window·wide) and, as it were,
spindly houses. Their window openings strike the viewer like gates; they bring
to mind the gazes of those spindly, hollow-eyed children who appear-often
gathered together in great numbers-in pictures of poor people from that era,
and who stand there abashed and close·packed in a comer like the tenements in
Mayon's engraving. [J91,21
Mer yon's verses on the Pont New <J2,3>, compare the old Parisian
expression, " II se porte comme Ie pont neu£" ("he is hale and hearty" ). [j91,3)
Baudelaire, great despiser of the countryside, of greenery and fields, nevertheless
has this peruliarity: No one could be less inclined to view the big city as some­
thing ordinary, natural, acceptable. ' 9l [j9 1,4)
Baudelaire had the good fortune to the contemporary of a bourgeoisie that
could not yet employ, as accomplice of its domination, such an asocial type as he
represented. The incorporation of a nihilism into its hegemonic apparatus was
reserved for the bourgeoisie of the twentieth century. {j91,51
"I can under stand how it is that ci ty dwelJers, who see onl y walls and stredll and
crimes, ha\'e so little reli gion." Jean.Jacques Rousseau, Les ed. Hil·
sum (Paris <I 93h), vol. 4, p. 175.'96 (j91,6)
A criterion for deciding whether or not a city is modem: the absence of monu·
ments. "New York is a city without monuments" (DOblin).-Mcryon rumed the
tenements of Paris into monuments of modemity. (J91 a,I)
In the introduction to his published translation of one of Poe's tales in L'l lIwtra·
lion (April 17, 1852), Baudelaire characterizes the American author' s field of
interests, and mentions, among other things, Poe's "analysis of the eccencics and
pariahs of this world" (Ch<arles) B<aude1aire), OcuurcJ completcJ, ed. Crepet, 1i-a­
ductio1lJ: Xouw:lICJ Histoim cxtraordinaiuJ [Paris, 1933], p. 378).191 The phrase
corresponds, in the most striking manner, to the self.ponrait which Blanqui
introduced-as rebus image, so to speak-intO L'Elcrnili par leJ llJtm : "Blanqui
. . . recognized himself to be ' the pariah' of an epoch.n Maurice Oommangtt,
Augustc Blanqui aBellc-Ilc (Paris, 1935), pp. 140-141. [J9 1a,2]
Re M; ryon' lI POll t flU cha'18e: "'1' he block·tenemenl s of Rome, 5uch 88 the famous
Insula Feli cul ue, rose, with a street breadth of olliy thn -e to five meters, to hei ghts
thai have never been !leen in Western Europe and are!leen in only a few cilie. in
Ameri ca. Near the Capitol , the roofs already r eached to the level oCthe hill-saddle.
Out the 8pl cndid man-citi es harbor lamentable poverty and degraded hab·
its . a mi the alties and mansards , the cellars and back courtl are hreeding a new

type of raw 1118n.... DiodorU8 tell s of a deposed Egyptian king who WUI reduced
to living in Olle of thC8C wretclled uppe.... Roor t enemenlS or Rome ." Oswald
Spengler, u Deciin de l'Occident <trans. M. Tazerout >, vol. 2 (Paris. 1933),
p. 143. - (J91a,3]
On the decline in the birthrate: "When the ordinary thinking of a highl y culti vated
people begins to regard ' having children' as a quc8lion of pro's and con 'I , the
great turning point has come.. . . At that point begins prudent limitation of the
number of births .. .. In subsequent Roman times, it b«:ame app allingl y general .
At first explained by the economi c mi sery of the time8, very 800n it cea.sed to
explain it8e1f at all ." Oswald Spengler. Le Dk lin de {'Occident , vol. 2 ( Paria) ,
p. 147. Compare p. 146: the peasant feels himself to be a link in the chain of
forcbean and deacendants. U9h,4]
Concerning the title, Le, Fkur8 d" mal: " During naive epochs, and a8 1ate a8 1824,
the titl e of a vol ume of l}OOtry simply indicated the genre taken up by the author.
There were od es , epis tlea. light verse, heroic verse, satires. Today, the title i8 •
s ymbol. Nothing ie more refined . Wil eD the author harbors lyric intentioDe, he
gives hi e collection a sonorous and musical label: Melodks , Prelude • ... Tender­
hearted friend. of nature prefer to t ake their titles from The Cood CaMeMr.
Almanac. Thua, we have Dead Leave. , ... Branchel of Almond . ... We have
Palms and Cyprencs.... And then the flower s: Flowers of Noon, Flowen 01
Provence, Flowers ofthe Alps , Flowers ofthe Fields ." Charles Louandre, " St.ti8­
tique liueraire: La Poesie depuia 1830." Revue del deux mondel, 30 (Paril, June
15. 1842). I) ' 979. [J92, 1]
The ori ginal title of " Lea Sept Vieillards": " Fantomes parisiens....5OD 1192,2J
"From the beginning, the proclamation of Equality as a constitutional principle
was not on1y an advance for thought, but a danger as well." (Max Horkheiroer,
"Materialismus und Moral," Zeiuehrififor Sotialfor;chung [1933), no. 2, p.
Within the zone of this danger lie the absurd unifonnities in Poe's description of
the crowd. The hallucination of the seven identical old men is in the same mold.
It is onl y as commodity that the thing has the effect of alienating human beings
from one another. It produces this effect through its price. What is decisive is the
empathy with the exchange value of the commodity, with its equalizing sub­
Strale. (The absolute qualitative invariance of the time in which labor that gener­
ates exchange value runs its course-such absolute equality is the grayish
background against which the gaudy colors of sensation stand out.) [J92,4]
Regarding spl een. Blanqui to L.acamLre . September 16. 1853: " Even the news
from the true Empire of tile Dea{) must be more interesting than the news from this
di smal hall in the Kingdom of tile Sliadel where we are being (IUarantined. Nothing
more wretched than tllis sllut -away exi8tence, thia tOiling and turning a t the bot­
tom of ajar. like spiders trying to filld the way out . " Maurice Dommanget . Bwnqui
aBelle-l ie <Paris, 1935), p . 250. [J92,5)
After a vain attempt at flight from Belle-lale, BJanqui was thrown for a month into
the dungeon known as "Chateau t-'ouquet ." Dommanget r efers to " the dreary and
oppres.ive 8utte88ion of 1I0UMi and minutea that hammer the skull ." Maurice
Dommanget . Bwnqui aBeUe-l le, p. 238. [J92a,l]
The following linea from Barbier s hould be compared with parts of Baudelaire'a
poem " Payaage." Cited in Sainte-Beuve, Portraits contemporaim. vol. 2 (Paria,
1882), p. 234 ("Briseux et Auguate Barbier") .
What inexprel8ible happineu. what ecstasy,
To be a living ray of divinit y;
To I()()k down (rom the orbed c:anOI)Y of heaven
On the dU8t of world! gli. tening below,
To hear. at every instant of their bright awakening,
A thousand 8un. at their tong li ke the bird.!
Oh, what feli city to li ve among things of beauty,
And to savor the . weetneu without needing rea80n. !
How lovely to be well without wishing to be better.
And without ever having to ti re of the . kie.!
[Dream City and Dream House, Dreams of the
Future, Anthropological Nihilism, jung]
My good father had been in Paris.
-Karl ClltzkOW, BrUfl QW PariJ (Leiprig, 1842), vol. I , p. 58
Library where the boob have melted into one another and
the titles have faded away.
-Dr. Pierre Mabille, i\ I'E/OK( deJ prijug's
Minoiaure, 2, no. 6 (Wmta 1935), p. 2
The Pantheon raising its somber dome toward the somber
dome of the sky.
-funsondu TcrraiI, us Dramu tU Paris, vol. 1, p. 9
Awakening as a graduated process that goes on in the life of the individual as in
the life of generations. Sleep its initial stage. A generation's experience of youth
has much in common with the experience of dreams. Its historical configuration
is a dream configuration. Every epoch has such a side turned toward dreams, the
child's side. For the previous century, this appears very clearly in the arcades. But
whereas the education of earlier generations explained these dreams for them in
terms of tradition, of religious doctrine, present-day education simply amounts to
the distraction of children. Proust could emerge as an unprecedented phenome­
non only in a generation that had lost all bodily and natural aids to
brance2 and that, poorer than before, was left to itself to take possession of the
worlds of childhood in merely an isolated, scattered, and pathological way. What
follows here is an experiment in the technique of awakening. An attempt to be­
come aware of the dialectical-the Copernican-tum of remembrance. [KI,I]
The Copernican revolution in historical perception is as follows. Fonnerly it was
thought that a fixed point had been found in "what has been,n and one saw
present engaged in tentatively concentrating the forces of knowledge on this
ground. Now this relation is to be overturned, and what has been is to become
the dialectical reversal-the 8ash of awakened consciousness. Politics attains
primacy over history. The facts become something that just now first happened
to us, fi rst struck us; to establish them is the affair of memory. Indeed, awaken­
ing is the great exemplar of memory: the occasion on which it is given us to
remember what is closest, tritest, most obvious. What Proust intends with the
experimenta1 rearrangement of furniture in matinal half-slumber, what Bloch
recognizes as the darkness of the lived is nothing other than what here
is to be secured on the level of the historical, and collectively. There is a not-yet­
conscious knowledge of what has been: its advancement" has the struCture of
awakening. {KI ,2]
There is a wholly unique experience of dialectic. The compelling-the rlrastic­
experience, which refutes everything "gradual
about becoming and shows all
seeming "development" to be dialectical reversal, eminently and thoroughly
composed, is the awakening from dream. For the dialeaical schematism at the
core of this process, the Chinese have often found, in their fairy ta1es and novel­
las, a highly pregnant expression. The new, dialectical method of doing histo
presents itself as the an of experiencing the present as waking world, a world to
which that dream we name the past refers in truth. To pass through and carry out
wnalw bu n in remembering the dream!-Therefore: remembering and awak­
ing are most intimately related. Awakening is namely the dialectical, Copernican
tum of remembrance. (Kl ,3]
The nineteenth century a spacetime <Zeilraum) (a dreamtime in
which the individual consciousness more and more .secures itself in reBectin ,
while the colleaive consciousness sinks intO ever sIc. But just as the
sleeper-in like the madman sets out on the macrocosmic journey
through his own body, and the noises and feelings of his insides, such as blood
pressure, intestinal chum, heartbeat, and muscle sensation (which for the waking
and saJubrious individual converge in a steady surge of health) generate, in the
extravagantly heightened inner awareness of the sleeper, illusion or dream im­
agery which translates and accounts for them, so likewise for the dreaming col­
lective, which, through the arcades, communes with its own insides. must fol­
low in its wake so as to expound the nineteenth century-in fashion and advertis­
ing, in buildings and politics-as the outcome of its dream visions. (KI,4)
It is one of the tacit suppositions of psychoanalysis that the clear-cut antithesis of
sleeping and waking has no value for detennining the empirical fonn of con­
sciousness of the human being, but instead yields before an unending variety of
concrete states of consciousness conditioned by every conceivable level of wake­
fulness within all possible centers. The situation of consciousness as patterned
and checkered by sleep and waking need omy be transferred from the individual
to the collective. Of course, much that is external to the fanner is internal to the
latter:. architecture, fashion- yes, even the weather-are, in the interior of the
collective, what the sensoria of organs, the feeling of sickness or health, are inside
the individual. And so long as they preselVe this unconscious, amorphous dream
configuration, they are as much naturaJ processes as digestion, breathing, and the
like. They stand in the cycle of the eternally selfsame, until the collective seizes
upon them in politics and history emerges. [KI,5]
"Who will inhabit the paternal home? Who will pray in the church where he was
baptized? Who will still know the room where he raised his first cry, where he
witnessed a last breath? Who will be abl e to rest his brow above the sill of a window
where, 88 a youth, he would ha,·e formed those waking dreams which are the grace
of dawn within the long and somber servitude of life? 0 roots of joy torn from the
human soul! " Louis Veuillot , Le! Odeur& de Puru (Paris, 1914). p. II . [Kla,l]
The fact that we were children during this time belongs together with its objec­
tive image. It had to be this way in order to produce this generation. TItat is to
say: we seek a teleological moment in the context of dreams. Which is the
moment of waiting. The dream waits secretly for the awakening; the sleeper
surrenders himself to death only provisionally, waits for the second when he will
cunningly wrest himself from its clutches. So, too, the dreaming collective, whose
children provide the happy occasion for its own awakening. 0Method 0
Task of childhood: to bring the new world into symbolic space. The child, in faa,
can do what the grownup absolutely cannot: recognize the new once again. ror
us, locomotives already have symbolic character because we met with them in
childhood. Our children, however, will find this in automobiles, of which we
ourselves see only the new, elegant, modem, cheeky side. There is no more
insipid and shabby antithesis than that which reactionary thinkers like Klages try
to set up between the symbol-space of nature and that of technology. To each
truly new configuration of nature-and, at bottom, technology is just such a
configuration-there correspond new "images." Every childhood discovers
new images in order to incorporate them into the image stock of humaruty.
oMethod 0 [Kla,3]
It is remarkable that constructions in which the expert recogniz.e.s anticipations of
contemporary building fashions impress the alert but architecrurally
sense not at all as anticipatory but as distinctly old-fashioned and dreamlike. (Old
railroad stations, gasworks, bridges.) {Kla,4]
"The nineteenth century: singular fusion of individualisti c and coLlec: tivist tendeD·
cies. Unlike virtually every previous age. it labels all actions ' individualisti c' (ego,
nation. art) while subterraneanly. in despised everyday domains, it necenarily
furnishes, as in a delirium. the elements for a collec:tive formation .... With this
raw material . we must occupy ourselvet-with gray buildings. market halh, de-­
partment stores. e"bibitioIl8." Sigfried Ciedi on. Buuen in Frallkreich (Leipzig
and Berlin). p. 15. [Kla,5]
It is not on1y that the fonus of appearance taken by the dream collective in the
nineteenth cenrury cannOt be thought away; and not only that these fonns char­
acterize this coUecuve much more decisively than any other- they are also,
rightly interpreted, of the highest practical import, for they allow us to recognize
the sea on which we navigate and the shore from which we push off. It is here,
therefore, that the "oitique" of the nineteenth cenrury-to say it in one word­
ought to begin. The critique not of its mechanism and cult of machinery but ofits
narcotic historicism, its passion for masks, in which nevertheless lurks a signal of
trUe historical existence, one which the Surrealists were the first to pick up. To
decipher this signal is the concern of the present undenaking. And the revolu­
tionary materialist basis of Surrealism is sufficient warrant for the fact that, in this
signal of true historical existence, the nineteenth century gave supreme expres­
sion to its economic basis. [Kla,6]
Attempt to develop Ciedion' s thesis. "In the nineteenth cenrury," he writes,
"construction plays the role of the subconscious."J \-\buldn' t it be better to say
"the role of bodily processes"-around which "artistic" architectures gather, like
dreams around the framework of physiological processes? [K1a,7]
Capitalism \ \fa5 a narural phenomenon with which a new dream-filled sleep came
over Europe, and, through it, a reactivation of mythic forces. [K1a,8]
The first tremors of awakening serve to deepen sleep. [Kla,9}
"Strange, by the way, that when we survey this whole intellectual movement,
Scribe appears ae the only one to occupy himself direc:t1y and thoroughly with the
present. Everyone else busies himself more with the Itaat than with the powers and
interests that set their own time in motion .... It was the past. moreover-it was
the history of philosophy-that fueled eclec:tic doctrine; and. finally, it was the
hi story of literature whose treasures were disclosed. in VLllemain. by a cri ticism
incapable of more deeply into the literary life of ill own period.'" Julius
Meyer, Gc&chich le der nux/ernen fronzosi!chen Malerei (Leipzig, 1867), PI). 415­
416. [K2,I]
What the child (and, through faint reminiscence, the man) discovers in the pleats
of the ·old material to which it clings while trailing at its mother's skins-that 's
what these pages should contain. 0 Fashion 0 [K2,2]
It is said that the dialectical method consists in doing justice each time to the
Concrete historical siruation of its object. But that is not enough. ror it is just as
much a matter of doing justice to the concrete historical situation of the in/ens/
taken in the object. And this situation is always so constituted that the interest is
itself preformed in that object and, above all, feels this object concretized in itself
and upraised from its fonner being into the higher concretion of now·being
(waking being!). In what way this now-being (which is something other
than the now-being of "the present rime" <]etr.tr.eit>, since it is a being punctuated
and intermittent) already signifies, in itself, a higher concretion-this question, of
course, can be entertained by the dialectical method only within the purview of a
historical perception that at all points has overcome the ideology of progress. In
regard to such a perception, one could speak of the increasing concentration
(integration) of reality, such that everything past (in its time) can acquire a higher
grade of actuality than it had in the moment of its existing. How it marks itself as
higher actuality is detennined by the image as which and in which it is compre­
hended. And this dialectical penetration and actualization of former COntexts
puts the truth of all present action to the test. Or rather, it serves to ignite the
explosive materials that are latent in what has been (the authentic figure of which
isfashion). To approach, in this way, "what has been" means to treat it not histo­
riographically, as heretofore, but politically, in political categories. 0Fashion 0
The inuninent awakening is poised, like the wooden horse of the Greeks, in the
Troy of dreams. (K2,4)
On the doctrine of the ideological superstructure. It seems, at first sight, that
Marx wanted to establish here only a causal relation between superstructure and
infrastructure. But already the observation that ideologies of the superstructure
reBea conditions falsely and invidiously goes beyond this. The question, in
effect, is the foUowing: if the infrastructure in a certain way (in the materials of
thought and experience) determines the superstructure, but if such determina­
tion is not reducible to simple reBection, how is it then-entirely apart from any
question about the originating cause-tO be characterized? As its expression. The
superstructure is the expression of the infrastructure. The economic conditions
under which society exists are expressed in the superstructure-precisely as, with
the sleeper, an overfull stomach finds not its reflection but its expression in the
contents of dreams, which, from a causal point of view, it may be said to "condi­
tion." The collective, from the first, expresses the conditions of its life. These find
their expression in the dream and their interpretation in the awakening. [K2,5]
Jugendstil-a first attempt to reckon with the open air. It finds a distinctive
embodiment, for example, in the drawings of Simpficis.simllJ, which clearly show
how, in order to get a little air, one must become satirical. From another per­
spective, Jugendstil could blossom in the arti6ciallight and isolation in which
advertising presents its objects. This birth of plein air from the spirit of the
interior is tile sensuous expression of the situation ofJugendstil from the view­
point of the philosophy of history: Jugendstil is the dream that olle has come
awake. <See $4a,l .) oAdvertising 0 [K2 ,6}
Just as teclUlology is ruways revealing nature from a new perspective, so also, as it
impinges on human beings, it constantly makes for variations i.n their most
primordial passions, fears, and images of longing. In this work I mean to wrest
from primal history < a portion of the nineteenth century. The
alluring and threatening face of primru history is clearly manifest to us in the
beginnings of teclmology, in the living arrangements of the nineteenth century; it
has not yet shown itself in what lies nearer to us in time. But it is ruso more
intense in technology (on account of the latter's natural origin) than in other
domains. TIlat is the reason old photographs-but not old a
ghostly effect. [K2a, l]
On Wiertt' s picture Thoughl1 and Vuiotu 0/a &v«ed Head, and its explication.
The first thing that strikes one about this magnetopathic experience is the grandi­
ose sleight of hand which the consciousness executes in death. "What a singular
thing! The head is here under the scaffold, and it believes that it still exists above,
fonning part of the body and continuing to wait for the blow that will separate it
from the trunk." A Wiertt, Oeuvres littiraim (Paris, 1870), p. 492. The same
inspiration at work here in Wieru animates Bierce in his extraordinary short
story about the rebel who is hanged, and who experiences, at the moment of his
death, the Sight that frees him from the hangman.' [K2a,2]
Every current of fashion or of worldview derives its force from what is forgotten.
TIlls downstream Bow is ordinarily so strong that only the group can give itself
up to it; the individuru-the precursor-is liable to collapse in the face of such
violence, as happened with Proust. In other words: what Proust, as an individual,
directly experienced in the phenomenon of remembrance, we have to experience
indirectly (with regard to the nineteenth cenrury) in studying "current," "fash­
ion," "tendency"-as punislunent, if you will, for the sluggislmess which keeps
us from taking it up ourse!ves.
Fashion, like architecture, inheres in the darkness of the lived moment, belongs '
to the dream consciousness of the collective. The latter awakes, for example, in
advertising. [K2a,4]
"'Very interesting .. . how the fascist.izatioll of science had to alter precisely those
elements in Freud whi ch still stem from the enlightened, materiali.stic period of the
bourgeoisie. ... In Jung, . .. the unconscious ... is no longer individual- that is,
not an· acquired condition ill the Ifillgle .. . human being, but a stock of primal
humanit y renewing itself in the prelenl; it is nol repression but fruitful return. "
Ernst Bloch, ErbscilUft dieser Zeit (Zuri ch, 1935). p. 25<1.
Historical index of childhood according to Marx. In his derivation of the nomla­
tive character of Greek an (as an an springing from the childhood of the human
race), Marx says: "Doesn't the child in every epoch represent the character of the
period in its natural veracity?'" Cited in Max Raphael, Proudnon, Marx, Picasso
[Paru, -1933), p. 175_ [1'2.,6)
More than a hundred years before it was fully manifest, the colossal acceleration
of the tempo of living was heralded in the tempo of production. And, indeed, in
the foml of the machine. "The number of implements that he himself [that is, the
human being] can use simultaneously is limitcd by the number ofltis own narural
instruments of production, by the number ofltis bodily organs. ... The jenny, on
the other hand, even at its very binh, Spun with twelve to eighteen spindles, and
the stocking loom knits with many thousands of needles at once. The number of
tools that a machine can bring intO play simultaneously is, from the very first,
emancipated from the organic limits that hedge in the tools of a handicraftsman."
Karl Marx, DaJ Kapital. vol. 1 (Hamburg, 1922), p. 33Z,oThe tempo of machine
operation effects changes in the economic tempo. "In this country, the main thing
is to reap a huge fortune with as little delay as possible. It used to be that the
fortune resulting from a commercial house begun by the grandfather was
scarcely run through by the time the grandson died. 'Things don' t happen that
way any more; people want to enjoy without waiting, without having to 1?e '
patient." Louis Rainier Lanfranchi, Ii Pans, ou Esqumu des ll(nn1MS t:I des
cnow dans u tte (Paris, 1830), p. 110. [K3,l ]
Simultaneity, the basis of the new style of living, likewise comes from mechanical
production: "Each detail machine supplies raw material to the machine next in
order; and since they are all working at the same time, the product is alwaY'
going through the various stages of its fabrication, and is also constantly in a state
of transition from one phase to another... . The collective machine, now an
organized system of various kinds of single machines, and of groups of single
machines, becomes more and more perfect, the more the process as a whole
becomes a continuous one-that is, the less the raw material is interrupted in its
passage from its first phase to its last; in other words, the more its passage from
one phase to another is effected not by the hand of man but by the machinery
itself. In manufacture the isolation of each detail process is a condition imposed
by the nature of division of labor, but in the fully developed factory the continu­
ity of those processes is, on the contrary, imperative." Karl Marx, Das KapitaJ,
vol. 1 (Hamburg, 1922), p. 344.11 [K3,2]
Fdm: unfolding <result?)!l of all the fonns of perception, the tempos and rhytIuns,
which lie prefonned in today' s machines, such that all problems of contemporary
art find their definitive fonnulation only in the context of film. 0 Precursors 0
A small piece of materialist analysis, more valuable than most of what exists in
this field : "we love these hard, solid blocks of material which Haubert raises and
lets fall with the intennittent thud of a steam shovel. For if, as I found recounted
in some book or other, sailors at sea used to catch the glow of Haubert 's lamp as
he worked through the night, and take their bearings from it, as if from a light­
house beam, so tOO it might be said that when he 'unloaded' a good round
phrase, it had the regular rhytlun of one of those machines in excavating.
Happy are they who can feel the beat of this obsessive rhythm.n M arcd Proust,
Chroniques (Paris, 1927), p. 204 ("A Propos du 'style' de Haubert")." [K3,4]
In his chapter on the fetish character of the commodity, Marx has shown how
ambiguous the economi c world of capitalism seems. It is an ambiguity consider­
ably heightened by the intensification of capital management-as we see exem­
plified quite clearly in the machines which aggravate exploitation rather than
alleviate the human lot. Isn' t there implicit here a general connection to the
equivocalness of the phenomena \o\'C are dealing with in the nineteenth century?
The significance of intoxication for perception. of fiction for thinking, such as
was never before recognized? "One thing has disappeared in the general up­
heaval, and it was a great loss for an: the naive and therefore dependable accord
oflife and appearance"-sowe read, charaaeristically, in Julius Meyer's Gt;ch;chte
der modernenftamiisisckn Maiuei Mit 1789 (Leipzig, 1867), p. 31. (K3,5]
On the political significance of film. Socialism would never have entered the
world if its proponents had sought only to excite the enthusiasm of the working
classes for a better order of things. What made for the power and authority of the
movement was that Marx understood how to interest the workers in a social
order which would both benefit them and appear to them as just. It is exactly the
same with an. At no point in time, no matter how utopian, will anyone win the
masses over to a higher art; they can be WOIl over only to one nearer to them.
And the difficulty consists precisely in finding a fonn for art such that, with the
best conscience in the world, one could hold that it if a higher art. TIlls will never
happen with most of what is propagated by the avant-garde of the bourgeoisie.
Here, Berl's argument is perfectly correct : "The confusion over the word 'revolu­
tion'-a word which, for a Leninist, signifies the acquisition of power by the
proletariat, and which elsewhere: signifies the overturning of recognized spiritual
values-is sufficiently attested by the Surrealists in their desire to establish Pi­
casso as a revolutionary .. . . Picasso deceives them.. . . A painter is not more
revolutionary for having 'revolutionized' painting than a tailor like Poiret is for
having 'revolutionized' fashion, or than a doctor is for having ' revolutionized'
Enunanuel Bcrl, "Premier pamphlet,n Europe, 75 (1929), p. 401. The
masses positively require from the work of an (which, for them, has its place in
the circle of consumer items) something that is wanning. Here the Hame most
readil y' kindled is that of hatred. Its heat, however, bums or sears without provid­
ing the "heart's ease
which qualifies art for consumption. Kitsch, on the other
hand, is nothing more than art with a 100 percent, absolute and instantaneous
availability for consumption. Precisely within tlle consecrated forms of expres­
sion, therefore, kitsch and art stand irreconcilably opposed. But for developing,
living fonus, what matters is that tlley have within them something stirring,
useful, ultimatel y heartening- that they take "ki tsch
dialectically up into them ­
selves, and hence bring themselves near to the masses whil e yet surmounting the
kitsch. Today, perhaps, film alone is equal to this task-or, at any rate, more ready
for it than any other art fonn. And whoever has recognized this will be inclined
to disallow the pretentions of abstract fihn, as important as its experiments may
be. He will call for a closed season on- a narural preserve for- the son of kitsch
whose providential site is the cinema. Only film can detOnate the explosive stuff
which the nineteenth cenrury has accumulated in that strange and perhaps for·
merl y unknown material which is kitsch. But juSt as with the political strucrure of
film, so also with other distinctively modem means of expression (such as light·
ing or plastic design): abstraction can be dangerous. [K3a, 1]
One can characterize the problem of the form of the new an straight on: When
and how will the worlds of fonn which, without our assistance, have arisen, for
example, in mechanics, in film, in machine construction, in the new physics, and
which have subjugated us, make it clear for us what manner of naoore they
contain? When will we reach a state of society in which these fonns, or those
arising from them, reveal themselves to us as narural fonns? Of course, this
brings to light only one moment in the dialectical essence of technology. (Which
moment, is hard to say: antithesis if not synthesis.) In any case, there lives in
teclmology another inlpulse as well : to bring about objectives strange to nature,
along with means that are alien and inimical to narure- measures that emanci·
pate themselves from nature and master it. (K3a,2]
On Gr audvill e: " Between an uninformed vision of the streets and a knowledge of
t he occult derivetl from cartomancy or astrology, a knowledge openl y tormented
by flor a a nd fauna and by a dream. humanit y, he managed to lead a boundle..
imagi nary life wi t hin a fa bul ou8 realm of primal poet ry.... Grandville was per­
ha ps the flu t li naft sman ever to give the lar val life of dream8 a r ati onal plastic
form. Evident beneat h this IJOised a ppearance, however, is that jlebile ne, cio
(Iuid" whi ch Ilisconeeru and provokes disquietude----ilometime8 t rouhlin«
enough." MaeOrlan. " Grandville Ie prOCurseur," Arts et metier, graphiques , 44
(December 15, 193" ). pp. 20-2 1. The enay praents <GraudviUe) a8 a forerunner
of Surrealism, parti cularly of sur r ealist film Walt Disney). (K4,1]
Confront ati on be tween the " viscer al unconscious" and t he " unconscious of obli v­
ion"-t he fi rst of which is pred ominalltl y indi vi dual , the st.'Coml predominantl y
collecti ve; " The ot her pa rt of t he uneoll sci ous is made up of t he mall of things
learned in the course of t he centuries and in the cour se of a life, things whi ch wer:e
con8cious once li nd whi ch, by diffusion , have elltered obli violl .. . . Vast subma­
r illl: fUIIII , in whi ch all cultures, all studi es , all proceedingl of mind and will , all
social IIllI"isings, all st r uggl es are collected in a formless mire .... The l'aHHional
" Ielllell ts of indi viduals have recede,I, dimmed. All that remain ure the givens of
til e external worl{I, more or ICII t ransformed and digested . It is of the external
...·odd dl at this UII COIlSciOl t8 is llI a,Je . . . . Born of 8ociallife. thi s humus belongs t o
societies . T he 81>ccic8 and the individual count for little in it ; onl y the race! 1I IIIIIhe
IISt'1I ICII\'e t heir mark. T hi s enormous labor under t a ken ill til e 8I1 ado ...·8 comes t o
light in drea ms, thought8, decisions, and above all at moments of cr isis or of social
upheaval ; it formll the grea t commoll ground, the reser ve of peopl e8 and individu­
als . Revolutiou and war, Like a fever, a re best suit ed t o get it moving . .. . Seeing
that the psychology of the indi vidual is now outmoded , let 11 8 call upon a sort of
natural hist or y of volcani c rhyt hms alltl subt er ranean st rea ms. There is nothing
on the surface of t he earth tha t was not once subt erranean (wat er, earth, fire).
Not hing in the int ellect that has not been di gested and cir cul ated in t he depths ."
Dr. Pier re Mabille, " PrHace aI' Eloge de, prijl.ge5 pop ulai res ,'" Minotaure, 2,
no. 6 ( Winter 1935), p. 2. [K4,2]
"The r ecent past a lways presents itself as t hough anni hil ated by cat astrophes. "
Wiesengrund, in a leiter J une 5, 1935). IS [K4,3]
Apropos of Henry Bordea ux', of his yout h: " In sum, t he nineteenth
century r an its course wi thout in the least appear ing t o annOUDce the twentieth."
Andre Therive, " Les Li vrea ," Le Temps (J une 27, 1935). [K4,4]
The emhe ... blaze in your eyel,
And you Hseh li ke a mirror.
Have you hoovel, have you wi ngs,
My bl ack· Hanked locomoti ve?
See it. mane riplJle,
Lil ten to tbat whinny:
It. gallop u a rumble
Of artillery and thonder.
Ref rain:
Feed )'oor hOrlf: i ll oall!
Saddled, bridled-whistle and we're off! Ride
At a p llop acrou the bridse, under the arch,
Plow )'our ...·ay throU&h hill . nd dale-­
No moont can ri val roo ....
Pierre Dupont, " Le Chauffeur de locomotive" (paris) ("Passage du Caire").
[K4a, l ]
" Yesterday, looking down from t he tower of Notre Dame. I was able to t ake in this
giganti c ci t y. Who built t he first house, and when will the last one collapse? When
will the ground of Pari s look like that of Thebes or Babylon?" Friedrich von
Raumer •. Urief e (uu Pa r u IHid Frank reicll im Jahre 1830 (Leipzig, 1831), vol. 2,
II. 127. [K4a,2]
D' Eicllthal's ad{litioli s t o Duveyrier 's pl an of the " new cit y." They have t o 40 wit h
the temple. Signifi cant that Dllveyr ier himself says, " My temple is a .....oman! "
COllnters d' Eichthal: " I t hink t ha t t.he templ e will cont ain the palace of man and
the palace of womun; t he lII all will go to pass til e ni ght with the woman, and the
WOmBn will cOll1e to work during the d ll y wi th the IIlli n . Between the two palaces
will be th'e tcmple proper, the place of commoniOIl . where the man li nd the woman
j oin wi th all women and all men; and t he couple willlleither rat nor labor in
isolation .... The temple ought to represent an androgyne. a man and a
woman .... The same method of di vision should be employed throughout til e cit y,
throughout llle realm, throughout the world: there will be the of man
and the hemisphere of woman. '" Henry-Rene d ' AIlemagne, Le, Sainl -Simonie,,, ,
1827-1837 (Paris. 1930), p. 310. [K4a,3]
The Paris of the Saint-Simonians. From the draft plan sent by Charles Duveyrier
to L'Advoctlf , with the eXpe<:tation of having it incorporated into Le Livre de.
cent-eHm (which. evidentl y, it was not ): " We wanted to gi\'e a human form to the
first cit y inspired by our faitb." "The Lord, in his goodness, has spoken through
the mouth of nl an: he sends ... Paris! It is on the banks of your river and within
your walls that I shaU impre88 the seal of my new bollDt y .... Your kings and your
IJeOplee have marched with the slowne88 of centuries, and they have rwally arrived
at a magnifi cent place. It is there that the head of my cit y will repose .... The
palaces of your kings will be its brow, ... and I shall tend to its beard of
chestnut trees.... From the top of that head I will sweep away the old Chri stian
temple, ... and in this clea ring I will arrange a headdress of trees... . Ahove the
breast of my cit y, in that sympatheti c foyer where the passions all diverge and
come together, wher e sorrows and joys vibrate, I will build my temple, . .. solar
plexus of the giant .... The hills of Roule and Chaillot will form its Hanks; there I
will establish bank and univer sity, marketplaces and pnblishing houses .... I will
extend the left arm of the colossus along the bank of the Seine; it will run ...
opposite ... Pany. The corps of engineer s ... will constitut e the upper portion,
whi ch will strei ch toward Vaugi rard, and I will make the forearm from the unioD
of aU the specialixed schools of physical science .... In between, ... I will assem­
ble aUlhe grammar schools and high schools for my ci ty to preBi to its breaSl , there
on the left where the university ill lodged. I will extend the righl ann of the giant , as
a show offoree. all the way to the Gare de Saint-Ouen .... I will load this arm with
workshops of small industry, arcades, gaUeries, bazaars.... I will form the right
thigh and leg from aU the large manufacturing establishments. The right foot will
touch Neuill y. The left thigh will offer foreigners a long row of hotels. The left leg
will reach to the Bois de Boulogne .... My city is in the po8ture of a man about to
ofr. Hi s feet are bronze; they ar e resting on a double road of slone and iron.
Here ... vehicles of transport and instruments of communi catioll are mamifac­
tured ; here ca rriages race about .... Between its knees is an equestri an arena;
betweell its legs, an immense hippodrome." Henry-Rene d' AUemuglle, Le, So;nl­
Simonic"" 1827-1837 (Paris, 1930), pp. 309-310. The idea for thi s proposal goes
buck to Enfulltili. who developed plans for the city of the future with the aid of
anatomi cal charts. [K5]
But no, the Orient i limmoll8you
To go irri gate its deser ,,:
Kaillf: high into the air
The toweu or the ville nOIl t.'eUe.
F. Maynard, "L' Avenir esl beau," in Foi nouvelle: Chanl, el de 8(1r.
raub, Yim;ard . .. , 1831 a183" (Paris. January I , 1835), book I. p. BI. Regard­
ing the motif ofthe desert . compare Houget de Li sle's "Chanl des industriels" aud
.oLe Desert " by Feli cien David. [K5a, l]
Paris in the year 2B55: "The cit y is 75 mil es ill circumfer ence. Versaill es and
Fontainebleau- neighborhoods lost among so many other 8--6e.nd into less tran­
quil boroughs refreshing perfumes from trees that are twent y centuries old.
Sevres, whi ch haa become the regular market for the Chinese (French citizeliS
8ince the war of 2850). displays ... its pagodas with their echoing little beUs; in its
midst can still be found the factories of an earlier age, reconstructed in porcelain a
w reine." Arsene I-Iouu aye, " Le Pari8 futur," in Pori, et le, Porisiens au XIX.
, iecle (Pari8. 1856), p. 459. [KSa,2]
Chateaubriand on the Obelisk de la Concorde: "The hour wiU come when the
obelisk of the desert will find Once again. on Murderers' Square, the silence and
solitude of Luxor. "16 Cited in Louis Bertrand, " Oiscours sur Chateanbriand," Le
Temp' (September 18, 1935). (K5a,3]
Saint-Simon once proposed "turning a mountain in Switzerland illto a statue of
Napoleon. In olle hand, it would hold an occupied city; in the other, a lake." Count
Gustav VOIi Schlabre.ndorf, in Pari8, on event s and perSOns of his day [in Carl
Gustav J ochmann, Aw seinen nachBelassenen Papieren , ed. Heinrich
Zschokke, vol. 1 (Hechinge:n, 1836), p. 146]. [K5a,4]
Nocturnal Paris in L'Uomme qui rit : "The little wanderer was suffering the in­
definable depre!lsion made by a sleeping town. Its silence, as of a paralyud anu'
nest , makes the head swim. AU itsletharpes mingle their nightmares, its 81umhe.n
are a cr owd."" Cited in R. Caillois, "' Paris , my the modeme," Nouvelk Revue
f raru;aue, 25, no. 284 (May I . 1937), I)' 691. [KSa,5)
" Because the collective uncon8cious is ... a deposit of wor ld-proceues embedded
in the structure of the brain and the sympathetic nervous system, il constitut es ...
a Sort of timeless and eternal world-image whi ch count erbalances our conscious,
nlOmenlary pictu re of the world." C. G. Jung, Seelenprobk me der Ges enwart
(Zurich, Leipzig, and Stuttgart , 1932), 11 .326 ("Analytische Psychologie und Welt­
anschauung") .' 8 [K6, I J
Jung calls the cOll 8eiousness--oll oeCUSiOIl!-"our Promet hean conquest. " C. G.
JUlig. Seeknprobleme der GeBcllwart (Zurich. Leipzig, and Stutt gart , 1932),
p. 249 ("Die Lebenswende"). And in allot her cont ext : ';To be 'unhistorical' is t.he
Promethean sin. In thi s modern man lives in sin. llis hcr consciousness is
thus gUJlt ." Ibid., p. 404 ("Dus Seclcnproblem dcs illoti ernen Mcn8chen").
"There can be no doubt that from ... the memorable yean of the French Revo­
lution onward, man has given a more and more prominent place to the psyche,
his increasing attentiveness to it being the measure of its growing attraction for
him. The enthronement of the Goddess of Reason in Notre Dame seems to have
been a symbolic gesture of great significance to the world-rather like
the hewing down of\-\btan's oak by the Christian missionaries. For then, as at ,
the Revolution, no avenging bolt from heaven struck the blasphemer down."
C. G.Jung, &eknproblrou der Gegenwart (ZUrich, Leipzig, and Stuttgan, 1932),
p. 419 ("Das Scelrnproblem des modemrn Menschrn").:10 The "vengeance" for
these [W() historical points of depanure is being exacted today, it would seem,
simultaneously. National Socialism takes the one affair in hand;Jung, the other.
As long as there is still one beggar around, there will still be myth. [1<6,4).
"Moreover, an ingenious improvement had been introduced into the CODstruCtiOD
or IJquares. The administrati on bought them prerabricated. made to order. Trees
or colored ca rdboard and tarreta fl ower! contributed greatl y to these 088es, and
care had even been taken to conceal in the leaves some artificial birds that sang the
whol e da y long. Thus, what is pleasant in nature had bt!t:n preserved , while every·
thing unfit and unworthy in nature had been eliminated." Victor Fournel, Poria
nouveau et Pam fUlur (Paris, 1868), p. 252 ("Paris rutur"). [K6,5)
" The works or M. Haussmann gave rise, at least in the beginning, to a hOl t of
rather strange or grandiose projects.... For exampl e, the archit ect M. Herard
published , in 1855, a proposal ror building rootbridgel at the intersection or the
BouJevard Saint· Oenis and the Boulevard de Sebastopol ; these footbridges, incor·
porating galleri es, would make for a continuous slluane, eaeh side of which would
be defined by the angle formed a t the crossing of the two bouleva rds. M. J. Brame,
in 1856, exhibit ed a series of lithographs det ailing his plan for a met ropolitan
railway line--in Paris, spedflcall y-with a system of arches supporting the raill,
with walkwaYI on the side for pedestri a ns, and .....-jth elevat ed crossover l to connect
these sidewalks .... At around the aame time, in a " Letter to the J\.Unister of
Commerce," a lawyer called for the est ablishment or a seri es or awnings
the lengt h of the 8t.reets to shelter the I>edestrian, ... who wouJd have no further
need of a ca rriage or umbrella. Not long aft er this, an archit ect ... proposed to
reconstruct til e entire historic city cent er in Gothi c &lyle, so as t o hring it into
harmony with Notre Dame." Victor Fournel , Paris IlOlIverul et Parisfulllr (Paris,
1868), pp. 384-386. [K6a, l ]
From Fournel 's chapter " Paris rutur" : " There were firl t· . second., and third­
clau cafelJ, ... allll , for each Cll h:gor y, the number of rooms. tables, billiard tao
hi es, mi r rors, ornaments, alld gil dings was car efull y regulated .... There were
master strl..'ets alltl ..er vice st reets, jllli t as there are malJ ler st airways and service
stairways in weLl·orgallized houses .... On the fa .. ade of the barracks, a bas· relief
... depicted. in an ethereal nimbus, Public Order dre sed as an infantryman: a n
a ureole above ILis brow, he was busy laying low the hundred· headed Hydra of
Oe<:entralization .... Fifty sentinels, posted at the fifty windows of the ba rracks
opposit e the fift y houlevards, were able to sec, through field g1K6selJ. at a distance
of fift een or twent y kilometers, the fift y sentinel s at the fift y gates . . .. Crowlliug
Montmartre was a dome decorated with a giant electric clock, whi ch could be
viewed from two l ides and heard from four, and whi ch served t o r egulat e all tbe
clocks in the cit y. The great goal 10 long lOUght had finall y been achi eved: that of
making Paril an object of luxury and curiosit y, r ather than of use-a ville d 'expo.
Jition, a displ ay ci t y placed under glass, ... 8n ohj ect of admiration aud envy to
foreigners, unbearabl e for its iuhabitants ." V. Fournel , pp. 235-237, 24·0-241.
Critique by Fournel of Ch. Ouveyrier'. Saint·Simonian city: " We cannot continue
with the exl>08ition of this rash meta phor ofM. Ouveyrier '8, which he develol>I ...
.....-j th a trul y 8tupefyi ng single· mindedneu, and without any sense of the way in
which hi. ingenious distribution would return t he ci t y of Paris, in the name of
progress, to that period of the Middle Ages when each branch of industry or trade
was confined to its own quartier." Victor Fournel , l'oris nouveau el Paris furur
(Paris , 1868), pp. ("lei Precurseurs de M. lIa uismann"). (K1,1)
" We shall .peak of a monument especiall y dear to our heart, one which has come t o
seem, with a climate l uch al ourt, a vi rtual necesl it y: ... the wint er garden! .. .
Near the cent er of die cit y, a vust piece of ground capable of holding, like the
Colosseum in Rome, a large part of the popuJatioll , would be encloled by a great
lighted vault , a little like the Cryst al Palace in London, or like our market halls of
today; the columns wouJd be or cast iron, with onl y a bit of Itone to strengtben the
roundati onl. .. 0 , my winter garden, what U lle I would make of you for my
Novutopiall8! In the great cit y of Paris, by contralt , they have built a heavy,
cl umsy, ugly monument of nOlie, whi ch no one knows wbat to do with. Here, in
recellt months, the paintings of our artists have bcen displ ayed, facing away from
the li ght . baking at only a slightl y great er remove frolll the blazing SUII ." F. A.
Couturier de Vienne. Pam moderne: Plan d 'une ville mociek que l 'auteur a ap·
petee NOIJulopie (Paris, 1860), pp. 263-265. [K1,2]
On the dream house: " III aU southern count.ries, where the popular concept ion of
Ille strt!t:t rC(luires that the exteri ors of llOuses appear more ' li ved in ' thlln t heir
int eri ors , thi s exhihiti oll of Ihe priva te life of the resill ell u conrers 011 their dwell·
inglJ the (Iualil y of a secret pl ace, whi ch pillues the curioli it y of foreigners. The
impression matl e is the same in fa irs: everyt hing tlwre i. consigll efl 10 t he Slreet
.....ilh such IIharul on tha t ..... ha tln·cr ilJ lI ot there lukl's 011 Ihe power of .. mYI tcry.··
Allriel!- OU)l ll8suge, " Peintures ef m{itier$ ( 1939).
Couldn't one compare the social differentiacion present in architecture (see
Foumd' s description of cafes in K6a,2; or front stairs versus back stairs) with the
social differentiation at work in fashion? [K7a,l }
On anthropologica1 llihilism, compare N8a,1: CCline, Bcnn. [K7a,2)
"The fut eeoth century .. . wall a time when coq)ses, II kuU,I and skeletons were
t!Xtravagant1y popular. Pliinted , sculptt.'(I . writt ell lIbout und dramllti cally repre_
sent ed, the Danse Macabre wall everywhere. To the fifteenth-century artist , a good
death-appeal was as sure a key to popularity us a good sex-appeal is at the present
time." Aldous Huxley, Crouiere cl'hiver: ( Voyage) en Amerique centrale (Paru
(1935)), p. 58.
Concerning the interior of the body: "The motif and its elaboration go b a c ~ t ~
John Chrysostom's 'On Women and Beauty' (Opera, t!d . B. de Montfauoon
(Paris, 1735] , vol. 12, p. 523)." "The beauty ohhe body is nu:rely skin-deep. For
if, like the legendary lynx of Boeotia, men were to see what li es beneath the skin,
they would recoil in di sgust at the sight of a woman. That well-known charm is
nothing but IIlUCUS and blood, humors and bile. Just stop t,o consider what it
hidden away in the nostrils , the throat , or the belly: everywher e ftlth . And if, in
fact, we shrink from touching mucus or dung with even the tip of our finger, how
could we ever wish to embrace the sack of excr ements itself?" Odoo of Cluny,
CoUatio ,lUm, book 3 (J\.1.,igne), vol. 133, p. 556; cited in J. Huizinga, Herblt de.
Miuewlters (1!lunich. 1928), p. 197. :z:2 [K7a,4)
Re the Jlsychounalytie thoory of memor y: " Freud' s later researchell made it clear
that thi s view (Ihe concept of repression] muSI be enlarged .. . . The machinery of
repreasion .. . is . . . a special case of the ... lIignificanl procells wbich occun
when the ego is IIne<luallo meeting cerlain demands made upon the menial mecha·
ni sm. The more general process of defense does not cancel the Sirong impressions;
it onl y Jays them aside . . .. It will be in the interest of clarity for me to slate the
conlra81 between memory and reminiscence with deliberate bluntness: the func­
tion of memory {the author idenlifiell the sphere of " forgetfulness" with " ulloon­
" ciOIiS memor y'- (p. 130)] is 10 protect our im)l rcs8iolls; n-miniscent."e aims 110 1their
di ssolution. Essemilllly memory is conservati ve; reminiscence. destrncti ve.'"
Tht-'(Hior Reik. Der iiberr/I$chle I'sychologe (LcidclI , (935). )1)1 . 130-132.:l
"For instance, we experience the death of a near relative . .. and believe that we
feel our grief in all its depth . .. , but our grief reveals its depths onl y long after ","I:
think thai we have got the better of it." The "forgotten" grief persists and gains
ground; compare the death of t11e grandmother in Proust. "To experience mcan.5
10 master an impression inwardl y that was so strong we could nOt grasp it at
once." l1us definition of experience in Freud's sense is something very different
from what is meant by those who speak of having "had an experience:' Thcodor
Reik, Der iibn-rasthte Psythologr: (Leiden, 1935), p. 13 1.20 [K8,2)
What is laid aside in the unconscious as content of memory. Proust speaks of the
"thoroughly alive and creative sleep of the unconscious . .. in which the things
that barely touch us succeed in carving an impression, in which our hands take
hold of the key that tums the lock., the key for which we have sought in vain."
Marcel Proust, La Prisonniere (Paris, 1923), vol. 2, p. 189.25 [KS,3)
The classic passage on "involuntary memory" in Proust- prelude to the moment
in which the effeet of the madeleine on the narrator is described: "And so it was
that, for a long time afterward, when I lay awake at night and revived old
memories of Combray, I saw no more of it than this sort of luminous panel .. . . I
must own that I could have assured any questioner that Combray did include
other scenes . . .. But since the facts which I should then have recalled would
have been prompted only by the voluntary memory, the intellectual memory,
and since the infonnacion which that kind of menlory gives us about the past
preserves nothing of the past itself, I should never have had any wish to ponder
over this residue of Combray.... And so it is with our own past. It is a labor in
vain to attempt to recapture it : all the effons of our intellect must prove futile.
The past is hidden somewhere outside the realm, beyond the reach, of intellect,
in some material object .. . which we do not suspect. And as for that object, it
depends on chance whether we come upon it or not before we ourselves must
die." Marcel Proust, Du COli de tlln Swann, vol. 1, pp. 67-69.:16 [KSa,l}
The classic passage on awakening at night in a dark room and the cmuing
orientation: "When I awoke like this, and my mind struggled in an unsuccessful
attempt to discover where I was, everything would be moving round me through
the darkness: things, places, years. My body, still t OO heavy with sleep to move,
would make an effort to construe the fonn which its tiredness took as an orienta­
tion of its various members, SO as to deduce from that where the waIl lay and the
furniture stood, to piece together and to give a name to the house in which it
must be living. Its memory, the composite memory of its ribs, knees, and shoul­
der-blades, offered it a whole series of rooms in which it had at one time or
another slept, while the unseen walls kept changing, adapting themselves to the
shape of each successive room that it remembered, whirling madly through the
darkness. And even before my brain ... had collected sufficient impressions . ..
to identify the room, it, Illy body, would recall from each room in succession
what the bed was like, where the doors were, how daylight came in at the
windows, whether there was a passage outside, what I had in my mind when I
Went to sleep, and had found there when I awoke." Marcel Proust, Du COti de
cha Swann, vol. 1. p. 15.:17 [KSa,2}
Proust ~ n nights of deep sleep after greal exhaustion: "Good nights . . . tum so
effectively the soil and break through the surfacc stone of our body that we
discover there, where our muscles dive down and throw out their twisted roots
and breathe the air of the new life, the garden in which as a child we used to play.
There is no need to rravel in order to see it again; we must dig down inwardly to L
discover it. What once covered the earth is no longer upon it but beneath; a mere
excursion does not suffice for a visit to the dead city-excavation is necessary
also." These words run counter to the to revisit the sites of one's
childhood. And they lose not a whit of their sense when taken as a critique of the
mimoire volontaire. Marcel Proust, Le COti de GumnanteJ (Paris, 1920), vol. 1,
Linking of Proust's oeuvre to the work of Baudelaire: "One of the masterpieces
of French literature- Sylvie, by Gerard de Nerval-like the Mimoim d'outre­
lombe (of Chateaubriand) ... , contains a sensation of the same character as the
savor of the madeleine .... And finally, in Baudelaire, these reminiscences are still
more frequent and obviously less incidental and therefore, in my opinion, deci­
sive. Here it is the poet himself who, with more variety and more indolence,
purposely seeks in the odor of a woman's hair or her breast, for example, inspir­
ing resemblances which shall evoke for him ' the canopy of overarching sky' and
'a harbor filled with masts and sails! I was going to endeavor to recall the poems
of Baudelaire which are based in similar manner on a transferred sensation, in
order definitely to place myself again in line with such a noble literary heritage
and reassure myself that the work I was now about to Wldenake without any
further hesitation was worth the effort I was going to devote to it, when I reached
the foot of the stairs ... and suddenly found myself ... i.n the midst of a fete."
Marcel Proust, Le 'ftmPJ retrouui (Paris (1927)), vol. 2, pp. 82-83.:111 [K9,2]
" Man is himself, is man, only at the surface. Wt the skin, dissect: here begin the
machines. It is thell you lose yourself in un inexplicable substance. something alien .
to everything you know, and which is nonetheless the essential. " Paul Valery,
CCl hier B. 1910 (Paris (1930)), PI" 39-40. {K9,3]
Dream city of Napol t:Oll I: "Napoleon, who originally had wanled to eroct the Arc
{Ie Triomphe somewhere insitl e the cit y, like the di sappointiJlg first efforlmade at
Ihe Place du Ca rOllssel , let himself be persuaded by Fontaine to slart
west of the ci ty, where a largc tract of land walS al hi s di sposal, 011 an imperial Paris
thai woultl surpass the royal city. Versailles included . Betweell the summit of the
Avenue des Champs-Elysees ami the Scine •. . . on the plaleau where today the
Trocadcro st allt.i il , was to be huilt , ' '''illl palaccs for t"'dve kings and reti­
niles.' . .. ' not onl y thc Ill ust heautiful cil y t.hat evt;ll· was, 1,111 lIlust hcuutiful
city that ever could be.' The Arc {Ie Triomphe was cont!eh'cd lI iI the first edifice of
thi s dty. " Fritz Stahl. Ptlris (Herlin d 929» . pp. 27- 28. [K9a,I}
[Dream House, Museum, Spa1
The genteel variant of the dream house. The entrance to the panorama of
Gropius is described as follows: "One enters a room decorated in the style of
Herculaneum; at its center the passerby is drawn for a moment to a basin inlaid
with shells, in which a small fountain is plashing. Straight ahead, a little ftight of
stairs leads to a cheerful reading room where some volumes are displayed-nota­
bly, a collection of books designed to acquaint foreigners with the royal resi­
dence." Erich Stenger, Dagua-m Diorama in Ba-lin (Berlin, 1925), pp. 24-25.
Bulwer<-Lyttom's novel, When did the excavations begin? Foyers of casinos, and
the like, belong to this elegant variant of the dream house. Why a fountain in a
covered space is conducive to daydreaming has yet to be explained. But in order
to gauge the shudder of dread and exaltation that might have come over the idle
visitor who stepped across this threshold, it must be remembered that the discov­
ery of Pompeii and Herculaneum had taken place a generation earlier, and that
the memory of the lava-death of these twO cities was covertly but all the more
intimately conjoined with the memory of the great Revolution. For when the
sudden upheaval had put an end to the style of the ancien regime. what was here
being exhumed was hastily adopted as the style of a glorious republic; and palm
fronds, acanthus leaves, and meanders came to replace the rococo paintings and
chinoimieJ of the previous century. 0 Antiquity 0 [Ll ,l]
"Suddenly, however, they want to transform the French, with one wuve of a magic
wand. into a people of classical antiquity; and on this whim of dreamers isolated in
their private libraries (tbe goddess i't1illerva notwithstanding), numerous artistic
I! lIdeavors have depended." Friedrich Johanll Lorenz Meyer, Frag mente alU
Pu ris im IV"· }ahr der Jrtmzosischen Replw/ic (Hamburg, 1797). vol. 1, p, 146.

Dream houses of the collective: arcades, winter gardens, panoramas, factories,
wax museums, casinos, railroad stations. [Ll ,3J
The Gare Saint-Lazare: a puffing, wheezing princess with the stare of a clock.
"For our type oeman," saysJacqucs de Lacretclle, "train stations are truly facto­
ries of dreams" ("Le Mveur parisien," Nouudle Revue./ranfiJue, 1927). To be sure:
loday, in the age of the automobile and airplane, it is only faint, atavistic terrors
which still lurk within the blackened sheds; and that stale comedy of farewell and
reunion, carried on before a background of Pullman cars, turns the railway
platfonn into a provincial stage. Once again "'C see perfonned the timeworn (
Greek melodrama: Orpheus, Eurydice, and Hennes at the station. 1brough the
mountains of luggage surrounding the figure of the nymph, looms the steep and
rocky path, the crypt intO which she sinks when the Hemwc conductor with the
signal disk, watching for the moist eye of Orpheus, gives the sign for departure.
Scar of departure, which zigzags, like the crack on a Greek vase, across the
painted bodies of the gods. [Ll ,4]
The domestic interior moves outside. It is as though the bourgeois were so sure
of his prosperity that he is cardess of fal?de, and can exclaim: My house, no
matter where you choose to CUt intO it, is fal?de. Such fal?des, especially, on the
Berlin houses dating back to the middJe of the prcvi.ow century: an alcove does
not jut out, but-as niche-tucks in. The street becomes room and the room
becomes street. The passerby who stops to look at the house stands, as it were, in
the alcove. 0 Flaneur D [LI ,S]
On the dream house. The arcade a8 temple: the habitue of those " obscure ba­
zaa rs" of the bourgeois arcades " will fmd himself almost on foreign ground in the
Passage de ('Opera. He will be profoundly ill at ease there; he will be anxioU.8 to
leave. Another moment and he will discover himself a master, as if he bad pene-­
trated the temple of God." I.e Livre de. cent-et-un, vol. 10 (Pari8, 1833), p. 71
(Amedee Kermel , " Les Passages de Paris"). (Ll .6]
Apropos of the colored windowpanell which wer e beginning to be instaUed in stair­
ways (and these stain were often waxed!) AJphonse Karr writes: " The staircase
has r emained 80mething that looks more like a machiue of war for defending one's
house against enemi es than a means of communi cation and accen offered to
friends." Alphonse Ka rr, 300 pages, new edition (Paris, 1861), pp. 198-199.
[Ll ,')
Tile !Jouse has al",·ays shown itself " barel y receptive to new formuJations." Sig­
(ried Giedion, Ballen in Frllnkreich <Sedill, 1928), p. 78. . (LI ,8]
Arcades are howes or passages having no outside-like the dream.
Museums unquestionably belong to the dream houses of the collective. In con­
sidering them, one would want to emphasize the dialectic by which they come
into contact, on the one hand, with scientific research and, on the other hand,
\vith "the dreamy tide of bad taste." "Nearly every epoch would appear, by virtue
of its i..tmer disposicion, to be dUeOy cngaged in unfoldi..tlg a specific architeCtural
problem: for the Gothic age, this is the cathedrals; for the Baroque, the palace;
and for the early nineteenth century, with its regn=ssive tendency to allow itself to
be saturated with Lhe past: the museum." Sigfried Giedion, Bauro in Frankreich,
p. 36. This th.irst for the pasl fonDS something like the principal object of my
analysis-in li ght of which the inside of the museum appears as an interior
magnified 011 a giant scale. In the years 1850-1890, exhibitions rake the place of
mus.cums. Comparison between the ideological bases of the two. [Ll a,2)
" The ninet eClith century provi ded aU new creations. in every area of endeavor,
wit ll histori cizing masks. was no less true in the field of archit ecture tll an in
the field of industry or societ y. New possibilitics of const.ruction were being intro­
duced. hut pcopl e felt ulmost fcar at the advent of these new possibilities and
heedlessly huri l.'illhclII in theatrical decorat ion. The enormoliS collet: tive appara_
IUS of illll uslry was heing put in place, but its significance was altered entirely by
Ihe fact that the be ncfit s of the production process ",·ere allowed to accrue to only a
;;.lII aU number. This hi st oricizillg mask i8 indissolubly bound to the image of tbe
uindet!nth century, and is not to be gainsaid." Sigfried Ciedion, Buuen in Frank­
reich, PI' · 1-2. (LIa,3]
i.e Corbusier' s work seems to stand at the tenninw of the mythological figura­
tion "house." Compare the following: "Why should the house be made as light
and airy as possible? Because only in that way can a fatal and hereditary monu­
mentali ty be brought to an end. As long as the play of burden and support,
whether actually or symbolically exaggerated (Baroque), got its meaning from
the supporting walls, heaviness was justified. But today-with the unburdened
exterior wall-the ornamentally accentuated counterpoint of pillar and load is a
painful farce (American skyscrapers)." Giedion, Sauro in FranRreieh, p. 85.
Le Corbusier's "contemporary city"1 is yet another settlement along a highway.
Only the fact that now its precincts are traveled over by autos, and that airplanes
now land in its midst, changes everything. An effort must be made to secure a
foothold here from which to cast a producti ve glance, a form-and-distance-aeat­
ing glance, on the nineteenth century. [Lla,5]
·-The COlldominiurn ill ihe last inca rnation of the baronial manor. It owes itll exi st­
cnce allli its form to the brutal egoisti c compc titi on of individual landowners for
the rights to territory thut , ill tbe struggle for existence, being broken up a nd
pa l·cell!11 Ollt. We arc therefore IIOt surprised to see the/orm of the mauor house
rea ppcaring li S wdl- in t he walled courtyard. One ol:cupant seeludes himself from
Il llothcl"_ ulullil al ill rUe! hdps to explaiu why, ill the '· I\tl , a chance rellInulit of the
".·holt! sUl"\' iv,·s"· A,tolf Ill' hne, Neues B(lllen (Leipzig, 1927).
1'1' . 93- 9'l . [LIa,6]
:I'hc IIIUS: UIII us tlrt-1I111 house. ha \'e liL'en how the 8 0llr/loll 8 a lready thoughl it
1I111.>ortuul that lilt· II 11 Ceii lorij or thei r house he g10rifictllllul thaI the earli er history
of France, ill all it ;;. ii plclul or ami signiflcunce. he recogni zed once again. Hence.
they also arranged t o have outstanding moment s from French hi story and French
cultural evolution depicted on the ceilings of the Louvr e. " Julius Meyer,
Geschicllt e del' modcm enfranzosiilchen Malerei (Leipzig, 1867), p. 424. (L1 a,7]
InJune of 1837-"to the everlasting glory of France"-the historic museum of
Versailles was opened. A suite of rooms that one needs almost two hours merely
to traverse. Battles and scenes of parliament. Among the painters:
Lariviere, Heim, Devrna, Gerard, Ary Scheffer, and others. Here, then, the
collecting of pictures tums into: the painting of pictures for the museum. lL2,I)
Interlaci ng of and domestic interi or. M. Chahrill at ( 1882, director of the
Ambi gu theater ) one day inherits a complete waxworks museum, "set up in the
Passage de l'Opera, right above the clock." (Perhaps it was the old Hartkoff
Mliseum.) Chabrillat is fri ends with a cert ain bohemiefl , a gifted draftsman. who
at t he time is homeless. This man has an idea. Among the waxworks in thjs !flu­
seum is one group representing the visit of Empress Eugenie to cholera patients in
Ami ens. AI the right . the empress smiles on the patient s; to the left is a Sist er of
Charit y in white cornet ; and lying on an iron cot, pale and emaciated beneath the
fine clean bedclothes. is a d ying man. The museum closes at midnight. The drafts­
man opines: Nothing simpler than to r emove, with due care, the cholera patient,
lay him on the Roor, and t ake hi s place in the bed . Chabrillat gives his permission;
the wax figures mean little 10 him. For the next six weeks, then , the artist , having
just been thrown out of his hot el , spends the night in the bed of the cholera victim,
and each morning he awakens under the gentle glance of the sicknurse and the
smiling glance of t.he empress, who let s her blond hair fall on him. From Jules
Claretie, La Vie ii Paris , 1882 (Paris <1883» , pp. 30lff. [L2,2)
"How much I admire those men who decide to be shut up at night in a museum
in order to examine at their own discretion, at an illicit time, some portrait of a
woman they illuminate by a dark lantern. Inevitably, afterward, they mu:"t
much more about such a woman than .....oe do." Andre Breton, Ntufja (Paris
<1928»), p. 150.:1 But why? Because, in the medium oflhis image, the tranSforma­
tion of the museum intO an interior has taken place. [L2,3)
The dream house of the arcades is encountered again in the church. Encroach­
ment of the architecrural style of the arcades on sacred architecrure. Concerning
Notre Dame de Lorette: "The interior of this building is without doubt in excel­
lent taste, only it is not the interior of a church. The splendid ceiling would
suitably adorn the most brilliant ballroom in the world; the graceful lamps of
bronze, with their frosted glass globes in different colors, look as though
came from the city's most elegant cafes." S. F. Lahrs ?), Briift au; Pans, m
Europa: ChrOllik tkr Welt (Leipzig and Stuttgart, 1837), vol. 2, p. 209.
" As for the new all till ot yetlillished theat ers, t hey ap,)ear to belong to no partieu­
IlIr style. T he int ention, evidentl y, is to integrate private in to public uses by COII ­
structing private r esidential dwellings all around the perimeter, 80 that these thea­
ters can hardl y become anything other than coloual containers, giant capsules for
all sorts of things." Grenzbot en. 1861 , 211d semester, vol. 3, p. 143 ("Di e Pariser
KUlI staussteJlung von 1861 ") . (L2,5)
11unk of the arcade as watering place. What we would like is to stumble upon an
arcade myth, a legendary source its center-an asphalt wellspring arising
at the heart of Pans. The tavern advemsmg beer "on tap" still draws on this myth
of the waters. And the extent to which healing is a nIe tk passage, a transition
experience, becomes vividly clear in those classical corridors where the sick and
ailing rum into their recovery, as it were. Those halls, too, are arcades.] Compare
fountains in the vestibule. [L2,6]
The dread of doors that won't close is something everyone knows from dreams.
Stated more precisely: these are doors that appear dosed without being so. h was
wi th heightened senses that I leamed of this phenomenon in a dream in which,
while I was in the company of a friend, a ghost appeared to me in the window of
the ground floor of a house to our right. And as we walked on, the ghost
accompanied us from inside all the houses. It passed tluuugh all the walls and
always remained at the same height with us. I saw this, though I was blind. The
path we. travel through arcades is fundamentally just such a ghost walk, on which
doors gIVe way and walls yield. [L2,7)
The figure of wax is properly the setting wherein the appearance of
humanity outdoes itself. In the wax figure, that is, the surtace area, complexion,
and coloration of the human being are all rendered with such perfect and unsur­
passable cxactirude that this reproduction of human appearance itself is outdone,
and now the mannequin incarnates nothing but the hideous, cunning mediation
between costume and viscera. oFashion 0 [L2a,l )
Descr iption of a wax museum as dream house: "Once visitors reached the final
landing, they looked around the corner into a large, brightly lit room. There was,
so to say, no oll e within, though it was filled wi th princes crinolines uniforms and
giant s at the cntrance. The woman went 110 further, her escor: paused b:side
her. piqued by a baleful pleasure. They !>at down on the step!>, and he told her of
tI. e terror he hUll experi encetl as a boy in r eading about ill -famed castles where no
Oll e livcd any longer, but where on stormy night s there were light s burning at all
t l.e wintlows. What was goi ng 0 11 i.nside? What gathering was there? Wher e was
th'l.t li ght coming from? He had dreamed of catching a glimpse of this assembly
willi e I.allging frOIll the window led ge, his face against the windowpanes of
t hlt unspeakable roOIll. " Ernst Bloch, "Leib und Wachsfigur," Frmlkfurter Zeit ­
19. 1929). [L2a,2]
1 ulllher 1.25: maze. At first , world :11111 arti sts suppose them­
sclvc!> trans port ed into the forest of col limns thll t is the Iliagnifi ccnt mOSllull of
Cordova in Spain. As arch !> lIccccll s arch in that edifi ce, one column crowd, upon
the next in offeri ng fabul ous vistas alld unthinkably long avenues
whi ch 110 one could follow t o the cud. Theu, suddenl y, we behold an image that
t ake! us iuto the ver y heart of the fa mous Al hambru of Grall ada. We see the
t apestry pattern of the Al hambra , with it! inseriptioll ' Allah i! Allah' (God is
great ), allli already we are standing in a garllen , in the ora nge grove of the Alham_
bra. But before the vi sit or arri ves at thi s court ya rd, he must pass th rough a series
of labyrinthine di vagations ." Catalogue of Castan's panopti con" (from ext racts in
the Frarlkfitrter Zeitung). [L2a,3)
"The success of the Romantic school gave ri se, a round 1825, t o the nl arket in
modern paintings. Before that , art lovers went t o the homes of artists. Seller s of
artists' pi gments-Cirollx, Sui sse, Binant . Ber vil lt..--began t o function as middle­
men. The fi rst ret ail house was opened by Goupil in 1829. " ( Lucien> Dubeeh and
(Pierre> d' Espezel , lIisfoire de P(lris ( Paris, 1926), p. 359. [L2a,4)
" The Opera is oue of the characteri stic creations of the SecolIIl Empire. It was
designed by an unknown young a rchitect , Charl es Garnier. whose pla n was se­
Iet! ted from among 160 proj ects suhmitt ctl. Hi s theater, constructed in the years
1861- 1875. was conceived as a place of pageantry.... It was the stage on whi ch
impcrial Paris could gaze at itself with satisfaction. Classes newly risen to power
and t o fortune, blendings of cosmopolitan elcments-this was a new world, and it
call ed for a new name: people no longer spoke of the Court, but of le Tout Paris (aU
fashionable Paris> .... A theater conceived as an urban center, a center of social
life-this was a new idea, and a sign of the times." Dubech and d' Espezel, Hu toire
de Pa ris, pp. 411-412. (L2a,S]
To set up, within the actual city of Paris, Paris the dream city-as an aggregate of
all the building plans, street layouts, park projects, and street·name systems that
were never developed. [1.2a,6)
The arcade as temple of Aesculapius, medicinal spring. The course of a cure.
(Arcades as resort spas in ravines-at Schuls:rarasp, at Ragaz.) The gorge as
landscape ideal in the nineteenth century. [L3,I)
J acques Fabicn, Pliris ell 10fl ge (Paris, 1863), rcports 011 the moving of Jhe Porte
Saint-Martin and the Porte Saint- Denis: " They a re no less admired 0 11 the summi t!
of the Faubourgs Saint -Martin allli Saint- Dcni s" (p. 86). I.n this way, the areas
around the gates , whi ch had sunk quit e noti ceably. were .. bl e to regain their origi­
nallevel. [L3,2)
Proposal to cover the dead bodies in thc morgue " ..ith an oilcloth frolll the neck
down. " The public lines up at til e door alll i is allowed to examine at il il leiil ure the
/lillI e of the unknown . One Iluy. moralit y will hc given its duc;
alUltilen:after the worker who now goes at lunchtime to visit t he IIl()rgtIL--hands
in pocket s, pipe in mouth, 0 11 lips-in order to crack jokes over the more or
less putrefied naked bodies. of both sexe!, will soon lose interest in the sparse
mise-en-scime. I do not exaggerate. These smutty scenes a re enacted ever y day a t
the morgue; people laugh there, smoke there, and chatter loudly. " Edouard Fou­
cand, Puris invellteu r : Physiologie de l'indwtriefram;ai.se (Paris , 1844). PI" 212­
213. [L3,3)
An engra ving from around 1830, pe rhaps a little earlier, show! copyists at work in
va rious ecst ati c postures. Caption: " Artistic Inspi ration at the Museum." Cabinet
des Esl ampes. [1.3,4)
On the beginnings of the museum at Versaill es: " M. de Montalivet was in a hurry to
acquire a quantity of paintings . He wanted them everywhere, and, since the
Chambers had decried prodigality, he was det ermined to buy cheaply. The trend
was toward thrift . .. M. de Montalivet willingly ... let it be thought that it was he
himself who, on the quays and in the dealers' shops, was buying up third-rate
canvases.... No, .. . it was the reigning princes of art who were indulging in this
hideous business ... The copies and pastiches in the museum a t Versailles are the
most grievous confinnation of the rapacit y of those mast er artists, who became
entrepreneurs a nd barterers of art .... Business and industry to elevate
themselves to the level of the arti st. The latter, in order to satisfy his need for the
luxuries which were beginning to tempt him, prostituted art to speculation and
brought about the degeneration of the arti stic tradition by hi s calculated reduction
of art t o the proportions of a trade. " This last refers to the fact that [ around 1837]
painters were passing on to their st udent s commi ssions they had accepted them­
selves. Gabriel Pelin, Les Loideurs du beau Pam (Paris, 1861). pp. 85, 87-90.
On subterranean Pari s--Qld sewers. " We shall form an image more closely resem­
hling this ! trange geomet ric plan by supposing that we see spread upon a back­
ground of darkness some grotesque alphabet of the East jumbled as in a medley.
the 5hapeless letters of which are joined to one another, apparently pelI-meU and
as if hy chance. sometime! hy their corners, sometimes by their extremities."
Victor I-Jugo, Oeuvres completes, novels, vol. 9 (Pari s, 1881), pp. 158-159 (I.es
MisernblesJ.5 I1.3a, l ]
Sewers: " All manlier of phantoms haunt these long solitary corridors, putridity
ami everywhere; here and there a breathing-hole through which Villon
within Chats with Rabelais without ." Victor Hugo. Oeuvres completes, 1l0velS, vol.
9 ( Paris, 1881), ". 160 ( Les Miserables). (LJa,2)
Victor Hugo 0 11 the obstacles which hindered Pa ri sian diggi ng and tUllneling OJl­
t: I'atioIl S: " Paris is built upon a deposit singularly rebellious 10 the spade, to the
to. the drill . to human oolll roi. Nothing more difficult to pi erce and to pene­
trate than that geological for mation upon which is the wonderful his­
torical formatioll called Pa ris; as soon as ... labor commences and venture! into
that sheet of alluvium, subt erranean reaiataoce abounds. There are liquid clay.,
living springs, hard rocks, thOle lOft deep mires which technical sdence caUs
mOIl'ardes. The pick advaDce8laboriously into these calcareous t trata aitcmating
with leams of very fine day and laminar schistose beds, encrusted with oysler I
shells conteml)()rary with the p re-Adamite oceans," Victor Hugo, Oeuvres com_
plete., Dovda, vol. 9 (Paria, 1881), pp. 178-179 ( Le. Mis erables).' [1.3a,3)
Sewer: "Paria . .. called it the Stink-Hole .... The Stink-Hole wall 110 lell revolt_
ing to hygiene than to legend. The Goblin Monk had appeared under the fetid arch
of the Mouffetard sewer; the corples of the Ma rmou8ets had been thrown into the
sewer of the Barillerie.... The mouth of the sewer of the Rue de la MorteUerie wa •
famou. for the pestilence which came (rom it .... Bruneseau had made a begin_
ning, but it required the cholera epidemics to detennine the vast recOll.8tructiou
whi ch hat since taken place." Victor Hugo, Oeuvre, complete,_ noveb, vol. 9
(Parit, 1881), pp. 166, 180 (Le, Miserable" "L' lntestin de Uriathan").' [L3i, ' ]
1805--Bruneseau's descent into the sewers: " Hardly had Brunekau J1Rssed the
first branchings of the subterranean network. when eight out of the twenty labor­
ers refused to go further. ... They advanced with difficulty. It was not uncommon
for the stepladders to plunge into three feet of mire. The lanterns Bickered in the
mi asmas. From time to time, a sewennan who had fainted was carried out. At
certain places. a precipice. The soil had sunk, the pavement had crumbled, the
sewer bad into a blind well; they found no solid ground. Oue man sud­
denly disappeared; they had y-eat difficulty in recovering him. On the advice of
Fourcroy, they lighted from point to point, in the placet tufflcientiy purified, great
cages fuD of oakl1D1 saturated with resin. The wall . in placet, wat covered with
shapeleu fungi-one would have said with tl1D10rl. The stone itself seemed dis­
eased in this unhreathable atmosphere .... They thought they recognized bere
and there, chiefly under the Palais de Justice, some reUs of ancient dungeons buill
in the sewer itself .... An iron coUar hung in one of these cells. They walled them
all up . . .. The complete survey of the underground sewer system of Paris occu­
pied seven years, from 1805 to 1812.... Nothing equaled the horror of this old
voiding crypt, ... cavern, grave, gulf pierced with streets , titani c molehill, in
which the mind seem8 to see prowling through the shadow . .. that blind
mole, the past ." Victor Hugo, Oeuvre, complete" novell, vol. 9 (Paris , 1881),
The sewerS ofParls, 1861- 1862. Photo by Nadar. CourtC3y oC the Bibliotheque Nation­
PII . 169- 171 , 173-174 (Les Miserable" " L' lntestln de Uviathan"}.9 [U ,I] rue de France. Sec U ,1.
In connection with the passage from Gerstiicker. 'o An undersea jeweler's shop:
Proudhon takes a keen interest in the paintings of Courbet and, with the help of
came into the underwater hall of the jeweler's. Never would one have
vague definitions (oC"ethics in action"), enlists them in his cause. [U ,3]
believed it possible to be so far removed from terra finna. An immense dome ...
overspread the marketplace, which was filled with the brilliant glow of
electricity and the happy bustle of oowds, and an assomnent of shops with \o\bcfuUy. inadequate rcferwces to mineral springs in Koch, who writes of the
glittering display windows." Uo C larccie, Pari; depuil $tS origineJjuJqu'en laR poems dedicated by Goethe to Maria Ludovica at Karlsbad: "The essential thing
3000 (Paris, 1886), p. 337 ("En 1987"). It is significant that this image resurfaces for him in these ' Karlsbad poems' is not the geology but ... the thought and the
just when the beginning of the end has arrived for the arcades. [U .2] knSation that healing energies emanate from the otherwise unapproachable per­
son of the princess. The intimacy of life at the spa creates a fdlow feeling ... with
the noble lady. Thus, ... in the pre5(:nce of the mystery of the springs, health
comes ... from the proximity of the princess." Richard Koch, lXr Zaubtr lkr
Hd4udkn (S ..ugart, 1933), p. 21. IU,' ]
Whereas a journey ordinarily gives the bourgeois the illusion of slipping the ties
that bind him to his social class, the watering place fonifies his consciousness of
belonging to the upper class. It does this not only by bringing him into contact
with fcuda1 strata. Momand draws attention to a more. elementary circumstance:
"In Paris there art no doubt larger crowds, but nonc so as this one;
for most of the sad human beings who make up those: crowds will have eaten
.. either badly or hardly at all.... But at Baden, nothing of the sort: everyone is
happy, seeing that everyone's at Baden." Felix Mornand, La Vie tks eaux (Paris,
1855), pp. 256-257. IU.,I]
The meditative stroll through the pump room proves advantageous to business,
chiefly through the agency of an. The contemplative attitude that schools itself
on the work of art is slowly transfonned into an attitude more covetous of the
wares on display. "Having taken a rum before the Tn'nkhallt, ... or beneath the
frescoed peristyle of this Greco-Gennan·ltalianate colormade, one will come in·
doors, ... read the newspapers for a while, price the art objects, examine the
watercolors, and drink a small glassfuL" Rlix Momand, La V'u- de; taux (Paris,
1855), pp. 257- 258. IU.,2]
Dungeonl of Chiilelet <see also C5a,h: " Those celli, the mere thought of which
.strikes terror into the hearts of the people, ... have lent their stonell to the one
theater ahove all where pe1)ple love: to go for a good time, lIillce there they hear of
the undyi ng glory of their sonll on the fields of battle. " Edouard Fournier,
Chroniques et Ugendes des rues ck Puns (Paris , 1864), lip. 155-156. The refer­
ence it to the Theatre du Chitelet , origi nally a circus. [Ua,3]
The revisetl title puge of Meryon's Emu·fortes sur l'uris (Etchings of PariS) de·
picts a weight y atone whose age it attested to by the encrusted shells and the
cracks. The title of the cycle is engraved in this II tone. "Burty remarkll that the
shells , and the imprint of m088 prellerved in the limell tone, indicate clea rl y that
thi s stone was chosen from among the specimens of uncient Parisian soil in the
(IUarri el of Montmartre." Gustave Geffroy, Charles Meryon (paris. 1926). p. 47.
In " Le J oueur genereux," Buudelaire me.: ts ",;th Satan in hi s infernal gambling
den. " a dauling subt erranean dwelling of a fabulous luxury heyond a nything the
upper hali itut ions of Paris coul{l offer:' Charles Bamlelaire, Le S,,/een de Puris,
e{l. R. SinlOli (Paris). p. 49.
The gate belongs in a context with the n'le; lk pa.JSuge. "H owever it may be
indicated, one enters the way-whether it be between two sticks driven intO the
ground and sometimes set leaning toward each other, or through a tree trunk
split in the middle and opened up, ... or under a birch limb bent into an
arch.... In these cases, it is always a matter of escaping a hostile ... element,
getting clear of some slain, separating ofT contagion or the spirits of the dead,
who cannot follow through the narrow opening." Ferdinand Noack, Tn'umph und
'fn'umphbogen, series entitled Vortriige der Bibliothek Warburg, vol. 5 (Leipzig,
1928), p. 153. Whoever enters an arcade passes through the gate-way in the
opposite direction.
(Or rather, he ventures into the intrauterine world.) [LS,l ]
According to K. Meister. Die Huu.uchwelle in Spruche und Relision der Romer,
Proceedings of the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences, Division of Philosophy and
Hi story, 1924-1925. Treatise 3 (Heidelberg, 1925), the threshold does not have for
the Gn:ek8, or indeed for any other people, the importance it has for the Romans.
The treatise ill concerned essentially with the genesis of the sublimis as the exalted
(origi nally what is carried aloft). [L5,2]
" Nevertheleu, we see a continuous stream of new works in which the city is the
main character, present throughout , and in whi ch the name of Paris almost always
figures in the tit1e, indicating that the public likes thill gs this way. Under these
conditions, how could there not develop in each reader the deep-seated conviction
(whi ch is evident even today) that the Pa ris he knows is not the only Paris, not even
the true one, that it is only a stage set , brilliant1y illuminated but too normat-a
of scenery whi ch the II tagehands will never do away with, and which conceals
another Paris, the real Paris, a nocturnal, impe rceptible Paris." Roger
Caillois, " Paris, mythe moderne," Nouvelk Revuefrum.aise, 25, no. 2M (May I,
1937), p. 687. [L5,3]
"Cities, like forests, have their dens in which aU their vilest and most terrible
monsters hide." Victor Hugo, Les Miserables, part 3 <Oeuvres compretes, novels,
vol. 7 (Paris, 1881), p. [1.,5,4]
There are relations between department store and museum, and here the bazaar
provides a link. The amassing of artWorks in the museum brings them intO
conununication with commodities, which-where they offer themselves en
masse to the passerby-awake in him the notion that some pan of this should fall

" The dty of til e dead, Pere Lachaise ... The word 'cemetery' call1lot prOIHl rly be
ll se<1for this pa rti cular layout . which is modeled 011 the necropoli ses of the ancielll
World. This veritabl e urban estahlishment-with its Slone houses for the dead and
its profusion of stalues, whi ch, in contrast to the custom of the Christian north,
rt:present til e {l ead as living- is conceived througllotll as II continuation of the city
of the living." (The name comes from the owner of the la nd. the father confeuor of
Louill XlVi the pilln is by Napoleon I. ) FrilZ Stahl. Pari!! (Berlin PI). 161­
162. (LSa)
An intoxication comes over the man who walks long and aimlessly through the
streets. Wim each step, me walk takes on greater momentum; ever weaker grow
the temptations of shops, of bistros, of smiling women, ever more irresistible the
[The Flaneur1
A landscape haunts, intense as opium.
- MaIIanru! ("Autrd'ois, en marge d'un in DiIlQ{IItWlIJ)
To read what was never ....'filten.
- Hofmaruuthal
And I travcl in order to get to know my geography.
- A madman, in Martel R.eja,!:Arl dw. ksfous (ParU, 1907), p. 131
All that can be found anywhere can be found in Paris.
- VICtor Hugo, LeJ ]tfistrabltJ, in Hugo. CkUllffJ compte/,s (Paris,
188 1), novels, vol. 7. p. 30, from the chapter Paris, Ecce
But the great reminiscences, the historical shudder-these are a trumpery which
he (the 8aneur) leaves to tourists, who think thereby to gain access to the genius
loci with a military password. Our friend may well keep silent. At the approach of
his footsteps, the place has roused; speechlessly, mindJessly, its mere intimate .
nearness gives him hints and instructions. He stands before Notre Dame de
Lorette, and his soles remember: here is the spot when= in Comler times the ,Mva/
de renfort-the spare horse-was harnessed to the onmibus that climbed the Rue
des Martyn toward Monttnart:re. Often, he would have given all he knows about
the domicile of Balzac or of Gavami, about the site of a surprise attack or even of
a barricade, to be able to catch the scent of a threshold or to recognize a paving
stone by touch, like any watchdog. [MI,I]
The street conducts the fianeur into a vanished timc. For him, every street is
precipitous. It leads downward- if not to the mythical Mothers, then into a p..!-St
that can be all the more spcllbinAiDg because it is not his own, not priva,te.
Nevenheless, it always remains the time of a childhood. But why that of the life
he has lived? In the asphalt over which he passes, his steps awaken a surprising
resonance. TIle gaslight that streams down on the paving stones throws an
equivocal light on this double ground. [M I ,2]
magnetism of the next streetcomer, of a distant mass of foliage, of a street name.
Then comes hunger. Our man wants nothing to do wim me myriad possi bilities
offered to sate his appetite. Like an ascetic animal, he fiits through unknown
districts-until, utterly exhausted, he stumbles into his room, which receives him
coldly and wears a strange air. [MI ,3]
Paris created the type of me Bftneur. What is remarkable is that it wasn' t Rome.
And the reason? Does not dreaming itself take the high road in Rome? And isn' t
that city too full of temples, enclosed squares, national shrines, to be able to enter
lout mtiirt'-with every cobblestone, every shop sign, every step, and every gate­
way-into the passerby's dream? The national character of the Italians may also
have much to do with this. For it is not the foreigners but they themselves, the
Parisians, who have made Paris the promised land of the Haneur=tJlelIlandSCape
built of snett1ifi,""iSHofmanns al once put ir.T;anciScape- t, in fact, IS w t
Paris becomes or the flineur. Or, more precisely: the city sElits for him into its
dialectical poles. It opens up to him as a landscape, even as it closes
as a room. [MI ,4]
That anamnestic intoxication in which the ftftneur goes about the city not only
feeds on the sensory data taking shape before his eyes but often possesses itselfof
abstract knowledge-indeed, of dead facts-as something experienced and lived
through. This felt knowledge travels from one person to another, especially by
of mouth. But in the course of the nineteenth century, it was also deposited
m an immense literature. Even before Le.feuve, who described Paris "street by
street, house by house," there were numerous works that depicted this storied
landscape as backdrop for the dreaming idler. The study of these books consti­
tuted a second existence, already wholly predisposed toward dreaming; and
what the Bineur learned from them took form and figure during an afternoon
before the aperitif. \o\buldn't he, then, have necessarily fdt the steep slope
the church of Notre Dame de Lorette rue all the more insistently under
his soles ifhe realized: here, at one time, after Paris had gotten its first omnibuses,
the cheval tit rmfort was harnessed to the coach to reinforce the two other horses.
[MI ,5[
One must make an effort to grasp the altogether fascinating moral constitution of
the Hineur. The police-who here, as on so many of the subjects we
arc treatmg, appear as experts-provide the following indication in the report of
a Paris secret agent from October 1798(?): "It is almost impossible to summon
good moral character in a thickly massed population where each
mdlVl5lual, unbeknownst to all the others, hides in the O"Owd, so to speak, and
before the eyes of no one." Cited in Adolf Sdunidt, Pariu r Zustiinde
wiilrrrnd der Revolution, vol. 3 (jena, 1876). The case in which the Hftneur com­
pletely distances himself from the type of the philosophical promenader, and
takes on the features of the werewolf restlessly roaming a social wildemess, was
fixed for the first time and forever afterward by Poe in his story "The Man of the
Crowd." {Ml ,6)
The appearances of superposition, of overlap, which come with hashish may be
grasped through the concept of similitude. When we say that one face is similar
[Q another, we mean that certain fearures of this second face appear to us in the
first, without the latter's ceasing to be what it has been. Nevertheless, the possi­
bilities of entering into appearance in this way are not subject to any criterion and
are therefore bouncUess. The category of similarity, which for the waking con­
sciousness has only minimal relevance, attains unlimited relevance in the world
of hashish. There, we may say, everything is face: each thing has the degree of
bodily presence that allows it to be searched-as one searches a face-for such
traits as appear. Under these conditions even a sentence (to say nothing of the
single word) puts on a face, and this face resembles that of the sentence standing
opposed to it. In this way every truth points manifestly to its opposite, and this
state of affairs explains the existence of doubt. Truth becomes something living;
it lives solely in the rhytlun by which statement and counterstatement displace
each other in order [Q think each other.3 [MIa,I)
Valery Larbaud on the "moral climate of the Parisian street." "Relations always
begin with the fiction of equality, of Christian fraternity. In this crowd the inferior
is disguised as the superior, and the superior as the inferior-disguised morally,
in both cases. In other capitals of the world, the disguise barely goes beyond the
appearance, and people visibly insist on their differences, making an effort to
retain them in the face of pagans and barbarians. Here they efface them as much
as they can. Hence the peculiar sweeUless of the moral climate of Parisian streets,
the chann which makes one pass over the vulgarity, the indolence, the monotony
of the crowd. It is the grace of Paris, its virtue: charity. VlrtUOUS crowd ..."
Valery Larbaud, "Rues et visages de Paris: Pour l'album de Chas-Laborde,"
Commau ,8 (Summer 1926), pp. 36-3Z Is it permissible to refer this phenomenon
so confidently to Christian virtue, or is there not perhaps at work here an intoxi­
cated assimilation, superposition, equalization that in the streets of this city
proves to carry more weight than the will to social accreditation? One might
adduce here the hashish experience "Dante und and measure the
impact of intoxicated experience on the proclamation of the rights of man. 1bis
all unfolds at a considerable remove from Christianity. [M I a,2)
The "colportage phenomenon of space" is the 8.meur's basic experience. Inas­
much as this phenomenon also-from another angle-shows itself in the mid­
nineteenth-century interior, it may not be amiss to suppose that the heyday of
fI.merie occur in this sanle period. 1"hanks to this phenomenon, everything poten­
tially taking place in this one single room is perceived simultaneously. The space
winks at the flaneur: What do yOll think may have gone on here? Of course, it
has yet to be explained how tllls phenomenon is associated with colportage.}
oHistory 0 [Ml a,3)
A true masquerade of space-that is what the British embassy's ball on May 17,
1839, must have been. "In addition to the glorious Bowers from gardens and
greenhouses, 1,000- 1,200 rosebushes were ordered as part of the decoration for
the festivities. It was said that only 800 of them could fit in the rooms of the
embassy, but that \vill give you an idea of the utterly mythological magnificence.
The garden, covered by a pavilion, was turned into a lalon de conlKT"Jation. But
what a salon! The gay Bower beds, full of blooms, were huge which
everyone came over to admire; the gravel on the walks was covered with fresh
linen, out of consideration for all the white satin shoes; large sofas of lampas and
of damask replaced the wrought-iron benches; and on a round table there were
books and albwns. It was a pleasure to take the air in this immense boudoir,
where one could hear, like a magic chant, the sounds of the orchestra, and where
one could see passing, like happy shadows, in the three surrounding flower-lined
galleries, both the fun-loving girls who came to dance and the more serious girls
who came to sup." H. La Vie paruienne ;ous (Ie regne de) Loui;­
Philzppe <Paris, 1925>, pp. 446-44Z The account derives from Madame de
Girardin. 0 Interior 0 Today, the watchword is not entanglement but transpar­
ency. (Le Corbusier!) [Mla,4)
The principle of colportage illustration encroaching on great painting. "The re­
ports on the engagements and battles which, in the catalogue, were supposed to
illuminate the moments chosen by the painter for battle scenes, but which failed
to achieve this goal, were usually augmented with citations of the works from
which these reports were drawn. Thus, one would find at the end, frequently in
parentheses: Campagne; d'Espagne, by Marshal Suchet; Bulle/in de fa Grande Ar­
mie et rapports qfficielsj Gau tte de France, number ... ; and the like; Hi;/oire de la
rivolution ftanfaiJe, by M. Thers, volume .. . , page ... ; Vic/oira et cMlqueta ,
volume .. . , page ... ; and so forth and so on." Ferdinand von Gall, Paru und
5eine Salons (Oldenburg, 1844), vol. 1, pp. 198-199. [M2,1]
Category of illustrative seeing-fundamental for the 8.meur. Like Kubin when
he wrote Andere Seite, he composes his reverie as text to accompany the images.
One imitates certain things one knows from paintings: prison, the
Bndge of Sighs, stairs like the train of a dress. [M2,3)
know that, in the course of Banerie, far-off times and places interpenetrate the
and the present moment. When the authentically intoxicated phase of
this condition announces itself, the blood is pounding in the veins of the happy
Baneur, his heart ticks like a clock, and inwardly as weU as outwardly things go
on as we wou1d imagine them to do in one of those "mechanical pictures" which
in the nineteenth cenrury (and of course earlier, too) enjoyed great popu1arity,
and which depicts in the foreground a shepherd playing on a pipe, by his side two
children swaying in time to the music, further back a pair of hunters in pursuit of
a lion, and very much in the background a train crossing over a trestle bridge.
Chapuis and Gelis, it Montie ties automates (Paris, 1928), vol. 1, p. 330.' (M2,4]
The attitude of the B1neur--epitome of the political attitude of the middle classes
during the Second Empire. (M2,5]
With the steady increase in trnffic on the st:reets, it was only the macadamization
of the roadways that made it possible in the end to have a conversation on the
terrace of a cafe without shouting in the other person's ear. (M2,6)
The laissez·faire of the 81neur has its counterpart even in the revolutionary
philosophemes of the period. "\o\t smile at the chimerical pretension [of a Saint­
Simon] to trace all physical and moraJ phenomena back to the law of universal
attraction. But we forget too easily that this pretension was not in itself isolated;
under the influence of the revolutionizing natural laws of mechanics, there couJd
arise a c:u.rrent of natural philosophy which saw in the mechanism of nature the
proof of just such a mechanism of social life and of events generally." <Willy>
SpUhler, Dr:r Saint-Simonumus (ZUrich, 1926), p. 29. [M2,7)
Dialectic of B1nerie: on one side, the man who feels himself viewed by all and
sundry as a true suspea and, on the other side, the man who is utterly undis·
coverable, the hidden man. Presumably, it is this dialectic that is developed in
"The Man of the Crowd." [M2,8]
"Theory or the transrormation or the ci ty into countrY8ide: thi8 was ... the main
theme or my unfinished work on Maul)aBsaDt .... At issue was the ci ty as hUlltin!!: .
ground, and in general the concept or the hunter played a nlajor role (as in the
theory or the uniForm: all hunters look alike)." Leiter rrom Wiesengrund, June 5,
1935. 1M2,')
The principle of Banerie in Proust: "Then, quite apart from all those literary
preoccupations, and without definite attachment to anything, suddenly a roof, a
gleam of sunlight reBected from a stone, the smell of a road would make me stop
still, to enjoy the special pleasure that each of them gave me, and also because
they appeared to be concealing, beneath what my eyes could see, something
which they invited me to approach and take from them, but which, despite all my
efforts, I never managed to discover." Du CiJIi de ,lIa Swann <(Paris, 1939), vol. I ,
p. 256.)7- This passage shows very clearly how the old Romantic sentiment for
landscape dissolves and a new Romantic conception of landscape emerges-of
landscape that seems, rather, to be a cityscape, if it is true that the city is the
properly sacred ground of fiinerie. In this passage, at any rate, it wouJd be
presented as such for the first time since Baudelaire (whose ,",,'Ork does nOt yet
portray the arcades, though they were so numerous in his day). [M2a,l )
So the Bfmeur goes for a walk in his room: "WhenJohrumes sometimes asked for
pemlission to go out, it was usually denied him. But on occasion his father
proposed, as a substitute, that they walk up and down the room hand in hand.
nus seemed at first a poor substitute, but in fact ... something quite nove]
awaited him. The proposal was accepted, and it was left entirely to Johannes to
decide where they should go. Off they went, then, right out the front entrance,
out to a neighboring estate or to the seashore, or simply through the streets,
exactly as J ohannes couJd have wished; for his father managed everything.
While they strolled in this way up and down the Boor of his room, his father told
him of all they saw. They greeted other pedestrians; passing wagons made a din
around them and drowned out his father's voice; the comfits in the pastry shop
were more inviting than ever." An early work by Kierkegaard, cited in Eduard
Geismar, SOrrn Kir:rlug(Ulrd (Gottingen, 1929), pp. 12- 13. Here is the key to the
schema of Voyage au/our tie ma chambrt.' (M2a,2]
"'The manuracturer pa8ses over the asphalt eonseiouB or i18 quality; the old man
sea rches it carerul1y, foUows it just as long aB be can, happil y tap8 hi. cane.o the
wood re80nates , and recall8 with pride that he personaUy wi tnes8ed the laying or
the firs t sidewalks; the poet ... walks on it pensive and unconcerned, muttering
lines or verse; the 8tockbroker hurrie. P88t, calculating the advant age. or the last
ri8e in wheat ; a nd the madcap 8lides acron." Alexi s Martin, " Physiologie de l' a8­
phalte," Le BoMme, I , no. 3, (April 15. 1855}-Charles Pradier, edi tor in chier.
On the Parisians' technique of inhabiting their streets: "Returning by the Rue
Saint-Honore, we met with an eloquent example of that Parisian st:reet industry
which can make use of anything. Men were at work repairing the pavement and
laying pipeline, and, as a resuJt, in the middle of the street there was an area
which was blocked off but which was embanked and covered with stones. On
this spot street vendors had inunediately installed themselves, and five or six
\\'ere selling writing implements and notebooks, cutlery, lampshades, garters,
embroidered collars, and all sorts of trinkets. Even a dealer in secondhand goods
had opened a branch office here and was displaying on the stones his bric-a.-brac
of old cups, plates, glasses, and so forth, so that business was profiting, instead of
Suffering, from the brief disturbance. They are simpl y wizards at making a
vinue of necessity." Adolf Stahr, Xat.hfiirif Jahrm (Oldenburg, 1857), vol. I ,
Seventy years later, I had the same experience at the comer of the BouJevard
Saint_·Germain and the Boulevard Raspail. Parisians make the street an interior.
"It is wonderful that in Paris itself one can actually wander through countryside."
Karl Gutzkow, Briife au; Pari; (Leipzig, 1842), vol. I , p. 61. The other side of the
is thus touched on. For if 8inerie can transfonn Paris into one great
mtenor-a house whose rooms are the quartin-s, no less clearly demarcated by
thresholds tha? are real on the other hand, the city can appear to
someone walking through It to be Wlthout thresholds: a landscape in the round.
But in analysis, ool.y the revolution creates an open space for the city.
Fresh a.tr doctnne of revoluaons. Revolution disenchants the city. ConUTlune in
L'EduCIltion srotimtnta/e. Image of the street in civil war. (M3,3)
Street as domestic interior. Concernill g the Passagc dll Ponl· Neuf (betwccn Ihe
Hue Gu.!negaud and t he Rue de Seine): " the shops resemble closets. " Nouveaux
'fableaux de Puru, 011 Observatioru sllr les mreurs et UJ<l8es deJ PuriJifmJ au
commencement du sieck (pa ri s, 1828), vol. I , I). 34. rM3,4)
The courtyard of Ihe Tuileries: "immense savannah plant ed with lampposts in.
stead of banana t rees." Paul-Erncst ti e Rallier, Puris tI 'exilte pus (Pari s, 1857).
o Gas 0 [M3,5)
Passage Colbert: "The gas lamp illuminating it looks like a coconut palm in the
middle of a savannah."O Gas OLe Livre del cent-et· utl (Paris, 1833), vol. 10, p. 57
(Amooee Kennel , " Les Passages de Paris"). rM3,6) I
Lighting in thc Passage Colbcn: "I admire the regular series of those crystal
globes, which give off a light both vivid and gentle. Couldn't the same be said of
comets in battJe formation, awaiting the signal for departure to go vagabonding
through space?n u Livre du ant..d-un, vol. 10, p. 5Z Compare this transfonna­
tion of the city into an astral world with Grandville's Un Autre Montie. 0 Gas 0
In 1839 it was considered elegant to take a tortoise out walking. TIlls gives us an
idea of the tempo of8anerie in the arcades. [M3,8)
Gustave Claudin is supposed to have said: "On the day when a fil et ceases to be a
filel and a 'chateaubri and ,' when a mutton stew ill call ed an ' Irish Slew,'
or when the wait er cries out , ' !t1olliteur, clock! ' to indi cale Ihal this newspnl.ICr ",as
requested i1 y the customer silting under the c1ock--on that day, Pari s will have
been truly tl et hrolled! " Jul es Clarcti e, La. Vie aPa r j., 1896 ( Paris. 1897), p. 100.
"There-on the Avenue des Champs-Elysees-it has stood since 1845: the
Jardin d'Hiver, a colossal greenhouse with a great many rooms for social occa­
sions, for balls and concerts, although, since its doors are open in summer too, it
hardly deserves the name of winter garden.
When the sphere of planning crt­
ates such entanglements of closed room and airy nature, then it serves in this way
to meet the deep human need for daydrearning-a propensity that perhaps
proves the true efficacy of idleness in human affairs. Wbldemar Scyffarth, Wallr­
nehmllngm in Paris 1853 lind 1854 (Gotha, 1855), p. 130. (M3,IO)
The menu at Les Trois "Thirty-six pages for food, four pages
for drink-but very long pages, in small folio, with closely packed text and
numerous annotations in fine print.'" The booklet is bound in velvet. Twenty
hors d' oeuvres and thirty-three soups. "Forty·six beef dishes, among which are
seven different beefsteaks and eight 6lets.
"Thirty-four preparations of game,
forty-seven dishes of vegetables, and seventy-olle varieties of compote.
Rodenberg, Paris he; Sonnmschein lind Lampenlicht (Leipzig, 1867), pp. 43-44.
Flanerie through the bill oHare. (M3a,l)
The best way, while dreaming, to catch the afternoon in the net of evening is to
make plans. The fianeur in planning. (M3a,2)
"Le Corbusier 's houses depend on neither spatial nor plastic arti cul ati on: the air
passes through them! Air bccomes a constituti ve factor! What mailers, therefore,
neither spati alit y IJer se nor plasti ci t y per se but onl y r elation and interfusion.
There is but one indi visible sl)ace. The integuments separating inside fcom outside
fall away. " Sigfried Giedion, Batten itl Frankreich (Berlin, 1928>, p. 85. (M3a,3)
Streets are the dwelling place of the collective. The collective is an etemally
unquiet, eternally agitated being that-in the space becwr:en the building fronts­
experiences, learns, understands, and invents as much as individuals do within
the privacy of their own four walls. For this collective, glossy enamded shop
signs aR a waJ.J decoration as good as, if not better than, an oil painting in the
drawing room of a bourgeois; walls with their "'PoSt No Bills
are its writing desk,
newspaper stands its libraries, mailboxes its bronze busts, benches its bedroom
furniture, and the cafe terrace is the baJcony from which it looks down on its
household. The section of railing where road workers hang their jackets is the
vestibule, and the gateway which leads from the row of courtyards out into the
open is the long corridor that daunts the bourgeois, being for the courtyards the
entry to the chambers of the city. Among these lauer, the arcade was the drawing
rOOm. More than anywhere dse, the street reveals itself in the arcade as the
furnished and familiar interior of the masses. [M3a,4)
The intoxicated interpenetration of street and residence such as comes about in
the Paris of the nineteenth century- and especially in the experience of the
fianeur--:-has prophetic value. For the new architecture lets this interpenetration
become sober reality. Giedion on occasion draws at tention to this: "A detail of
anonymous engineering, a grade crossing, becomes an element in the architec­
ture" (that is, of a vill a). S. Giedion, BaUt1l in Fran/mitn <Berlin, 1928>, p. 89.
" Hugo, ill I.e, Miserabk" has provided an amazing description of the Faubourg
Saint-Marceau: ' II was no longer a place of 80litude, for there were IH!Opie passing;
it was Dot the country, for there were hou8eR and streets; it was not a cit y, for the
st.reets had ruts in them, like the highway8, and grail grew along their border 8; it
was not a village, for the houles were too lofty. What was it then? It was an
inhabited place where there was nobody, it was a desert place where there wall
somebody; it was a boulevard of the great ci ty, a street of Pari&-wilder at night
than a forest , and by day than a graveyard.'''It <Lucien> Dubeeh and
<Pierre> d'Espe1:el, Histoire de Paris (Paris, 1926), p. 366. (M3a,6]
"'The last horse-drawn omnibus made its 6nal run on the VllleUNaint SuJpice
line in J anuary 1913; the last horse--drawn tram, on the Palltin-O,.era line in April
of the same year." Dubech and d' Espezel, llistoire de Paris, p. 463. [M3a,7]
"On January 30, 1828, the fi rst omnibus began operation on the line running along
the boulevard from the Bastill e to the Madeleine. The fare was twenty-five or
thirt y cenlinles; the car 8topped where one wi shed. It had eighteen to twenty seats,
and its rout e was divided into two stages, with the Saint-Martin gate as midpoint.
The vogue for this inventi on was ell traordinary: in 1829, the company waa run­
ning fift een lines. and rival companies were offering stiff competition-Tricyclea,
Ecossaise8 <Scots Women>, Bearnaisea <Gascon Women>, Dames Blanches <Ladies
in White>. Dnbe<:h and d' Espe1:d, llistoire de Paris, p . 358-359. [M3a,8]
"After an hour the ga thering broke up, and for the first time I found the streets of
Paris nearl y deserted. On the boulevards I met onl y unaccompanied persons, and
on the Rue Vivienne at Stock Market Square, wher e by day you have 10 wind your
way tbrough the cr owd . there wasn' t a soul . I could hear nothing but my own step.
and the murnlUr of founl ai ns where by day you cannol escape the deafening buzz.
In the vi cinit y of the Palais Royal I encountered a patrol. The soldiers were ad­
vancing file along hoth sides of the street , close to the houses, at a distance of
fi ve or Sill paces from one another 80 as not 10 be attacked at the same time and so
as to be able to render mutual aid. Thi8 reminded me that , at the ver y begi nning of
my stay here. I had been advi sed to proceed in thi s manner myself at ni ght when
with several olhers, but . if I had to go home alone, always to take a cab." Eduard
Devri enl , Brief e (IIl..f l'aru (Bcrlin. 1840), p. 248. [M4,I)
On the omnihuses. "The driver stops and you mount Ihe few steps of the conven­
ienl little staircase and look about for a place in the car, where benches ell tend
lengt llwise 011 the ri ght and the left , with room for Ill) 10 sixteen people. You've
hanll y set foot in the car when il startll rolling again. The conductor has once more
pulled t.he corti , and , with a Ilui ck movement Ihal causes a bell to sound, he
:Id vances the noodle 0 11 a transparent diul to indicate that anotll er lH!rson has
cnt ered; hy thili mea ns lhey kt..'Cp trll ck of rt.. -.:cipts. Now that the car is moving, you
reach calml y into your wall et 11II t! pay t.he fllre. IJ you happen to be silling reason­
IIbly fllr from Ihe conductor, the mOll ey travels frolll hall d to hand among the
passengers; the well -dreul:d lady tll kes it from the workiJl gman in the blue j acket
and passel; it 0 11 . This is all accomplished easily, in routine fashi on, and without
any bOlher. When someone is to exit , Ihe cOlI<luclor agai ll I)UUSthe cord and brings
the car to a hah. IJ it is going uphill- whi ch iJi Paris it often is-and therefore is
going more slowly, men will cllstomari ly c1i mh on and off without the car 's havi ng
to stop." Eduard Den ient . Briefe tII1.5 Pa ris (Ber lin, 1840), p . 61-62. [M4,2)
..It was after the Ellhihilion of 1867 Ihal olle bega n to see those velocipedes whi ch,
some years later. had a vogue as widespreali as it was short-li ved. We may recall
that under the Directory cert ain Incroyablcs
could be seen riding vel ociferes.
whi ch were bulky, badl y constructed veloci pedes. On May 19, 18M, a play entitled
Yelocijercs was performcli at the VuudevilJe; it cont ai ned a song with this verse:
You, parlisa ns of Ihe gentl e gait ,
Coachmen who have 108t the spnr,
Would ),ou now acceienl te
Be)'on(ilhe prompt velocifere?
Lea rn then how to 8uil8tilllte
Dellleri t)· for SIJeed.
By the beginning of 1868, however, velocipede8 were in circulation, and 800n the
public wal kways were everywhere furrowed. Yelocemen replaced boatmen. There
were gymnasia and arena8 for velocilHldists. and competitions were set up to chal ­
lenge the skill of amateurs.... Today the vel ociJ»ede is finished and forgotten."
H. Gourdon de Genouill ac. Paris tJlraver s ks ,ieck, (Paris, 1882), vol. 5, p_ 288.
The peculiar irresolution of the Baneur. Just as waiting seems to be the proper
state of the impassive thinker, doubt appears to be that of the Baneur. An elegy by
Schiller contains the phrase: "the hesitant wing of the butter£ly."L2 This points to
that association of wingedness with the feeling of indecision which is so charac­
teristic of hashish intoxication. [M4a, I)
E. T. A. Hoffmann as type of the fia.neuf; "Des Vetters Eckfenster" (My Cousin's
Comer Window> is a testamcnt to this. And thus Hoffmann's great success in
France, where there has bcen a special understanding for this type. In the bio­
graphical nOtes to the fi ve-volume edition of his latcr writings (Brodhag?),L3 we
read: "H offmann was never really a friend of the great outdoors. \oVhat mattered
to him more than anything else was the human being-communi cation with,
observations about, thc sin1pl e sight of, human bcings. VVhenever he went for a
walk in sWllmer, whi ch in good weathcr happened every day toward evening,
then ... there was scarcdy a tavern or pastry shop where he would not look in to
see whether anyone-and, if so, who-might be there." [M4a,2)
Menilmontanl. " I.n thi s immense quur'icr where meager sRla ri ell (loom women and
childrcJI to eternal privation, the Ruc de la Chint: and tilOse slreels which join and
cui across it , such as the Rue de8 Partants and that a mazing Rue Orfila . fantas_
tic with ill roundabout s and its sudden turns, its fcnccs of uneven wood slats , its
uninhabited summerhouses. its deserl ed gardens reclaimed by nature where wild
shrubs and weeds are growing. sound a note of appeasement and of rare calm . ...
It is a country path under an open sky where most of the people who pass seem to
have eat en and drunk," J .-K. Huysmans, Croquu PClruiem (Paris, 1886), I). 95
("La Rue de la Chine"). [M4a,3]
Di ckens. " In his letters. . he complains repeatedly when traveling, even in the
mountains of Switzerland, ... about the lack of Itreet noise, which was indispen­
sable to him for hi s writing. ' I can' t expresl how much I want these [streets] ,' be
wrote in 1846 from Lausanne. where he was working on one of his great est novels,
Dombey and Son . ' It seems as if they supplied lIomething to my brain, whi ch it
cannot bea r, when bU8y, Io lose. For a week or a fortnight 1can write prodigiou81y
in a retired place ... and a day in London selll me up again and starU me. But the
toil and labor of writing. day after day, without that magi c lantern, is Un-­
merue.... My figures seem disposed to stagnate without crowds about them ....
In Genoa . .. I had two miles of streets at least . lighted at night . to walk about in;
and a great theater to repair to, every night ... <Fra nz Mehring,> " Charles Dick­
ens ," Die neue Zeit , 30, no. 1 (Stutt gart , 1912). pp. 62 1--622. (M4a,4]
Brief deacril'tion of mi sery; probabl y under the bridges of the Seine. 14A bohemian
woman sleeps, her head tilted forward , her empty purse between her legs. Her
blouse is covered with pins that glitter in the l un, and the few appurt enances of her
household and toilett e--two brusll es. an open knife, a closed till-are so weD
arranged that trus IICmbl ance of order creates a lmost an air of intimacy, the
shadow of an interieur, around her." Marcel J ouhandeau, Image. de Pam (Paris
<1934» , p. 62. [M5,! )
"( Baudelaire's) ' Le Bea u Navi re' <The Good Shil) cr eated quit e a stir.... It was
the cue for a whole seriea of sail or songs, which seemed t o ha ve Iransformed the
Parisians int o mariner s and insl)ired them with dreaml of boating... . In wealthy
Veni ce where IUl[ury shines, I Wher e golden porticoes gli mmer in til e water, I
Where I)alaces of glori ous marble reveal I Ma8terworks of art and treasures di ­
vine, I I have only my gondola , I Spri ghtl y as a bird I That daru and Aies at its
ease, I Skimming the surface of the waters." H. Gourdon de Gell ouill ac, Le. He­
jraimJ de la r ue. ck 1830 (11870 ( Paril, 1879), pp. 21- 22. (M5,2)
''' Tell me. what is thai awful stew whi ch smell s so i!J warllling ill Ihat great
pot?' !Jays a Ilrovillcial "ort to an old IKlrter. ' That . my dear sir. is II batch of
paving IIt olles that are being baked to I)aveour poor bOll.l cvard, whi eh is looking8Q
worn! ... As if slroWllg whell YOIl walked 0 11 the soil , the way you do
in a gardeu!" La Gnll1de YilIe: NOll veau Tablea.1I de Pur;" (Paris . 1844). vol. I ,
p. 334 ("' Al Oitume"). [MS,3]
On til e first Olll nibuses: "ComlH!titioll hall already emerged ill the forlll of ' Les
IJames Blanches.' ... Theile cars are painted enti.reiy in whit e, and t he drivers,
dressed in ... whit e, operate a lH!li ow6 with t.heir foot that pl ays the tune from w
D(lme Bfall cll e: ' The lady in wllite is looking at you .. .''' Nada r, QU(Jlld j'etail
pllOtQg nl/Jll e ( Paris ( 1900) , I'p. 301- 302 (" 1830 et environs"). [Ms.4]
Musset oll ce named the scet ion of the boulevards that lies lH!hind the Theatre det
Va ri etes, and that is 1I 0t much by fl anell rs , t.he Eallt Indies. <See
Mlla,3. > (M5,5J
The fianeur is the observer of the marketplace. His knowledge is akin to the
occult science of industrial fiuctuatiollS. He is a spy for the capitalists, on assign.
ment in the realm of consumers. [M5,6]
The fi1neur and the masses: here Baudelaire's "R1:ve parisien" might prove very
instructive. [MS,7]
The idleness of the fhineur is a demonstration against the division of labor.
Asphalt was first used for sidewalks.
{M' ,' )
"A lown, such as Loudon, where a man may wander for hours together without
reaching the beginning of the end, without meeti.ng the slight est hint which could
lead to the inference that there is ope n count ry within reach, is a stra nge thing.
This colo88al centraUzation, this heaping together of two and a half millions of
human lH!ings at olle point , has mlliti"lied the power of this two and a half nli.llioD8
a hlllldredfold; has raised London to t.he commercial capital of tile wor ld, created
the giant cl ocks and assembl ed the thousalld vessels that continuall y cover the
Tha mes .... But the sacrifi ces which all thi s has cost becollle apparent later. Mter
roamil\g tht; streets of the capital a day or two, ... olle realizes for til e first time
t hat these Londoners have heen forced to the best ' Iualities of tll cir hu­
man nature to hring to pan all the marvel s of civili zation .. . . The very t urmoi l of
the streets has somet hing repulsive about iI-something against whieh hUlll an na­
lure rehel s. The hUllIlreds of of all classes a nd ranks crowdillg " ast
each other-aren' t they all human beings with the sa lli e arltl powers, and
""ith the sallie int erest inlH!ing happy? Arul arell ' t they obligerl , in liJeeluJ, to seek
hllppint;ss in the sallie wa y, lI y Ihe SlI lIIe rlll:aIl S? Allil Hill they crowd hy one
II l1 0t her as though they had notlling ill COllllllon, nothing to do with one another,
and their only agreement is t he tacit one--that each keep to his OWII side of the
"avement , so as not to delay the opposing st reams of the crowll- while no man
thi.nks to honor another wit h so much as a glance. The brutal indifference, the
unfeeling isolation of each in his private interest becomes the more repellent and
offensive, the more I.hese individuals a re cro....ded t ogl!lher within a limited space.
And ho ....ever much one may be aware that this isolatioll of the individual, this
na rrow self-set':king, is the fundamental principle of our society everywhere, it is
nowhere 80 shamelessly barefaced, so self-conscious , as just here in the crowding
of t he great city. " Friedrich Engels, Die Loge der (lrbeihmden Kt(l lle in Englarul,
21111 ed. (Leipzig, 1848), pp. 36-37 (" Di e grossen [M5a,1]
" By ' bohemians' I mean that class of individuals for whom existence is a problem,
circumstances a myth, and fortune an enigma; ....ho have no sort of fixed abode, DO
place of refuge. who belollg nowhere and are met with everywhere; who have DO
particular calling in life bul follow fifty profession8; who, for the most part , arise
in the morning without knowing where they are to dine ill t he evening; who are ricb
today, impoverished tomorrow; who are ready to live honestl y if they can, and
otherwise if they cannot ." Adolphe d' Enner y and Grallge, Les Bohemieru de Paris
<A play in 6ve acts and eight tabl eaux) (Paris), pp. 8-9 ( L' Ambi gu-Comique, Sep­
tember 27, 1843; series entitled Maga.Jin ,healrat).
"Then from out of Saint Martin's Gate I The romanti c Omnibus Rashed by."
[Leon Cozlan, ] l..e Triomphe de. Omnibus: Poeme heroi:-<:omique (Paris, 1828),
p. 15. [M6, l]
" When the first German railway line was about 10 be cOliltructed in Bavaria, the
medkal faculty at Erlangen published an expert opinion ... : the rapid movement
would cause ... cerebral disorders (the mere 8ight of a train rushing by could
already do this), and it was therefore lI ecessary, at the 1e88t , 10 build a wooden
barri er five feet high 011 both sides of the track. " Egoll Friedell , Kuhurge&chichle
Jer Neuzeil (Munich, 193 1), vol. 3, p. 91. [M6,2]
" Beginning around 1845 ... there were railroads and &learners in all parts of
Europe, and the new means of transport were celebrated .... Pictures, letters,
stori etl of travel were the preferred genre for authors alld readers." Egon FriedeU,
Kut,"rgeschich,e der Netu.ei, (Munich, 1931), vol. 3, p. 92. [M6,3)
The following observation typifies the concerns of the age: "When one. is
on a river or lake, one's body is without active movement .... The skin
ences no contraction, and its pores remain wide open and capable of absorbmg
all the emanations and vapors of the surrounding environment. The blood ...
remains ... concentrated in the cavities of the chest and abdomen, and reaches
the exunnities with difficulty." J..F. Dancd, lk l'/rifluenu des uoyageJ Jur I'homTM
et Jur JeJ makuiiu: Ouurage Jpicia/emen/ deJ/ini aux genJ du mouth (paris, 1846),
p. 92 ("Des Promenades en bateau sur les lacs et les rivieres"). [M6,4)
Rema rkable di stinction betwet':n fHineur a lld rubberne<:k (badaud); " Let U 8 1I0t .
however, cOllfuse the fl iineur with the rubberne<:k: there is a subtle difference... .
The average fliineur ... is always in full of hi s indi viduality. while Ihat
of the rubberneck di8aplJears, absorbetl by the ext ernal ....orld , ... whi ch moves
him 10 the point of int oxication alld et:stasy. Under t.he influence of the 8lJeCtacle,
the rubbernet:k OC'f:omes an impe nollal being. He is no 10llger a man- he is the
publi c; he i8 the crowd . At a distance from natu.re, ltis lIai\"e soul aglow, ever
inclined to reveri e, ... the true rubberneck deserves the admirati on of all upright
allli sincere hearu ." Victor Fournel, Ce (In 'On vOil Ilmu le$ n U?$ de P(lru (Paris,
1858), p. 263 ("L'Od yssoo <1 ' 1111 Aalleur dans lea rues lI e Paris") . [M6,5]
The phantaSmagoria of the Bancur: to read from faces thc profession, the ances­
try, the character. [M6,6)
1.11 1851
- there ....a8 &l iU a regular stage<:oach Iille het ....eell Paris and Venice.
[MG,' )
011 the coi lwrtage phenomellon of space: "'The sense of mY8tery, ' ....rote Odilon
Redon, who had learned the secret from da Vinci , 'comes from remainillg always
ill the equivocal, with double and triple perspectives, or inklings of persl)C(:tive
(images within images)--forms that l ake shape and come int o being according to
the state of mind of the 8pe<:tator. All thillgs more suggestive just because they do
appear. '" Ci ted in Raymond Escholier, " Arti8te," Aru et melier$ No.
47 (June I, 1935), p. 7. [M6a, l ]
The flalleur at night. " Tomorrow, perhaps, ... noct ambuli sm will have had its
day. But at least it will be lived to the full during the thirty or forty years it will
lasl. . . . The individual call rest from time to ti me; stopping places and waysta­
tiOIiS are permitt ed him. But he does not have the right to sleep." Alfred Delvau,
Les He"res pa,uiermes (Pa ri s. 1666). pp. 200, 206 ("Deux Heures de matin").­
That nightlife was significalltly e1(tended is evident already from tbe fact that , a8
Delvau recounts (p. 163), the stores were cl08ing at ten o' clock. [M6a, 2]
In the musical revue by Barre, Radet , alld Desfontaines , M. DurelieJ, ou Petite
Revue des embeUiuemen& de Paris ( Paris, 1810), performed at the Thea tre de
Vaud,?viUe on June 9, 1810, Pari8 in tile form of a model constructed by 1\1. Dure·
li ef has mi grated into the scenery. The cllOrus " how agreeable it is to have
all of Paris in one's drawing room" (I" 20). The plot revolves a round a wager
het wtt l1 t he a rchit ect Durelief and til e pai nt er Ferdinand; if the fonner, in hi 8
nl odel of Paris, omits an y sort of " embellishment, " then his daughter Vict orine
st raightaway beloll gs to .'erdinalld, .... ho otherwise has to wait two yea rs for her. It
tur n8 out th at I>ureli ef has forgotten Her Maj esty the t: mpress Ma rie Loui8e, " the
OJost beautiful orname.nt " of Paris. (M6a,3)
The city is the realization of that ancient dream of humanity, the labyrinth. It is
this reality to which the 8:ineur, without knowing it, devotes himself. Wit.hout
knowing it; yet nothing is more foolis h than the conventionaJ thesis which ration­
alizes his behavior, and which forms the uncontested basis of that voluminous
literature that traces the figure and demeanor of the flineur- the thesis, namely,
that the Bineur has made a study of the physiognomic appearance of people in
order to discover their nationality and social station, character and destiny, from
a perusal of their gait, build, and play of features. The interest in concealing the
true motives of the Baneur must have been pressing indeed to have occasioned
such a shabby thesis. (M6a,4)
In Maxime Du Camp's poem "Le Voyageur,'" the flineur wears the costume of
the traveler:
"I am afraid to stop-it's me engine afmy life;
Love galls me so; 1do not want to 10\.'C."
"Move on men, on with your bitter travels!
The sad road awaits you: meet your
Maxime Du Camp, Ul ChanlJ modmuj (Paris, 1855), p. 104. [M7, l )
Lit hogra ph. Cabmen Doing Baule with Omnibw Drivers . Cabinet def! Estampet.
As earl y as 1853, there are offl cial statisti cll concerning vehicul ar traffi c at certain
Parisian nerve centeTtl . " 'n 1853, thirt y-one omnihus lines were serving Paris, aDd
it is worlh noting that , with a few el(CeptioDs, these lines were designated by the
same Jeners used for the aut obu8 Lines at that time. ThUll it was that the
' Madeleine-8 astill e' Line was already Line E." Paul d'Ariste, La Vie e' I.e mOnM
du boulevard. 1830-1870 (Paris <1930», p . 1%. [M7,3j
At conne<: ting Itations for the omnibus, passengers were call ed up in numerical
ordcr and had to answer when called if they wanted to preserve their right to a
seal. (1855) [M7,4)
"The absinthe hour . dates from the burgeoning ... of the small press. In
earlicr timcs, "..hclI there was nothing but large serious newspapers , .. . there
110 ahsinthe hour. This heure de l 'ab$inthe is the logical consequence of the Pan­
sian gossip columns and tabloids." Gabriel Guillemot , Le Boheme (Paris, 1869),
p. 72 (" Physiognomies pari sielilles"). [M7,5)
Louis Lurine U 'Ti-eizibne Ammdwemcll de ParU (Paris, 1850), is one of the most
noteworthy ;estimonials to the distinctive physiognomy of the neighborhood.
TIle book has certain stylistic peculiarities. It personifies the quartier.
like "The thirteenth arront[w emrnl devotes itself to a man's love only when It can
fumish him with vices to love" (p. 216) art: not unusual. L1 [M7,6]
DiderOI '& " How beautiful the II troot !" is a favori te phra8e of the chroni clers of
fHi nerie. IM7,7)
Regarding the legend of til e fl ii neur: " Wit.h the aid of a word 1overhear in passing,
1reconstruct all entire COll versati on, an entire el(istence. The inflection of a voice
slIfflces for me to att ach the name of a deadly sin to the man "..hom I have just
jostled and whose profile I glimpsed ." Vi ctor Fournel, Ce qu'on voir dam les rue"
tie Pu rU (Paris, 1858), p. 270. (M7,8)
In 1857 there was still a coach departing from the Rue Pavee.Saint-Andre at 6 A. M.
for Venice; the trip took sil( weeks. See Fournel, Ce qu 'on voit dam le, rue, de
Paru (Parili ), p. 273. [M7,9]
In omnibuses, a dial that indicated the number of passengers. Why? As a control
for the conductor who distributed the tickets. [M7,IO]
" It is worth remarking ... that the omnibus seems 10 subdue and to still all who
approach it. Those who make their living from travelers ... can be r ecognized
ordinaril y by their coarsc rowdiness ... , bul omnibus employees, virtually alone
among transi t workers, display no trace of such behavior. It seems as though a
calming, drowsy influence emanates from this heavy machine, like that which
semis marmots and turtl es to sleep at the onliel of winter." Victor Fournel, Ce
qu 'on voil dum tes rues de ParU (Paris, 1858), p. 283 ("Cochers de fiacre.,
cachers de remise et cochers d'omnibu. "). [M7a, l j
"At the time Eugene Sue's Mysteres de P"ru was published, no one, in certain
neighborhoods of the capital , doubted the existence of a TortiUard, a Chouett e, a
Prince Rodolphe." Charles lAuandre, Les Idees subversive" ch notre temps
(Paris, 1872), p. 44. [M7a,2]
The first proposal for an omnibus system ca me from Pascal and was realized
under lAuis XIV, with tile characteristi c restri cti on " that soldiers, pages, foot ­
men, and other livery, including laborer. and hired hands, were not permitted
entry into said coaches." In 1828, introduction of the omnibuses, about which a
l)Oster tells us: "These vehicl eB ... warn of their approach by sounding Bpec.iaUy
designed horns." Eugcll e d ' Auriac, I-li"' oire "necdotique de l 'indwlrie!ramiaue
(Paris, 1861). Pl' . 250,281. [M7a,3]
Among the phantoms of the city is "Lambert n- an invented figure, a Baneur
perhaps. In any case, he is allotted the boulevard as the scene of his apparitions.
There is a fanlOus couplet with the refrain, "Eh, Lambert!n Delvau, in his Lioru
dUjour <Paris, 1867>, devotes a paragraph to him (p. 228). [M7a,4)
A rustic figure in the urban scene is described by Ddvau in his chapter "Le
Pauvre acheval
dbor Man on Horseback>, in us Lion.J duj our. "11lis horseman
was a poor devil whose means forbade his going on foot, and who asked for alms
as another man might ask for directions.... This mendicant ... on his litde nag,
with its wild mane and its shaggy coat like that of a rura1 donkey, has long
remained before my eyes and in my imagination .... He died-a rentier." Alfred
Delvau, Les Lioru dujour (Paris, 1867), pp. 116-117 ("Le Pauvre! cheva1").
Looking to accentuate the Parisians' new feding for nature, which rises above
gastronomical temptations, Rattier writes: U.A pheasant, displaying jtself at the
door of its leafy dwdling, would make its gold·and·ruby plumage sparkJe in the
sunlight ... , so as to greet visitors ... like a nabob of the forest." Paul·Ernest de
Rattier, Paris n'exutt pa.s (Paris, 1857), pp. 71-72. oGrandville 0 [M7a,6]
" It is emphatically not the counterfeit Paris that will have produced the rubber­
neck .... As for the f1ineur, who wa, always--on the sidewalk, and before the
dilplay windowt-a man of no account, a nonentity addicted to charlatanl and
ten-cent emotionl, a stranger to aU t hat was not cobblestone, cab . or gas lamp, .. .
he hal become a laborer, a wine grower, a manufacturer of wool , sugar, and iron.
fi e is no longer dumbfounded at nature's ways. The germination of a plant no
longer seems to him external to the factory methods used in the Faubourg Saint­
Denis." Paul-Ernest de Rattier, PariJ n 'uute pas (Paris. 1857), pp. 74-75.
In his pamphlet Le Sieck maudi! (Paris, 1843), which takes a stand against the
corruption of contemporary society, Alexis Dumesnil makes use of a fiction of
Juvenal's: the crowd on the boulevard suddenly stops still, and a record of each
individual's thoughts and objectives at that particular moment is compiled
(pp. 103-104). [ M 8 ~ )
" The contradiction between town and country ... is the craslest expression of the
, ubj e<: tion of the individual to the division of labor. to a specifi c activity forced
upon him-a subj cction that makes one man into a narrow-minded city animal.
another into a narrow-minded country animal. " <Karl Marx and Friedrich Engell.
Die deuuche Ideowgie) in Marx-Engels Archiv. vol. I , ed. D. Rjazanov (Frank­
furt am Main ( 1928» , pp. 271-272.
& (M8.l]
At the Arc de Triomphe: "Ceaselessly up and down these streel8 parade the cabri­
ol ets . omnibuses, swallows, velocifere8, citadines, dame. blanche., and aU the
other public conveyances , whatever they may he called- not to nl ention the innu­
merable whiski es. be rlins. barouches. horsemen, and horsewomen. " L. Rell slab,
PariJ im Friihjahr 1843 (Leipzig, 1844), vol. I, p. 212. The author also mention.
an omnibus that carri ed its destination written on a Rag. [M8,"]
Around 1857 (see H. de Pene, PariJ intime [Paris, 1859). p. 224). the upper level
of the onlllibUI was closed 10 women. [M8,S]
A Paris omnibw. Lithograph by Honore Daumier, 1856. The caption reads: "Fifteen
centimes for a full bath! My word. what a bargain!" Stt M8,5.
"The geni al Vautrin. disguised as the abbe CarlOI Herrera, had foreseen the Pari­
liam' infatuation with public transport when he invested aU his fundi in transit
companies in order to settJe a dowry on Lucien de Rubemprc." Poete, Beaure­
paire, Clouzot, and Bennot, Une Promenade a .rauer. Paris au temps de, ro­
mantiques: EXIJosition de la Bibliotheque e l des Travullx hiJloriques de la Ville de
Paris (1908), p. 28. [M8,6]
"lberefore the one who sees, without hearing, is much more ... worried than
the one who hears without seeing. This principle is of great imponance in under­
standing the sociology of the modem city. Social life in the large city ... shows a
great preponderance of occasions to JU rather than to hear people. One explana­
tion ... of special significance is the development of public means of transporta­
tion. Before the appearance of omnibuses, railroads, and streetcars in the
ninctttnth century, men "..rere not in a situation where, for minutes or hours at a
time, they could or must look at one another without talking to one another."
G. Simmel, Mi langtJ de phiiOJophie riiatiuute: Contribution a la culture phiiOJo­
Phique <trans. Alix Guillain) (Paris, 1912), pp. 26-27 ("Essai sur 1a sociologie des
SCns").I' The state of affairs which Simme1 relates to the condition of uneasiness
and lability has, in other respects, a ce.rtain part to play in the vulgar physiog·
nomy. The difference between this physiognomy and that of the eighteenth
century deserves study. [M8a,! ]
" Pa ri s ... dresses UI) a in old numbers of Le Conslitutionnel. and produces
Chodruc Duclos." Victor Hugo, Oeuvres completes. novels. vol. 7 (Paris, 1881),
p. 32 (Les Miserabk•. ch. 3).%0 [M8a,2]
On Vi ctor Hugo: "The morning, for him, was consecr ated to sedentary lahors, the
afternoon to labors of wandering. He adored the upper levels of omnibuses-those
' traveling balconies,' as he call ed them- from which he could study at his leisure
the various aspects of the gigantic city. He claimed that the deafening brouhaha of
Paris produced in him the same effeet as the sea." Edouard Drumont , Figure. de
bron;;e ou stat ue, de neige (Paris c19()(h), p. 2S ("Victor I-Iugo"). [M8a,3}
Separate existence of each quarti.er: a round the middJe of the century it was still
being said of the De Saint-Louis that if a girl there lacked a good reputation, sbe
had to seek her future husband outside the di strict. [M8a,4]
UO nigbt! 0 refresbing da rkness! ... in the stony labyrinths of the metropoli s,
scintillation of stars, bright hursts of city lights, you are the fi reworks of the
godden Liberty!" Charles Baudelaire, Le Spken de Paris, ed. Hilsum (Paris),
p. 203 (uLe Crepuscule du soir").!1 [M8a,5]
Names of omnibuses around 1840. in Gaetan Niepovi e. Etude. physwwgique,.W'
lessmrnles metropoks de l 'Europe occidentale (Pa ris, 1840), p. 113: Parisiennes,
Hirondelles <Swallown, Citadines. Vigilantes cGuardianesses), Aglaias. Deltas.
Paris as landscape spread oul below tbe painters: " As you crou the Rue Notre­
Dame-dc-Lorette, lift up your head and direct your gaze at one of those platforma .
crowning the Italianate houses. You cannot fail to notice, etched against the sky
seven stories above the level of the pavements , something resembling a scarecrow
stuck out in a field .... At first you see a dressing gown upon which all the colors of
the rainbow are blended ""ithout harmony. a pair of long trousers of outlandish
shape, and slippers impossible to describe. Under this burlesque apparel hidel a
young paint er. " Poris chez loi (Paris cl 854), pp. 19 1-192 (AJberi c Second, "' Rue
Notre-Dame-de-Lorette"). [M9.1]
Geffroy, under the impression made by the works of Mer yon: " These are repre­
sented thing5 whi ch give to the viewer the possibilit y of dreaming them." Gustave
Gerrroy. Ch«rles Meryon (Paris . 1926). p. 4. [M9,2]
" The omnibus--that Leviathan of coach""ork--cri sscrones with all the many car­
riages at the speed of hghtning!" Theophile Gautier [i n Edoll ard Fournier, Paris
demoli. 2nd cd ., with a preface by M. Theophile Gautier (Paris. ISSS), p. iv] .
(This preface al'lteared- llrcsumabl y as a review of the first edition-in Le
Moniteltr uni versel of J anuary 21. 18So' . It would ap,tear to be wholl y or in part
ident ical to Gauti er 's " J\1osalllue de ruines:' in I'aris et Ie. ParisieJJ.J au XIX' .iecle
[ Paris, 18S6].) [M9,3]
"The most heterogeneous temporal element s thus coexist in the ci t)'. If we step
from an eightt:cnth-century house into one from the sixtccnth century, we tumble
down the slope of time. Ri ght next door 81alld8 II Gothi c church, and we sink to the
depths. A few steps fa rther, we are in a street from Ollt of the early years of
Bi8nul.rck's rule ...• and once again climbing the mountain of time. Whoever lets
foot in a ci ty ft.:els caught up as in a web of dreams. where the most remote past is
linked to the evenlil of today. One house allies with a nother, no matter what period
they come from, a nd a street is born. And thcn insofar as thi s street , whi ch may go
back to the age of Goethe. runs into anot her, which may date from the Wilhelmine
years, the dinrict enl erges .... The climacti c l)(Jints of the city are its squares:
here, from every directi on, converge not onl y numcrous st reets but aU the litreams
of their history. No sooner have they flowed in than they are contained; the edgea
of the square serve as quays, so that already the outward form of the square
provides information about the history that was played upon it .... Thingll which
fmd no expression ill political events, or find onl y minimal expl"C8sion, unfold in
the cities: they are a superfine instrument , respunsive as an Aeolian harp----despite
their specifiCgravit y-Io the living histori c vibrations of the air. " Ferdinand Lion,
Ge.schichte biowgUch sesehen (Zurich and Leipt.ig (1935), pp. 125--126, 128
("Notiz fiber Stiidt e"). [M9,4]
Delvau believes he can reeognize the social strata of Parisian liociety in flinerie as
easily as a geologist recognizes geological strata. [M9a,l ]
The mall of letters: "The most poignant realities for him are not spectacles but
studi es." AJfred Delvau, Le. Deuou, de Pori, (Paris. IS60). p. 121. [M9a,2]
"A man who goes for a walk ought not to have to concern himself with any haurds
he may run into or with tile regulations of a city. If a n amusing idea enters his
head. if a curious shopfront comes int o vi ew, it is natural that he would want to
cross the street without confronting dangers such as our grandparent s could not
have imagined . But he cannot do this today without taki ng a Ilundred precauti ons.
wi thout cll (.'Cking the horizon, without asking thc advice of the police department,
wi thout mi xing with a dazed and breathless hcrtl , for whom the way is marked out
ill advance by bits of shining metal. If he tri es to coll ect the whimsical thought s
tha t may have come to mind. ver y by sights on the street , he is
deafent:tl hy car horus. stllpefied by loud talkers. ., and demorali zed by til e
8craps of COn\·cr sati on. of political meetingll. of jazz. whi ch escalte slyly from the
windows. In former tim(.", moreo\'er. his brothers. the rubbernecks. who amhl ed
along 80 easil y down the sidewalks and stopped II. moment ever ywhere. lent to the
5lrealO of humanit y a gentleness and II. tramillillit y whi ch it has lost . Now it is a
lorrenl where yOIl are rollefl , buITeled. calJl up. and IJwel'1 to one lJide alld the
olher." Edmond Jalou.lC, "Le Derni er F1ii neur," I.e Teml}$ (May 22, 1936).
" To leave without being for ced in a ny way, and to foll ow your inspiration alJ if the
mere fact of turning ri ght or turning left already conlJtiluted an eSlenti all y poetic
act. " Edmond Jal oux, "Le Derllier F1.ii lleur," Le Temp$ (May 22, 1936). {M9a,4)
" Dickens . . . could not remain in Launnne because, in order t o write hia novela,
he needed the immense l abyrinth of London streets where he could prowl aboul
continuously. .. Thomas De Quincey ... , as Baudelaire tells us, was ' a sort of
peripatetic, a street philosopher pondering his way endlessly through the vortex of
the great ci ty."':t: Edmond Jaloux, "Le Dernier F1.iineur," Le Temp" (May 22,
1936). IM9a,5)
" Taylor's obsession, and that of hi s colla bor atoTl and succeason, is the ' war on
Hi neri e.·
Geor ges Friedmann, La Crise du progreJ ( Paris (1936), p. 76.
IMIO, l )
The urban in Balzac: " Nature appean to him in iu magical aspect as the arcanum
of matter. It appeal"!! to him in iu symbolic aspect as the reverberation of human
energies and aspirations: in the crashing of the ocean's waves . be experiencea the
'exa lt ation of humall forces'; and ill til e show of color and fragrance produced by
flowers, he reads the cipher of love'. longing. Always, for him, nature signifiea
something other, an intimation of spirit . The opposite movement he doea not nc·
ognize: the immersion of the human back into nature, t he saving accord with staTS,
clouds, winds. He was far too engroased by the t ensions of human existence. "
Ernst Robert Curtius, Balzac (Bonn, 1923) , pp. 468-469. [MIO,2}
" Balzac li ved a life .. . of fllri ous haste a nd premat ure collapse, a life such as that .
impoled on the inhabitant s of bi g citi es by the atruggle for exist ence in modern
society .... In Balzac's caae we see, for the first time, a geniua wllo sharea auch •
life and lil'e8 it as hi s own." Ernst Robert Curtiua, Balzac (Bonn. 1923), pp. 464­
465. On the (Iuestion of h!lnpo, compare the foUowi ng: " Poetry and art ... derive
from a ' quick inspection of thi ngs.' ... In Seraphila. velocit y is introduced as an
easenti al feature of artistic intuition: " that ' mind's eye' whoae rapid perception
CIUl engender within the 80ul . as on a canvas , the most diverle landscapes of the
world. "2l Ernsl Robert Curtius, Banac (Bonn, 1923). p . 445. {MIO,3)
, d . . .. : h . why
" If God ... has imprinted every man s esllll Y m IUS p YSlOgnomy, ...
. . . If ' the hand
shouldn' t the human hand sum up that phYSiognomy In It le , Blllce
human acti on in its entirety and is its sole nl eans of
UCll ce pnhuistry. . .. To foretell t he event s of a man's life from til e study of hiS
hand is a feat ... 110 more extraord.ill ar y t.hantelling a soldi er he is goi ng to fight,
a harrist er that he is going to plead a cause, a cobbler that he is goill g to make
hoots or , hoes, a fa rmer that he is going to ferti lil!:eand plough his land. Let us t ake
a still more striking exa mpl e: genius is a sorl of imma terial sun whose rays give
color to everythi ng passing hy. Cannot lin idi ot be immediately recognized by
characteri stics whi ch are the OPI)()site of those shown by a man of genius? ... Most
ohlervant peopl e, SlUdent s of social nature in Paris, are able to tell the profC8sion
of a passerhy as they see him approach." Honore de Balzac, Le COlu in Pons. in
Oeuvres cOlli plete", vol. 18, Scene$ de ro vie /mrisumne, 6 (Paris. 1914), p.
;' What men call love ia very small , very reatricted, and very weak cOnll)arW with
thi s ineffabl e orgy. t his holy prostitution of the soul which gives iUeif entirely,
poetry aud cha rit y, to the unforeseen that reveals itself, to the unknown that
happens along." Charl es Baudelaire, Le Spleen de Paris, ed. R. Simon, p. 16
("Les Foules" ). :!S {MIOa,! )
" Which of us, in his nlOmeDU of ambition, haa not dresnled of the miracle of a
IlOeti c proae, musical , without rhythm and without rhyme, supple enough and
rugged enough to adapt it lelf to tile lyrical impul8C8 of the soul . the undul ationa of
reverie, the jibes of conscience? I It was, above all. 01lt of my exploration of huge
cities, oul of the medley of tbeir innumerable interrelations, that this haunting
ideal was bOrll." Charl es Baudelaire. Le Spleen ck Paris, ed. R. Simon, pp. 1-2
("A Arscne Houssaye").:u. (MIOa,2)
'"There is nothing more profound, more mysteri ous, more pregnant , more inaidi·
OU8. more dazzling than a window lighted by a aingle candl e." Charlea Baudelaire,
I.e Spleen de Paris. ed . R. Simon (Pari s), p. 62 ("Les Fenetrea" ).z7 [MlOa,3)
"The artist seeks eternal troth and knows nothing of the eternit y in hi s midat. He
admirea the column of the Babylonian templ e and scorns the smokestack on the
factory. Yet what is the difference in their lines? Wlren the era of coal. powered
illtlustry is over. people wiD admire til e vesti gea of the last amokestackB, aa today
we admire the remains of temple columns.... The ateam vapor 80 detested by
writ ers all ows them to divert their admiration.... Inst ead of waiting t o visit lhe
nay of Bengal to find objects to exclaim over, they mi ght have a little curiosity
about the obj ects tll ey see in dail y life. A porter at Ihe Gare de l' Est is no Ie..
pictures((ue tha n a cooli e in Colombo.... To walk oul your front door as if you've
just arrived from a forei gn counl ry; t o discover the world in which you already
li \'c; 10 begi n the da y as if you' ve just gotl ell off the boat from Singapore and have
lI ever seen your 0\0\' 11 doormat or the people on the landing ... - il is thi s that
re\'eals the humanity be fore you, unknown until now." Pierre Hamp, " La Littera·
lure, image de la societe" (Encyclopidiefrutl f, aise, vol. 16, Aru el littera lurel
dwu 1(1 $ocie le corl/ emporaine, I, p. 64). [M lOa,4}
Chesterton fastens 011 a specimen of Englisll a rgot to characlerize Di ckenlJ ill his
relation t o the street : " He has the key to the st reet" is aaid of someone to whom the
door is closed. " Dickens himself had. in the most sacred and seri ous sense of the
term, lIle key to the street ... . Hi s earth was the stones of the street ; his stars were
the lamps of the street ; his hero was the man in the street. He could olJen the
inlllost door of hi s house-the door thai leads into t.hal 8et: ret pau age which is
lined wilh houses and roofed with stars." G. K. Chestertoll, Dickem . series enti_
tled Vies des hommes iliwtres. vol. 9, translated from til e English by Laurent and
Martin-DupOIlI (Paris, 1927), p. 30.:!II [MU,I]
Dickens as a child: " Whenever he had done drudging, he had no Otller resource but
drifting, and he drifted over half London. He was a dreamy child. thinking mostly
of his own dreary prospects . ... He did not go in for ' observation,' a priggish
habit ; he did not look at Charing Cross to improve hi s mind or count the lamp_
posts in .-Iolborn to practice his arithmetic. But unconsciously he made all these
places the scenes of the monstrous drama in his mi ser able little soul . He walked in
darkness under the lamps of Holborn, and was crucified at Charing Cr088. So for
rum ever aft erwards these places had the beaut y that onl y belongs to battlefields,"
G. K. Chesterton, Dickens , seri es entitled Vie des hommes illus tres , vol. 9, tran8­
lated from the Engli sh by Laurent and Martin-Dupont (Paris, 1927), pp. 30-31."
(Mll ,2]
On t he psychology of the (l aneur: ''The undying scenes we can all see if we shut our
eyes are not the scenes that we have stared at under the direction of guide-boob;
the scenes we see are the scenes at whi ch we did not look at all- the scenes in which
we walked when we were thinking about something else--about a sin, or a love \
affair, or some childi sh sorrow. Wecan see the background now because we did not
see it then. So Dickens did not stamp these places on hi s mind; he stamped hi.
mind on these places." G. K. Chesterton, Dickens, seri es entitled Vie des homme.
ill.LStres. vol. 9, translat ed from the English by Laurent and Martin-Dupont
(Paris, 1927), p. 3l.
(Mll .3]
Dickens: " In May of 1846 he ran over to Swit:.r:erland and tried to write Domber
and Son at Lausanne.. . . He could not get on. He attribut ed thi s especiaUy to hia
love of London and his loss of it, ' the absence of streets and numbers of
figures . .. . My figures seem disposed to stagnate without crowds about them.' "
G. K. Chesterton, Dickens. translated from the English by Laurent and Martin­
Dupont (Paris. 1927), p. 125.
{MIl a, l ]
" In ... u Voyage de MM. Dunanan pere etfils, two provincials are decei ved into
thinking that Paris is not Paris but Venice, which they had set out to vi sit. . ..
Paris as an intoxi cation of aU the senses, as a place of delirium." S. Kracauer,
Jacques Offenbach lind das Paris ,einer Zeit (Amsterdam, 1937), p. 283.32
(Mll a,2]
According to a remark by Mussel, the "East Indies" begin at a point beyond the
boundary or the boulevards. (Shouldn't it be called instead the Far East?) (See
Kracauer, Q{fenbach, p. 105.)33 {Mll a,3]
Kr acatu:r writes tl,at " the boulevardiers ... eschewed ll at ure . . . . Nature was a8
PIUIOUic , as vol canic, as the people." S. Kracauer , Jacques Offenbach (Amster­
dalll . 1937), p. 107.3' [MlI a,4]
0 11 the detet: ti ve now:l: " We must take as an established fact that this m e t a m o r ~
phosis of the city is due to a trall spositioll of the setting-namel y, from the savan ­
(wll a nd fo rest of Fellimore Cooper, where every broken branch signifies a worry
0 1" a hope, where ever y tree trunk hilles an enemy rille or the bow of an invisibl e
alld sil ellt a\<enger. Begi nning wit h Balzac, aU writers ha ve clearly recorded this
deht and faithfull y rendered t o Cooper wha t they owed him. Wor ks like us lUohi.­
COIl S de Paris. by Al exa nder Dumas-works where the title saY8 all- are ex­
tremely common. " Roger Caillois, " Pari8, my the moderne," Nouvelle Revue
f rOlI{llise, 25, no. 284 (May I , 1937), pp. 685-686. (MUa,S]
Owing to the influence of Cooper, it becomes possible for the novelist in an
urban setting to give scope to the experiences of the hunter. This has a bearing on
the rise of the detective story. (Mlla,6]
" It seellls r easonable to say that t here exists ... a phantasmagori cal repre­
sentation of Paris (and, more generally, of the big city) with such power over the
imagi nation that the questioll of its accuracy would never be posed in practice--a
representation creat ed ent irely by the book, yel so widespread as to make up .. ,
part of the coUective ment al atmospher e:' Roger Caillois, " Paris, mythe mod­
erne," Nouvelle Revue franf<aise, 25, no. 284 (May I , 1937), p. 684. (M12,1]
' 'The Faubourg Saint -J acques is one of the most primitive suburbs of Pari8. Why
is that? Is it bet:ause il is surrounded by four hospitals as a citadel is surrounded
by four bastions, and these hospitals keep the touri sts away from the neighbor­
hood? h it bet:ause, leading to 110 major artery alltl terminating in no center, . . .
the pl ace is rarel y visited by coaches? Thus, as soon as one apl)Cars in the di8tance,
the lucky urchin who spies it first cups his hands around rus mouth and gives a
Signal t u aU the inhahitants of the faubourg, just as, 011 the seashore, the one who
first spots a sail UII the horizon gi ves a signal to the other s." A. Dumas, us Mohi­
CU ll S de Pa ris, vol. I (Paris, 1859), p. 102 (ch. 25: " Oil il est question des sauvages
du Fu·ulHHlrg Saint-Jacques"). The chapl er describes nothing but the arrival of a
piano before a hOll se in the dist ri ct. No Olle sll spect8 that the object is a musical
instrumcnt , but aU are ellraptJlI·ell by tim sight of "a huge pi ece of mahogany"
(I' . 103). For mallOgany furniture W8!l as yet hardl y known in this quartier.
1'hc first words of a n advertisement for LeI MohicUII S de Paris: " Paris-The Mo­
hi cans! . Two na mes as di scordant a8 the qui vi ve of two giganti c unknowns,
confronting each other at til e brink of an abyss tra\<e n,ed by thai electri c li ght
whose source is Al exandre Dumas.!' {M 12,3]
I<' rontispi ece of t.he dtird volume of Lel Mohit;:(11U de Pun.. (paris, 1863): " The
Virgjn Forest" [of the Rue d'Enfer ].
" What wOllderful precautions! What vigilance! What ingenious preparations and
keen a ttention to detail! The Nurth American savage who. even as he muves,
ubliterat es his footprints in order to elude the enemy at his heels is not more
skillful or more meti cul ous in his precauti ons." Al£red ' ettt:ment , EliUles sur Ie
!elliUelon-roman. vol. I (Paris, 1845), p. 419. (MI2,5)
Vigny (according to Mi88 Corkran , Celebrities and I <London, 1902), cited in
L. Seche, A. de Vlgny, vol. 2 (Paris, 1913). p. 295). on viewing the chinmeY8 of
I")aris; " I adore these chimneys... . Oh, yes, the smoke of Paris is more beautiful
to me than the solitude of forests and mountains. " [M12,6)
One does well to consider the detective story in conjunction with the methodical
genius of Poe, as does (in his introduction to Les Fleurs du mal [Paris,
1928], p. xx): "To reach a point which allows us to dominate a whole field of
activity necessarily means that one perceives a quantity of possibilities .. .. It is
therefore not surprising that Poe, possessing so ... sure a method, became the
inventor of several different literary forms-that he provided the first ... exam­
ples of the scientific tale, the modem cosmogonic poem, the detective novel, the
literarure of morbid psychological states."u [MI2a,I)
Concerning Poe't " Man of the Crowd," thit pu sage from an articl e in La Semaine
of October 4, 1846, attributed t o Balzac or to Hippol yte Casti Ue (cited in Meuac
d..e " Detecti ve Novel" et l'injluence de III pelUee scientifique [ Paris, 1929]>.
p. 424) : " Our eye ill fixed on the man in societ y who moves a mong laws. snares , the
betraYll ls of his confedera tet, as a savage in the New World moves among r eptiles,
ferocious beasts , and enemy trIDes." (MI 2a,2]
Apropos of "The Man of the Crowd": Bulwer<-Lyttom orchestrates his desaip­
tion of the big-city crowd in Aram (pt. 4, ch. 5) with a reference to
Goethe's observation that every human being, from the humblest to the most
distinguished, carries around with him a secret which "''Quid make him hateful to
all others if it became known. In addition, then: is already in Bulwer a confronta­
tion between city and country that is weighted in favor of the city. (M1 2a,31
Apropos of detective fiction: " In the American hero-fantasy, the hulinn's cha rac­
ter pl ays a leading role .... Only the Intlian rites of initiation can compare with
the ruthl ellsne88 and sa vager y of rigoroull Ameri can trll ining.... In everything on
wlli ch t.he American has r eally set his hea rt . we catch a glimpse of the Indi an. Hi s
extraordinary coneelltrlltioll 0 11 II parti cul a r goal. his tenacit y of purpose. his
unflinching elldu rance of the grea test hardships--in all this the legendary virtues
of the Indi an find fllU expression." C. G. Jung, SecletlfJrobleme der Gf!gf!fl lfJart
(ZUri ch. l..eipzig. Stuttg;trt . 1932), p. 207 ("Seele und Erde" ):1ti [MI21,4]
Chapter 2. " Physiognomie de III rue." in the Argument dll li vre sllr la Belgique:
"Washing of the sidewalks lind the fu!,";t des of houses , eve" whcn it rains in tor­
rents. A national mania , a IIni versallllllll ia . ... No displ ay windows in the shops.
FHi nerie, so dear to nation! cndowetl wit.h imagi nation. impossihle in Brussels;
nothing to sec, and the roads impossible." Baudelaire. Oeuvres. vol. 2. cd . Y.-G.
Le Dllntec <Paris . 1932), pp. 709-7 10. (MI2a,5)
Le Breton reproaches with havi ng offered the reader " an e.xcesa of Mohi ­
cans in spencer j ackets a nd of IrO<luois in frock coats." Ci ted in Regis Mesuc, Le
"Detective Novel" et I'influence ele III pensee scientifique (Paris , 1929), p. 425.
[M13, ' ]
from the opening pages of Les Mystikes de Pari.!: "Everyone has read those admi­
rable pages in which Fenimore Cooper, the American Walter Scott , has brought to
life the fierce ways of the savage1l , their colorful and poet ic speech, the thousand
t ricks they use when foUowing or 8eeing their enemies .... It is our intent to
before the eyes of the reader some episodes in the li ves of vari ous other barbari­
ans , no less removed from the civilized world than the tribes so weU portrayed by
Cool)Cr. " Ci ted in Regis Me88ac, Le " Detective Novel" (Pa ri s, 1929), p. 425.
Noteworthy connection between 81lnerie and the detective novel at the beginning
of Les Mohicaru de Paris: "At the outset SalvatOr says to the poetJean Robert, ' You
want to write a novel? Take Lesage, Walter Scott, and Cooper... .' Then, with
characters like those of the 1h.ousand and One Nights, they cast a piece of paper to
the winds and follow it, convinced it will lead them to a subject for a noveL which
is what in fact happens." Messae, Le "De/uliue Nouel" el l'irifluma de la
paule scim/jfique (Paris, 1929), p. 429. (M1 3,3)
0 11 the epigones of Sue aud Babac, " who came swarming to the serial novels. The
illfluence of Cooper makes itself felt here sometimetl directl y and sometimefl
through the medi ation of Balzac or other im.it ators. Paul Fhal , beginlling in 1856
with Les Comeallx d 'or <The Golden Knive&), boldly transposes the habits and
eveu the inhabitants of the IJrairie to a Parisian setting: we find there a wonder­
full y gifted dog named Mohl call , an Ameri call -style duel between hunters in II
Pu ris suburh, alld a redskin called Towah who kills alld scalpll four of his enemi es
Ul a hackney cab in the middle of Pa ris , and performs thi s feat with such dexterit y
that the d rh'cr never notices . Later, in Le, flabit , ,wirs <The muck Attire> ( 1863),
hc multiplies those compa risons of .... hi ch Balzac is so fond: 'Cool)Cr 's savages in
the middle of Paris! Is not the bi g ci t y as mysterious as the forests of til e New
W... r ld?'" An adlliti ... nal remark; "Compare Ul86 chapt ers 2 and 19, ill which lie
hrillgs two vagabolilis 6n the scene, Echalot a llIl Similor, ' lluroll s of Ollr la kes of
IlIud, IrO<ltl-Ois of the glitter. '" Hi:gis Me88ac. Le '-Det ecli ve Nover ell 'injlll ell ce (I e
1<1 /Jel,sec sciemifiqlle. seri CH cntitl ed Uibliollli!lJlffl tie i l l revile de lil/erallire CO/ll ­
P<I,.ie. vol. 59, pp. 425-426. [MI3.41
''That pocl.ry of terror which the stratagems of enemy tribe& at war create in the
hea rt of the fOl'1: st" of America. and ofwhl ch Cooper has nuul e such gootl use. was
attached to the details of Parisian life. The the the
hackney ca rri agel. a person standing a t a window- to the men who had been
numbered off for the defense of Peyratle's life, everything presented the ominoul
interest which in Cooper 's novel s may be found in a tree t runk, a beaver's dam, a
rock, a burfalo skin, a motionless canoe, a branch drooping over the water."
Balzac. A combien I'a mour revient em x vieiUardJ.
(MI3a, l ]
Prefonned in the figure: of the fianeUT is that of the detective. The fiineur re­
quired a socia1 legitimation of his habitus. It suited him very well to see his
indolence presented as a plausible front, behind which, in reality, hides the riv·
eted attention of an observer who will not let the WlSUSpecting malefactor out of

At the end of Baudelaire's essay on Marceline Desbordes-Valmore: emerges the
promroror, who StroUs through the garden landscape of her poeuy; the perspec­
tives of the past and future: open before him. "But these skies are too vast to be
everywhere pure, and the temperature of the climate too wann.. , , The idle
passerby, who contemplates these areas veiled in mourning, feels tears of hysteria
come to his eyes." Charles Baudelaire, !'Art romantique (Paris), p. 343 ("Mar­
celine Desbordes-Valmore''))'' The promeneur is no longer capable of "meander­
ing capriciously." He takes refuge in the shadow of cities: he becomes a Ilineur,
Jules Clareti e relates of the aged Victor Hugo, at the time when he was li ving on the
Rue Pigalle. that he enj oyed riding through Paris on the upper level of omnibuset.
He loved looki ng down, from thls eminence, on the bustl e of the Itree18. See Ray­
mond EschoLier, Vector HURo nlCOllle par ceux qui l 'ont vu (Paris , 1931), p. 350-­
Jules Claretie. " Victor Hugo.·· [MI3a,4]
" Do you recall a tableau ...• created by the most powerful pen of our day, which
is entitled ' The Man of the Crowd'? From behind the wi ndow of a cafe. a convalee·
cent, contempl ating the crowd with delight, miugles in thought with all the
thought& pul8ating around him. Havi ng j ust escaped from the shadow of death, he
joyfull y breathes in all the germs and emanati ons of life; having bcen on the point
of forgetting everything, he now remembers and ardentl y wishes to remember
everything. Finally. he rushes into the crowd in search of all unknown per aoll
whose face. gl impsed moment a ril y, fascinated him. Curi osit y has becollle a fatal ,
irrcsistihle passion." Baudel aire, L'Art r-omeHltiqlle (Pa ris), II . 6 1 (" Le Peinlre de
III Vielllolierne")..wf [M14,1]
Alrctul y Le 81"t:tOIl . UII/=OC. rlJomme et l'oelllJre <Paris. 1905), cOlll pares
Balzac's characters- " thc II Sllrlirs, the attorneys_ the bankel"l:l"-to Mohica ns.
whom Ihey resembl e 11101'1: Ihun they tlo the Parisians. See also It cmy de Cour­
1II0nt , PromenolleJ litteraire$, 5ct::ond series ( Paris. 1906), pp. 117- 118: "Les
Maitres li e Balzac.") (M14,2]
From Baudelaire's FIIJeeJ: " Man .. . is always ... in a Slate of What are
the perils of jungle and prairie cOlllpa red to the daily shocks and conffiets of
ch'iJization? Whether a man embrace1I hi s dupe on the boul evard, or spea rs hi s
prey in unknown foresu, is he not ... the mOl t highly perfected beast of prey?"-41

There wer e represent ations (lithographs?) by Raffel of Ecossaises and Tricycle1l.
(See M3a ,8.) [MI4,4]
"When Babae Iifu the roofl or penetrates the walls in order to clear a space for
observatioll, ... you listen at the doors . . , . In the interest of sparking your imagi­
nation, that is, ... you lire playing the role of whllt our neighbors the English, in
thliir prudishness, call the ' ,)() Ii ce deteclive' !" l:lippolyt e Babou, La Verite sur I.e
Cal de M. Champfleury (Paris, 1857) , 1>.30. [M14,5]
It wouJd be profitable to discover certain definite features leading toward the
physiognomy of the city dweller. Example: the sidewalk, which is reserved for
the pedestrian, runs along the roadway. Thus, the city dweller in the course of his
most ordinary affairs, if he is on foot, has constantly before his eyes the image of
the competitor who overtakes him in a vehicle.-Certainly the sidewalks were
laid down in the interests of those who go by car or by horse. When? (M14,6]
" For the perfCC!t fl aneur, ... it is an immense joy to let up house in the heart of the
multitude, amid the ebb and flow.... To be away from home, yet to feel oneself
every.... here at home; to see the world , to be at the center of the world, yet t o
remain hidden from the world--fl uch are a few of the slight est pleasures of those
independent , passionate, impartial [! l] naturel whlch the tongue can but c1urn.si1y
define. The sl>CC! tator is a prince who everywhere rejoice1I in his incogni to .... The
lo\'er of uni versal life enters into the crowd a8 though it were an immense reservoir
of el ect ri c energy. We might also liken him to a mirror 118 vaSI as the crowd itlelf; or
10 a kaleidoscope endowed with consciousness, which, with each one of its move­
Jllellts, represent s the multipli city of life a nd the fli ckering grace of all the elemenu
of life.". Baudelaire, L'Art rOlllllfl tiqllc ( Puris), pp. 64-65 ("Le Peintre de la vie
[MI4a, I]
1'he Pads of 1908. "A PurisiUII used to crowlls. to truffle, und to choosing hi s
StreNs could still go for long wa lks at a steady puce lind even without taking IIIlIch
. tare. Gellerall y speaking_ the ablllula nce of meuns of transportation had not yet
gi\·t: 11 "lOre than th ree million l.Ieople the .. . idea thllt they coul d move IIbout just
as t ll ey liked and that distance was the last thill g that counted." Jules Romains ,
Le5 110mme.f tie bonlle volD/ue. book I. Le 6 octobre ( Puris ( 1932». p. 204. "'"
In u 6 oelobre, in Chapter 17, "I.e Grand Voyage du petit (pp. 176-184),
Romains describes how Louis Bastide makes his j ourney through Montmartre,
from the comer of the Rue Ordener to the Rue Custine: "He had a mission to
accomplish. Somebody had commissioned him to foUow a cmain course, to
carry something, or perhaps to bear news of something" (p. 179)." In this game
of travel, Romains develops some perspectives- particularly the aJpine land­
scape of M ontmartre with the mountain inn (p. 180)-which resemble those in
which the flaneur' s imagination can lose itself. IM14a,3]
Maxi m of the fl aneur: " In our standardized and uniform world, it is right here,
deep below the surface. that we must go. Est rangement and 8Urpri lM:. the most
thrilling exoticism, are aU dose by." Daniei lialevy, Pays pari"ien" (Paris ( 1932) ,
p. 153. IMI4a,4]
InJuies Romains' Gn'me lk Qyinet/e (u .s Homme.s de bonne wlonti, book 2), one
finds something like the negative of the solitude which is generally companion to
the fiineur. It is, perhaps, that friendship is strong enough to break through such
solitude-this is what is convincing about Romains' thesis. "According to my
idea, it's aJways rather in that way that you make friends with anybody. You are
present together at a moment in the life of the world, perhaps in the presence of a
fleeting secret of the world- an apparition which nobody has ever seen before
and perhaps nobody will ever see again. It may even be something very little.
Take twO men going for a walk, for example, like us. Suddenly, thanks to a break
in the clouds, a ray of light comes and strikes the top of a wall; and the top of the
wall becomes, for the moment, something in some way quite extraordinary. One
of the two men touches the other on the shoulder. The other raises his head and
sees it tOO, understands it too. Then the thing up there vanishes. But they will
know in aelernum that it once existed." Jules Romains, u .s Homme.s de IJorw
wlonti, book 2, Gn'me de Qyine/le <Paris, 1932>, pp. 175- 176.'$ [MI5,I]
Mall arme. " He had croiSed the Place aud the Pont de l' Europe almost every day
(he confided to George Moore), gripped by the temptation to throw himself fl"Om
the heights of the bridge onto the iron rails, under the train8, 80 as fmally to escape
tlus mediocrit y of whi ch he was prisoner." Daniel Hal evy, I-'uY" puriJieFl" (Pan s
<1932» . p. 105. [MI 5,2]
. ..
Michel et ","rites: " I sprang up like u pale hlalle of grass I)etwt-"Cn t IIe pavmg stones
(cited in Hulcvy, I'u ys I)Clrisiem, p. 14). [MIS,3]
TIle tangle of the fortst as archetype of mass existence in Hugo: "An astonishing
chapter of us Mi.sirable.s contains the following lines: ' What had just taken place
in this street would not have surprised a forest. lne trees, the copse, the heath,
the branches roughly intertangled, the tall grass, have a darkly mysterious exist­
ence. 11lls wild Illul timde sees there sudden apparitions of the invisible; there,
what is below man distinguishes through the dark what is above Gabriel
Bounoure: "Abimes de Victor Hugo," MeJureJ (July 15, 1936), p. 49. DGer­
stacker passage D IMlS,4l
"Resear ch int o thut serious diseuse. hut red of the home. Pathology of the disease.
Progressive gro","th of the di sease." Cll s rl ea Baudel uire, Oeuvres. ed. Le Dantec: ,
"01. 2 (Paris , 1932) . p. 653 ("Mon Coeur mis Ii IIU")Y {MI 5,5]
Letter accompanying the two "Crepuseul e" poems; to Fernand Desnoyer s, who
published them in his Fontujll ebleau (paris. 1855): " J' m sending you two pieces of
poet r y that more or leu sum up the r everies that auail me in the twilight hours. In
t he depths of the woods, shut in by those vauits that rec:aU sacristies and cathe­
drals, I think of our amuzingci ti es. and that prodigious music whicb roUs over the
sumnlit s seems to me a translation of the lamentations of mankind:' Cited in
A. La Vie de" flellr" rill mal (Puris, 1928). p. 110.4& 0 Baudelaire 0
[MI Sa,l ]
The classic early descri ption of the crowd in R->e: "By far the greater number of
those who went by had a satisfied, business-like demeanor, and seemed [0 be
thinking only of making their way through the press. Their brows were knit, and
their eyes roUed quickJy; when pushed against by fellow-wayfarers they evinced
no symptom of impatience, but adjusted their clothes and hurried on. Others,
still a numerous class, were restless in their movements, had Hushed faces, and
talked and gesticulated to themselves, as if feeling in solitude on account of the
very denseness of the company around. When impeded in their progress, these
people suddenly ceased muttering, but redoubled their gesticulations, and
awai ted, with an absent and overdone smile upon the lips, the course of the
persons impeding than. If jostled, they bowed profusely to the j osuers, and
appeared overwhelmed with confusion." Fbe, Nouvellu HutoinJ exlTatmiinain.s,
trans. Ch. B. (Paris <1886» , p. 89.
{MI Sa, 2]
" What are the perils of jungle and prairie compared to the dail y shocks and
cOIlRi ets of civiJizutiou? Whetll er a llIall embraces his dupe on the boulevard. or
Spea rs hi s prey in unknown forests. is lI e 1I0t eternal man- that is to suy, the most
highl y l»erfectt-'11 beast of prey?" Chul' les Bstulelaire. Oeuvre.s. ed. Le Dli ntec. vol.
2 « lu rioS , 1932>, p. 637 ("Fust.'f! s").54! IMl Sa,3]
:me inmge of antiquity that so daz.z.led France is sometimes to be found in
mllnediatc proximity to the cxtremely modem image of America. Balzac 011 the
traveler : "See! What an athlete, what an arena, and what a weapon:
e, the world, and his tongue! A daring seaman, he embarks with a stock of mert
.....ords to go and 6sh for money, five or six hundred thousand francs. say. in the
frozen peean, the land of savages, of Iroquois-in France!" H. de Balzac, L'//JUJtre
Gaudiuart, ed. Calmann·Uvy (Paris). p. 5.
[MI SaAl
Description of the crowd in 8llUlJelllire, to be COrnl)llred with the description in
The ""It er , dismal bed. carrie. along its foul netlses.
Carri e', boili ng. the secret. of the _ en:
It . lapI in corrosive waves against the housel .
Hushes on to jaundice and corrupt the river Sei ne.
SI,"hing as high as the knee. of pedestrian •.
On the slippery pavement. everyone pa8llell brutal and self-absorbe<:l .
Elbowing and I patlering UI with mud, or thrusting U8 aside
In their hurry to arrive tomewhere.
Everywhere mire and deluge and opacity of sky:
Dire tableau Buch aft dark Ezekiel might have dreamt.
C h , B . , O
)lluie" )."'
euvres, vol. 1 <Pari. , 1931>, p. 211 ( Poemes divers, " Un J our d e
On the detec:tive novel:
The man who hasn' t signed anything, who left no picture,
Who was not ther e, who 8aid nothing:
!low can they catch him?
Erase the traces.
116 (Lesebuch for Sriidrebewohner.
8recht. Versuche <4--7 (Berlin, 1930», p.
[MI6,2] \
no. I). $]
The masses in Baudelaire. They stretch before: the as a veil : they are the
newest drug for the solitary.-Second, they efface all traces of the
they are the newest asylum for the reprobate and the WIthin
the labyrinth of the city, the masses are the newest and most mscrutable laby­
rinth. "Through them, previously unknown chthonic traits are imprinted on the
image of the city. [MI6,3)
The socia1 base of fifu1erie is journalism. As fianeur, the literary man ventures
into the marketplace to sell himself. Just so-but that by no means exhausts
social side of ",* says Marx, "that the value of each conmlodity
is detennined by the quantity of labor materialized in its usc: value,. by the
working.time socially necessary for its production" (Marx, DaJ ed.
Korsch <Berlin, 1932>, p. journalist, as Bineur, behaves as if he tOO
were aware of this. The number of work hours socially necessary for the produc­
tion of his particular working energy is, in fact , relatively high; insofar as he
makes it his business to let his hours ofleisure on the boulevard appear as part of
this work time, he multiplies the latter and thereby the value of his own labo
his eyes, and often also in the eyes of his bosses, such value has
fantasuc about it. Naturally, this would not be the case if he were not 10
privileged position of making the work time necessary for the production of his
use value available to a and public review by passing that time on the
bouJevard and thus, as it were, it. (MI 6,4)
The press brings into play an overabundance of informacion, which can be all the
more provocative the more it is exempt from any usc. (Only the ubiquity of the
reader would make possible a utilization; and so the illusion of such ubiquity is
also generated.) The actual relation of this infomlation to social existence is
determined by the dependence of the infonnation industry on financial interests
and its alignment with these interests.-As the infonnation industry comes into
its own, intellecrual labor fastens parasitica.l1y on ewry material labor, just as
capital more and more brings ewry material labor into a relation of dependency.
[M16a,l j
Simmel's apt remark concerning the uneasiness aroused in the urbanite by other
people, people whom, in the overwhdming majori ty of cases, he sees without
hearing,!.5 would indicate that, at least in their beginnings, the physiognomies
<correction: physiologies> " 'ere: motivated by, among other things, the wish to
dispel this uneasiness and render it hannless. Otherwise, the fantasti c pretensions
of these little volumes could not have sat well with their audience. (M16a,2]
There is an effort to master the new experiences of the city within the framework
of the old traditional experiences of nature. Hence the schemata of the virgin
forest and the sea (Meryon and Ponson du Terrail). [MI6a.3]
Trace and aura. The trace is appearance of a nearness, however far removed the
thing that left it behind may be. The aura is appearance of a distance, however
close the thing that ca11s it forth. In the trace, we gain possession of the thing; in
the aura, it takes possession of us. [M1 6a,4]
Fait hfuilo myoid e&tabli 8hed way,
J like to turn the flreet inl o a Btudy;
How often, then, as chance conducts my dreaming 8tells,
I blullder, unawares. inl o a group of pavers!
AUgus le-Marseille Barthelemy, Pari!: Revue satiriqlle aM. G. Deleuert, Prefet de
Police ( Paris, 1838), p. 8. [MI 6a,5]
"M. Le Breton sa yli that il ilJ the uliurers, attorneys, 01111 banker s in Balzac, rather
th an the Parisians, who sometimes seem like ruthl eu Mohican!!, and he believes
thai Ihe influence of Fenimore Cooper wali not pal'ti cularly ad vant ageous fur Ihe
author of Gobseck . This is pOlisihle, 1.111 tlifficuh to prove ." Re my de Cuurmont ,
litteraires, 2nt! !tri es ( Pari!!, 1906), pp. 11 7- 118 Mai tres de
1 il h:a c"). [tI-.m. l}
" 1'h " . ...
. e J08lling crowtledlleu a ud t he mutl ey dl;;Ortler uf IIIdropolilan COJlllnUlllca­
hun woult! . . . he IIllhearahlc without ... psycilOlogi cli l tli st ance. Sill ct,\ conlclllllO­
rary urban culture ... forces us to be physicall y close to an enormous number of
people • . .. l>CQple wouM sink completely into despair if the ohjectifi cation of
social relatiuliships did not hring wilh it all inner boundary and reserve. The
pecuniary charact er of relationships. either openl y or concealed in a thousand
forllls. placd [a] ... fnllctiOllal distance between people that is an inner protec·
tion ... against the o\'ercrowded proxlntity." Georg Simmel . Philolophie de,
Geklel (Leipzig, 1900), p. [MI7,2]
Prologue to I.e Fltineur, newspaper for the masses, published at me office of the
town crier, 45 Rue de la Harpe (the first and, no doubt, only number, dated May
3, 1848): "To go out strolling, these days, while puffing ... while
dreaming of evening pleasures, seems to liS a century behind the tunes. an::
not the son to refuse all knowledge of the customs of another age; but, Ul our
strolling, let us nOI forget our rights and our obligations as citizens. The rimes an::
necessitous; they demand all our attention, all day long. Let be but
patriotic RSneurs." (J. Montaigu). An early of dislocanon of word
and meaning which belongs among the deYlces of Journalism. [MI7,3]
Balzac anecdote: " He was with a friend olle day when he passed a beggar in ragtlon
the houlevard. His companion was astonished to see Rabac touch biJ own sleeve
with his halld; he hud just felt there the conspicuous rip that gaped at the elbow of
the mendi cant ." Anatole CerOH!rr and Jules Christophe, Repertoire de 10
Comedie humaine de H. de Balzac (Paris, 1887), p . viii (Introduction by Paul
Bourget). [MI7,4]
Apropos of Flaubert's remark that "observation is guided above all by
tion " 17 the visionary faculty of Balzac: "It is important to note, first of all, that this
power could never be ex.ercised directly. Balzac did have to
live; . . . he did not have the leisure ... to study men, after of
and Saint-Simon, through daily, familiar contact. He cut 1Il twO,
writing by night, sleeping by day" (p. x). Balzac speaks of a pene­
tration." "It wou1d seem that he took hold of the givens of expcnence then
tossed them as it were, into a crucible of dreams." A. Ccrfberr and].
, . . (Introd on
Riper-loire de la numaine de H. de Balzac (Paris, 1887), p. Xl . uCO
by Paul Bourget). [MI1a,I}
Empathy with the commodity is fundanlentally empathy with exchange value
itself. TIle fhlncur is the virtuoso of this empatJ:ty.. He takes the concept of
ability itself for a stroll. JUSt as his final ambll 15 the department store. his las
. .. th d ·c1 [MI7a,2]
11lcarnatlon IS e san WI I-man.
III a hrau erie ill the vicinit y of t.he Care Sai nt -I..uzare, {Ies Essc.intes (I:els hinilielf
to he a ll'cad y ill EuglalHl.
Regarding the intoxication of empathy felt by the 8iDeur, a great passage from
Flaubert may be adduced. It could well date from the period of the composition
of Madame Bovary: "Today, for instance, as man and woman, both lover and
mistreSs, I rode in a forest on an autumn afternoon under the yellow leaves, and
1 was also the horses, the leaves, the wind, the words my people uttered, even the
red sun that made mem almost close meir love-drowned eyes."5t Cited in Henri
Grappin, "Lc Mysticisme poetique (et l'imagination> de Gustave Flauben," Re­
vue de Pam (December 15, 1912), p. 856. [MI7a,4]
On the intoxication of empathy felt by the Raneor (and by Baudelain=: as well).
this passage from Flaubert : "I see myself at different moments of history, very
clearly.... I was boatman on the Nile, leno [procurer] in Rome at the time of the
Punic wars, then Greek rhetorician in SubuTTa, where I was devoured by bed­
bugs. I died , during the Crusades, from eating too many grapes on the beach in
Syria. I was pirate and monk, mountebank and coachman-perhaps Emperor of
the East, who knows?"" Grappin, "Le Mysticisme poetique <et I' imagination) de
Gustave Haubert," Revue de Paris (December 15, 1912). p. 624. [MI7a,5]
Hell is a ei ty much like I..ondon­
A populous and a 8moky eity:
There are allsorl!! of 1)COIIIe undone,
And there is little or no fun done;
Small justice shown. and still Ie .. pit y.
There it. Cll8ue•• • nd • Canning.
A Cohbett . and. Clisti erellgh:
Ali sort, of cai tiff corpse. planning
All sorU of collening for trepanning
CO,"!JIlt8 Ien corrulJlthan they.
There is ••••. who has lost
llis wit•. or oIoOld them. nOlle knows .. ·hich:
.lle w.lks . OOUI II douhle gh08t,
Aud though &;I lhin asl-'raud almost­
E" er gro..·s more grim and rich.
There is . Chllllccry Court: a king:
A manufacturing mob: IIlIf: t
or thie"" who by Ihemselves are k ilt
I.hicves 10 rCl'reselll ;
All army: alul .. 1'I.bl;c deb!.
WI,ich lau iJi a IICheme ",r lll1 llel" money,
,\ nll mean&-heing int erpretw­
" lJeee. keel' )' o ll r W811-P" C 1111 the hone)' ,
And we wi llpl anl, while skin are
tlowe .... which in winler llen'c ll18l" 8d,"
There i, a p-ea ' lalk of r evolution­
/\ ",1. grul chance of de!ll)Olism­
wrman 6011Iier&---e:amp8---Confusion­
Tumult &-Ioll eriu-rage---dclullion­
Gin-euid de--and met hodism;
Ta){es too. on wi ne and bread,
Ami meal . and beer. ami tea , and cheese,
From which those ]llllnOl s pure are fed.
Who gorge hdore they reellQ hed
The (t urold eu e Dee of allthesc.
Lawycn--juilgC8---()ld hohnobbcnl
Are there-bailiff&--eham:eUon-­
Bisliol,e-greal and lillie robber_
Rhymesle""'-I'amll hicl ccr3---illock-jobhers-
Men of glory in the ,,' 111"11.­
Thinp whose trade i,l, ow,r ladies
To Ican, a nd flirt . and stare. and lIimlH: r,
TiIl . 1I LIi al i. lih' ine in woman
Grows courteous. "mooth, inhuman,
Crudlied ' lwixl li amile lind a whimp.er.
Shell ey, " I)eter Bell the Third" (" Purt the Third: Hell" ) ....
llIuminating ror the conception or the erowd: in "Des Yetters Eckfenster" (My
Cousin's Comer Wmdow), the visitor still thinks that the cousin watches the
activity in the marketplace only because he enjoys the play or colors. And in the
long run, he lhinks, tltis will surely become tiring. Similarly, and at around the
same time, Gogol writes, in "lne Lost Letter; or tile ammal rair in Konolop:
"111ere were such crowds moving up and down the streetS that it made one giddy
to watch them." RUJJuche Gupell.J/er.Geschichten (Munich<l92h), p. 69 .• '
[M18a. l J
'riSSOI, in justifying Ili s propo!alto tax luxury hor8ell: "The int olerabl e noise made
.liI}' UII(I ni ght h y twent }' privut e ea rriilge8 in the st reets of Pa ri", the
{'oJlliuuul shaki ng of the houses, the ineonw!IIience alld insomnia that result for so
Inall Y iuhalli lilU!i; of the citY- il lI this deserves l ome compellsation. " Amedee de
Ti s80t_ P(lri$ el [..om/re5 COmpflre5 (paris , 1830), PI•. L72- 173. [M18a,2]
The Rallt' lIr and t1w shol'front 8: " First or all , there a re the Rauen", of the boule­
,.anl , who"e enlire existence IIl1ro1t!s between the Church of the Madeleine and the
Tlu'iiitrc dll Gymna..e. Eaeh d a}' 8et!1I them returning t o thill narrow space, which
they never l)aU beyoml . examining the tlis pl ays or goods, surveying the shoppers
.se;lted hc.fore til e doonJ of caf':! .... They would be able to teU you if Goupil or
Deforge ha" e put out a new print or a new painting, and if Barbedienne has
a vase or an arra ngement ; they know aU the photographers' studiol
hy hC;lrl ami coulll recil e the !e<llIcnce or sigliS without omitting a single one. "
Pi erre Laroll u e , Gmnd DicI;omUlire uni versel (Paris <1872» , vol. 8, p. 436.
On tile provincial character or "Des Yetters Eckfenster." "Since that unfortunate
period whcn an insolent and overbearing enemy inundated our country,n the
Ikrlin populace has acquired smoother manners. "YOu see, dear cousin. how
nowadays, by contrast, the market offers a delightful pieture or prosperity and
peaceru1 manners." E. 1': A. Hoffmarul, AUJgtwiihl/e &hriflm, vol. 14 (Stuttgart,
1839), pp. 238, 240." [M19,11
The sandwich-man is the last incarnation of the 8aueur.
On the provincial character or "Des Ec.kfenster
: the cousin wants to
teach his visitor "the rudimentS of the an of seeing."ti:I [M19,3]
On Jill}' 7, 1838, C. E. Guhrauer writ es to Varnhagen aLout Heine: " He was
ha"ing a Lad time with hill eyes ill the s pring. On our last meeting, I accompanied
hilll part ofthe wa}' along the houl evard. T he s plelltlor and vit ality ofthat unique
Sired movCtI me to bOlindlesll allmiration, wliiJe , against this, Heine now laid
,",cight y cmphasis on the Il orrors ultCllding this ccnt er of the world." Compare also
Eng"ls 011 the cr owII <1\15u, I ). Hei nri ch Hei ne . GC5[Jrache, ed . Hugo Bieber (Ber.
lin. 1926). p. 163. [MI9,4]
"This cit y ma rket! by a vit alit y, u circulation, an activity without cqual is also, by
;1 cll ntl'ast , the "Iuee whcnl one filll18 the lIIos1 itll er s, loungcrs, anti rllb­
I",rnccks:' Lur'uussc, Gnllld DicliOlln(Jire ( Paris (1872» , vol. 8,
I'· 'BfI (.Irlid.· ell lill cd " Fl li nellr"). (MI9,S]
IJl'gd wl'iJinj; frolll Puri s to wife , Scplemher 3, 1827: "As I go through the
Slr' ·ets. tire peo pl e look j Uii t Il u: SAlIl e U8 in Hcrlin. ever yone dressed the
about t he Bame faces. the SUIIlt: apl>curance, yet in a populou!I man." Briefe von
Beginning of Rousseau's Second Promenade: "Having therefore decided to de­
und atl Hegel. ed. Kurlll cgcl (Leipzig, 1887), purt 2. p. 257 (Werke. vol. 19, part
scribe my habirual state of mind in this, the strangest situation which any mona!
2).... [M I9,6] will ever know, I could think of no sinlpler or surer way of carrying out my plan
tfu'\n to keep a faithful record of my solitary walks and the reveries that occupy
umdres d .ondom
them, when I give free rein to my thoughts and let my ideas foll ow their natural
It is an inunense place, and so spread out
course, unrestricted and unconfined. These hours of solirude and mc=d.itacion
1113t it takes a day to cross it by omnibus.
the only ones in the day when Jam completely myself and my own master, with
nothing to distract or hinder me, the only ones when I can truly say that I am
And, far and wide, there is nothing.to 5tt
But houses, public buildings, and lugb monuments,
what nalure meant me to be." J ean:Jacques Rousseau, us Rromts du
Set down haphazardly by the hand of time.
solitaire; precedc=d by Di:c Jours Ii Enntnonuillt, byJacques de LacretcUe (Paris,
Long black chimneys, the steeples of industry,
1926), p. 15.
_ The passage presents the integral link between contemplation
Open their mouths and exhale
and idleness. What is decisive is that Rousseau already-in his idleness-is
From their hot bellies to the open arr; enjoying himself, but has not yet accomplished the turning outward. [M20,1]
Vast white domes and Gothic spires
Float in the vapor above the heaps of bricks.
'; Lolldon Bridge." " A little whil e ago I was walking across Lolldon Bridge and I
An ever swelling, unapproachable river,
pauiied to cont emplate what is for me an emUen pleasure-the sight of a ricb, Rolling its muddy currents in sinuous onrush,
Like that frightful stream of the
thick, compl ex waterway whose nacreous sheets and oily clouded with
white smoke-puffs, are loaded with a confusion of ships.... I leaned upon my
And arched Q\.'er by gigantic bridges on Plas
11ut mimic the old Colossus of lUlodes,
elhows.... Delight of vision held me with a r avenous thi n t, involved in the play of
AllOVt'! thousands of ships to ply their way;
a light of inexha ustible richness. Hut endlessly pacing and fl owing at my back I was
A great tide polluted and always unsettled
awa re of allother river, a r iver of the blind eternall y in I)ursuit of [its] immediate
RecirculateS the riches of the Vt-orld.
material object. This seemed to me no crowd of individual beings, each with his
Busy stockyards, open shops are ready
own history, his private god. his t reasures alld his 8cars, his interior monologue
To rccei\'e a wuversc: of goods. and his fat e; rather I made of it- unconsciously, in the depths of my body, in the
Above, the sky tomlCnted, cloud upon 81ul.ded pl aces of my eyes-aflw: of identical particles, equaUy sucked in by the
11le sun, like a corpse, ....'ears a shroud on Its face,
same name.less void, their deaf headlong current patt ering monotonously over the Or, sometimes, in the poisonous aunosphere,
Looks out like a miner coal-blackened.
bridge. Never have I so felt soUtude, mingled with pride and anpillh." Paul
Valery, Choses Wes (Paris, 1930,. pp. 122_124.
There, amid the somber nus! of things,
An obscure people li,'es and dies in silence­
Millions ofbcing:'l in thrall to a fatal instinct,
Basic to Hinerie, among other things, is the idea that the fruits of idleness are
Seeking gold by avenues devious and straight.
more precious than the fruits of labor. The Haneur, as is well known, makes
To be compared with Baudelaire's revicw of Barbier, his portrayal of
"studies." On this subject, the ninetcenth-ccntury Larousse has the following to
say: "His eyes open, his ear ready, searching for something entirely dilTen=m from
ms of "Tableaux parisiens?' In Barbier's poeay, twO elements-the
cion" of the great city and the SOC
ial unrest-s
Id b tty much dlSnn-
what the crowd gathers to see. A word dropped by chance will reveal to him one
e pre . . of those character traits that cannot be invented and that must be drawn directly guished. Only traces of these elements still remain with m whO: from life; .thosc= physiognomies so naively attentive will furnish the painter with
they have been joined to an altogether heterogeneous third the expression he was dreanung of; a insignificant to every other ear, will
Barbier, lambts tI ponntS (Paris, 1841), pp. 193-194. The poem 15
strike that of the musician and give him the cue for a hannonic combination;
quence Lmart of 1837,
even for the thinker, the philosopher lost in his reverie, this cxternal agitation is
profitable: it stirs up his idcas as the storn} stirs the waves of the sea.... Most
If one compares Baudelaire's discussion of Meryon with "Lond:f.
l1len of genius were great Ilaneurs-but industrious. productive 8aneurs. .. .
one asks oneself whether the gloomy image of the "m?st of
Often it is when the artist and the poet seem least occupied with their work that
tals"Oii-the image, that is, of Paris-was nOI very matenally byt:riaI
they arc profoundly absorbed in it. In the first years of this ccnrury, a man
tcxts of Barbier and of Poe. London was ccnainly ahead of I am m mdus 2J
Was SCen walking cach and every day- regardless of the weather, be it sunshine
[M19a, Or snow-around the ramparts of the city of Vienna. This man was Beethoven,
who, in thc midst orhis wanderings, would work out his magnificent symphonies
in his head berore putting them down on paper. For him, the world no longer
existed; in vain would people grect him respectfully as he passed. H e saw noth·
ing; his mind was elsewhere." Pierre Larousse, Grand Dic/;onn«ire universel (Paris
d872» , vol. 8, p. 436 (article entitled, "Flineur"). [M20a,1]
Beneath the roob of Paris; "'These Par isian savannahs consisting of roofs leveled
out to form a plain, but covering abysses teeming with population." Balzac, I..o
PelHl de chugrin , ed. n ammari oll . p. 95." The end of a long description of the
roof. landscapes of Paris. [M20a,2)
Description of the crowd in Proust : "All these people who I)aced up and down the
seawall promenade. tacking as violentl y as if it had been the deck of a ship (for
they could not lift a leg without at the same time waving their arms, turning their
heads and eyell . 8etlling their shoulder s, compensating by a balancing movement
on one side for the movement they had just made on the olher, and puffinA: out
thei r faces) , and who. Ilretending 1I 0t to llee so 811 to let it be thought that they were
1I 0t interested. hut covertly watching, for fear of rUlilliug against the people wbo
were walking beside or coming towa rdll thelll , did, in fact , butt into thelll , became
ent angled with them, because each was mutually the object of the same secret
attenti on veil ed beneath the same aplla rent disdain; their love-and consequently
their fear--of the crowd bei ng olle of the most IKl werful motives in aU men,
whether they seek to please other people or to astonish them, or to show them that
they despise them .... Mar cel Proust , A I'Ombre des j ewl esfille! enflelH·s (Paris),
vol. 3, p. 36.'u [M21,lj
The oitique of the Nou"l.H!lks Histoires extraordinaires which Armand de Pont·
martin publishes in Le Spu t«tt:UrofSeptember 19, 1857, contains a sentence that,
although aimed at the overall character of the book, would nevertheless have its
rightful place in an analysis or the "man of the crowd": "It was certainly there in
a striking fornI, that implacable democratic and American severity, reckoning
human beings as no more than numbers, only to end by atuibuting to numbers
something of the life, animation, and spirit of the hum.an being." But doesn' t the
sentence have a more inunediate reference to the His/aires extraardinaireJ, which
appeared earlier? (And where is "the man of the crowd"?) Baudelaire, Oeuvres
compldeJ, Translations, Nouvelles His/aires txtrMrdinaires, ed. Crepet (Paris, 1933),
p.315.-The oitique is, at bottom, mean·spirited. [M21 ,2j
TIle "spirit of noctanlbulism" finds a place in Proust (under a different name):
"The capricious spirit that sometimes leads a woman of high rank to say to
herself ;What fun it will be! ' and then to end her evclung in a deadly tiresome
manner, getting up enough energy to go and rouse someone, remain a while by
the bedside in her evening wrap, and finally, finding nothing 10 say and noticing
that it is very late, go homc to bed." Marcel Proust, U 7emftj rtlrouvi (Paris), vol.
2, p. 185.71 [M2Ia,l j
most building projects of the nineteenth century-railroad
statlons, depannlent stores (according to Giedion)-all have
matters of collecuve unportance as their object. The Bineur feels drawn to these
everyday" structures, as Giedion calls them. In these constructions
the appearance of masses on the Stage of history was already foreseen:
lbcy fonn the eccentne frame within which the last privateers so readily dis.
played themselves. (See KI a,S.) [M21a,2j
[On the Theory of Knowledge, Theory of Progress]
TllDe5 att more intCTe5ting than people.
-Honort de Balzac, CtWpu littinlirt, lntroduaion by Louis Lwnct
(Paris, 1912), p. 103 [Guydc t'llmj,4/
The reform of consciousness consists softly in ... the awaken·
ing of the world from its dream about itself.
-Karl Marx, Drr ltiJtricN: MMmaJiJ"lIu: l)i( FriWrfftnt (Leipzig
<1932». vol. I, p. 226 (\etta from Marx to Ruge; Krcuttnatb, Sep­
tember 1843)1
In the fields with which we are concerned, knowledge comes only in lightning
Bashes. The text is the long roll of thunder that follows. [NI, I]
Comparison of other people's attempts to the undenaking of a sea voyage in
which the ships arc: drawn off course by the magnetic North Pole. Discover IIW
North fule. What for others are deviations are, for me, the data which determine
my course.-On the differentials of time (which, for others, disrurb the main
lines aCthe inquiry), I base my reckoning. [Nl ,2)
Say something about the method of composition itself: how everything onc is
thinking at a specific moment in time must at all costs be incorporated into the
project then at hand. Assume that the intensity of the project is thereby attested.
or that one's thoughts, from the very beginning, bear this project within them as
their tdos. So it is with the present portion of the work, which aims to charac­
terize and to preserve: the intervals of reflection, the distances lying between the:
most esscntial pans of this work, which are tumed most intensivdy to the out­
side. [N l .3]
To cultivate fidds where, until now, only madness has reigned. FOrge ahead with
the whetted axe of reason, looking neither right nor left so as not to succumb to
the horror that beckons from deep in the primt'!vai forest . Every ground must at
some point have bet'!n madt'! arable by reason, must havt'! bt'!t'!n clt'!ared of tht'!
A of8crYanUn's manuscript, showing the beginning of
Convolme N.
undergrowth of delusion and myth. This is to 1x: accomplished ht'!te for tht'!
terrain of the nineteenth century. [Nl ,4]
. -Olese notes devoted to the Paris arcades were begun under an open sky of
cloudless blue that arched above the foliage ; and yet-owing to the millions of
leaves th t '. d by'c b
a were Vlslte Ule nuh reeze of diligt'!nce the stertorow breath of
the rcscaTcher, the stonn of youthful zeal, and the idle wind of curiosiry-thc:y've
been covered with the dust ofcenturies. FOr the painted sky ofsummer that looks
down from the arcades in the reading room of the Bibtiotheque Nationale in Paris
has spread Out over them its dreamy, unlit ceiling. [NI ,5)
The pathos of tlus work: there are no periods of decline. Attempt to see the
luneteenth cemury just as positivel y as I tried to see the seventeenth, in the work
on 'fraum pitl. No belief in periods of decline. By thc same token, every city is
beautiful to me (from outside its borders), juSt as all talk of particular languages'
having greater or lesser value is to me unacceptable. [NI,6)
And, later, the glassed-in spot facing my seat at the Staatsbibliothek. Charmed
circle inviolate, virgin terrain for the soles of figures I conjured. [NI,7)
Pedagogic side of this undertaking: "To educate the image-making medium
within us, raising it to a stereoscopic and dimensional seeing into the depths of
historical shadows." The woros are Rudolf Borchardt's in Epilegomma ttl Dank,
vol. 1 (&,lm, 1923), pp. 56-57. [N' ,8]
Delimitation of the tendency of this project with respect to Aragon: whereas
Aragon persists within the realm of dream, here the concern is to find the constel­
lation of awakening. While in Aragon there remains an impressionistic element,
namely the "mythology" (and this impressionism must be held responsible for
the many vague philosophemes in his book),2here it is a question of the dissolu- \
tion of "mythology" into the space of history. Tbat, of course, can happen only
through the awakening of a not-yet-conscious knowledge of what has been.
[N' ,' ]
11Us work has to develop to the highest degree the art of citing without quotation
marks. Its theory is intimatel y related to that of montage. (NI,lO)
"Apart from a certain haut-go{lt chann," says Giedion, "the artistic draperies and
wall-hangings of the previous century have come to seem musty." <Sigfried>
Giedion, Bauen in FraTlR.reieh (Leipzig and Berlin <1928», p. 3. we,
believe that the charm they exercise on us is proof that these things, tOO, contaUl
material of vital imponance for us-not indeed for our building practice, as is the
case with the constructive possibilities inherent in iron frameworks, but rather for
our understanding, for the radioscopy, if you will, of the situation of the
geois class at tile moment it evi nces tile first signs of decline. In any case, material
of vital inlportance politically; tins is demonstrated by the attachment of the
Surrealists to these things, as much as by their exploitation in contemporary
fashion. In otller woros: just as Giedion teaches us to read off the basie features of
today's arclntecture in the buildings erected around 1850, we, in tum, would
recognize today's life, today's fomlS, in the life and in the apparently secondary,
lost fonus of that epoch. [NI ,ll)
"In the windswept stairways of the Eiffel Tower, or, better still, in the steel sup-­
ports of a Pont Transbordeur, one meets with the fundamemaJ aesthetic experi­
ence of present-day architecture: through the thin net of iron that hangs
suspended in the air, things stream-ships, ocean, houses, masts, landscape,
harbor. They lose their distinctive shape, swirl into one another as we climb
downward, merge simultaneously." Sigfried Giedion, Bauen in FrallR.reich (Leipzig
and Berlin), p. 7. In the same way, the historian today has only to erect a slender
but sturdy scaffolding-a philosophic structure-in order to draw the most vital
aspects of the past into his net. But JUSt as the magnificent vistas of the city
provided by the new construction in iron (again, see Giedion, illustratiolU on
pp. 61-63) for a long time were reserved exclusively for the workers and engi­
neers, so too the philosopher who wishes here to garner fresh perspectives must
be someone immune to vertigo-an independent and, if need be, solitary" worker.
[NIa, I)
The book on the Baroque exposed the seventeenth century to the light of the
present day. Here, something analogous must be done for the nineteenth century,
but with greater distinctness. [Nl a,2)
Modest methodological proposal for the cultural-historical dialectic. It is very
easy to establish oppositions, according to determinate points of view, within the
various "fields" of any epoch, such that on one side lies the "productive," "for'­
ward-looking," "lively," "positive" part of the epoch, and on the other side the
abortive, retrograde, and obsolescent. The very contours of the positive element
will appear distinctly only insofar as this element is set off against the negative.
On the other hand, every negation has its value solely as background for the
delineation of the lively, the positive. It is therefore of decisive imponance that a
new partition be applied to this initially excluded, negative component so that, by
a displacement of the angle of vision (but not of the criteria!), a positive element
emerges anew in it too-something differem from that previously signified. And
so on, ad infinitum, until the entire past is brought into the present in a historical
The. foregoing, put differently: the indestructibility of the highest life in all things.
Agamst the prognosticators of decline. Consider, though: Isn't it an affront to
Goethe·to make a film of Faust, and isn' t there a .....-orl d of difference between the
P<>cm FauJ/and the film FauJ/1Yes, certainly. But, agam' ,isn' t there a whole world
of d ·lt
I crence bctween a bad film of Faust and a good one? What matter arc never
tile "great" but only the dialectical contrasts, which oftcn seem indistinguishable
from nuances. It is nonetheless from them that life is always born anew.
[Nl a.4J
both Breton and Lc Corbusier- that would mean drawing the
sPlnt of COntenlporary France like a bow, with wlncll knowledge shoots the
moment in the heart. [Nla,5)
.1arx lays bare the causal COlUlection between economy and cu1ture. For us, what
A cenual problem of historical materialism that ought to be seen in the end: Must matters is the thread of expression. It is not the economic origins of culture that
the Marxist understanding of history necessaril y be acquired at the expense of
will be presented, but the expression of the economy in its culrure. At issue, in
the perceptibility of history? Or: in what way is it possible to conjoin a height- \
other words, is the attempt to grasp an economic process as perceptible U,..
cncd grapluClless <AlIJlhau/ilhAtif) to the realiz.ation of the Marxist method? The phenomenon, from out of which proceed all manifestations of life in the arcades
first stage in this undertaking will be to carry over the principle of montage into (and, accordingl y, in the nincteenth century).
[N la,6] history. Illat is, to assembl e large·scale constructions out of the smallest and
IllOSt precisely cut components. Indeed, to discover in the analysis of the small TIus research-which deals fundamentally with the expressive character of the
individual moment the crystal of the total event. And, therefore, to break with earliest industrial products, the earliest industrial architecture, the earliest ma­
chines, but also the earliest department stores, advertisements, and 50 on-thus
vulgar lustorical naturalism. To grasp the construction of history as such. In the
stnlcwre of commentary. 0 Refuse of History 0
becomes important for Marxism in t",o ways. Hrst, it will demonstrate how the
milieu in which Marx's doctrine arose affected that doctrine through its expres­
sive character (which is to say, not only through causal cOlUlections); but, second,
A Ki crkegaa rd citation in Wiesengrund, with comment ar y foUowing: '''One may
!Irrive at a similar consideration of the mythical by beginning with the imagitltic. it will also show in what respects Marxism, 100, shares the expressive character of
When. in an age of reflec:tion, oll e sees the imagistic prot rude ever 10 slightly and the material products contemporary with it.
[N l a,7)
unohserved in a refl ective representation and, like an antediluvian fossil, suggest
Method of this project: literary montage. I needn
another species of existence which washed away doubt , one will perhaps be
' t Uly anything. Merely show. I
shall purloin no valuables, appropriate no fomlUlations. the rags,
amazed that the image could ever have played such an important role.'
Kierkcgaard wards off the
the refuse-these I will not inventory but allow, m the only way poSSible, to come
' amazement ' with what foUows. Yel this amatement
heralds t he tl tlepeSl insight int o the interrelation of dialectic, myth, and image. For into their own: by making use of them.
[Nla,8j it is not as the continuously living and present that nature prevaw in the dialectic_
Bear in mind that commentary on a reality (for it is a question here of commen­
Di ulfi! tic comes to u slop in the image, and, in the context of recent hi.story, it cites
the mythi cal as what is long gone: nature as primal history. For Ihitl reason, the tary, of interpretation in detail) calls for a method completely.dm:erent images-whi ch, like I.hotlc of the interumr; bring dialectic and myth to the point of by commentary on a text. In the one case, the soentific mamstay 15
indiIferentiation-are trul y ' antediluvian fotlsi lt .' They may be called dialectical theology; in the other case, philology.
[N2, l j 10 li se Benjamin's expretlsion, whose cOlllpelling definition of ' allegory'
also 1!OIds Inle for Kierkegaard' s aUegorical intention taken IItI a figure of histori­ It may be considered one of the methodological objectives of this work to
strate a historical materialism which has annihilated within itself the Idea of
cal di ll iectic and mythi cal nature. According to this defwilion , ' in allegory the
obsener is confront ed with theJaciel hippocrarica of hi story, a petrified primor­
progress. Just here, historical materialism has every. reason to itself {Iial lalldscape. ,,, Theodor WicsengrUlld-Adorno, Kierkegaard (Tubingen, 1933),
sharply from bourgeois habits of thought. Its founding concept IS not progress . I l. 60.
0 Refuse of Ilistory 0
but actua1
Only a thoughtless observer can deny that correspondences come into play Historica1 "'understanding" is to be grasped, in principle, as an afterlife of that between the world of modem teclmology and the archaic symbol·world of my­ which is understood; and what has been recognized in the analysis of the "' after­ thOlogy. ?f course, initially the technologically new seems nothing more than life of works," in the analysis of "fame; is therefore to be considered the founda­ But m the very ncxt childhood memory, its traits are already altered. Every
tion of history in general.
[N2,3J achieves something great and irreplaceable fOT humanity. By the inter­
est It takes in technologica1 phenomena, by the curiosity it displays before any
How this work was written : rung by rung, according as chance offer
narrow foothold and always like someone who sca1es dangerous heights an
SOrt of invention or machinery, every childhood binds the accomplishments of
technology to tlle old worlds of symbol. There is nothing in the realm of nature
never all ows a moment to look around, for fear of becoming dizzy from the outset would be exempt from such a bond. OnJy, it lakes form not
also because he would save for the end the full force of the panorama operung .In Ihe aura of novel ty but in the aura of the habitual In memory, childhood, and
out to him).
[N2,' )
dream. 0 Awakening 0
[N2a. I)
Overcoming the concept of "progress" and overcoming the concept of "'period of ·Ine mOl;lemum of primal history in the past is no longer masked, as it used to
are two sides of one and the same thing.
[N2,5j be, by the tradition of church and fanUly-this at once the consequence and
condition or technology. The old prehistoric dread already envelops the world or
our parents because we ourselves are no longer bound to this world by tradition.
The perceptual worlds <MerRwei/m> break up more rapidly ; what they contain or
the mythi c comes more quickly and more brutally to the rore; and a wholly
different perceptual world must be speedily set up to oppose it. TIlls is how the
accelerated tempo or technology appears in light or the primal history or the
present. 0 Awakening 0 [N2a,2)
It's not that what is past casts its light on what is present, or what is present it!
light on what is past ; rather, image is that wherein what bas been comes together
in a Sash with the now to rorm a constellation. In other words, image is dialectics
at a standstill. For while the relation of the present to the past is a purely tempo­
ral, continuous one, the relation of what-bas-been to the now is diaJectical: is not
progression but image, sudderuy emergent.-Only dialectical images are genuine
images (that is, not archaic); and the place where one encounters them is lan­
guage. 0 Awakening 0 [N2a,3)
In studying Simme1's presentation of Goethe's concept of truth,' I came to sec
very clearly that my concept of origin in the Traumpid book is a rigorous and
decisive transposition of this basic Goethean concept from the domain of nature
to that or history. Origin- it is, in effect, the concept of U,..phenomenon ex­
tracted from the pagan context or nature and brought into the J ewish contexts of
history. Now, in my \o\'Ork on the arcades I am equally concerned with fathoming
an origin. To be specific, I pursue the origin of the forms and mutations of the
Paris arcades from their beginning to their decline, and I locate this origin in the
economic facts. Seen from the standpoint of causality, however (and that means
considered as causes), these facts would not be primal phenomena; they become
such oruy insorar as in their own individual devdopment-"unfolding" might be
a better tenn-they give rise to the whole series of the arcade's concrete histori­
cal rorms, j ust as the leaf unfolds from itself all the riches of the empirical world
of plants. [N2a,4)
"As I stud y thi s age whieh is so close 10 us and so remote, I compare myself to •
surgeon operating wilh local anesthetic: I work in areas that are numb, dead-yet
the "atienl is alive and can still talk." Paul Morand, 1900 (Paris, 1931), pp. 6-7.
What distinguishes images from the "essences" of phenomenology is their his­
torical in dex. (Hcidegger seeks in vain to rescue history for
abstractly through "historici ty.")' These images are to be thought of entirely
apart from the categories of the "human sciences," from so-called habituS, from
style, and the like. For the historical index of the inlages not oruy says that they
belong to a paccicular tinle; it says, above all, that they attain to legibility at
a particular time. And, indeed, this acceding "to legibility" constitutes a specific
aitical point in the movement at their interior. Every present day is detemlined
by the images that are synchronic with it : each "now" is the now of a particular
recognizability. In it , truth is charged to the bursting point \vith time. (Ibis point
of explosion, and nothing else, is the death of the in/mtio, which thus coincides
with the birth of authentic historical time, the time of truth.) It is not that what is
past its on what present, or what is present its light on what is past;
rather, unage IS that wherem what has been comes together in a Bash with the
now to fonn a constellation. In other words: inmge is dialectics at a standstill. For
while the relation of the present to the past is purdy temporal, the relation or
the. is dialectical :. not temporal in nature but figural
<bildlldJ>. Oruy dialecocal m13.ges are genumely histori cal- that is, not archaic­
images. The image that is read- which is to say, the image in the DOW of its
recognizability-bears to the hi ghest degree the imprint of the perilous critical
moment on which all reading is founded. [N3, 1]
Resolute refusal of the concept of "timeless mtth" is in order. Nevertheless, truth
is D?t-as Marxism would it-a merely contingent function of knowing,
but IS bound to a nucleus of tlme lying hidden within the knower and the known
alike. TIlls is so true that the eternal, in any case, is rar more the rume on a dress
than some idea.
[N3, ' ]
Outline story of 1'11t Arcade.s Project in terms of its development. Its properly
problemaoc component: the refusal to renounce anything that would demon­
strate the of history as imagistic <hildhtifb in a higher
sense than m the tradioona1 presentation. [N3,3]
A remark by Ernst Bloch apropos of 1M Arcade.s ProjecJ: "History displays its
Scotiand Yard badge." It was in the context or a conversation in which I was
describing how this work-comparable, in method, to the process of splitting the
the enonnous energies or history that are bound up in the "once
Upon a tlme" of classical historiography. The history that showed things "as they
really were" was the strongest narcotic of the century. [N3,4)
"The truth will not escape us," reads one of Kell er 's epigrams/ He thus formu­
lates the concept of truth with which these presentations take issue. [N3a, I)
"Primal history of the nineteenth century"- this would be of no interest if it were
to mean that forn15 of primal history are to be recovered among the
of the century. Oruy where the nineteenth cenrury would
e as ongmary ronn of primal history- in a fonn, that is to say, in
whlch the whole of . aJ his . elf .. .
th pnm tory groups lts anew m unages appropnate to
. at century-only there docs the concept of a primal history of the ninetecnth
century have meaning. [N3a,2)
perhaps the synthesis of dream consciousness (as thesis) and wak­
lng consciousness (as antithesis)? Then the moment or awakening would be
identical with the "now of recognizability,n in which things put on their true­
surrealist-face. Thus, in Proust, the importance of Staking an entire life on life's
supremely dialectical point of rupture: awakening. Proust begins with an evoca­
tion of the space of someone waking up. [N3a,3)
"If I insist on this mechanism of contradiction in the biography of a writer ... , it
is because his train of thought cannot bypass certain facts which have a logic
different from that ofills thought by itself. It is because there is no idea he adheres
to that tru1y holds up ... in the face of certain very simple, elemental facts: that
workers are staring down the barrels of cannons aimed at them by police, that
war is threatening, and that fascism is already enthroned.... It behooves a man,
for the sake ofhis dignity, to submit his ideas to these facts, and not to bend these
facts, by some conjuring trick, to his ideas, however ingenious.
fred de Vigny aAvdeenko; Commune,2 (April 20, 1935), pp. 808-809. But it is
entirely possible that, in contradicting my past, I will establish a continuity with
that of another, which he in tum, as communist, will contradict. In this case, with
the past of Louis Aragon, who in this same essay disavows his Pa)'san de Paris:
"And, like most of my friends, I was partial to the failures, to what is monstrous
and cannot survive. cannot succeed .... I was like them: I preferred error to its
(po 807). [N3a,4)
In the dia1ectical image, what has been within a particular epoch is always,
simultaneously, "what has been from time immemorial.
As such, however, it is
manifest, on each occasion, only to a quite specific epoch-namely, the one in
which humanity, rubbing its eyes, recognizes just this particular dream image as
such. It is at this moment that the historian takes up, with regard to that image,
the task of dream interpretation. (N4, 11
The expression "the book of narure
indicates that one can read the real like a
text. And that is how the reality of the nineteenth cenrury will be treated here. W::
open the book of what happened. [N4,2)
Just as Proust begins the story of his life with an awakening, so must
presentation of history begin with awakening; in fact, it should t::n!at of nothing
else. nus one, accordingly, deals with awakening from the nineteenth century.
[N' ,'!
The realization of dream elements in the course of waking up is the canon of
dialectics. It is paradigmatic for the thinker and binding for the historian. [N4,4)
Raphael seeks to correct the Marxist conception of the nonnative character of
Greek art: "If the nonnative character of Greek art is ... an explicable fact of
history, ... we will have ... to detennine ... what special conditions led to each
renascence and, in consequence, what special factors of ... Greek an these
renascences as models. For the totality of Greek art never a
nonnative character; the renascences .. . have their own proper history .... Only
a historical anal ysis can indicate the era in which abstract notion of a ' nonn'
... of antiquity was born.... TIlls notion was created solely by the Renais­
sance-that is, by primitive capitalism- and subsequently taken up by classicism,
which ... commenced to assign it its place in a historical sequence. Marx has not
advanced along this way in the full measure of the possibilities of historical
materialism." Max Raphael, Proudhon, Marx, Pica.sso (Paris <1933», pp. 178- 179.

II is the peculiarity of technological fornu of production (as to art forms)
that their progress and their success are proportionate to the transparency of their
social content. (Hence glass architecture.) [N4,61
An important passage in Marx: "It is that where . .. the epic, for
example, ... is concerned, ... certain significant creations within the compass of
an are possible only at an early stage of artistic development. If this is the case
with regard to different branches of art within the sphere of the arts, it is not so
remarkable that this should also be the case with regard to the whole artistic
realm and its relation to the general development of the society.n Cited without
references (perhaps 17uorim des Mehrwerts, vol. 1?)3 in Max Raphael, Proudhon,
Marx, Pica.sso (paris <1933» , p. 160. [N4a,11
The Marxian theory of an: one moment swaggering, and the next scholastic.
Proposal for a gradation of the superstructure, in A. Asturaro, Il maleriolismo
storico e la 5ociowgia generale (Cenoa. 19O<J) (reviewed by Erwin SzabO in Die
neue Zeit . 23, no. 1 (Stuttgart] , p. 62): " Economy. Family and kinship. Law. War.
Politics. Moralit y. Religion. Art . Science." [N4a,3)
Strange remark by Engels concerning the "social forces
: "But when once their
nature is understood, they can, in the hands of the producers working together,
be transfonned from master demons into willing selVants." (!) Engels, Die
Entwic/tJulIg des Sotialismlls von der Utopie Wissenschafl (1882).' [N4a,4)
Marx, in the II ft erword 10 the second edition of D(u Knpilcll : " Resea rch has 10
Ilppropriatc thc mat erial in detail, to anul yze its va ri ous forms of development , to
Iral;e Oll t their inner cOllllect.ioli. Oll ly lifter this work is done can the actual
. 1l10'·e.tnent he present!!11ill cO"rcspolliling fashion. If this is donc succcssfull y. if the
lifeor the lII aterial is rd lel; lcti iJal; k liS i(l cll l, Ihen it lila)' appear as if ....e had before
liS Iln II priori l;ollstrul; lion." Kurl Marx, f)05 KlIJJital. vol I , cd. Korsch (Berlin
<1932» ; " . 45.
The particular difficulty of doing historical research on the period following
the close of the eighteenth century will be displayed. With the rise of the mass­
circulation press .. the sources become innumerable. (N4a.6]
Mkhelet is IJen ectl y willing to let the people be known as " barbarialls." "' Bar­
barians.' I like tbe word. and I accept tbe term." And he says of their writers:
"Their love ill boundless and sometimes too great, for they may devote themselves
to details with the delightful awkwardneu of Albrecht DUrer. or witb the excessive
l)Olish of Jean-J acques Rousseau, who does not conceal his art enough; and by thU
minute detail they compromise the whole. We must not blame them too much. It ia
... the luxuriance of their sap and vigor .... This sap wants to give ever ytbing at
once--Ieaves, fruit , and flowers; it mnds and twi sts tbe branches. These defects of
many great workers are often found in my books. which lack their good qualities.
No matter!" J . Michelet , Le Peuple (Pa ris, 1846), pp. xxxvi-xxxvii.!! (N5. 1]
Letter from Wiesengrund of August 5, 1935: "The attempt to reconcile your
'dream' momentum-as the subjective element in the dialectical imagc-with the
conception of the latter as model has led me to some fonnulations ... : With the
vitiation of their use value, the alienated things are hollowed out and, as ciphers,
they draw in· meanings. Subjectivity takes possession of them insofar as it invests
them with intentions of desire and fear. And insofar as defunct things stand in as
images of subjective intentions, these latter present themselves as immemorial
and etema!. Dialectical images are consteUatc:d betv.-een alienated things and
incoming and disappearing meaning, are instantiated in the moment of indiffel"\
ence between death and meaning. While things in appearance are awakened to
what is newest, death transfonns the meanings to what is most ancient." With
regard to these reSections, it should be kept in mind that, in the nineteenth
cenrury, the number of "hollowed-out" things increases at a rate and on a scale
that was previously unknown, for technical progress is continually withdrawing
newl y introduced objects from circulation. (N5.2]
"The critic can start from any fonn of theoretical or practical consciousness, and
develop out of the acrual fonns of existing reality the true reality as what it ought
to be, that which is its aim." Karl Marx, Der historische MateritzlismUJ: Die Friih·
schrif/en, ed. Landshut and Mayer (Leipzig <1932», vol. 1, p. 225 Oetter from
Marx to Ruge; Kreuzenach, September 1843).12The point of departure invoked
here by Marx need not necessaril y COlUlect with the latest stage of development.
It can be undertaken with regard to long·vanished epochs whose "ought to be"
and whose aim is then to be presented-not in reference to the next stage of
development, but in its own right and as prefonnation of the final goal of history.
Engels says (Man- und Engels jib" m " bach: Aus dan Nachlass. Marx-Engels
Archiv, ed. Rjazanov, vol. I [Frankfurt am Main <1928>], p. 300): "It must not be
forgotten that law has JUSt as li ttle an independent history as rcligion."IJ What
holds for law and religion holds for culture even more. It would be absurd for us
to conceive of the classless society, its fonus of existence, in the inuge of cultural
humanity. (N5,4)
··Our d cction cr y lIIust be: Reform of consciuuSlII'u nut through dogmas , but
through the of mysticll l consciousness that is unclear to itself, whether it
appears in 1.1 reli gious or 1.1 poli tical form. Theil people will see that the world has
long possesse(1 the drea m of a thing- and that it onl y Il ee<iS to possess the con­
i ciouslleu of this thing in ordf' r reall y to I)OSSCU it. " Karl Marx, Der hiltoruche
M(lferiaii$mll$: Die Friih$dlriflell . ed. Landshut and Mayer (Leipzig <1932 »), vol.
I, PI' . 226-227 (letter from Marx to Ruge; Kreuzenach, September 1843).11
(N5a, l ]
A reconciled humanity will take leave of its past-and one fonn of reconciliation
is gaiety. "The present Gennan regime ... , the nullity of the ancien regime
exhibited for all the world to see, ... is only the comedian of a world order whose
real h(I'(MJ are dead. History is thorough, and passes through many stages when
she carries a worn-out fonn to burial. The last stage of a world·historical fonn is
its comedy. The gods of Greece, who had already been mortally wounded in the
PrometheuJ Bound of Aeschylus, had to die yet again- this time a comic death-in
the dialogues of Lucian. Why does history foll ow this course? So that mankind
may take leave of its past gaily." Karl Marx, Der historisck MattrialismuJ: DU
Friihschrif/m, ed. Landshut and Mayer (Leipzig), vol. 1, pp. 268 ("Zur Kritik der
HegeIschen Rechtsphi/()Jophie").15 Surrealism is the death of the nineteenth century
in comedy. (N5a,2]
Marx (MClrx lind EngeLs iiber Fellerbach: AU$ clem Nachi«n, Marx.Engels Archil',
vol. I [Frankfurt am Main <1928)] , p. 301): "There is no histor y of politics, law,
science, etc., of art , religion, etc. "16 (N5a.3]
Di e heili ge Familie. on the subj ect of Bacon's materi alism: "Malter, surrounded
by a senSUOU8 poeti c glllmor, seems to attract man' s ",'hole entit y with winning
smil es."17 [N5a,4]
"I regrel ha ving treated ill onl y a vcr y incomplete ma.uner those facts of daily
ex.istence--food. clothillg_ shelt er. family routines. civil law. recreation. social
relations-which ha" e alwll Ys of prime COll ce rn ill the life of Ihe grea t major­
il y of indi,·iduai!." Clulrles Scignoho8, lIi$toire , i"cere de i(l Imlioll fram; fJi$e
(I'li r is, 1933). p. xi. (N5a,5)
Ad nOtan) a fonnula of Valery's: MWhat distinguishes a truly general phenome­
nOn is its fertility."I' [N5a,6)
Barbarism lurks in the very concept of culmre-as the concept of a fund of val ues
which is considered independent not, indeed, of t.he production process in which
these vaJues ori ginated, but of the one in which they survive. In this way they
serve the apotheosis of the latter <word uncertain>, barbaric as it may be.
To detennine how the concept of culture arose, what meani ng it has had in
different periods, and what needs its instirution corresponded to. It could, insofar
as it signifies the sum of "cultural riches," rum out to be of recent origin; certainly
it is not yet found, for example, in the cleric of the early Middle Ages who waged
his war of annihilation against the teachings of antiquity. [N6,1]
Michelet-an author who, wherever he is quoted, makes the reader forget the
book in which the quotation appears. [N6,2]
To be underlined: the painstaking delineation of the scene in the first writings on
social problems and charity, like Naville, Dt la Ghariti Jigale; Fregier, Dt; Glas.Je;
dangereum; and various others. [N6,3]
" I cannot insi8t too II trongly on the fact tha t. for an enli ghtened materi alist like
Lafar gue. economic determinism is not the 'absolutely perfet:t instrument ' which
'can provide the key t o aU the problem8 of hi st or y. It, Antlre Breton , Position
politique du aurrealill me (Pa ris ( 1935» , pp. 8-9. [N6,4]
All historical knowledge can be represented in the image of balanced scales, one
aay of which is weighted with what has been and the other with knowledge of \
what is present. Whereas on the first the facts assembled can never be too
humble or too numerous, on the second there can be only a few heavy, massive
weights. [NG,5]
"The onl y attitude worthy of philosophy ... in the indu8trial era is ... restraint.
The ' scientifi cit y' of a Marx doe8 not mean that philosophy renounce8 its t ask ... ;
r ather, it indicateA that philosophy holds itself in r eserve until the predominance
of an unworthy realit y is broken." Hugo Fischer, Karll't1arx und lIein Verhiilr""
::;u Staal ulld WirU chuft (J ena, 1932), p. 59. [N6,6)
It is not without significance that Engels, in the context of the materialist concep­
tion of history, lays emphasis on classicality. ror the demonstration of the dialec­
tic of development, he refers to laws "which the actuaJ historical process itself
provides, insofar as every momentum can be considered to bc at the point of its
fuU ripening, its classicality." Cited in Gustav Mayer, Fn'edn'ch E7IgeLs, vol. 2,
Engels ulld der Atifilieg der Arbeilerbwegung in Europa (Berlin <1933» , pp. 434­
435. (NG,1]
Engels in a leit er to Mehring. J uly 14, 1893; " It is aliove all thi s semhl a nce of an
independent hist ory of state constitutions, of 5ystems of law, uf i{leulogieal conce,,·
lions in every lieparate domain. that dazzletl most peopl e. If Luther a llli Calvin
' overcome' the offi cial Catholi c reli gioll , or Hegel 'overcomes' Fichte and Kant . or
Rousseau wi th hi s repulilican COIl/rut ,Iocinl illllirectl y ' overcomes' the cOllsti tu.
lioll al Monles<Jui eu, this is a proceu which remains within theology. philosophy,
or politi cal science, rcpre8ent 8 a stage in the hi! tory of these particular spheres of
thought and never panes beyontl the sphere of thought. And since the bourgeois
illu$ion of the eternit y a mi fi nal ity of capi ta.list production has been added to t his,
e,'en the overcoming of t he mercant ili! ts by the physiocr ats and Adam Smith is
rt"garded as a sheer victory of thought; not as the reflection in tbought of changed
C('onomi c facu, but as the finall y achieved correct understanding of act ual condi.
tiOIl S subsisting always and e\'erywhere:'" Cited in Custav Mayer, Friedrich
Ellgelll. vol. 2, Engeu untl cler AU/Illeg der Arbeirerbewegllns in Europa (Berlin).
pp. ,a.5Q-1.51. [N6a,1]
" What Schl osser could say in resl>OlIse to these reproaches [of peevish moral
rigor }, and what he would say, is this: tha t history and life in general , unlike
novels and stori es, do not teach a lesson of superfi cial j oie de vivre , even to the
happil y consti tut ed spirit and senses; that the contemplation of hi story is more
li kely to inspire, if not contempt for humanit y, then a somber vision of the world
and strict pr inci ples for li vi ng; that , at least on t he very greatest judges of the
world and huma nkind , on men who knew how to measure outward affairs by their
own inner life. on a Shakespeare, Dante, or Machiavelli , the way of the world
always made t he sort of impres8ion thai conduces to seriousness a nd severity."
G. G. Cervinus, Friedrich CI, rutoph Schlollller (Leipzig. 1861), in Deutsche Oenk.
reden, ed. Rudolf Borchardt (Munj ch. 1925), I). 312. [N6a,2)
The relation of aadition to the technology of reproduction deserves to be stud­
ied. "Traditions ... relate to written communications, in general, as reproduction
of the latter by pen rclates to reproduction by the press, as successive: copies of a
book relate to its simultaneous printings." Carl Gustav J ochmann, Uebtr die
Sprache (Heidelberg, 1828), pp. 259-260 ("Die Riickschritte der Poesiej .:»
Roger Caillois, "Paris, mythe modeme" (Nouw/Je Revue jraTl{aue, 25, no. 284
[May I, 1937], p. 699), gives a list of the investigations that one would have: to
undertake in order to illuminate the subject further. (I ) Descriptions of Paris that
antedate the nineteenth cenrury (Marivaux, Restif de La Bretonne) j (2) the strug­
gle between Girondists andJ acobins over the relation of Paris to the provinces;
the legend of the days of revolution in Paris; (3) secret police under the Empire
and the Restoration; (4) peinture morale of Paris in Hugo Balzac Baudelaire' (5]
b' " ,
o ~ e c t i ~ c descriptions of the city: Dulaure, Du Camp; (6) Vigny, Hugo (Paris
. aflame m ['Annie terrible), Rimbaud. [N7. 1]
~ t i l J to be established is the connection between presence of mind and the
method" of diaJectical materialism. It 's not JUSt that one will aJways be able to
detect a diaJectical process in presence of mind, regarded as one of the highest
fornu of appropriate behavior. What is even more decisive is that the dialectician Telescoping of the past through lhe present. [N7a,3]
• ,
cannot look on history as anything other than a constellation of dangers which
he is always, as he follows its development in his thought, on the point of
averting. [N7,2]
" Revolut ion is a drama pe rhaps more than a history, Ilnd itll patholl ill a condition
as imperi ous as itll authenticit y. " 8lanllui . cited in Geffroy, 'Enfe,.".e ( Paris,
1926), vol. I , p. 232. [N7,3]
Necessity of paying h«:d over many years to every casual citation, every 8«:ting
mention of a book. [N7,4]
To contrast the theory of history with the obselVation by Grillparttr which
EdmondJaloux translates in joumaux intimes" (u Temps, May 23, 1937): "To
read into the future is diffirult, but to see purely into the past is more difficult still.
I say purely, that is, without involving in this retrospective glance anything that
has taken place in the meantime." The "purity" of the gaze is not just difficult but
impossible to attain. [N7,5]
It is important for the materialist historian, in the most rigorous way possible, to
differentiate the construction of a historical state of affairs from what one rustom­
arily calls its "reconstruction." The "reconstruction" in empathy is one-dimen­
sional. "Construction" presupposes "destruction." [N7,6]
In order for a part of the past to be touched by the present instant <A!tua/jJab,
there must be no continuity between them. [N7,7]
The fore- and after-history of a historical phenomenon show up in the phenome­
non itself on the strength of its dialectical presentation. What is more: every
dialectically presented historical circumstance polarizes itself and becomes a force
field in which the confrontation between its fore-history and after-history is
played out. It becomes such a field insofar as the present instant interpenetrates it.
<See N7a, 8.) And thus the historical evidence polarizes intO fore- and after-his·
tory always anew, never in the same way. And it does so at a distance from its
own existence, in the present instant itself-like a line which, divided according
to the Apollonian experiences its partition from outside itself. [N7a, l j
Historical materialism aspires to neither a homogeneous nor a continuous
sition of history. From the fact that the superstructure reacts upon the base, It
follows that a homogeneous history, say, ofeconomics exists as little as a homoge­
neous history of li terature or of jurisprudence. On the other hand, since the
different epochs of the past are not all touched in the sanle degree by the present
day of the historian (and often the recent past is not touched at all; the present
fails to "do it justice"), continuity in the presentation of history is unattainable.
The reception of great, much admired works of art is an ad piureJ ire.'n [N7a,4]
The materialist presentation of history leads the past to bring the present into a
critical state. [N7a,5]
It is my intention to withstand what Valery calls "a reading slOWt:d by and
bristling with the resistances of a refined and fastidious reader." Charles Baude­
laire, UJ Flam du mal, Introduction by Paul Valery (Paris, 1928), p. xiii.:D
My thinking is related to theology as blotting pad is related to ink. It is saturated
,vith \'*re one to go by the blotter, however, nothing of what is written would
remam. [N7a,7)
II is the present that polarizes the event intO fore- and after-history.
On the question of the incompleteness of history, Horkheimer's letter of March
16, 1937: "The detemlination of incompleteness is idealistic if completeness is
not comprised within it. Past injustice has occurred and is completed. The slain
are really slain.... If one takes the lack of closure entirely seriously, one must
believe in the LastJudgment .... Perhaps, with regard to incompleteness, there is
a difference betw«:n the positive and the negative, so that only the injustice, the
horror, the sufferings of the past are irreparable. The justice practiced, the joys,
the works, have a different relation to time, for their positive character is largely
negated by the transience of things. 1ltis holds first and foremost for individual
existence, in which it is not the happiness but the unhappiness that is sealed by
death." The corrective to this line of thinking may be found in the consideration
that history is not simply a science but also and not least a form of remembrance
What science has "determined," remembrance can modify. Such
nundfUiI1ess can make the incomplete (happiness) into something complete, and
the complete (suffering) into something incomplete. That is theology; but in
remembrance we have an experience that forbids us to conceive of history as
fundamentally atheological, little as it may be granted us to try to write it with
inunediately .theological concepts. [N8, I]
TIle unequivocally regressive function which tlle doctrine of archaic images has
forJung comes to light in the following passage from the essay "Ober die Bezie-
I der analytischen Psychologie zorn dichterischcn Kunsm'crk": "The crca­
tlve process ... consists in an unconscious activation of the archetype and in an
... ela?or.a
of this original image into the finished work. By giving it shape,
the artlSt ill measure translates this image into the language of the pre­
sen.t.... lies the significance of art: ... it conjures up the fonns in
which the ZeitgeISt, the Splnt of the agt:, is most lacking. The unsatisfied yeaming
of the artist reaches back to the primordial image in the unconscious which is best
fitted to compensate the ... one-sidedness of the spirit of the age. This image his
longing seizes on, and as he ... brings it to consciousness, the image changes its
fonn until it can be accepted by the minds of his contemporaries, according to
their powers." C. G. Jung, &&nprobleme tier Gegenwart (ZUrich, Leipzig, and
Stuttgart, 1932), p. 71.2. Thus, the esoteric theory of art comes do\'l11 to making
archetypC5 "accessible" to the "Zeitgeist.
InJung' s production there is a belated and particularly emphatic elaboration of
one of the dements which, as we can recognize today, were first disclosed in
explosive fashion by Expressionism. lbat dement is a specifically clinical nihil­
ism such as one encounters also in the works of Benn, and which has found a
camp foUower in CHine. This nihilism is born of the shock impaned by the
interior of the body to those who treat it. Jung himself traces the heightened
interest in psychic life back to Expressionism. He writes : "Art has of
anticipating furore changes in man's fundamental outlook, and expresSIOrust an
has taken this subjectivc tum well in advance of the more general change?' Sec
Seelenprobleme tier Gegenwart (ZUrich, Leipzig, and Stuttgart, 1932), p. 415­
"Das Seelenproblem des modemen Menschen"}.2S In this regard, we
lose sight of the relations which Lukacs has established between Expresslorusm
and Fascism. (See a1so K7a,4.) [N8a, 1]
"1'radition. errant fable one eollectl, / Intermittent 1101 the wind in the leaves."
Vi ctor Hugo. La "' in de Satan (Paris . 1886). p. 235. [N8a,2),
Julien Benda, in Un Rigulin OOT/J Ie s;;cle, cites a phrase from Fustd de Coo­
Iangcs: "If you want to relive an epoch, forget that you know what has come after
it.n 'Ibat is the secret Magna Charta for the presentation of history by the
Historical School, and it carries little conviction when Benda adds: "Fustd
said that these measures were valid for understanding the role of an epoch m
. [N8a,3)
"" f
Pursue the question of whether a connection exists between the se
anzal10n 0
time in space and the allegorical mode of perception. The fonner, at any rate (as
becomes clear in Blanqui's last writing), is hidden in the "worldvie,,;, of
natural sciences" of the second half of the cenrory. (Secularitation of history m
"d )" {NS.,.)
Hel egger.
Goethe saw it coming: the crisis in bourgeois education. He confronts it in
Wilhelm Meist". He characterizes it in his correspondence with Zelter. [N8a,5)
Wtlhelm von Humboldt shifts the center of gravity to languages; Marx
Engels shift it to the natura] sciences. But the study of languages has eoononu
functions. too. It comes up against global economics, as the study of natural
sciences comes up against the production process. [N9,l )
Scientific method is distinguished by the fact that, in leading to new objects, it
develops new methods. Just as form in art is distinguished by the fact that,
opening up new contents, it develops new forms. It is only from without that a
work of art has one and only one fonn, that a treatise has one and only one
method. [N9,2)
On thc concept of "rcscue
: the wind of the absolute in the sails of the concept.
(The principle of the wind is the cyclical.) The uim of the sails is the relative.
{N' .3]
What are phenomena rescued from? Not only, and not in the main, from the
discredit and neglect into which they have fallen, but from the catastrophe repre­
sented very often by a certain strain in their dissemination, their "enshrinement
as heritage." -They are saved through the exhibition of the fissure within
mem.-There is a tradition that is catastrophe. [N9,4)
It is the inherent tendency of dialectical experience to dissipate the semblance of
eternal sameness, and even of repetition, in history. Authentic political experi­
ence is absolutely free of this semblance. [N9,5)
What matters for the dialectician is to have the wind of world history in his sails.
Thinking means for him: setting the sails. What is imponant is now they art: set.
"W:trds are his sails. The way they art: set makes them into concepts. [N9,6]
The dialectical image is an image that emerges suddenly, in a Bash. What has
been is to be held fast-as an image Bashing up in the now of its recognizability.
The rescue that is carried out by these means-and only by these-can operate
solely for the sake of what in the next moment is already irrcuievably lost. In this
cormecoon, see the metaphorical passage from my introduction to J ochmann,
, concerning the prophetic gaze that catches fire from the summits of the past.
{N' .7J
Being a dialectician means having the wind of history in one's sails. The sails are
the concepts. It is not enough, however, to have sails at one's disposal. What is
decisive is knowing the art of setting them. [N9,8)
concept of progress must be grounded in the idea of catastrophe. That
things are "status quo" is the catastrophe. It is not an ever-present possibility but
what in each case is given. Thus Suindbcrg (in 70 Damascus?):21 hell is not
Something that awaits us, but this life here and now. [N9a.I )
It is good to give materialist investigations a truncated ending. (N9a,2)
10 the process of rescue belongs the finn, seemingly brutal grasp. (N9a.3)
The dialectical image is that fonn of the historical object: which satisfies Goethe's
Kquirements for the object of analysis: to exhibit a genuine synthesis. It is the
primal phenomenon of history. [N9a,4)
The enshrinement or apologia is meant to cover up the revolutionary moments
in the occurrence of history. At heart, it seeks the establishment of a continuity. It
sets store only by those elements of a work that have already emerged and played
a part in its reception. The places where tradition breaks off-hence its peaks and
crags, which offer footing to one who would cross over them-it misses.
Historical materialism must renounce the epic element in history. It blasts the
epoch out of the reified "continuity of history." But it also explodes the homoge­
neity of the epoch, interspersing it with ruins-that is, with the present. [N9a,6)
In every true work of art there is a place where, for one who removes there, it
blows cool like the wind of a coming dawn. From this it follows that art, which
has often been considered refractory to every relation with progress, can provide
its true definltion. Progress has its seat not in the continuity of elapsing time but
in its interferences-where the t:ruly new makes itself felt for the first time, with
the sobriety of dawn. [N9a, 7)
For the materialist historian, every epoch with which he occupies himself is on1y
prehistory for the epoch he himself must live in. And so, for him, there can be no
appearance of repetition in history, since precisely those moments in the course
of history which matter most to him, by virtue of their index as "fore·history,"
become moments of the present day and change their specific character accord­
ing to the catastrophic or triunlphant nature of that day. [N9a,8]
Scientific progress-like historical progress-is in each instance merely the first
step, never the second, third, or n + I-supposing that these latter ever belonged
not just to the workshop of science but to its corpus. That, however, is not in fact
the case; for every stage in the dialectical process (like every stage in the process
of history itself), conditioned as it always is by every stage preceding, brings intO
play a fundamentally new tendency, which necessitates a fundanlentally new
treatment. The dialectical method is thus distinguished by the fact that, in leading
to new objects, it develops new methods, JUSt as form in art is distinguished by
the fact that it .develops new fonus in delineating new contents. It is only from
without that a work of art has one and only one fonn, that a dialectical treatise has
one and rmly one method. [NIO,I)
Definitions of basic historical concepts: Catastrophe- to have missed the oppor­
tunity. Critical moment-the status quo threatens to be preserved. Progress- the
first revolutionary measure taken. [N 10,2]
If the object of history is to be blasted out of the continuum of historical succes·
sion, that is because its monadological structure demands it. This structure firSt
comCS to light in the extracted object itself. And it does so in the foml of the
historical confrontation that makes up the interior (and, as it were, the bowels) of
the historical object, and into which all the forccs and interests of history enter on
a reduced scale. It is owing to this monadological structure that the historical
object finds represented in its interior its own fore·history and after·history.
(Thus, for example, the of educed by current scholar­
ship, resides in allegory; his after-history, mJugendstil. ) [NIO,3]
Forming the basis of the confrontation with conventionaJ historiography and
"enshri nement
is the polemic against empathy (Grillparzer, Fustel de Cou­
Imgcsl· [NlO,' ]
The Saint-Simonian Barrault distinguishes between ipoqur:s organiqur:s and ipo­
qur:s critiqur:s. <See U15a,4.> The derogation of the critical spirit begins directly
after the victory of the bourgeoisie in theJu1y Revolution. [NIO,5)
The destructive or critical momenrum of materialist historiography is registered
in that blasting of historical continuity with which the historical object first consti­
Mes itself. In fact, an object of history cannot be targeted at all within the
continuous elapse of history. And so, from time immemoriaJ, historical narration
has simply picked out an object from this continuous succession. But it has done
so without foundation, as an expedient; and its first thought was then always to
reinsert the object into the continuum, which it would create anew through
empathy. Materialist historiography does not choose its objects arbitrarily. It
does not fasten on them but rather springs them loose from the order of succes­
sion. Its provisions are more extensive, its occurrences more essentiaJ. [NlOa,l]
[For] the destructive momenrum in materialist historiography is to be conceived
as the reaction to a constellation of dangers, which threatens both the bw-den of
tradition and those who receive it. It is this constellation of dangers which the
materialist presentation of history comes to engage. In this constellation is com·
prised its actuality; against its threat, it mUSt prove its presence of mind. Such a
presentation of history has as goal to pass, as Engels puts it, "beyond the sphere
of thought."29 [NIOa,2]
10 thinking belongs the movement as well as the arrest of thoughts. 'Where
thinking comes to a standstill in a constellation saturated with tensions-there
the dialectical image appears. h is the c.'lesura in the movement of thought. Its
position is naturally not an arbitrary one. It is to be found, in a word, where the
tension ben\'een dialectical opposites is greatest. Hence, the object constructed in
materialist presentation of history is itself the di alectical inlage. TIle latter is
I?entical with the historical object; it justifi es its violent expUlsion from the con·
IJ. nuum of historical process. [N IOa,3]
The archaic fonn of primal history, which has been summoned up in every
epoch and now once more by Jung, is that form which makes semblance in
history still delusive by mandating nature as iu homeland. [Nll , l]
10 write history means giving dates their physiognomy. (Nll ,2]
The events surrowlding the historian, and in which he himself takes part, will
underlie his presentation in the fonn of a text written in invisible ink. The history
which he lays before the reader comprises, as it were, the citations OCOl rring in
this text, and it is only these citations that occur in a mamler legible to all. To
write history thus means to die history. It belongs to the concept of citation,
however, that the historical object in each case is tom from its context. [Nl I ,3)
On the elementary doctrine of historical materialism. (1) An object of history is
that through which knowledge is constituted as the object'S rescue. (2) History
decays into images, not into stories. (3) Wherever a dialectical process is realized,
we are dealing with a monad. (4) The materialist presentation of history carries
along with it an immanent critique of the concept of (5) Historical
materialism bases its procedures on long experience, common sense, presence of
mind, and dialectics. (On the monad: NlOa,3.) [Nll ,4]
The present detenllines in the object from the past, that object'S
history and after·history diverge so as to circumscribe its nucleus. [NIl ,S]
To prove by exampl e that only Marxism can practice great philology, where the
literarure of the previous century is concerned. [NII ,6]
"The regions which were the first to become enlightened are not those where the
sciences have made the greatest progress." Turgot, OeulJres, vol. 2 (Paris, 1844),
pp. 601- 602 ("Second discours sur les progres successifs de l' esprit
The thought is taken up in the later literature, and also in Marx. [NIl ,7]
In the course of the nineteenth cenrury, as the bourgeoisie consolidated its posi.
tions of power, the concept of progress would increasingly have forfeited the
critical functions it originally possessed. (In this process, the doctrine of narural
selection had a decisive role to play: it popularized the notion that progress was
automatic. The extension of the concept of progress to the whole of human
activity was funhered as a result.) With Turgot, the concept of progress still had
its critical functions. In particular, the concept made it possible to direct people's
attention to retrograde tendencies in history. Turgot saw progress, charac·
teristically, as guaranteed above all in lhe realm of mathematical research.
[N Il a, l}
" oul whal II speducle the succession of men's opinions presents! There I st..-ek the
progreu of the hUlII un mimi , ami I find virtuall y nothing but the history of its
errortl. Why is its course-which is tlO sure, from the very first steps, in the field of
mathematical stuclie&--80 unsteady in everything else, a nd _0 apt to go astray? ...
In this II 10w I'rogreuion of opinions error_, ... I fllncy thai I see those first
leaves. those II heaths which nat ure has given to the newly growing stems of planl3,
issuing before them from the ea rth, 111111 withering one lI y one as ot her sheaths
come into Cld stell ce, until at last the stem ilseLf makcs its appearance and
is crowllal wit h fl owers a nd fruit-a symlwl of late-emergi ng t ruth." Turgot,
Oeuvres. vol. 2 (Paris , 1844), I'p. 600-601 (....Second lHscourli sur lCl! progres II UC,
Cf:ssi fli de I'cillrit hllmam")." [Nlla,2]
A limeJ to progress still exists in Turgot : "In later times, ... it was necessary for
them, through reflection, to take themselves back to where the first men had been
led by blind instinct. And who is not aware that it is here that the supreme effort
of reason lies?" Turgot, OeUllreJ, vol. 2, p. 61O.
This limit is still present in Marx;
later it is lost. (NIla,3]
Already with Turgot it is evident that dIe concept of progress is oriented toward
science, but has its corrective in art. (At bottom., nOt even art can be ranged
exclusively under the concept of regression; neither does Jochmann's essay de­
vdop this concept in an unqualified way.) Of course, Turgot' s estimate of art is
different from what ours would be today. "Knowledge of nature and of uuth is as
infinite as they are; the arts, whose aim is to please us, are as limited as we are.
Tune constandy brings to light new discoveries in the sciences; but poeuy, paint­
ing, and music have a fixed limit which the genius of languages, the imitation of
nature, and the limited sensibility of our organs determine ... . The great men of
the Augustan age reached it, and are still our models." Turgot, OeufJt'eJ, vol. 2
(Paris, 1844), pp. 605-606 ("Second discours sur Ies progres successifs de I'esprit
humain").JJ Thw a progranunatic renunciation of originality in art! [N12,1]
"There are elements of the arts of taste whi eh could be pcrfected with time--for
exampl e, perspective, which depends on opti cs. But local color, the imitation of
and the expression of the passions are of all timel!." Turgot , Oeuvres, vol.
2 (Paris, 1844). p. 658 (" Plan du 8CCond dillcollrs sur I' histoire univenlelle").:H
Militant representation of progress: "It is not error that is opposed to the progress
of truth; it is indolence, obstinacy, the spirit of routine, everything that contrib­
Utes to inaction.-The progress of even the most peaceful of artS among the
ancient peoples of Greece and their republics was punctuated by continual wars.
was like the J ews' building the walls ofJerusalem with one hand while defend­
them with the other. Their spirits were al ways in fennent , their hearts always
high with adventure; and each day was a further enlightenment." Turgot,
Oeuvres, vol. 2 (Paris, 1844), pp. 672 ("Pensees et fragments j. [NI2,3]
Pruencc- of mind as a political category comes magnificently to life in these
Words ofTurgot: "Before we have leanted to deal with things in a given position,
they have already changed several times. Thus, we always perceive events too
late, and politics always needs to foresf:C, SO to speak, the present." Turgot,
OeuureJ, vol. 2 (Paris, 1844), p. 673 ("F'ensees et fragments
).:15 [NI2a,l]
"T il e ... rlulicaUy a lt cTt!d landscape of the niucteenl.h century remains visible to
this da y. at leulil in traces . It was sll alH, ..1hy the rai l roads.... The focail)Oinl8 of
this hi slori cal lulIIlscape a re present wherever mountain undl unnel, canyon and
Vio(\ucl. torrent and funi cular. river and iron bridge ... reveal their kinship....
In all their singularity, these things announce thai nature has not withdrawn, amid
the triumph of technological civilization, into the namel ess and inchoate, thai the
pure con8truclion oCbridge or tunnel did nol in itself ... U8urp the landscape, but
that ri ver and mountain at once look their side, and not as subjugated adversariea
hut as friendly powers .... The iron locomoth'e thai disa ppears into Ihe mountain
IlInnel ... seems ... to be returning to its native element , where the raw material
out of which it was made lies slumbering. '" Oolf Sternberger, Panorama, oder
AII.fichten vom 19. jll/lrhlmdert (Hamhurg, 1938), pp. 34-35. [N12a,2]
The concept of progress had to run counter to the critical theory of history from
the moment it ceased to be applied as a criterion to specific historical develop­
ments and instead was required to measure the span between a legendary incep­
tion and a legendary end of history. In other words: as soon as it becomes the
signature of historical process as a whole, the concept of progress bespeaks an
uncritical hypostatization rather than a critical interrogation. TIlls latter may be
recognized, in the concrete exposition of history, from the fact that it outlines
regression at least as sharply as it brings any progress into view. (Thus Turgot,
JocJunann.) [NI',II
Lotze as critic of the concept of progress: "In opposition to the readily accepted
doctrine that the progress of humanity is ever onward and upward, more cau­
tious reflection has been forced to make the discovery that the course of history
takes the fonn of spirals-some prefer to say epicycloids. In shon, there has
never been a dearth of thoughtful but veiled acknowledgments that the impres­
sion produced by history on the whole, far from being one of unalloyed exulta­
tion, is preponderantly melanchol y. Unprejudiced consideration will always
lament and wonder to see how many advantages of civilization and special
channs of life are lost, never to reappear in their integrity." Hennann Lotze,
Mikrok OJtnru, vol. 3 (Leipzig, 1864), p. 21.
Lotze as critic of the concept of progress: "It is not ... clear how we are to
imagine one course of education as applying to successive generations of men,
allowing the later of these to panake of the fruits produced by the unrewarded
efforts and often by the misery of those who went before. To hold that the claims
of particular times and individual men may be scorned and all their misfortunes
disregarded if only mankind would improve overall is, though suggested by
noble feelings, merely enthusiastic thoughtlessness. .. Nothing is progress
whidl does not mean an increase of happiness and perfection for those very souls
which had suffered in a previous imperfect state." Hermann Lotze, Milt.rolt.osmos,
vol. 3 (Leipzig, 1864), p. 23.
[(the idea of progress extended over the totality of
recorded history is something peculiar to the satiated bourgeoisie, then Lotze
represents the reserves called up by those on the defensive. But contrast Holder­
lin: "I love the race of men who are coming in the next centuries."31 [N13,3)
A tllOUght-provoking observation: "It is one of the most noteworthy peculiarities
of the human heart ... that so much selfishness in individuals coexists with the
general lack of envy which every present day feels toward its future." TIlls lack of
envy indicates that the idea we have of happiness is det:ply colored by the time in
which we live. Happiness for us is thinkable only in the air that we have
breathed, among the people who have lived with us. In other words, there
vibrates in the idea of happiness (this is what that noteworthy circumstance
teaches us) the idea of salvation. TIlls happiness is founded on the very despair
and desolation which were ours. Our life, it can be said, is a muscle strong
enough to contract the whole of historical time. Or, to put it differently, the
genuine conception of historical time rests entirely upon the image of redemp­
tion. (The passage is from Lotze, Milt.rolt.rumru, vol. 3 [Leipzig, 1864], p. 49.)-"
Denial of the notion of progress in the religious view of history: "History, how­
ever it may move forward or Buctuate hither and thither, could not by any of its
movements attain a goal lying out of its OWll plane. And we may spare ourselves
the trouble of seeking to find, in mere onward movement upon this plane, a
progress which history is destined to make not there but by an upward mO'Ve­
ment at each individual point of its course forward." Hennann Lotze, MiArolt.ru·
mru, vol. 3 (Leipzig, 1864), p. 49.-10 [N13a,2]
Connection, in Lotze, between the idea of progress and the idea of redemption:
"The reason of the world would be rumed to unreason if 'we did not reject the
thought that the work of vanishing generations should go on forever benefiting
only those who come later, and being irreparably wasted for the workers them­
selves" (p. 50). TIlls cannot be, "unless the wo rld itself, and all the Bourish about
historical development, are to appear as mere vain and unintelligible noise ....
nut in some mysterious way the progress of history affects them, too-it is this
conviction that first entitles us to speak as 'we do of humanity and its history"
(p. 51). Lotze calls this the "thought of the preservation and restoration of all
things" (p. 52)." [N13a,3)
Cul tural history, according to Bernheim, developed out of the positivism of
.Comte; Bcloch's Gruk Hulory « vol. 1,> 2nd edition, 1912) is, according to him, a
textbook example of Comtean influence. Positivist historiography "disregarded
... the state and political processes, and saw in the coUective intellectual develop­
ment of -society the sole content of history.... The elevation ... of cultural
history to the only subject worthy of historical research!" Ernst Bernheim, Mi/­
tdalt" lidle Zeitan.sehauungtn in ihmn EirifluJJ auf Politi! und GeJeM!hwehreibung
(Tiibingen, 1918), p. 8. (N14, 1]
"' The logical category of lime does 1I0t gOl'ern the verh liS lIIuch li S olle lIIight
expect .' Strange as it lII ay seem. the expression of the futun: does not appear to be
sit uat ed on the sume level of the human miud as the expression of the past and of
the presellt .... ' The future often has 110 expn:ssioD of its own ; or if it has one, it i.
a compl ica ted eXllression without parallel to that of the present or the pasl. ' ...
' There is no reasoll to believe that prehistori c Indo-European ever p08sessed a
true future tense' (Meillet )." J ean-Richard Bloch, " Langage d' utilite, langage
vol. 16 [ 16-50), 10). (N14,2]
Simmel touches on a very imponant matter with the distinction between the
concept of culture and the spheres of autonomy in classical Idealism. The separa­
tion of the three autonomous domains from one another preserved classical
Idealism from the concept of culture that has so favored the cause of barbarism.
Simmcl says of the cu1tural ideal: "It is essential that the independent values of
aesthetic, scientifi c, ethical, ... and even religious achievements be transcended,
so that they can all be integrated as elements in the development of human
nature beyond its natural State.
Georg Simmel, Pllilruopllie deJ GeldeJ (Leipzig,
1900), pp. 476-477." [N14,']
" There has never been a IHlriod of hi story in which the culture peculiar to it h ••
leavenl!<! the whole of humanity, or even the whole of that olle nation whi ch wal
speciall y distingui shed by it . All degree8 and shades of moral barbarism, of mental
obtusenell, and of physical wretchedness have always been found injuxtapositioD
with cultured refinement of life ... and free participation in the benefiu of civil
order." Hermann Lotze, iUikrokosmos . vol. 3 ( Leipzig, 1864), pp. 23-24;"
To the view that " there is progress enough if, ... while the mall of mankind
remain8 mired in an uncivilized condition, the civilization of a small minority it
cOll8tantl y struggling upward to grea ter alld greater heights," Lotze respolld8 with
the IlueSlioo: " How, upon such assumptions, can we be entitl ed to speak of one
history of ma ukilld?" Lotze, AtikrokQJnlOJ. vol. 3, p. 25:" (N14a,2]

' 'The way in whi ch the culture of past times is for the most pari handed down,
Lotze says, " leads directl y back to the very opp08ite of that at whi ch historical
development should aim; it leads, that is, to the formatioll of an iIM/illl:1 of culture,
whi ch cOll tinuall y takes up more and more of the el ement s of civilizution, thu.s
making them a )jfelc88 possession, and withdrawi ng them from tilt: 6)lhere of that
conscious acti vit y by the efforts of whi ch they were at first obtained" (p . 28).
Accordingly: " The progre81 of sci ence is not ... , directl y, human progreu; it
woult! be thi s if, in proportion t o t.he illcreaae in accumul at l}{ltruths, there were
also an increase in Ill en's eOll cern for t.hcm ... and in the c1earllcu of their insight
concerniug them." Lotze, AtikrolwsmoJ, vol. 3. p. 29.":; [NI4a,3]
Lot ze 011 Immanit y: "It C1I IIIIOt said t.hat IIICII grow to what they are with a
consciousness of this growth, alltl with till aecolllpanying remembrance of their
Ilreviou8 condition." Lotze, MikrokOJlll os. vol. 3, p. 31 ....
Lotze's vision of history can be related to Stifter's: "that the unrul y will of the
individual is always restricted in its action by universal conditions not subject to
arbitrary will-conditions which are to be found in the laws of spiritual life in
general, in the established ordcr of nature ..... Lotte, MiA roit.osmos, vol. 3, p.
To be compared with Stifter's preface to Bunte Stdne <Colored Stones): "Let us at
the outset regard it as certain that a great effect is always due to a great cause,
never to a small one." His/oire de lulu Cb ar, vol. 1 (Paris, 1865) (Napoleon III).
A phrase which Baudelaire coins for the consciousness of time peculiar to some­
one intoxicated by hashish can be applied in the definition of a revolutionary
historical consciousness. He speaks of a night ill which he was absorbed by the
effects of hashish: "Long though it seemed to have been ... , yet it also seemed to
have lasted only a few seconds, or even to have had no place in all etemity.n
Oeuvre;, ed. Le Dantec (Paris, 193 1), ) vol. I , pp. 298-299....
At any given time, the living sec: themselves in the midday of history. They are
obliged to prepare a banquet for the past. The historian is the herald who invites
thc dead to the table. (N15,2]
On the dietetics of historical literature. The contemporary who learns from
books of history to recognize how long his present misery has been in prepara·
tion (and this is what the historian must inwardly aim to show him) acquires
thereby a high opinion of his own powers. A history that provides this kind of
instruction does not cause him sorrow, but arms him. Nor does such a history
arise from sorrow, unlike that which Fl aubert had in mind when he penned the
confession: "Few will suspect how depressed one had to be to undertake the
resuscitation of It is pure curiruilt that arises from and deepens
sorrow. (N15,3]
Exanlple of a "cultural historical " perspective in the worse sense. Huizinga
speaks of the consideration displ ayed for the life of the common people in the
Pastorals .of the late Middle Ages. "Here, too, belongs that interest in rags and
tatters which ... is already beginning to make itself fek Calendar miniatures
note with pleasure the threadbare knees of reapct'S in the field, while paintings
accentuate the rags of mendicants.... Here begins the line that leads through
Rembrandt's etchings and Murillo's beggar boys to the street types of Steinlen:"
J. Huizinga, Herbst (ies Mittelallm (Munich , 1928), p. 448.51 At issue, of course, 1$
actually a very specific phenomenon. (N15,4]
"The pust has left images or it se!r in lit er ar y texts. images comparable to those
whi ch are imprinted by li ght 011 a photosell sitive pl ate. The ruture alone posse88cs
tlevclopcrs acth'e enough to scan such surraces perrectl y. Many pages in Marivaux
or Rousseau contain a mysterious meaning wruch the first readers or these texts
coulilnot rull y have deciphered ." Andre Monglond, I.e Prerom(llltjslll e/r(l/l«au.
vol. I , I.e Hero! prerollllllltit/Ue (Grellohl e, 1930), p. xi i . (N15a, l j
A revealing vision of progress in Hugo, "Paris incendie" (L'Annie terrible):
What! Sacrifice everything! Even the gra.nary!
\¥hat! TIle library, arch whcre dawn arises,
Unfathomable ABC or the ideal, where progress,
Etema! reader, leans on its elbows and dreams ...
On the style one should strive for : "It is through everyday words that sty.le bites
intO and penetrates the reader. It is through them that great thoughts .ci.rw1ate
and are accepted as genuine, like gold or silver imprinted with a. recogruzed seal.
They inspire confidence in the person who uses them to make his thoughts more
understandable' for one recognizes by such usage: of common language a man
who knows life' and the world, and who stays in touch with things.
these words make for a frank style. They show that the author has long
nated the thought or the feeling expressed, that he has made them so his
own, so much a matter of habit, that faT him the most common
suffice to express ideas that have become nanual to him after long
1n the end what one says in this way will appear more truthful, for 15 SO
clear it comes to words, than those we call familiar ; and clanty 15 some­
so characteristic of the truth that it is often confused with it." Nothing more
subtle than the suggestion: be clear so as to have at least the appearance of truth.
Offered in this way, the advi ce to write simply-which usually harbors resent­
ment-has the highest authority.J.Joubert, Oeuvres (Paris, 1883), vol. 2, p. 293
("Du Style," no. 99). (N15a,3]
The person who could develop the J oubertian dialectic of precepts would pro­
duce a stylistics worth mentioning. For example,J ouben "the usc::
"everyday words" but warns against "colloquial language, which expres
things re1evant to our present customs only" ("Du Style," no. 67 ( Oeuvres, vol. 2,

" AIl hea ulirul expressions are susceptible of more than one meani ng .• When
beaulirul expreuion presents it meaning more beautiful than the author s own, II
should be adoptoo." J . JOIlbc.rt , Deill/re, ( Pans, 1883), vol. 2. p. 276 (" DII Style,"
no. 17). (N16.2]
WIth regard to political economy, Marx characterizes as "its vulgar clement"
above all "that element in it which is mere reproduction-thai is,
of appearance." Cited in Korsch, Karl Marx <manuscripp , vol. 2, p. 22.sl TIlls
vulgar element is to be denounced in other sciences as wcll. (N16,3)
COllcepl or nature in Marx: "" H in liege! ... ' physicalnalure likewise encroaches
0 11 world hi story: thcli Ma rx conceives nat ure rrom the begi nlling in social catego_
ri es . Physical nature does not enter directl y into world Ili story; rathcr, it enters
indirectl y. as a proceu or material production that goes on, from the earli est
moment , not only between man a nd na ture but also between man and man. Or, to
use language that will he clear to philosophers as well: in Ma rx's ri gorously llOCial
science, that pllre natltre presupposed by all human acti vit y (the economic nat"rll
naturan, ) is replaced everywhere by nature as materj(ll prociuction (the economic
natura nalurata)-that is, by a llOCial 'malt er ' medi ated and transformed
through human llOCial acti vity, and thus at the same time capabl e of rurlher change
and modifi cation inllae present alltl the future." Korsch, Karl Mtlrx , vol. 3, p. 3.1.:.1

Korsch provides the roUowing rdormulation or the Hegelian tri ad in Marxian
terms : " Tile Hegelian ' contradiction' was rt!placed by the struggle of the social
classes; the dialectical ' negation,' by the prolet ariat ; and the dialectical 'synthe·
sis,' by the prolet arian revolution." KorllCh, Karl Marx, vol. 3, p. 45. 5J (N16,51
Restri ction or the materialist cOllccption or hi story ill Korsch:· ""As the IIlatenal
mode of prodll ction changes, so does the system or mediations existing between the
material base and its 1}OIiticai a nd juridical sllperstructure, with its corresponding
social forms or consciOll 8ness. Hence. the gencral prOI)ositions or materialist social
theory concerning the relations bet wcell ecoll omy alld polilics or economy and
ideology, or concerning such general concepts as dan and clan struggle, ... have
II different meaning ror each specific epoch and, strictl y s peaking, a re valid, in the
pa rticnl ar rorm Marx gave them within the present bourgeoi s society, onl y ror thi s
SOCiety .... Only ror cOllt emporary hourgeois society, where t.he spheres or eco'....
omy and politic, a re rormall y and entirely separated rrom cuch other. and where
workers as citizens or the stat e are rree a nd possessed or C(lual ri gh u. d oes the
scientirlc demonstration or t1l eir actual ongoing lack or in the economi c
spll ere hnve the charact er or a theoretica l di scovery." Korsdl . \"01. 3, 1',), 21- 22.
Korsell makes " til e purudox.ica l observat.ion (whi ch is nonethel ess ...
suit ed to)lle final alltl nl ust mature rorm or Marxia n scicnce) that ill the mat criali st
social t heor y of Marx the ensemble or social relutions, which bourgeois sociologists
tN!at li S a n independent domain ... ,alread y is investigated accordi ng t o its objec.
live ... cont ent by the hi storica l and social science of ec:Oll omi cs.... In 'hit 'ertl e,
Mar.d. nillterjll /is' 'ociul &ciell ce if 110' 5ociolo8Y bur ecOtl o mic,f. " Kor seh, Karl
Marx. \ ' 0 1. 3, p. 103.
' (N16a,2]
A cit ati on frOIll Marx 011 the mut a hilit y of nature (in Kursell , Karl !11n rx, vol. 3,
p. 9) : "E"cli Ihe lI aturaLl y grown va ri ati ons of the 1111111811 species, slI ch 8S tliffer _
cll ees of r uce, ... ca n and must In: aboli shed in Ihe historical process.
Doctrine of the super st r ucture, accordi ng to Korseh: "'Neither ' di alectical c81188I_
it y' in iu philosophic de6nitioll , nor scientific 'causalit y' supplemented by ' inter_
actions,' is suffi cient to determine the pa rti cul ar kinds of connections and
relations existing between the ecoll omi c ' base' and the juridical anti politi cal ' su­
per st r ucture ... .' t ogether with the 'corresponding' forms of consciousne68....
Twenti eth-cent ury natural science has learned that the 'causal' rela tions whi ch
t he resea rcher ill a given field has t o establish for t hat fi eld cannot be defined in
terms of a general conce: l)t or law of causalit y, but mu. t be determined ipeci6call y
for each separ ate fi eld.· [·See Philipp rrank, Dm KUII.m lsesetz lind seine Gren­
zell <The Law of Causalit y a nd Its Limil s >(Vienna , 1932) . ] .. . The greater part of
the result s ... obtained hy Mar x untl Engels con. ist 1I0t ill theoretical formula­
tions of the new pri nci pl e hUI in it! sp(:t:ifi c appli cati on t o a seri es of ... question.,
which are ei ther of fundamental practi cal imlKlrta nce or of a n extremely . ubtle
nature t heoretica ll y.... * [*Here. for exampl e, be10ng the que.tion. raised by
Ma rx at tlle end of the 1857 ' Int roducti on' <to the Grllndriue> (pp. 779f£. ), and
which conccrn the ' unequal devel opment ' of different . phere! of social life: UD­
equal devel opment of mat eri al product ion vis-a-vis arti stic pr oduction (and of the
vari ous arti among themsel ves). the level of education in the United States a.
compa red t o that of Europe. une<lual developmellt of the relati ons of production
as legal relati ons, alld 80 forth. ] The more precise scientific determinati on of the
present cont ext. is still a task for the future ... , a t ask whose center will lie. once
agai n, not in theoreti cal formulation hut in the fur ther application and testing of
the principl es implici t in Ma rx's work. Nor should we adhere too stri ctl y to the
words of Marx. who often used his terms onl y fi guratively-as, for instance, in
describing the connections under consideration here as a rela ti on between ' base'
and ' superstructure,' as a 'corrCi pondence,' and so on .... In all tll ese cases, the
Marxi an concepts (as Sorel and Lenin, a mong the later Marxists, ullderst ood be.t )
a re lIot int ended as new dogmati c fett ers, as preesta blished conditi ons which must
be met in some pa rti cula r order hy any ' materiali st' ill vestigati on. T hey are,
rather, (J wholl y IIndob'Dl atic guide t o resear ch anti acti on." Korsch, KlI rl Marx,
(manuscript ), "01. 3. PI" 93-96. 5<0 [NIl]
Material ist concepti on of history anti materiali st phil osophy: " T he formula! of
materiali.s t history that were applied hy Mar x and Engel s ... solely to t.he ...
investigation of hourgeois societ y. anti t ransferred to other histori cal periods onl y
wit h cl uhorati on, huve heclt detached by the Mar xist epigoncs from this
spt.'Cifi c upp(j cuti oll . and in gclt cral from every hi stori Cll1 connecti on ; Ilml out of
so-call ed hist ori cal materiali. m they ha ve made a univer eal ... sociological tJlt>
ory. From thi s ... leveling ... of ma teriali.s t theory of societ y. it was onl y a step to
t he idea t.hat once again toduy--or especiall y today- it was necessary t o shore up
t he Il islOrical ami economic science of Ma rx, not onl y with a gener al social phil oso­
phy hut evell with II ••• universal materialist worltlview embracing the totalit y of
nature alul societ y. Thus, the ... scientifi c forms ill to whi ch the r eal kernel of
eight eenth-century philosophi cal ma teri alism had evolved .. , were ultimately
.:a rr ietl back to wha t Ma rx himself had once unmist akabl y repudi ated a! ' the
phil osophi cal phrases of the Materialisu about mailer.' Materialist social science
.. ,does not nt.-ed ... any sudl philosophic sUPI)Ort. This most import ant advance
.. , carrietl out by Mar x was la ter overlooked even by ... ' orthodox' in terpreters
of Ma rx .... They have thus reint roduced their own backward attitudes into a
theory which Ma rx had consciously transformed from a philosophy into a science.
It is the almost grotesque historical fate of the Mar x-orthodoxy that, in repulsing
the att acks of revisionists, it ultimately arrives, on all iml)Ortant issuee, at the very
same st andpoint a. that taken by ill! adversaries. For example, the repre­
scntative of thie school , ... Plekhanov. in his eager pursui t of tha t ' philosophy'
which mi ght be the true foundati on of Mar xism, finall y hit upon the idea of pre­
senti ng Ma rxism as ' a form of Spinoza 's philosophy freed by Feuerbaeh of ill!
theological addendum.'" Korsch, Karl Marz (manuscript ), vol. 3, Pl' . 29--3 1.
[Nl la]
Korsch ci te Dacon, from the Novum Orsanum: ''' Recte enim verita. tempori8
fili a di citur non auctoritas.' On that a uthorit y of all a uthoriti es. time. he had
baset! the superiority of the new bourgeois empirical science over the dogmatic
science: of the J\.1iddl e Ages. "· Kor.ch , Karl Marx (manuscript ), vol. I, p. 72.r.II
[N18, I)
, " For the positive use, Marx: repl aces the overweening postul ate of Hegel that the
truth nlUst be concr ete with the rational principl e of specification . ... The r eal
interest lies ... in the specific traits through whi ch each particular hi stori cal
society is du tins ltu hed froOl the common features of society in gener al and in
whiell , therefore, ill! development is comprised.... In the same manner, an exact
social science Cll nnot form ill! gener al concepll! by simpl y abstracting from some
and r.et aining other more or Ie 8 a rbit raril y chosen cha racteristi cs of t he given
historical fornl of bourgeois societ y. It can secure the knowledge of t he gener al
cOlltllincd ill t lll1 t pa rticula r forlll of societ y on.ly hy t he minut e invcstigati on of 1111
lhc histor icu] condit ions ulltl erl yi ng its elll ergence from anotll er stll te of society
li nd (" tllIl the u.· tua l mOtlifi cutioll of its preseut form under c):actJ y cstahljshed
.... Thus. the onl y genuine laws in social science a re Jaw. of (Ie\'dop­
"lell! .·' Korsdl. K(l rl Marx (manuscri pt ), vol. I , PI' . 49-52. $<I [N18,2]
concept of uni versal history is a messianic concept. Un.iversal
history, as it is understood today, is an affair of obscurantists,
The now of recognizability is the moment of awakening. Uung would like to
distance awakening from the dream.) (N18, 4]
In his characterization of Leopardi, Sainte·Beuve declares himself "persuaded ...
that the full value and originality of literary criticism depends on its applying
itself to subj ects for which we have long possessed the background and aU the
immediate and more distant COntexts." C.·A. Sainte·Beuve, PorlTail.J
rains, vol. 4 (Paris, 1882), p. 365. On the other hand, it must be admitted that the
absence: of certain of the conditions demanded here by Sainte·Beuve can have its
value. A lack of feeling for the most delicate nuances of the text can itself cause
the reader to inquire more attentively into the least of facts within the social
relations underlying the work of art. Moreover, the insensitivity to fine shades of
meaning can more readily procure for one (thanks to clearer apprehension of the
contours of the work) a certain superiority to other critics, insofar as the feding
for nuances does not always go together with the gift for ana1ysis. [N18a,l ]
Critica1 remarks on technica1 progress show up quite early. The author of the
treatise On Art (Hippocrates?): 14] bdieve that the inclination ... of intdligence: is
to discover anyone of those things that are still unknown, ifindetd it is bttt(r to
halJt: discolJ(rtd thtm than not to haue dont so at all." Leonardo da Vmci : "How and
why I do not write of my method of going underwater for as long as I can remain
there without eating: if I neither publish nor divul ge this information, it is be·
cause of the wickedness of men who would avail themselves of it to commit
murder at the bottom of the sea-by staving in ships and sinking them with their
Bacon: "In ... Tnt Nw Atlantis, ... he entrusts to a specially chosen
commission the responsibility for deciding which new inventions will be brought
before the public and which kept secret." Piem=·Maxime Schuhl, Machinisme tI
phi/ruophit (Paris, 1938), pp. 7, 35.-'1be bombers remind us of what Leonardo
da Vmci expected of man in fught : that he was to ascend to the skies ' in order to
seek snow on the mountaintopS and bring it back to the city to spread on the
sweltering streets in summer" (Schuhl, Machinismt tI phJ1ruophit, p. 95).
It may be that the continuity of tradition is mere semblance. But then precisely
the persistence of this semblance of persistence provides it with continuity.
[N" ,' ]
Proust , apropos of a citation (from a leiter hy <Cuez de) Balzac to M. de Forgues)
whi ch he evidentl y horrowed from l\1ont es((lIioll , to whom hi s comments are ad­
drciSed. (The passage may cont ai n a nonsensical slip of the pe n or a printer'l
error.) "' It was fifteen days ago that I removed it [that is, the cit ation) from my
proof sheets .... My book will 11 0 doubt be too littl e read for there to have been
a ny risk of t arnishing your ci ta tion. rllrthe rmore . 1 withdre"" it less for your lake
than for the sake of the sent ellce itself. In fact , I hcli eve there exislI for every
bell uti ful sent ence an imprelcriptible ri ght which reml crl it ina lienabl e to aU tak­
ers except the one for whom it waits, according t o a destination which is itl del ­
tillY," Corrcsponliance generale rle M("cel PrOlut , \ ' 0 1. I , (I Robert de
M01l t esfJlliou (paris. 1930), PI" 73-74."" [N19,2]
TIle pathologica1 clement in the notion of "culture
comes vividly to light in the
effect produced on Raphael, the hero of 17u Wild Assj Skin, by the enonnous
stock of merchandise in the four·story antique shop into which he venwres. "To
begin with, the stranger compared . .. three showrooms-crammed with the
relics of civilizations and religions, deities, royalties, masterpieces of art, the prod·
ucts of debauchery, reason and unreason- to a minor of many facets, each one
representing a whole world . ... The young man' s senses ended by being
numbed at the sight of so many nationa] and individual existences, their authen­
ticity guaranteed by the human pledges which had survived them .... For him
this ocean of furnishings, inventions, fashions, works of art, and relics made up
an endless poem .. .. He clutched at every joy, grasped at every grief, made all
the formulas of existence his own, and ... generously dispersed his life and
feding! over the images of that empty, plastic narure .... He felt smothered
under the debris of fifty vanished centuries, nauseated with this surfeit of human
thought, crushed under the weight of luxury and art.... Alike in its caprices to
our modem chemistry, which would reduce creation to one single gas, does not
the soul distill fearful poisons in the rapid concentration of its pleasures ... or its
ideas? Do not many men perish through the lightning action of some moral acid
or other, suddenly injeaed into their innermost being?" Balzac, La ltau de cIuJ­
grin, ed. Flammarion (Paris), pp. 19,21-22, 24.tl [N19,3]
Some theses by rocillon which have appearances on their side. Of course, the
materialist theory of an is interested in dispelling such appearance:. ",* have no
to confuse the state of the life of forms with the state of socia1life. The time
gives suppan to a work of art does not give definition either to its principle
or to its specific foml" (po 93). "The combined activity of the Capetian monaro
chy, the episcopacy, and the townspeople in the development of Gothic cathe·
drals shows what a decisive influence may be exercised by the alliance of social
forces. Yet no matter how powerful this activity may be, it is still by no means
qualified to solve problems in pure statics, to combine relationships of values.
The various masons who bonded two ribs of stone crossing at right angles
beneath the nOM tower of Bayeux ... , the creator of the choir at Saint·Denis,
were geometers working on solids, and not historians interpreting tinle. [1 !] 111e
mOSt attentive srudy ofthe most homogeneous milieu, of the most closely woven
of circumstances, will not serve to give us the design of the towers
of L.'lon" (po 89). It would be necessary to follow up on these reflections in order
to show, first , the difference between the theory of milieu and the theory of the
forces ofproductiOIl, and, second, the difference between a "reconsrruction" and
a historical interpretation of works. Henri FociUon, Vit dts./ormts (Paris, 1934)."
[N19a,l ]
Focillon on technique: "It has been like some observatory whence both sight and
study might embrace within one and the same perspective the greatest possible
number of objects and their greatest possible ctiversity. For technique may be
interpreted in many various ways: as a vital force, as a theory of or as
a mere convenience. In my own case as a historian, I never regarded tecluuque as
the automatism of a ' craft; nor as ... the recipes of a 'cuisine'; instead I saw it as
a whole poetry of action and ... as the means for attaining metamorphoses. It
has aJways seemed to me that ... the observation of technical phenomena not
only guarantees a certain controllable objectivity, but affords entrance intO the
very of the. by pmalting.il UJ in the .same. andfrom the .lame
jxJinl of View as 1/ u pmenled to the artu/. The phrase ltaliazed by the author
marks the basic error. Henri Focillon, Vie deJjonneJ (Paris, 1934), pp. 53-54.
The " activit y on the part of a style in the process of seU-definition ... is generally
known as 1111 'evolution,' tltis term being here understood in its broadest and most
general sense. Biological science checked and modul ated the concept of evolution
with painstaking ca re; archaeology, on the other hand, took it simply as ...•
method of classification. I have elsewher e pointed out the dangers of 'evolution':
its de(;epti ve orlierline88, i n single. nLinded directness, its use, in those problematic
cases ... , of the expedi ent of ' transitions,' its inahility to make room for the
revolutionary energy of inventors." Henri Focillon, Vie des jormes (Paris, 1934),
pp. II_12.
[Prostitution, Gambling]
-ftqllw....x t .. b1,..u tIL PariJ, 4111 ObscrvatiDIU j ilT fa 1IIl!nm d IIJaCU dtJ
Parisims .... Cflf/fmnKtmnll dll XIX' Jiick (Paris, 1828), vol. 1, p. '$7
. .. in an arcade,
\"\bmcn are as in their boudoir.
- Br.u.kr, Gabriel and Dumersall, UJ P&luiJgts tI fa rtlU, 011 La Cllm"e
dld..ri, (PaN, 1827), p. 30
Hasn't his eternal vagabondage everywhere accustomed him to reinterpreting
the image of the city? And doesn't he transfonn the arcade into a casino, into a
gambling den, where now and again he stakes the red, blue, yellow jeto1l.J of
feeling on women, on a face that suddenl y surfaces (will it return his look?), on a
mute mouth (will it speak?)? What, on the baize cloth, looks out at the gambler
from every number-luck, that is-here, from the bodies of all the women,
winks at him as the chimera of sexuality: as his type. This is nothing other than
the number, the cipher, in which just at that moment luck will be called by name,
in order to jump immectiatcly to another number. His type-that's the number
that pays off thirty·six-foJd, the one on which, without even trying, the eye of the
voluptuary falls, as the ivory ball falls into the red or black compartment. He
leaves the Palais-RoyaJ with buJging pockets, calls to a whore, and once more
celebrates in her arms the communion with number, in which money and riches,
absolved from every earthen weight, have CODle to him from the fates like a
joyous embrace returned to the full. For in gambling hall and bordello, it is the
same supremely sinful delight: to c.hallenge fate in pleasure. Let unsuspecting
ideaJists inlagine that sensual pleasure, of whatever stripe, could ever detemune
the theological concept of sin. 1ne oribrin of true lechery is nothing else but this
steaJing of pleasure from out of the course of life with God, whose covenant with
·such life resides in the name. 111e name itself is the cry of naked lust. TIlls sober
thing, fateless i.n itself- the name- knows no other adversary than the fate that
takes its p lace in whoring and that forges its arsenaJ i.n superstition. Thus in
gambler and prostitute that superstition which arranges the figures of fate and
fiIls all wanton behavior with fateful forwardness, fateful concupiscence, bringing
even pleasure to kneel before: its throne. [01,1]
" When I turn back in thought to the Salon des Etnnge" , as it was in the second
decade of our century, I see before me the finely etched feature, and gall ant figure
of the Hungari an Count HUllyady, the greatest gambl er of ws day, who back then
took all societ y's breat h away .. . . Hunyady's luck for a long time waa extraordi_
nar y; no bank could withstand his assault , and his winnings must have amounted
to nearly two million francs . His manner waa surprisingly calm and ext remely
di stinguished; he sat there, as it appeared, in complete equanimity, his right hand
in the breast of his j acket , while thousands of fra ncs hung upon the fall of a card or
a roll of the dice. His valet, however, confided to an indiscreet friend that Mon­
sieur ' s nerves were lI ot so steely as he wanted people to believe, and that of •
morning the count more often than not would bear the bloody tracee of his naW,
whi ch in his excitement he had dug into the flesh of his chest 8S the game was tak­
ing a dangerous turn. " Captain Grunow, Aw der groneo Welt <Pori..!:er und Lon­
doner Siuenbilder, 1810-1860, ed. Heinrich Conrad> (Stuttgart , 1908), p. 59.
On the way Blucher gambled in Paris, see Gronow's book, Aw der gronen Welt
<pp. 54-56). When he had lost , he forced the Bank of France to advance him
100,000 francs so he could continue playing; after this scandal broke, he had lO
leave Paris . "Blucher never quit Salon 113 a t the Palais-Royal , and speot , i::&
milli on during his stay; all ws lands were in pledge at the time of his departure
from Paris." Paris took in more during the occupation <of 1814) than it paid out
in war reparatiolls . [01,3)
It is only by comparison with the ancien regime that one can say that in the
nineteenth century the bourgeois takes to gambling. [01,4]
The following account shows very conclusively how public inunorality (in con­
trast to private) carries in itself, in its liberating cynicism, its own corrective. It is
reponed by Carl Benedict Hase, who was in France as an indigent rotor and who
sent letters home from Paris and other stations of his wandering. "As I was
walking in the vicinity of the Pont Neuf, a heavily made·up prostirote accosted
me. She had on a light muslin dress that was rocked up to the knee and that
clearly displayed the red silk drawers covering thigh and belly. ''lien;, tims, mOTI
she said, ' you an: young, you're a foreigner, you will have need of it." She:
then seized my hand, slipped a piece of paper into it, and disappeared in the
crowd. Thinking I had been given an address, I looked at the missive; and what
did I rtad?- An advenisement for a doctor who was claiming to curt all imagin·
able ailments u; the shomst possible time. It is strange that the girls who are
responsible for the malady should here put in hand the means to recover from
it." Carl Benedict Hase, Briefi von de,- Watuknmg und QW Paris (Leipzig, 1894),
pp.48-49. (01,5)
::.gallery of the Palais·Royal. From a watercolor enti tled La Sortie du numiro 113 artist un­
s for the virtue of women, I have but olle respoll lHl lO rnake to those who would
ask me aboul this: it strongly n!tIemble& the curt aillS ill theaters. for their petti­
COatl! rise each evening three times r ather than oll ce." Comle Horace de Vie! ­
Castel , Memoiru , ur Ie regAe de Napoleon (Paris, 1883), vol. 2, p. 188.
(Ola, l ]
"Hiron(lelleJ-women who work the window." LevicTon:a, PariJ-Noceur (Paris,
1910), p. 142. TIle windows in the upper story of the arcades are choir lofts in
which the angels that men call "swallows" are nesting. (Ola,2]
On what is "d ose" (Veuillot: "Paris is musty and closej in fashion: thc "glaucous
gleam" under the petticoats, of which Aragon speaks.
The corset as the torso's
arcade. The absolute antithesis to this open-air "'Orld of today_ What today is de
rigueur among the lowest class of prostirutes- not to undress-may once have
been the height of refinement. One liked the "'Oman retrou.uie, tucked up_Hessel
thinks he has found here the origin of \.-\tdekind's crotics; in his view,
\o\t:dckind's fresh-air pathos was omy a bluff. And in other respectS? 0 Fashion 0
On the dialectical function of money in prostirution_ It buys pleasure and, at the
same time, becomes the expression of shame. "I knew," says Casanova of a
procuress, "that I would not have the strength to go wi thout giving her some­
thing." This striking admission reveals his knowledge of the most secret mecha­
nism of prostitution. No girl would choose to become a prostitute if she counted
solely on the stipulated payoff from her partner. Even his grati rude, which per­
haps results in a small percentage more, would hardly seem to her a sufficient
basis. How then, in her unconscious understanding of men, does she calculate?
This we cannot comprehend, so long as money is thought of here as omy a
means of payment or a gift. Certainly the whore' s love is for sale. But not her
client's shame. The latter seeks some hiding place during this quarter·hour, and
finds the most genial: in money. There are as many nuances of payment as there
are nuances of lovemaking-lazy and swift, furtive or brutal_ What does this
signify? The shame-reddened wound on the body of society secretes money and
closes up. It fonus a metallic scab. \.-\t leave to the roue the cheap pleasure of
believing himself devoid of shame. Casanova knew better: inlpudence
the first coin onto the table, and shanle pays out a hundred more to cover 11.
"The dance in which ... vulgarit y makes its appearance with unexampled impu­
dence is the tnulitional French (IUlulriUe. When the dancers manage to offend
against every tender feeling by their pant omime--without , however, going 80 far
as to have to fear bd ng ejccted from the room by the on-dut y pulice agcll u - then
this type of dance cll ll cd lJ"ilc(I/I. Dut when all moral is trampled on
by Ihe manner of tll c when at last , aftcr lenglll YIl esitatiun, $erBCfIIl U
de ville feel cump,·lled 10 recall the lhmCC' rs tu a sense of tlccol'um will. the eustulll­
. I " 1 1 .
ary words. " Dunce mOI'e or you Will hc shown III C dour . - Ilell t 1111
illtcll siJi cntion ur. iH:tl cr. ' this is knowll as chllhue. I .. _ hesti al
g" 08S lI cn ... has I(·tlto the ercalioll of a police ordinance .... Mell . aceurtlillgl y,
arc IlUt all uwed 10 II ppcllr al hall s either maskc(1 or ill C;Ol! tumc. This is ill part
to prel'cnt tlwir hdng temptetl hy their disgu.i se 10 behave still more vilel y hut also,
and chi ell y, in the evclIl a (Ianccr shou1tl reach the Parilli an ne "lUll ultra of tie­
pravity ill dancing ami subsequentl y he shown to the door by the ,crBcmlu de
ville. to make sure he will be recugni zed thereafter and kept from reent ering the
room. . . Women. on tilt: ot her hanli . are not alJowetlto appear unleu they arc
masketl:' Ferdinand \'on Gall . "uri, /Unl .,eine Salon., (Oldeuburg, 1844), vol. I,
pp. 209, 213--2 14 _ [Ola.5]
Comparison of today's erotic fiel ds of action with those of the middle of the
previous century. The social play of eroticism tums today on the question: How
far can a respectable woman go without losing herself? To represent the joys of
adultery without its actual circwnstances is a favorite device of dramatists. The
terrain on which love's duel with society unfolds is thus, in a very broad sense,
the realm of "free" love. For the Forties, Futies, and Sixties of the previous
cenrury, however, things were entirely different. Nothing illusttates this more
clearly than the account of the "pensions" which Ferdinand von Gall provides in
his book Paris und Jeine SalonI (Oldenburg, 1844-1845) <vol. 1, pp. 225-231>.
There we learn that in many of these boardinghouses at the evening meal­
which, with prior notification, strangers tOO could attend- it was the rule to
bring in cocottes, whose job it was to play the part of girls from good. families. In
fact , they were not disposed to let down their masks tOO quickly, prefening
instead to wrap themselves in endless layers of respectability and family cormec­
tion; to strip these away entailed an elaborate game of intrigues that ultimately
served to raise the women's price. What is expressed in these relations, it goes
without saying, is less the period's prudme than its fanatical love of masquerade.
[0 2, 1]
More on the mania for masks: " We know from the statistics on prostitution tbat
the fallen woman takes a cert ai u pride ill being deemed by nature still worthy of
motherhood_ a feeling that in 110 way excludes her aversion to the hardship aDd
disfigurement that goea along with this hOll or. She thus willingly chooses a middle
way to exhibit her condition: she keeps it ' for two months, for three monthll,'
nalurally not longer_" .'. Th. Vischer, Mode Ului Cyni.tmus (Stuttgart, 1879), p. 7.
oFashion a (0 2,2]
In prostitution, one finds expressed the revolutionary side of technology (the
symbolic side, which creates no less than discovers). "As if the laws of nature to
which love submits were not more tyrannical and more odious than the laws of
SOCiety! The metaphysical meaning of sadism is the hope that the revol t of ma.n
will take on such intensity as to summon nature to change its laws. For, with
WOmen no longer wanting to endure the ordeal of pregnancy, the risks and the
SUlTerings of delivery and of miscarriage, nature will be constrained to invent
!ome ?ther means for perpetuating humanity on tlris earth." Enmlanucl Berl,
Pa.mphlet," Europe, 75 pp. 405-406. And in fact: the sexual
revolt against love nOt only spri.ngs from the fanatical, obsessional will to pleas­
ure; it also aims to make nature adaptable and obedi ent to this will. The trai ts in
question here appear more clearly still when prostitution (especially in the cynical
form it took toward the end of the century, in the Paris arcades) is regarded less
as the opposite than as the decline ofldve. It is then that the revolutionary aspeCt
of this decline fuses, as though of its own accord, with the very same aspect in the
decline of the arcades. [02,3]
Feminine fauna of the arcades: prostitutes, griseues, old·hag shopkeepers, female
street vendors, glovers, dnnoiullu.-This last was the name, around 1830, for
incendiaries disguised as women. [02,4]
Around 1830: " The Pa lais-Royal ill lltiD enough in rall hion that the or
chain! brinS' in some 32,000 rrancl to Louis Philippe, a nd the tax on gaming lome
fi\'e and a hair million to t.he treal ury.... The gambling houses orlhe Palaill- Royal
rival those or the Cercle dell Etrangers on the Rue Gnmge-BateLiere and or Frall_
cali on the Rue de Ri cheLi eu ." <Lucien > Dubech and <Pierre> d' EslH!ZeI , lIistoire
de Paris (Paris, 1926), p . 365. [02,5}
Rites de passage-this is the designation in folklore for the ceremonies that attach
10 death and birth, to marriage, puberty, and so forth. In modem life, these
transitions arc becoming ever more unrecognizable and impossible to experience.
have grown very poor in threshold experiences. Falling asleep is perhaps tlx:
only such experience that remains to us. (But together with this, there is also
waking up.) And, finally, there is the ebb and 80w of conversation and the sexual
pennutations of love-experience that sw-ges over thresholds like the changing
figures of the dream. "How mankind loves to remain transfixed," says Aragon,
"at the very doors of the imagination!" PaYJan <de Paris (Paris. 1926» , p. 74.' It is
not only from the thresholds of these gates of imagination that lovers and mends
like to draw their energies; it is from thresholds in general. Prostitutes, however.
love the thresholds of these gates of dream.-The threshold must be carefully
distinguished from the boundary. A Schwelk <threshold> is a zone. Transforma'
tion, passage, wave action arc in the word Jchwtlkn, swell, and etymology
not to overlook these senses.' On the other hand, it is necessary to keep in mind
the inunediate teaonic and ceremonial context which has brought the word to its
current meaning. D Dream House D [0211,1)
Undcr the northeast peristyle or the Palais-Royal lay the Cafe des Aveupel.
""There, a half-do%en bLindmen from the Quin%c-Vingtl Hospital unceasingly per·
formed more or leIS dearening music from six o' clock ill the evening to one o' clock
in the lII orning; for the underground establi shments wer e OIH!n to the puhli c only
rrom dusk to dawn. They were the preferred rendezvous of those li censed Dryads
and impure Sirens who al least had the merit or conferring lIIove­
mellt lind life 0 11 thi s immense hazaar of pleasures-slid , 80mher 111111 mut e today
as the brothel ll ()f Il erculllllcllm." I-li.uoire des cafes de l'uris eXlmile des
memoi rCJ d ' lllI vivellr (Paris, 1857), I)' 7.
"0 .. Dccclllber 31. 1836. allihe gamhling houses were closed hy aUl lmri l Y or Ihe
policc. AI Frascati . there was a small riot. Thill was Ihe lII ortal hl ow to the ('alais­
Uo)'a l, already dethroned since 1830 by the boulevard." Duhcch and
l-I utoire de Pam (Paris, 1926). p. 389. [02a,3]
" Tahua, Talleyrllud, Uossini , Bll lzac"-nlimed as gllmbl er s in EdOllanl GourdOIl .
U J f'Ollchellrll de flllit (Paris. 1860). p. I,t [0 2a.4]
" 1 that the p"ssion for gamhling the noblest or all pas!;; ions. because it
comprehends all othen. A series or lucky roll l gi \'cs me more pleasure than a nl an
who 1I0t ga mble C llII have over a l>eri oll uf several years. I play by intuition,
pur l'esprit- tha l is 10 l ay. ill til e most keenly felt ami deli cate mallll er. Do you
think I recognize gai n only in terml of the goM Ihal comes my way? You are
mistaken. I see it in tcrms of the j oys whi ch gold procures, and I sa,'or them to the
rull . These joys, \'ivid a nd scorching as li ghtning, are too rapid-fi re to become
di stasteful , and too di verse to het:ome boring. I li ve a hundred 1i,·etI in one. If it is
a \'oyage, it is like Ihat of an elect r ic spark.... If I keep III)' fist shut light , aud if I
hold onto III)' banknotes, il is hecause I know til e value of time too well to sl>end it
like other men. To give mYl elr to one pleasure alone would cause me to lose a
Ihousand others.... I have spiritual pleasurel, and I wa nt no others." Edouard
Gourdon, Les Faucheurs de IIUil (Paris, 1860), JlJl . 14-15. The passage cited from
La Bruyere!-COnIJlare: " What? Ino longer aeills Imighl choose?" Wallenstein .
"'The gambling concessions included the Maison du Cercle des Etrangers, at 6 Rue
Gr ange-Bateliil re; the Maison de Livry, known as Fraseati, al 103 Rue Richelieu;
til e Maison Dunans, 40 Rue du Mont -ma nc; the Maison Marivaux. 13 Rue Mari­
\' aux; the Maison Paphol , 110 Rue du Templ e; the Maison Dauphine, 36 Rue
Dauphine; and at the Pa lai ll-Royal , no. 9 (throupl no. 24), no. 129 (through no.
137), no. 119 (ext ending rrom no. 102), no. 154 (extending rrom no. 145). These
despite their great number, were not enough ror the gamblers. Specu­
latiou brought aboul the ol>ening of others which the police were not always able to
monitor effectivel y. The patrolls pl ayed « a rte, bouiUotte, a nd baccarat. The elI­
tal,lishments were managed hy ... hideous-looking old women, disgraceful rem­
nants or every vi ce. They gave thcmseh'cs oul to be widows or geuerals ; they were
protected by self.st ), lcd colonels , who received a sll a re of the take. This stat e or
things continued until 1837, when the gambling est ahBshments were shut down."
Edouard Gourdon, LeJ FUlldlClirs de ,Iuit (Paris 1860), p. 34. [03,IJ
GHurdon. not es Ihat , in circles, Ihe gamhl"rs wCI'e almost cxclusively
WOlll cn (Les jo' fluchellr$ (Ie IllIit , PI' . 55ff.).
" Til e ad \'cnture of the Illunicipul glllu'dsman on h,wMI' hack, placed like a felisll III
Ihc Iloor of II gamhl er Ilown 011 hi s IlI ck, hu rt'mliinCl1 i.1I the allllais of our circle.
The worthy trooper. hdieving himsclr stlltionellth,:re 10 pay hOllor to the gllests at
SOllie rCCt' I'ti on, wus grellll )' amazed 11.1 the sil ence of the slreet alltlthe house. when
suddenl y •. at a round Olle 0 ' d ock in t.he morning, the victim of t.he green tabl cs
returned . As on other eveniugII . ami despit l: the inflllt' IU,;e of Ihl: felish. lhe gllmbler
had lost heavily. He rings t.he hell; no one comcs . He ringll again; nothing Sli u ill
the lodge of the sleeping Cerl>erulI, a ll·tI til e door is unrelenting. impatient , irri­
Illt cd. provoked above ull by tlltl losses he has jUll t sustained . thc tenant smasbea a
punc of glllSS wilh hi s wfl lking-, ti ck to rouse the porter. Uere I.he muni ci pal guards­
mall , untillhen a mere slJet: tlllor of Ihis nocturnal scene, believes it is his dUly to
intervene. He stoops down, sciz.:tI the troublemaker by the coll ar. hoisllI him onlo
his horse, and trOl8 8IDartJ y off 10 his barracks, delighted to have a dc.:ent pretext
for punid ung a facti oll he dislikes.. , , Explanations nOlwi thstluu.ling, the gambler
spent the night on a ca mp cot. Edouard Gourdon, us f"allchellr1l de nllit (Paris,
1860), pp. 181- 182, (03.3J
On t.he Palai s-Royal: "The former minister of police, Merlin, proposed turning
thi s palace of luxury and int emperate pleasure into barracks, and so to shut out
that vile breed of humanit y from their habitual ga thering J . L. Meyer,
f"ragmente Oil.,!: Poris im IV Jallr del' fron:os;schen ReJmblik (Hamburg, 1797),
"01. I . p. 24. (03,4]
Delvau on the loreltes of Montmartre: "They are not women-they are nights."
AJfred Delvau. us Deuolls cle Paris (paris 1660), p , 142. (03,5]
Isn' t there a certain structure of money that can be recognized only in fate, and a
certain stmcture of fate that can be recognized only in money? (03,6]
Professors of argot: ' "Fbsscssed of nothing more than a perfect knowledge of
martingales, series, and imenllittences, they sat in the gambling dens from open­
ing to closing time and ended their evening in those grottoes of bouillotte nick- "­
named Baural houses. Always on the lookout for novices and beginners ... ,
these bizarre professors dispensed advice, talked over past throws of the dice,
predicted the throws to come, and played for others. In the event of losses, they
had only to curse the toss or put the blame on a drawn game, on chance, on the
date of the month if it was the thi rteenth, on the day of the week if it was Friday.
In the event of a win, they would draw their dividend, over and above what they .
skimmed during their management of funds-a transaction which was known as
'feeding the magpie.' These operators divided into different classes: the aristo­
crats (all colonels or marquis of the ancien regime), the plebeians born of the
Revolution, and finally those who offered their services for fifty centimes." Alfred
Marquiset, JtuX e/joueurJ d'aulrifoiJ, 1789-1837 (Paris, 1917), p. 209, The book
contains vaJuable information on the role of the aristocracy and the military in
the rultivation of gambling, (03a.11
"The secolld story is inhabited lurgely li y the hi gh-class femmes
perdues.. . . On the thinl flour and flU parae/is, in the mansards, reside Ihose of a
lower grade. Their Ih'eJihood compel8 thcm tu li" e in tll C ccnt er uf the cit y, in the
Palais. lt oyal, ill the Itue Traversi.! re, and surruunding arca!!.. , . Perhaps 600­
800 li ve in the Puilliil-Royal. 11111 a far greater number 1;0 walki ng there in tile
eVCllinp. fur I.llat iii whcre 1II0!!t of the idJers are to he fou nd. 0 .. Ihe Rue Saint­
Honore II IItI tlOllle adjacent !!treet!!, al evening, they stalld in a row just like the
cabriolets fur rent in t he Palais during the day. BUltheir numbers dimillisll as oll e
mUves fu r ther away. ill ci t y. from the Palui 8- Uoyal'-' J . F. Benzcnberg. HrieJe
geschriebe/l u llfei ller Rci-fe tUich Paris (Durtllllllld. 1805), vol. I, pp. 26 1,263.
The Ullthor e6limales IIIe IIl1mhe.r offemmes perdue. at ;'; arullnd 10,000"; " before
Ihe Uevol uti on. according 10 a poli ce report . they IIIl1l1bel"eil 28,000" h•. 26 1).
··Vice had accomplished il s euslomary task, for her all for Ihe other!!. It hnd refilled
:11)(1 rendered desirable the hrazcn ugli ness of her fll ec. Allhough the gi rl had lost
nOlle of the Subllrhan Ijuainlneu of her origins, slu: 1111.11 become-wit h her showy
jewelry and her physical attracti ons ostentatiulIsly worked up through crealnll-­
cll pable of stimul ating and tempting the hOn!d appel.i les and dull ed sensibilities
t haI are enlivened unl y by the provoca tiolls of makellp alld the swi r l of lavish
gowns." J.-K. 1:llIysman8, Croquis purisiens (Paris, 1886). p. 57 ("VAmhu­
lanl e"). (03a,31
.. It is useless to eXIH!Ct that a bourgeoi8 could ever in comprehending the
phenomena of the di st ribution of wealth, For. wil h lhe development of mc.: hanical
production, property is deper sonalized and arrayed ill the hupersonnl collective
fonll of the j oint stock company, whose shares are finall y caught up in the whirl ­
pool of the Stock Exchange... , They are. . losl by one, won by another-in­
deed, ill a manner 80 reminiscent of gambling thatlhe buying and IIClling of stocks
is actnall y known Il8 ' playi ng' the market. Modern ".'collomic de"elopmenl as a
whole tend8 more and more to transform capitalist lIociet y intu a giant interna.
tional gambling house, where the bourgeois wins and loses capital in consequence
of events whi ch remain unknown tu him .... The ' inexpli cable' is enthrOll ed in
bourgeois society as in a gambling hall. .. Successes and failures, thus ari8ing
from causes thllt arc ull allticipated , generall y unint elligible, and sccmingly de­
pendent on chalice, predispose the bourgeois to til e gnmbl er's frame of mind....
l 'he eapil ali st whose fortune is tied lip in stocks and bonds, which arc subj ect to
variatioll s in market valli e and yield for whi ch he doc!! nol under stand the callses,
is a professional gambler. The gambl er, however . . , . is a supremely SUIH!rstiti olls
being. TIle ha bituell of gambling casinos alwa ys possess magic formul as to conj ure
Ihe FatelJ. One wil l mutter a prayer to Saint Anthony of Padua or some other spirit
of the heavens; anot her will place his bet only if a cerlain color has won: while a
third Ilj.)!tI.s a rahhil 's foot in hi s lefl hand; ami 81.1 1.1 11 , The inexpli cahl e in societ y
Ihe bourgeois. li S the iJlcxplica hle in nallll·e the sa \'lIge." Paul Lafarguc.
·'Dic Ursll chell .Ies Guth'sg!lI uhells," Die tl elt e Zeit. 2'1. 110. I (Stutt ga rl . 1906),
II · 512. [04. 1]
Siahr menti UIi S a .·erilli n Chiellrd as prcmi\' r CIl II CUII (lancer at till: 11:1 1
MahiUe, nnd maintains that he dance!! IIlulcr t he iHlr \·,·iIIallce of Iwu police ser­
genll ts lIule is 11.1 keel' all cYO' Oil lhe Iiall ci ng uf this une IIIUII , III
l'Ollllectioli with t. hi s: Ihe stalcment--cilell. withoUl l1 llCCi.fic references , ill \\'ol(le­
mar Seyffarlh, WfllJrtlelufllmsen in Paris. J853 muJ 1854 (Gotha, 1855), p. 136-­
"' that onl y the superior drengt h of thc police force can keep within certain harely
ad\.'tl uut c hounds tll C bcstialit y of thc Pa ris crowds." (04,21
TIlt: " Origilla l"-a sort of primitiw: mUll wit h enormous bea rd who can hc SCCII in
the Pulais- Royal- is call1!(l Chollrll c Dudos. {04,3J
" ' s it a n insignifi cant delight to tempt fortune? Is it II pl easure devoid of intoxica_
tion t o taste in one second months. years , a whole lifelime offeau and hopes'! I was
1I0t II:n yea rs 0111 when M. Grepilll!l . my master ill til e junior class. read us the
fabl e L'Homme el Ie gellie <The Man and the Gcnie>. Yet I rcmember the tale
bettcr than if I had read it yesterday. A geni e giVeli II. boy a hall of thread. and ten.
him: ' This is the thread of your life. Take it. Whcn you fllld timc heavy on your
hands. pull it out ; your Ilays will pass Iluick or slow. accordi ng as yuu unwiud the
ball rapidJy or littl c hy littJe. So long li S yon leave thc thread alone, you will remain
stationary at the same hour uf yuur existell ce.' The boy took the thread; fi rst he
pulled a t it t o hecome a man. then to marry the girl he loved. thell tu lICe hi,
children grow up. to will offi ces anll profit alill honor, tu abridge a nxietiet, 10
esea l)e griefs and the infirmities that come with thc years, ami finally, alas! tu cut
short a 1K..'evish old age. He had li ved just fuur months and six days since the dale
of the genie's vi sit. Well , what is gambling, I shuuld like to know. but the art of
produci ng in a second the changes that Destiny ordinaril y effec18 unly in the
course of lII any hours or even many years, the art of collecting int o a li ingle instant
the emotions tlisl>erSellthrougilOlit the slow-moving exist ence of ortlinary men, the'
secret of li ving a whole lifetime in a few nllnut ell-in a word, the genie's ball of
thread? Gambling is a hand-to-hand encounter with Fate •... The stake is
lII oney-in other words, immediate, infinite pOSliibilities .... Perhaps the next
card turned , the ball now rolling, will give the player pa rks and ga rdens . fi elds and
foreHls. castl es ami manors lifting heavenward their pointed turrel8 and fretted
roofs. Yes, that littJe bouncing ball holds within it acres of good la nd and roofs of
slat e with sculptt.-d chimneys refl eck'tl in the broad bosom of the Loire; it cuntaini
treasures of art, marvel s of taste. j ewel s of price, the must exquisite bodies in all
the worltl , nay! even soul 8-l!oul s no one ever dreamed wer e venal , all the decora­
tions. all the distinctions, all the el ega nce. ami all the puissance of the world ....
Alill you would have me give up gambling? Nay; if gambling onl y availed to give
emUen hopes, if uur onl y vision of it were the smil e uf its gn.'Cn eyes, it would be
loved less fanati call y. Hut it has nail li of ada mant ; it is cruel alill terribl e. At iu
capril:e it gi \'es poverty und wretch....lll ess and slmmL"--that ill why its votari es
adore it. The fasci nation of da nger is ut t.he hollom of all grea t pussions. There i ii
no fullness of pleasure unl ess the prt.'Cipi ce is near. It i" til e mingling of ter ror witJl
deli glll dl at inloxicates. And what mure terrifying than gambling? It gives and
takes away; its logic is nol our logic. It is dumh and hlind and dear. It i.s almi ght y.
It is II GtH!. . .. It 111111 il ll \'ota rieii IIl1d it!! !! ainu. who love it for itselr. nut for what
it promi l!t:s, ami who fulJ duwn in udorution when illl IIlow II lrikcs t.hem. It strips
them rulhlCtillly, II mlthey la y the 1,Iame on til elllsel ves, not on their (lill y. ' I playt.'"
a bad game,' they say. They find fault with themselvell; they do nut bl aspheme
their Gm!." Anatole France. Le Jardi,. d 'Epicure ( Pa ris) , »1' . 15-18. [0 4a]
Ucrallil seeks to ad voca te, through extensive argumelltation, the benefit s of ad­
opposed to judicial- proceedings against prostitutes: " Thlls, the
sanctuar y or j usti ce will not have heen publicly sulliCtI by a n unclean affair, and
the crime is punished, but in a di scr eli ull ary manner. by virtue of a particular
ortlinance of the Prefect of Poli ce." F. F. A. 8 eraud, Les Filks publiques de Paru
et III police (lui les digit ( Paris alill Leipzig, 1839), vol. 2, p. 50. {05,l ]
"A /lllIriOIl ( t umcat> ... is a handsome young man, strung and well built , who
kno"" huw to {Iefend himself, to dress Well . t o dance the chahue and the cancan
with elega nce, t o be obli gi ng tuward gi rls devoted to the cult of Venus, and tu
pro"ide for them in times of conspicllolls da nger; who knows alsu huw to get them
respect and 11.1 force them 10 conduct themselves de.:ently.... Here , then, we have
a class of individuals who. from time immemorial, have distinguished theDl8elves
by their attractive a pllenrance, hy their exemplary conduct, and by the services
they have rendered societ y, and who now are reduced to dire circuru8laDce8."
50,000 Vo/eurs de plu.! ii Paris. 0" Recinmatioll des tlllcietlS mariow de la capi­
lllle, c(mtre l 'ordOll/wnce de M. Ie Prefet de police. COll cernllnt lesfil1es plWliqueS;
Par le beau Theodore Ctll/CUII , ci ted in F. F. A. Beraud, Les Filles publique. de
Pa ru et la police qui les regil (Pa ris alld Leipzig, 1839), vul. 2, p. 109-110, 113­
114. [The pamphlet slightly antedat es the work tha t cites it . ] (05,2J
From the puli ce edict of April 14, 1830, r egulating prustituti un: " Art. (I ) ... They
are forbidden to aplJear at auy time , or un any pretext, in the areadet, in the
public ga rdells, or on the boulevards. Art. (2) Filks puhliques are nut pennitted to
engage in prustitution except in licensed brothels (mai.l'OtI$ de tolerallce). Art, (3)
"illes is to say, those who do 1I0t reside inlicellsed bruthels-may nut
these houses until aft er the lighting of the street lampli; they nlUst proceed
tureedy ther e and be drt!!lsed simpl y and dec:ently.... Art. (4) They may not , in a
single evening, leave one li.,:c nsed brot hel to go to another. Art. (5) Unattached
gi rl s mUM leave the li censc.<1 brothels and return hume hy eleven o' clock in the
evenill g .... Art. (7) Licensed hrothels shall he indicatell hy an entry light and, in
the ea d y honrs. by an older woma ll tending the door. .. Signed : Mangin. "
f: F. A: BCrlltul , Les Fmes publif/iles tIe "ari., et la police (lui les regit ( Paris and
1839), \ ' 01. 2, fJ ' 133-135. 105.31
"urmurkct! fu!' the brig(ule rl 'ordre: three frunc!! for identifi cati on of a
jl rustilnl!- uml er the ag!' of twent y-one; fift L'C. n francs for identifi cation of an illici t
hrodld; twcnt y-fi\'e francs for identifi catiun of a brudu:.1of minors. lleraud, Les
( \ ' 01. 2. > lIP. 138-139. 105.41
.:xPl!lIlu ti ons offered !ly Ui:raud concerning his propo!tuls for new regul atiolll>. ( I)
\\Ii lh respect tu the old WOlllan at the threshuld: "The 8et:olllll)aragral'h prohibit"
thi.ll womlln from plI.I!.I! ing beyond the doorstep, because it often hllppen.ll that she
has t he lIudacity to etep out and int ercept With my own eyes I have seen
the.lle panderll take mel! by the arm or by the COll i and, so to .II pcak, force them to
enter their houses." (2) With respect t o the interdiction on COll Ullcrce for prosti­
tute.: " I would al.llo forbid the opening of sl ores or ShOP8 in whl ch jille$ publique,
a re installed as milliners, seamstresses, sell ers of perfume, and t he like. Women
who work in theee . tOre! and shops will station themselves at open doors or win_
dows in order to send to passersby .... There are others more ingeniou.
who close their door s and window. but send signals through glan pane. unpro­
vided with curtains; or the curtains are left open just enough to pennit easy com­
municati on between outside and interior. Some of thelle women r ap again. t the
front of the shop each tinle a man pas8e1l by. so tbat be r eturn. to the sl)Ot wbere
the noise was heard; and then such scandalou••ign. and beckoninga en8ue as
cou1d escape t he att ention of no one. All these shops are found in the arcade ....
F. F. A. Heraud, Les FiUe, publique$ de Paris et la police qui les regit (Paris and
Leipzig, 1839), vol. 2, pp. 149- 150, 152-153. [05a,I)
Heraud declares himself in favor of an unlimited number of brothels. "Art. (13)
Every woman or gi rl of legal age who has suitable space in her living quartert (at
least two rooms), a nd who is authorized by her husband if she is married, ... will
be able. a. the proprietor or principal tenant of the house she inhabits, to become
mist reu of the house and to obtain a license for operating a brothel. " Heraud. Le.
Filles pubJique$ de Paru, vol. 2, p. 156. [05a,2)
Beraud's proposal i. that every girl , even II minor, shou1d. if she . 0 desire., be
registered as a prostitut e. From his argument: " Your feeling of duty demands a
continual l urveillance to protect these children.... To . purn them il to take on
one'. head all the contequencel of cruel abandonment .... They mull be n:gi ...
tered, then, and . urrounded with all the vigilance of authorit y. Instead of n:tUrD­
ing t hem to an atmo. phere of corruption. let UI submit these hardl y nubile girlt to
a regular life in a house specially designed to them .... Notify t heir par­
ents. As 800n as they understand that the dissolute life of their daughten will
remain undi sclosed. that it is a Sec! ret r eligiously guarded by the administration,
they will consent once again to acknowledge them." Hhaud, Les FiUes publiqlU.,
<vol. 2,) pp. 170-171. (05a,3)
" Why don' t ... the police allow. . some of the mistr esses of the better-known
houses of prostitut ion to give ... evening parties, balls, and concerU, with the
addi ti on or tables fur ecarte? Then, at least , the sharpers could be carefuJly
watched, whereal in other circles [gambling houses are meant] thi s is impossible,
seeing that police action ... there is ... virtually nil ." F. F. A. Heraud , Les Fille.
p"bliqlles de Puru et la police qui le, regit (Paris and Leipzig, 1839), yol. 2. p. 202.
" There a re ... epochs, !leasons of the year e\'en, whi ch are fll l ll i to the virtue of a
greal Dl il ny young Pariliennes. During thelle periods, in the li censed brotlu:ls and
elsewhcre, the inyestigations of the I)oli ce turn up mally more girls engaged in illicit
prostilution than during aLi Ihe rest of t he yell r. I have often inquired into the
of t hese periodic surges or debauchery, but ther e isn' t anyone--even in the
aciruinislration- who Cil n a nswer this Ilue8l ion. I have 10 rely on my own obser va­
ti olls bere. and. after much IH:rseverance, I have finall y succeeded in discovering
the true principle of increase in prosti tuti on ... at ... certain times of the
rear.... Wilh the II pproach or New Year 's Day, of the Feast of Kings, and the
festi vals of the Virgin , ... gi rls like t o gi"e and recei \'e presents or to offer bea uti ­
ful boulluelJj; they also want a new dren for themsel vc., or a hal in the newest
rashion, and . lacking the necessary pecuniary means, ... t hey turn for l ome days
10 prostitution t o actluire such means .... Here, then . a re the motives for the
recrudescence in acts of debauchery at certain int ervals and during certain boli ­
days." F. F. A. Her aud, Le, Fille, pubJiqll e. de Puru et Ja police qui leI regit (Pari.
and Leipzig, 1839) , vol. I , PI). 252- 254. [06,2)
Against the medical examination at police headquarter s: " Every woman seen
walking along the Rue de J erusalem, either to or from the police station there, is
immediatel y st igmatized with t.he name fille p"blique . ... It is a regular .candal.
011 the days set aside for visits, one always finds the approaches to the station
oyerrun by a large number of lIIen await ing the appearance of these unhappy
creatures, knowing, III they do. that those who lellve by the dispensar y have been
deemed healthy." F. F. A. Her aud, Les Filles f1ublique, de Paris, vol. 1, pp. 189­
190. [OO,3[
The loreltes preferred the neighborhood around Notre Dame de Lorette beeawe it
was new, and becaule, as the flrat occupant s or the constructed buildings,
they paid lower ren". [06,4)
"1£ it is a different 10rt of a llure that you seek, go to the TuiJeriea, to the Palai.­
Royal , or t o the Houleva rd des It ali elll. There you ",ill see more than one ur ban
siren seated on a chair, her feet re.ting on another chair, while beside her a third
chair lies vacant . It il a magnet for the ladie.' man.... The nlllliners' . hops ...
likewi se orrer a mu1titude of re.ources for enthusiasts. There you dicker over
hats-pink, green, yellow, lil ac, or pl aid. You agree on a price; you gi "e your
address; and next day, at the appoi nt ed hour. you see arri ve a t your pl ace not only
Ihe hut hut the girl who was positioned behiJUI it , and who Wal crimping. with
delicate fi ngers. the gauze, the ribbon. or some other frill so pleasing t o the la­
di es." F. F. A. Beruud, 1'£$ FiJle. pubfj(Ju es de Pelri$; I're.cedees d 'ime notice lIi$lo­
ril/ll e slIr lei Ilrost itillioll cll e: Ie. di llers pCUI,le$ de Ja terre, by M.A.M., vol. I ,
Ill'. di-civ CPrHace). [06a.1)
··That the nUlllber orjilfes publique. at fl rst St!eIllS very grea l is owing to a sort of
pha nt asmago ri a product.:d by the comings alltl goings or these ..... omen II long a rOIl ­
tine ci rCllit , which haIJ t he effect of n1uJtipl ying Ihem to inflflit y . . .. Adt.ling to this
il lusion is the fact thai , 0 11 a si ngl e evening, thejille p"blique Yer y often sports
Inultipl e disguisetl. With an eye Ihe least bi l practiced, it is easy t o cOll yill ce
olleselfthattlle woman who Il t eight o' clock is dressed in a rich and elegant outfit is
the sa me who appea rs 8 8 a cheap gri seu e at nine, and who will , how herllelf atteh
in a lI·easant dren. It is thi s way at aU poi nt' in the capit al to whi ch prostitutea are
ha bitually drawn. For example: foll ow one of these gi rls down the boul evard,
between the Port e Saini -Marti n and the r orte Sai nt-Denis. She is a ttired for the
nonoo in a hat with feathen and a silk gown covered by a shawl. She turm into the
Rue Saint -Marti n, keeping always to til e r ight-hand side, comes to the narrow
streets that bordcr the Rue Saint-Denis , and enters one of the numerous houses of
debauchery located there. A short time later, she comes out wearing her gray gOwn
or rusti c weeds." F. F. A. Ber aud, Les Filk. pubiiques de Paris (Jluris and LeipziA:,
1839), vol. I , PI' . 51-52. 0 Fashion 0 [06a,2}
Les FiJles de marbre <The Marble Maidens>, a play in five acls, with lIongs, by
MM. Theodore Ba rriere and Lambert Thi boust; performed for the fint time, in
Paris, at the Theatre du Vaudeville. May 17, 1853. The first act has the main
characters appea ring as ancient Greeks; the hero, Raphael , who later dies for love
of the marble mai den, Marco, is here the sculpt or Illuliias, who creates the figure.
of marble. The act with a smil e from the statues: they remained motionless
when Phidi ll8 pronused thcllI fame, but turn smiling 10 Gorgill8, who promises
thcm money. [0'1,11
"You see, ... in Paris there are two kinds of women, just as there are two kinds of
houses ... : Ihe bourgeois house, where one lives onl y after signing a and the
rooming house, where one lives by Ihe lII onth.... How are they to be distin- ......
guished? ... By the sign .... Now, the outfit is the sign of the femal e . .• , and
there are outfit s of such eloquence that it is absolutely ali if YOIl could read on the
second floor Ihe advertiscment . 'Furnished Apartment to Let ' !" Dumanoir and
Th. Barriere, Le. Toiieues tlIpagellses: Comedie en li n act e (Pa ris, 1856), p. 28.
Nicknames of the drllm corps at the Ecole Polytcchnique ar ound 1830: Gavotte,
Va udeville. Mf lodrame. Zephir. Around 1860: Brin d' Amour <Blade of Love >.
Cuiue de Nymphe ( ymph'. Thigh ). <G. > Pinet, < Histoire de l 'Ecok polyrech­
nilllle(lluris, 1687),) p. 212. (Ol,3}
Bourlicr proposes that the gambling houses reol)c1I conce.!isioll$ a nd thul the re­
eei pl8 he used to build an OIH!ra house-"onc 118 magnifi(.'e nt 88 the Stock Elt­
cl lange"-aluJ a hospital. Louis Bourlier, Epirre lIUX derrll CI ellr5 dll j ell (Paris,
183 1), p. vu. [0'1,4}
Against the ga mJ.iiug firm of Benazet- ""hich, a nlOng other things . engaged in
ill egal husincss prll cticell hy using, in its gambl ing houses, a higher exchange-rale
UII g.)I(1 for iu UWII tranll a.:tionS-lhc followi ng trll ct appeared : Louill Bourlier.
Pe,i,ioll u. MM. ie. depmes (Puris [ Ga leries d' OrlculIs ]. JUlie 30. 1839). 80urlier
"'us a former employee of the firm. [0'1,5}
On the Door of t.he Stock Exchange. u on our panlucl.
You comc take your ehanc". wager whu you may:
li ed and hllwlt. a. 'rellte el quamme, rise and fall at the
Of ever), lou "",I e\'Cr)' glli llllre e'lullll y the 8ource.
For ir )Jl a)·in" the market it jllsllike our roulett e.
Why prOllCri he the latt er and the formrr abet?
Loll is Uourlier, S'tu1Ce5 (I l 'occa$ioll de W loi (I"i sllpprime la f erme de5 jeux;
ft(ltl ressees t; fa Chambre (paris, 1837). <p . 5>. [0'1,61
A great III·int (lithograVh) from 1852, Ml.Iison de jell <Gambling House>, show8 at
ct' lIl er the emblelll ati c ft gure of a pauther or tiger, on wllOse coat, as though on a
rug. til e hett er half of a roulett e t ahle is set. Cahinet des Estampes. [O'1a,l }
·'Lorell cs were var iously priced , according 10 the distri cts in which they lived."
Going from the chea l>er to the more expensive: Rue de Crallllllont, Rue du Helder,
Rues Sai nt-Lazare and Chaussee-d' Antin, Faubourg du ROlile. Paul d 'Ariste, La
Yic e' ie monde dlJ bouievard, 1830-1870 (Paris < 1930» , pp. 255-256. (0'1a,2}
"' Women a re not allowed ill the Stock Exchange when are being quoted, but
they can be seen standing a round in groups outside. impatiently awaiting the great
oracle of the day." Acht Tfl ge in Paris (Paris, JuJy 1855), v. 20. [0'1a,3}
the thirteenth arrondwemml there are women who apire as they begin to
make love; they whisper to love a last sweet nothing." Louis Lurine, Le
Arrondusemrnt de Paris (Paris, 1850), pp. 219- 220. A nice a pre.ssion for the Lady
of Camellias, who appeared two years later. <See OlOa,7.> [0'1a,4)
At the l ime of the Restoration: " It was no disgrace to gamble. . Through the
coming a nd going of sol diers , who were almost always adept at game!! of chance.
the Napoleoni c wars had spread abroad the pl easure of gambling." Egon Caesar
Cont e Corti . Der Zallberer von Hombllrg lind Monte Carlo (Leipzig (1932» ,
p.30. [0'1a,51
J llllll a l·Y I . 18:18. " Afl er t he pl·ohiLit ion, the French bankers in the Palais-Royal,
allli ChulH!r t. Ilcpa rt ed for Baden-Baden and Wiesbaden, a nd many em­
ployct'8 wenl 10 Pyrmont . Aachen, Spa. and Egon Caesar Conle Corti .
Oer ZlIlIbercr VOII Hombllrg IIml Monte Carlo (Leipzig). pp. 30-31. [07a,6)
FrulII M. J . Dtlcos «(Ie Gondrin). Commellt 011 se mine if 1(1 IJOlirse (Pllris, 1858):
·· 111 110 " 'a)' desirifl5 to a tt ack legi timate righl s, I ha\·e nothing to say against the
''''riolls opcl·lI liollS of the Stock Market , operat ions for ... hi ch stockhrokers ...ere
SIH·(·ifi, ·".lI y ereutcti. My cl·iti cism concerns the eommi ssiOll s charged 0 11 fictitiou8
lIIarkels •... liS wel l as t he usurious carll inl9l·· (p. 7). '" No lII a tter how fll \·orahle it
Illight huppe n to be, is 110 Juck, in tl.e playing of the Siock Exchange , that
could withl!o tand the exorbit a nt commi ssions of the stockbrokcn.... On the
Rhine. there are Iwo gamLlinge8labiishments (a t Homburg and Wiesbaden) where
thcy conduct a game of trente et qll.ararlte in which a slight commission of 62
centi mes for every 100 francs is deducted in adva nce .... This is ... one thirt y_
second of the stockbroker 's commission and the earnings combined . Trente et
quarante is pl ayed for red a nd bl ack. just as on the Stock Market one pl ays for the
rise a nd faU. with the difference that the odlls a re always exactl y the same with the
rormer and any kind of fr aud is impossible---the weak. there, bei ng not at aU at the
mercy of the strong" ( I>. 16>. [07a,71
In tile provinces. specul ati on on the Stock Exchange was dependent on "getting
news from Paris ... ahout tbe fluctuati ons in the exchange of the most important
stocks .... Special courier s alld car rier pigeons had to serve this end, and one of
the favorite methods in a Fr anee that , in those days. was dott ed with windmilU was
to t ransmit signals from mill to mill . If the window of one of t hese mill s W 88 opened,
that meant a rise in prices, and t ile signal was taken up by nearby mills and pa!l8ed
on; if the window remained closed, then a faU Ul pr icel was indicated. And the
newl traveled in thil way. fr om mill to mill. out of the capit al and int o the prov­
inces. " The Blanc brothe", however, prefer red to ma ke lise of the optical tele­
graph. which W 88 legaUy reserved for the governmcnt. " Oll e fine da y in 1834. at
the rl';{luest of an agent for Blanc. a Parisian telegra phist in an official telegram
lent an H to Bordea ux, which was supposed to indicate a rise in It ocks. In order to
nl ark this letter, and also to guard agai nst discovery, he insert ed after the H •
Iymbol denoting error." Dirficulti es cropped up along lhil rout e, and 10 the Blanel
combined this method with another. " If, for example, the French st ocks at 3
percent Ihowed an advance of at least 25 centimes. then the Paris agent for the
Blancs. a certain Gosmand. sent a packet containing gJoves to the tel egraph official
in Toun, whose name was Guihout . and who was pr udently addressed on the
parcel as a manufacturer of glovel and stockings . But if there was a decline of at
least the same amount, thell Cosmand sent stockings or neckties. T he addrel8
written on thi s packet carried a letter or a number which Gui bout then immedi­
ately di spa tched. t ogether with the err or symbol. in an offi cial telegr am to Bor­
deaux." T his system functi oned for about two year s. Report ed in the Gazette des
TribunclIU" of 1837. Egon Caesar Conte Corti , Der Zauberer von Homburg uad
Monte Carlo (Leipzig <(932) . IIp. 17-19. [08,1]
Amorous Conversati ons of Two Girls of the Ni neteenth Centll ry at Fireside (Rome
and Paris: Verlag Grangazzo. Vache & Cie). Some rema rkable formul ati ons: "Ab,
ass allli Clint , how simple these words , ami yet so expre8sivc. Look at me now­
how do you like my au, then , and my CUlII . dear Lise?" (p. 12). " In the temple the
sacrifi cer. in the anus til e forefinger as sext on. 0 11 t he cl it oris t wo fi ngers as dea­
CO ilS; a nd thus I awaited the thing8 thai should come there. ' H Ol Y ass is in t he right
position, I.hell please. my rriend, hegi n!· ... The names or t he t ...·o gi r ls: Eli se and
Li ml alllillc. [08,2]
Lecoml e on the fashi on correspondent Constance Aubert . who bad an impor t ant
position at Le Temps. li nd whose arti cles were paid ror with deli veries of fasllion­
II hle items rrom t.he hOllses a boll t which she had written : " The pen becomes a true
source or ca pi tll l .... hich. day by day, ca n fix Ihe amollnt or revenue one wisbes t o
ohtain. All of Paris l)t.'t:onles a bazaar wher e nothing escapes the hand that reaches
for it . h ·s been quit e a .... hile sillee this hand was extended." Jules
Lt:i;omte. Les LeUres de Van Engelgom. cd . Henri d' Almeras (Paril. 1925),
p. 190. womt e'8 leiters fIrst appeared in 1837 in the 1,ldependant of Brussels.
··It is by the tendency or the mind callt:d rcminiscell ce that the wi shes of the lII an
condelllll ed to the gl ittering capti vit y of citiel incli ne ... to ...·ard a st ay in the
count ry. tu ....a.rd his origi nal abode, or at least toward the l)Ossession of a simple,
tranquil garden. Hi s eyes aspi re to rest on some greener y. sufficiently fa r away
from the stresses of the shop counter or the intrusive rays or t he li ving room lamp.
His of smeU. cont inuall y assaulted by pestilellt emanations, longs for the
scent or flo....ers. A border of modest and mild violets would altogether r avish his
senses . ... This ha ppiness ... denied him. he would push the illusion so far a! to
transform the ledge of his window Ulto a hangi ng ga rden , and the mantelpi ece of
his unassuming pllrlor int o all enamel hed of blouoms and leaves. Such il the man
of the city, a lld such is the source of hi s pau ioll for the flowers of the fields ....
These reflecti oll s induced me t o set up a numhe r of looms on which I had weave"
make designs imit ating t he flower s of nature.... The demand for these kind! of
shawls was enormous .... T hey were sold before being made; the orden for thei r
deli\·er y streamed in.... This brilliant period of ! hawls. this golden age of manu­
racture ... did !lot lu t long. yet in France it rcsult ed in a virt ual goldmine, from
....hi ch fl o....e<1wealth Ihat was all t he more considerable in that its main source wu
foreign. Al ong with the fact of this remarkable demand, it may be of intereat ... to
know in wha tmanuer it gcner aUy propagated itself. Just as I had expected. Paris
bought up ver y fcw shawls with natural fl ower! represent ed on them. It was the
tha i tl emao<led these shawls. ill proportion to their distance from the
capi tal; a nd foreign count r ies, ill pr ol)Ortion t o their dista nce from France. And
their reign is lI ot yet over. I stiD suppl y count rics aU across Europe. where ther e is
ha rdly a chance for a sha ....1or cashmere bearing art ificial designs .... On the basi!
or \I'hat Paris did not do in the case of shawls with natural-flower designl,
couldn' l oll e cOll chul e. recognizi ng Pari s as Ihe real cenl er of t aste, that t he far­
t lll'r Oll e·gels rrom this cit y, the cl oser one comes to nalural incl inations and fttl­
iugs: or, in otl ler wortls, that l aste alltllla turalneu Il ave. in thi s case, nothing in
".OIlIlIl UII_ II I11I arc e\·cn mutua ll y exclusive?" J. ncy, Manuracturer of Cashmere
Etllties fJOli r (i i"his loire ties eil lifes (Paris. 1823), pp. 201- 202.
The ropy in the BiliLiothe.lue Na tionale cont ains. on the froll t ispiece. a n
itucriptiull by lUI early reatlcr : " This on a seemingly tri vial suhj ect ... il
rClll arkahle fur the puri t y li nt! el egance or its stylc, as weU as for an erutlition
\I·ort hy of [0 8,. .2J
Should the flower fashions of the Biederrncier period and the Restoration be
linked to an unconscious discomfort with the growth of the big cities? [08a,3)
"At the beginning of the reign of Louis Philippe, public opinion was also [like that
of today concerning the Stock Market] opposed to games of chance .... The
Chamber of Deputies ... voted for their suppression, even though the state de­
rived from them an annual revenue of twent y million francs .... At the present
time, in Paris. play on the Stock Market does not provide anything like twenty
million per year to the government; but , on the other hand, it does produce at least
one hundred million for those stockbrokers, outside brokers/ and usurers ...
who reported earnings ... , raising at times the interest rate to above 20 per­
cent .-These hundred million are won from the four or 6ve thousand undiscern_
ing pl ayers who, by seeking naively to take advantage of one another, get
completely taken themselves" {that is, by t he stockbrokers}. M. J . Ducos (de GOD­
drin), Comment on .!e ruine a14 Bourse (Paris, 1858), pp. v-vi. [09,1)
During the Jul y Revolution, the Stock Exchange was used as a military hospital
and munitioDs fact ory. Prisoners wer e employed in the manufacture of grapeshot.
See Tricotel, Esqui..!.!e de quelqttes .!cene.! de de 14 Bourse <Pam,
1830>. It was also used as a treasury. Silverware looted from the ThileriCII WIUI
brought ther e. [09,2)
There were shawls that took twenty-6ve to thirty days to weave. 109,3]
Rey argues in favor of French cashmeres. Among other things, they have the
advantage of bei ng new. Which Indian shawls are not. " Need I mention all the
revel s it has witnessed, all the torrid scenes-to say no more-it has served to veil?
Our modest and discr eet Frenchwomen would be more than a little embarrassed if
they came to know the antecedent.! of that shawl which makes them so happy!"
Nevertheless, the author does not wish to endorse the opinion according to which
all shawl s have already been worn in India-a proposition just as false as thai
" which says that the tea coming out of China has already been steeped." J . Rey,
Eludes pour servir al 'hi.!toire des chules (Paris, 1823), pp. 226-227. [09,4}
The 6rst sbawls appear in France in the wake of the Egypti an campaign.lo
Onward, my aisten, march on, night and day,
At every hour, and at every pri ce, to make love.
n ere below we are con! trai ned h)' (ate
To 8aVe the home Il nd all re!peetable women.
A. Barbier, Satire! et poemes: Lazare (Paris, 1837), p. 271; cited in Liefde , Le
Saint -Simo/lisme dall .! la <entre 1825 et 1865 (Haarlem, 1927»,
p. 125. [09,6)
In the sixteenth section of Baudelaire's Spleen de Pam, "VHorloge" <The C locb ,
we come upon a conception of time which can be compared to that of the
gambler. [09,7)
Regarding the influence of fashion on erocic life, a telling observation by Eduard
Fuchs (Di( KanRatur der (uroPiiischro Volk(r, vol. 2 <Munich, 192h, p. 152):
"",bmen of the Second Empire do not say, 'I love him,' but rather, 'I fancy
him'-1'ai un capriu pour lui.''' (0 9,8)
J . Pellcoq depi cts the high-ki cking leg in the cancan with the inscription: " Present
arms!" Eduard Fuchs. Die Karikatllr der ellropiiischen Volker, vol. 2, p. 171 .
(09a, I)
" Mall Y of the galame lithographs puhlished in the 1830s featured simultaneous
obsccne variations for the lover of directly erotic images.. . Toward the end of
the Thirtie5, these novelti es passed gradually out of fashion." Eduard Fuchs,
Illllstrierte Sittengeschichte vom lUittelalter bis ZlIr Gcgenwart: Das biirgerliche
Zeitalter, supplement (Munich), p. 309. [09a,2)
Eduard Fuchs mentions " the appearance of an illustrated catalogue of prostitutes,
which could date from 1835-1840. The catalogue in question consists of twenty
erotic lithographs in color, each one of which has printed at the bottom the address
of a prostitute." Five different arcades fi gure among the fl rat seven addresses in
the catalogue. Eduard Fuchs, iflw lrierl e Sitter'8cschichle tIOm lUittelalter bi.! zur
Gcgenwart: Das biirgerliche Zeitalt er, supplement (Munich), p. 157. [09a,3)
As Engels was being trailed by police agenl6, in consequence of stat ements made by
itinerant German artisans (among whom his agi tation, up until the weakening of
Crun's position, hall met with little success), he writ es t o Ma rx: " If the suspicious­
looking individuals who have been following me for the past fourteen days really
are poli ce spies, ... then Headquart ers will have handed out, of late, a good many
admi ssioll ti ckets to the bals Montes(!uieu, Valentino, Prado, and the rest . I am
indebtcd to M. Delessert for an acquaint ance with some ver y lovely griseltes and
much pf<lisir."ll Cited in Gustav Mayer, friedrich Engels , vol. I , Friedrich
Engels in seiller f riihzeit , 2.... cd. (Berlin <1933» , p . 252.
1848, 011 a trip through Frallce's wine-producing regions, E:llgeis di scovcrs
tll at cach of t ilt:se wil,es produces a different intoxica tion, and t hat with a few
.holli('ji you can t hrough ... all intel'mediate stages , from the Musard qua­
tll'ill e t tl"1 ·11 · r I I ·
o I e I> arsm al se, rom t I e llIal gaiet y of the canca n to the wild ardor of
fever. " Cited in Gustav Maycl·, friedrich Engels, vol. I , Friedrich
f..,' gels in· seiner Friilizeit (Bcrlin), fl . 3 19.
" Arter the Cafe de Paris closed in 1856, the Cafe Angiais came t o occupy a position
durill g the Second Empire correll pollliing to that of the Cafl! de Paris during the
reign of Loujs Phil ippe. It wall a tall white building with a maze of corridors and
innumerable public a nd private rooms." S. Kracauer, ltl cqll cJ Offcnbtlch u.nd dfU
1\lri.r Jeiner Zeit (Amsterdam, 1937), p. 332.13 [09a,6)
" The factory workers in France call the prostitution of t.heir wives and daughters
the X,h working hour, whi ch is lit erall y correct ." Karl Marx, Der hutoruche Male­
rif.lislluu, ed. Landsllut a nd Mayer (Leipzig ( 1932) ), p. 318.101 [010,1)
"The prillt seller ... will provide, 0 11 r equest , the address of the mod el who haa
l)Osed for his obscene photograllhs." Gabriel Pelin, Les Laideltrs dlt beau Pan.
( Paris , 1861). 1" 153. In the shops of these imagiers. obscene pictures of individual
models were hung in the window. while pi ctures of groups ",'ere foulld illside.
Dance hall s. acoor<iillg to Le Clirictlturute of August 26, 1849: Salon du Sauvage.
Salon d' AI>ollon. Chateau des Brouillards. Paris salts III Repltblique de 1848.
Exposilion of the City of Paris (Pa ris, 1909). p. 40. [010,3]
"'fhe regulatioll of the hours of work .. was the (irst ratioll al bridle on the
murderous. meaningless capri ces of fashion--caprices that consort so badly wilh
the system of modern industry." Footnote here; " John Bellers rema rked as far
back as 1699; ' The uncertai nt y offasruons does increase necessitous poor' (Essay.
lIboltt the Poor, Manllftlctures, Trade, Plantations, and Immorality, p. 9)." Karl
Ma rx, Dns Kapital , ed. Korsch (Berlin ( 1932», p. 454.
From Ihe Petition des Jiffes publiqlles de Paru a MM . Ie Prefet de police etc.,
redi[Jee par Mlle. Pauline et apostifJee par MM . IeJ epiciers. cabaretiers, Ii-­
IIImwdiers et marchands de comestibles de fa capitate . .. ; "The business in i18elf
is unfortunately quite ill -paid . bUI wilh the coml)Ctition of other women and of
elegant ladi es. who pay no t axes. it has bec:ome wholl y unprofit abl e. Or ar e we aU
the more bl amewort hy because we la ke cash while they take cashmere shawls? The
cit y charter guar anl ees personal freedom to ever yone; if our IJeliti on to Monsieur
Ie PrHet proves unavailing, then we shall ... apply t o the Chambers. Otherwise,
il would be beller to li ve in t.he kingdom of Goleollda , where gi rls of our 80rt
formed olle of the fort y-four divi 8ions of the populace allll , as their sol e responsi­
hilit y. had only 10 dance before the king-whicll scrvi ce we arc pl'epa red to render
His Honor the prefect , should he ever wi sh it ." Friedri ch von HaUllu:.r. Unefe aUl
"oru lind Fratl l.·reicll illl jullre 1830 (Leipzig, 183 1), vol. I , pp. 206-207.
The a uthor of the prefaee 10 Jourllel 's PoeJies sl»eaks or "workshol)S involving ·
(lifferellt kinds of needlework, where•. . . for fort y cenlunell pe r day. the women
a ll(1 young gi rls wilh 110 work would ... s()uander ... their ... health. Nearly a ll
of these u ..fortunat e WOlllell ... are forced to fall back 011 the fifth quarter of their
day."- J ean J ournet . Poesies el challiS harnlom'ens {Paris; A la Librairie Uni ­
"er$elle (I e J oulwrt . 2 Pailsage (Iu Saumoll , et chez l'aUl eur, JUlie 1857), p. Ixxi
([(litor 'iI preface). [010,6J
"Le Trottoir de la Rue des Martyrs" cites many ofGavami's captions but makes
nO mention at all of Guys, who nevcnhclcss could have furnished thc immediate
model for the following description: "IL is a pleasure to see them walking down
this asphalt pavemelll, one side of their dress hitched up j auntily to the knee, so
as to flash in the sun a leg fine and nervous as that of an Arabian horse. full of
exquisite quivers and tremors, and terminating in a half·boot of irreproachable
elegance. Who cares about the morality of these legs I ... What one wants is to
go where they go." Alfred Delvau, Le$ DeJJolti de Pam (Paris. 1860), pp. 143-44
("Les Trottorrs parisiens" <Parisian Sidewalks» . [OlOa, l )
PrOI)()ilal of Ganilh's ; To use part of the proceeds from the stal e lott ery as income
for gamMer s who have reached a certain age . [010a,21
Lottery agents: "Their shops always have two or three exits and several compart­
menl s. so as to facilitate the overlapping operations of gambling and usury and to
show COllsideration for timid customers. It is 1I 0 t unusual for man and wife, with­
out suspecting a thing, to be sitting right beside each olher in these mysterious
cuhicles, whi ch each thinks to utili ze so cunningl y alone." Carl Gustav J ochmann,
Re/iquien , ed . Heinri ch Zschokke, vol. 2 (Hechingell . 1837). p. 44 ("Die GIOclu­
spi ele" <Game8of Chalice> ). [OI0a,3)
" If it is the belief ill mystery that makes beli evers . then there are evidently more
believing ga mhl ers in the world than believing worshipers." Carl Gustav
Jl,lchmanll , Re fi(llliclI . ed. Heinrich Zsehokke. vol. 2 ( Hechingen, 1837) , p. 46
("Di e Glii cksspiele"). [010a,4)
According to Poisson. " Mcmoire sur les chances que les j eux de hasard. admis
dall s les maisons de jell de Paris. present cnt ala " amlue" < Report on the Odds
the nllnk by the Games of Cha nce Operatin« in the Gambling Housell
of read beforc the Acadcmy of Sciences in 1820. the yea rly turnover in
trellte-et_lIn WII S 230 milli on francs (bank's earnings, 2,760,(00); in roulett e. 100
InilJiulI (witll the bunk ea rning 5.000, 000). St:·e Ca rl Gustav JocllJllann.
U('fit/ Ui()l1. t"(1. IIt·inri ch ZsdlOkke, vol. 2 (Hechingell . 1837) , p. 51 ("Die Glii cks­
,·I,·"'). [0 10a.5J
Gambling is the infcmal counterpart to the music of the heavenly hosts.
On IlaIC\·y·s Frollfroll : " U J "'ilks de marbre Il ad int rutluct.-d Ihe age of the courle­
811 11 , and Frollfroll mllrked its end.... I<' roufrou breaks down under the ...
strain of knowing that her life is ruined, and fanaUy II he returns to her famil y, a
dying woman.'" S. Kracauer, Jacqlle. OfJenboch lind do. l"ori. seiner Zeit (Am.
sterdam, 1937), pp. 385-386. The comedy Le. Fille. de ma rbre was an allswer to
Dumas' w Dame aux camii iia. of the year before. I" [OI0a,7]
" The gambl er is drin:n by cuentiall y narcissisti c and aggressive de5irea for om.
ni potence. These. insofar as they a re not immediately linked to di rectly erotic
desires, are char acterized by a greater temporal radius of extension. A di rect
desire for coitus may, through or gasm, be satisfied more rapidly than the nareis.
si.st. aggressive desire for omnipotence. The fact that genit al sexuality, in even the
most favorable cases, leaves a residue of di ssati sfact ion goes back, in turu, to three
facts: not all pregenital desires, such as later are subsidiary t o genit alit y, can be
accommodated in coi tus; and from the st andpoint of the Oedi lJUS comple:w;, the
object is always a surrogate. Together these t wo ... considerations goel ...
the fact tha t the iml)Ossibility of acting out large--scale uncOllscious aggression
contributes to the lack of satisfacti on. The aggression abreacted in coitus is very
much domesti cated .... Thus it happens that the nar ciu istic and aggressive
ficti on of omnipotence becomes above aU a cause of suffering: whoever on that
account h88 experi enced the mechanism of ple88ure as abreacted in games of
chance. and 1108sessing, as it were, eternal value. succumbs the more readily to it
in proportion as he is comm.itted to the ' neurotic pl easure in durati on' (Pfeifer);
and, as a conse<luence of pregenital flXations, he is less able t o auimilate such
ple88ure to normal sexualit y.... It should also be borne in mind that, accordin«
to Freud. the sexuality of human beings bears the stamp of a function that dwin·­
dies, whereas this cannot in any way be predicated of the aggreuive a nd narcissiJ·
tic tendencies." Edmund Bergler, " Zur Psychologie des Hasardspielers," Imago,
22, no. 4 (1936). pp. 438-440. [011,1)
" The game of chance represents the onl y oecasion on whi ch the pleasure principle,
and the omni potence of iu thoughts ant.! desireB, need 1I0t be renounced. and on
which the reality principl e offers no advantages over it. In this retenti on of the '
infantile fiction of omnipotence lies posthumous aggression agai nst the ... a uthor­
it y which has ' inculcated ' the reality principle in the child. This unconscious
aggression, t ogether with the operation of the omni potence of ideas alld the experi·
ellce of the socially viabl e repressed exhibiti on. cOll spi res to form a tri ad of pl eas·
ures in This tri ad stands opposed to a t ri ad of punishments constituted
from out of the unconscious desire of loss, the IIlIconscious homosexual desire for
domination, and the defamation of societ y . ... At the dt.'epest level , the game of
chance ill love's will to be extorted by an ullconscious masochi st ic design. This is
why the ga mbler always loses in the long r un." Edmund llergler, " Zur Psychologie
des Hasardspieiers," Imllgo. 22, no. 4 ( 1936), p. 440. [011,2)
Drief accollnt of Ernst Simmcl 's ideas on the pilychology of the gambler : " The
illsatiable greed tha t 110 rest wit hin all IInelutilig vici ou,; circl e. where loss
bt.'Comes gai ll a nd gain becomes loss, is said to arise from the lI arci.ssi5ti c
aion to fcrtilize a nd give birth to 0lle8eLf in a n anal birth fant asy. suqlassing and
repl acing one's own father Bml mother in an endlessly eacalating proceu. ' Thus.
in t he lu t anal ysis, the passion for gambling satisfi es the claim of the bisexual
idea l. whi ch t he narcissist discovers in himself; at stake is the formation of a
compromise between mascul ine and feminine. active ami passive. sadistic and
I1I 85ochi sti c; and in the end it is the unresolvC(1 decision between geni t al and anal
libillo that confront s the gambler in the wel l· knowli symboli c colore of red and
black. The passion for gambling thus serves an a ut oerotic satisfacti on, wherein
betting is foreplay, winning is orgasm, and losing is ejaculation, defecation, and
castration.... Edmund Berg\er. " Zur Psychologie des Hasardspielere," Imago, 22 ,
110.4 (1936), Jlp. with reference to Ernst Simmel. " Zur Psychoanalyse
des Spi elere," Inl ernlltionale ZeilJchriftfiir P.ychoontdyse, 6 (1920). p. 397.
Wit h the di scover y of Tahiti , declares Fourier, with the example of an order in
which " large-scale industry" is compatible with erotic freedom, " conjugal slav·
ery" has become unendurable. I; [011a,2]
Apropos of Freud's conjecture that sexuality is a dwindling function "of " the
human being, Brecht remarked on how the bourgeoisie in decline differs from
the feudal class at the time of its downfall: it feels it.sclf to be in all things the
quintessence of humankind in general, and hence can equate its own decline with
the death of humanity. (This equation, moreover, can playa part in the unmistak­
able crisis of sexuality within the bourgeoisie.) The feudal class, by virtue of
privileges, felt it.sclf to be a class apart, which corresponded to the reality. lbat
enabled it, in its waning, to manifest some elegance and insouciance. [OlIa,3}
Love for the prostitute is the apotheosis of empathy with the conunoclity.
Magistrale of Paris! March with the . y,tcrn ,
PUrBue the good work or Mangin and Relleyme:
Desipt. u chat eaux ror the filthy Phrynes.
Pestilent, lonely, and dark qlUJrljen.
,Augustc·!\1 ll rseille> Barthel emy, Paris: RevlUl5l1tiriqm! aM. C. Deleuert (Paris,
1828). p. 22. [012,1)
A description of the lower class of prostitute that had settJed in the vicinity of the
city gate, the bamn-e. It comes from Du Camp, and would make an excellent
caption for many of Guys's watercolors: "U one pushes open the barrier and the
door that closes the entrance, one finds oneself in a bar furnished with marble or
wooden tables and lighted by gas; through the clouds of smoke given off by the
pipes,. one distinguishes garbage men, diggers, caners- drinkers, for the most
part-seated before a Bask of absinthe and talking to creatures who are as gro­
leSque as they are pitiable. All of these creatures are dressed, in almost the same
way, in that red cotton fabric that is dear to Africa.n Negroes, and out of which
the curtains in little provincial inns att made. What covers them cannot be called
a dress; it is a beltlcss smock, puffed up with a crinoline. Exposing the shoulders
with an outrageously low CUt, and comingjust to the level of the knees, this outfit
gives them the look of large, inflated children, prematurely aged and glistening
with fat, wrinkJed, dazed, and with those pointed heads that are the sign of
imbecility. When the inspectors, checking the registration book, call them and
chey get up to reply, they have all the cha.nn of a circus dog." Maxime Du Camp,
Paris: &J organeJ, ;e.sfonctjonJ et Ja vie daTIJ ill Jt!Conde moini du XIX' Jiec/e, vol. 3
(Pam, 1872), p. 447 ("La P=cirucion"). (012,2)
' "The b88ie principle ... of gambling ... cOll sistlf in thi s: ... that each round is
independent o( the one preceding.... Gambling strcnuously denies all aClluired
conditions, all ant «edents ... pointing to previous actions; and that is what dis­
tinguishes it (rom work. Gambling rejects ... thi s weight y past which is the main­
st ay of work, and whieh makes (or seriousness o( I)urpose. (or attenti on to the Ions
term, (or right , and (or power.... The idea o( begi nning again, ... and o( doiuS
belter, ... occurs orten to one (or whom work is a struggl e; but the idea is .. .
useless •... and one must stumble on with insuffi cient results ." Alain <Emile­
Auguste Chartier> , Les Idee. et les uge. <Pa ris, 1927>, vol. 1, pp. 183-184 ("I.e
J eu"). (012,3)
The lack of consequences that defines the character of the isolated experience
<Erlebno> found drastic expression in gambling. During the feudal age, the latter ­
was essentiall y a privilege of the feudal class, which did not participate directly in
the production process. What is new is that in the nineteenth renrory the bour­
geois gambles. It was above all the Napoleonic annies that, on their campaigns,
became the agents of gambling for the bourgeoisie. (012a,l)
The significance of the temporal element in the intoxication of the gambler has .
been noticed before this by Gourdon, as well as by Anatole France. But these twO
writers see only the meaning time has for the gambler's pleasure in his winnings,
which, quickly acquired and quickly surrendered, multipl y themselves a hun'
dredfold in his imagination through the numberless possibilities of expenditure
remaining open and, above all, through the one real possibility of wager, of mise
enjeu. What meaning the factor of time might have for the process of gambling
itself is at issue in neither Gourdon nor France. And the pastime of gambling is,
in fact, a singular matter. A game passes the time more quickl y as chance comes
to light more absolutely in it, as the number of combinations encountered in the
course of play (of COUPJ) is smaller and their sequence shoner. In other words,
greater the component of chance in a game, the more speedily it elapses. nus
state of affairs becomes decisive in the disposition of what comprises the authen­
tic "intoxication" of the gambler. Such intoxication depends on the peculiar
capacil}' of the game to provoke presence of mind through the fact that, in rapid
succession, it bring3 to the fore constellations which work-each one wholly
independent of the others-to summon up in every instance: a thoroughly new,
original reaction from the gambler. TIlls fact is mirrored in the tendency of
gamblers to place their bets, whenever possible, at the: very last momem-the
moment, moreover, when only enough room remains for a purely reflexive
move. Such reflexive behavior on the part of the gambler rul es out an "interpre.
tacion" of chance. The gambler's reaction to chance is more like that of the knee
to the hammer in the patellar reflex. [012a,2)
The superstitious man will be on the lookout for hints; the gambler will react to
even they can be To a winning play
wtthout havmg made the most of tt will cause the ururutJated to think that he is
"in luck" and has only to act more quickly and courageously the next time
around. In realil}', this occurrence signals the fact that the sort of motor reflex
which chance rclc:ases in the lucky gambler failed to materialize. It is only when it
does take place that "what is about to happen," as such, comes clearly to
consoousncss. [013,1)
Only the future that has nOt entered as such into his consciousness is parried by
the gambler. (013,2)
The proscription of gambling could have its deepest roots in the fact that a
narural gift of humanity, one which, directed toward the highest objects, elevates
the human being beyond himself, only drags him down when applied to one of
the meanest objects: money. The gift in question is presence of mind. Its highest
manifestation is the reading that in each case is divinatory. [013,3)
The peculiar feeling of happiness in the one who wins is marked by the fact that
money and riches, otherwise the most massive and burdensome things in the
world, come to him from the fates like a j oyous embrace returned to the full.
, They can be compattd to words oflove from a woman altogether satisfied by her
man. Gamblers att types to whom it is not given to satisfy the woman. Isn' t Don
Juan a gambler? [013,4)
"During the period of facile optimism, such as radiated from the pen of an Alfred
Capus, it was CUStomary on the boulevard to attribute everything to luck."
Rageot, qu'un evenement?," I.e T(m/lJ, April 16, 1939.-The
wa' f
ger 1$ a means 0 conferring shock value on events, of loosing them from the
COntexts of experience. II It is not by accident that people bet on tlle results of
elections, on the outbTfak of war, and so on. For the bourgeoisie in particula[
Ii . , ,
po tlcal affairs easily take the foml of events on a gaming table. TIlls is Ilot so
the case for the proletarian. He is better positioned to recognil.e constants
In the political process. [013,5)
The Cemetery of t.he hlllOcenu as promenade. "Sud l was the place wilich the
Parisians of the fi(t t.'t:llth century (N!quenl ed as a !lOrl o( lugubrious COllnt crp"rt 10
the Plilais- Royul of 1789.... In I pite of the incessant burials and ell:humation8
going 0 11 there. it WII8 a publi c lounge and II rellll ezvoll 8. Shops were eslabli"hed
before the charnel houses , and prostitutes stroUed uuder the cloister ,:' J . Huiz­
inga, Herbs, des Miuelulter$ (Munich, 1928). p. 210. [0 13a, I]
Are fortunetelling cards more ancient than playing cards? Does the card game
represent a pejoration of divinatory technique? Seeing the future is certairuy
aucial in card games, too. [013a,21
Money is what gives life to number; money is what animates the marble maiden
(see 07,1). [013a,3]
Gracian's maxim-"ln all things, know how to win time to your siden-will be
understood by no one better and more gratefully than the one to whom a
long-cherished wish has been granted. With this, compare the magnificent defini­
tion which J oubert gives of such time. It defines, contrariwise, the gambler's
time: "There is time even in eternity; but it is not a terrestrial or worldly time ....
It destroys nothing; it completes." J.Joubert, lhuits (Paris, 1883), vol. 2, p. 162.
Concerning the heroic clement in gambling-as it were, a corollary to Baude­
laire's poem "LeJeu": "A thought which regularly crosses my mind at the gam­
bling table ... : What if one "'ere to store up all the energy and passion ... which
every year is squandered ... at the gaming tables of Europe-would one have __
enough to make a Roman people out of it, and a Roman history? But that's just
it. Because each man is born a Roman, bourgeois society aims to de-Romanize
him, and thus there are games of chance and games of etiquette, novels, Italian
operas and stylish gazettes, casinos, tea parties and lotteries, years of apprentice:­
ship and travel, military reviews and changing of the guard, ceremonies and
visits, and the fifteen or twenty close-fitting gannents which daily, with a salutary
loss of time, a person has to put on and take off again-all these have bec;"'
introduced so that the overabundant energy evaporates unnoticed' " lAldwtg
BOrne, GtsammeJtt &hrifitn (Hamburg and Frankfurt am Main, 1862), vol. 3,
pp. 38-39 ("Das Gastmahl der Spieler" <Gamblers' Banquet». [013a,5]
" But can you realize what delirium, what frenzy, polilielilies the mind of a man
impatieuti y waiting for a gambling den to open? Betwet: n the evening gambler and
the morning gambler the same dinerence exists a8 hetween the nonchalant hus­
band and the ecstatic lover waiting under hi s window. It is onl y in.the
morning that (Iuh'ering pa8sion a nd stark need manifest themselves in all their
horror. At that time of d ay, YOIl ca n st are in wonderment at t.he true gamhl er--()ne
who has nol ea ten or slept , lived or t hought , so cruell y has he heen scou rged b y the
lash of hi s vice .... At that hal eful hour, you will meet with eyes whose sleady calm
is fright cning, wi th faces that hold you 8lHl Ubouud; you wiu intercept gazes whi ch
lif, the cards il nd greedil y peer hencath them. Gaming. llOli ses then reach euhlilllilY
only at opening time." Balzac. La Peau de chagrin. Editions F1ammarion (Paris),
p.7.:fl [014,1]
Prostitution opens a market in feminine types.
On gambling: the less a man is imprisoned in the bonds of fate, the less he is
determined by what lies nearest at hand. [0 14,3]
The ideal of the shock--cngendered experience <ErJebnis> is the catastrophe. This
becomes very clear in gambling: by constantly raising the stakes, in hopes of
getting back what is lost, the gambler steers toward absolute ruin. (014,4]
[The Streets of Paris 1
In short, the streets of Paris
\\he sct to rhyme. Hear how.
-Beginning of Dil da nltJ tk Paro, by Guillot (Parj$. 1875), with
pn:racc::. n(Md. and glouary by Edgar l\'Iarcu.sc (lint word of the
second linc in the original:
we leave an imprint each time we enter into a history, l
They spoke of Paris as La ville qui rtmut'-the city never stops moving. But
no less important than the life of this city's layout IS hert the unconquerablc:
power in the names of streets, squares, and a power ,persists in the:
face of all topographic displacement. Those little theaters which, m the days of
Louis Philippe, still lined the Boulevard du Temple-how often has, one of them
been tom down, only to resurface. newly built, in some other quarher. (I'o speak
cr "cit)' districts" is odious to me.) How street, names, e:ven today,
the name of a landed proprietor who, centunes earlier, had his demesne
ground. The name "Chateau d'Eau," referring to a long-vanished still
haunts various amnuiuu:menu today. Even the beuer-known estab­
lishments art, in their way, assured of thdr small municipal immortality-to say
nothing of the great literary inunortaliry attaching to the Rocher th:
VefoU[ the Trois Freres ProvenI?ux. For hardly has a name made Its way Ul th
field of gastronomy, hardly has a Vatd or a Riche achieved its than all of
Paris, including the suburbs, is teeming with Petits Vatds and Peats Riches. Such
is the movement of the streets, the movement of names, which often enough ron
(PI, I]
at cross·purposes to one another.
And then the timeless little squares that suddenl y are there, .and which :
name attaches. They have not been the object of carerul planrung, like the Pia d
Venddme or the Place des Glives, and do not enjoy the of worl
history but owe their existence to houses that have slowly, sleepily, belatedly
assembled in response to the summons of the century. In such the
hold sway; even the smallest afford thick shade. Later, however, m the gashght,
their leaves have the appearance of dark-green frosted glass ncar the street lamps,
and their earliest green glow at dusk is the automatic signal for the start of spring
in the big city. [Pl,2]
The Quartier dc I'Europe ex.isted as a project , incoqmraling the names of
the European ca pitals, in 1820. [PI ,3]
0 11 february 'J, 1805, hOll ses were first numbered , by imperial de(:ree. Previous
atlenll>ls to do this-in Jallll ary I 726-had met with violent resistance. OWllers of
houses declared themselves ready to Ilumber the side entrances, but not their
carriage entrances. The Revolution had already introduced the numbering of
housel! according to districts; in some distri ct8, there were 1,500-2,000 numbers.
(PI ,4]
After the a88assinatioll of Marat , Montmartre was renamed MODt -Ma ra!. [PI ,5]
The function of the saints in the naming of Parisian streets suddenly became
clear during the Revolution. To be sure, the Rues Saint-Honore, Saint-Roch, and
Saint-Antoine were, for a while, known as H onore, Roch, and Antoine, but it
could nOt take hold; a hiatus had opened up that to the ear of the Frenchman was
unendurable. [PI ,6]
"An enthusiast of the Revolution once proposed transfonning Paris into a map of
the ",,-orld: all streets and squares were to be rechristened and tho.. new names
drawn from noteworthy places and things across the world." Pursue this in
imagination and, from the surprising impression made by such an optical­
phonetic image of the city, you will recognize the great importance of street
names. Pinkerton, Mercier, and C. F. Cramer, ATlJidrtrn tier HauPlltadt fMS .fran­
ziisiJckn KaiJerreidlJ vom Jahre 1806 an, vol. 1 (Amsterdam, 1807), p. 100 (ch. 8,
"Neologie," by Pinkerton). (Pl,7j
There is a peculiar voluptuousness in the naming of Streets.
"The name La Roquette, given to two prisons, a Sireet , and an entire district.
comes from the plant of that na Ole ( Eruca sativa), which u8ed to fl ourish in for­
merl y uninhabited areas." La Grande Roquette was, for a long time , the pri800 in
which ·tbose sentenced to death awa ited the out come of their aplH!al. Maxime Du
Ca mp , Paris, vol. 3, p. 264. [Pl,9}
TIle sensuality in street names-certainJy the only sort which citizens of the
town, if need be, can still perceive. For what do we know of streetcomers, curb­
stones, the architecture of the pavement-\\'e who have never fdt heat, filth, and
the edges of the stones beneath our naked sales, and have never scrutinized the
Uneven placement of the paving stones with an eye toward bedding down on
them. (p1, IOj
" Pont d' Au8tcrlit z! Its famous name evokes for me something (Iuit e other than the
ba ttle. Despite whatlH!Ople ha\'c maintained to me , and whi ch I accept fur fonn 's
sake, it was the battle that took itll name from the bridge. }\Il explanation for this
took shape in my m.ind on the basis of my reveri es, my recoll ecti on of di stracted
schooldays, and analogies in the savor and sound of certai n words. As H child, I
always kept this eXI>lanation under my hat ; it was part of my secret language. Alld
here it is: at the time of wan, crusades, a nd revoluti oll d, 011 the eve uf bailie, the
warriors would proceed with their ensigns to thi s bridge. 0111 as the hills , and
there. in all aolemnit y, would drink a cup of aU8lerlitz. This austerli tz, for midable
brew, wall quite simpl y the hydromel of our ancestors , the Ga uls, btu more hitter
and more filled wi th selt zer." Charl es ViJdrac (CharieR Mcssager>, <Le,,) Pont.:s de
Paris <Paris, ca. 1930). [pIa. I]
Excursus on the Place du Maroc. Not only city and interior but city and open air
can become entwined, and this intertWining can occur much more concretely.
There is the Place du Maroc in BeUeville: that desolate heap of stones with its
rows of tenements became for me, when I happened on it one Sunday afternoon,
not only a Moroccan desert but also, and at the same time, a monument of
colonial imperialism; topographic vision was entwined with allegorical meaning
in this square, yet not for an instant did it lose its place in the heart of Belleville.
But to awaken such a view is something ordinarily reserved for intoxicants. And
in such cases, in fact, street names are like intoxicating substances that make our
perceptions more stratified and richer in spaces. One couJd call the energy by
which they tranSport us into such a state their uertu tuocaln'u, their evocative
power-but that is saying too little; for what is decisive here is not the association
but the interpenetration of images. This state of affairs may be adduced, as well,
in connection with certain pathological phenomena: the patient who wanders the
city at night for hours on end and forgets the way home is perhaps in the grip of
this power. [Pla,2]
Street names in Jean Brunet , Le iJleuianume--orgcllliJal ion genem le de Paris:
Sa corutitution getlerale, pa rt I ( Paris, 1858): Boulevard of Financiers, Boule­
vard of J ewel ers, Boulevard of Merchant s, Bouleva rd uf Manufacturers, Bonle­
vard of Met alworkers , Boulevard of Dyers, Boulevard of Printers, Boul eva rd of
Student s, Boulevard of Writers, Boulevard of Artists. Boul el'anl of Adnlinistra·
t or s. -Quartier Louis XIV (deta iled argument for thi s name, p. 32, involving "em·
bellishment" of the Saint-Martin and Saint-Denis Confe(; ti on Street,
Exportation Square, Ceramics Street, Bookbi mling Stn:et. [Pla,3]
" I read of a geographi c scheme in which Paris would he the map, ami hackll cy
coaches the professors. Cert ainl y, I would rat.her have lla ris be a geographic map
than a volume in the Roman calenclar; and the namcs of sai ll lS, wi th '""hiell the
ureets are baptized . cannot compare. in ei ther cuphony or utility, with the ua nl e&
Oflhc luwn8 Ihut have heen prolJOsed us sllbstilut e8 fur them. Thus, t ill: Fa ulltl urg
Sai nt - Deni s, according to this plan. would be call e(1 the Fuubourg V(l/ellci-:
Cline" ; the Faubourg Saint- Marceau would become the Faubourg de Marseill e; the
Place de Grevel would he known as the Pl ace de Toun or (Ie Bourges; and 10 on."
Mercier, Le Nouuccw Pa m <Pari s, 1800>, vol. 5, 1'.75. [pia,"]
Rue des Imlllcubi es Industriel &-How old is tins street ? [pIa,S]
A surprising argument, a hundred years ago, in favor of an American system for
demarcating streets: "You poor professors, who teach moral philosophy and
belles lettres! Your names are posted in small black letters on a streetcomer, above
a milestone. The Ilame of this jeweler is as dazzling as a thousand fires-it shines
like the sun. It is for sale, but it is expensive." Mercier, Le }(oulH:au Paris, vol. 4,
pp. 74-75. [Pla,6]
Apropos of the t1l eory of street names: " Proper names, t oo, have an effect that is
eOllceptuaUy unburdened and purel y acoustic.... To borrow an expr elll ion from
Curtius (p. 65). proper names a re " bare fonnul as" which Proust can fill up with
feelings because they have not yet been rationalized by language." Leo Spitzer,
StiLswdien (Muni ch, 1928), vol. 2, p. 434. [Pla,7)
"Street," to be understood, must be profiled against the older term "way." With
to their mythological narures, the two words are entirely distinct. The
way brings with it the terrors of wandering, some reverberation of which must
have struck the leaders of nomadic tribes. In the incalculable rumings and resolu·
tions of the way, there is even today, for the solitary wanderer, a detectable trace
of the power of ancient directives over wandering hordes. But the person who
travels a street, it wouJd seem, has no need of any waywise guiding hand. It is not
in wandering that man takes to the street, but rather in submitting to the monoto­
nous, fascinating, constantly uruolling band of asphalt. The synthesis of these
twin terrors, however-monotonous wandering-is represented in the labyrinth.
[P2, 11
Whoever wishes to know how much at home we are in entrails must allow
himself to be swept along in delirium through streets whose darkness greatly
resembles the lap of a whore. 0 Antiquity 0 [1'2,2]
How names in the city, though, first become potent when they issue within the
labyrinthine halls of the McO'O. Troglodytic kingdoms-thus they hover on the
horizon: Solferino, ltalie and Rome, Concorde and Nation. Difficult to believe
that up above they all run out into one another, that under the open sky it all
draws together. 0 Antiquity 0 [P2,3]
The true expressive character of street names can be recognized as soon as they
are set beside reformist proposals for their nommlization. For example, Pujoulx's
proposal for naming the streets of Paris after the cities and localities of France,
taking into consideration their geographic positions relative to one another, as
well as their population, and having regard for rivers and mountains, whose
names woul d go especiall y to long streets which cross several districts- all of this
"in order to provide an ensemble such that a traveler could acquire geographic
knowledge of France within Paris and, reciprocally, of Paris within France."] . B.
Pujoulx, Paris a lafin du dix-huitieme siede (paris, 1801), p. 8 1. oFhinerie 0
"Seventeen of the gates correspond to imperial routes.... In these name. one
would seek in vain for a gener al system. What are Antihes. Toul ouse. and Bi le
doi ng there beside La VLllelte a nd Sai nt -Ouen? . . . If one had 'II'a nt ed to establish
rome di stincti oll s. oll e could have pven to each gate the name of the .'rench city
most distant in t hat di rection." E. de Labedolliere, HUloire du nouvea u (Paris),

"Some beneficial measures by the muni cipal magistracy date from tbe time of the
Empi re. On November 3, 1800, there was, by decree, a gener al revision of street
namf' S. Most of t he grotesque vocables invented by the Revolution di sappeared.
The na mes of politi cians were almost aU r epl aced by the names of milita ry men!'
Lucien Dubech a nd Pierre d ' Espczel, HUloire de Pa ris (Paris. 1926), p. 336.
" In 1802. in va riOIl S neighborhoool-Rue du Mont -Blanc, Chaussee d' Antin­
sidewalks were buill , with an elevati on of three or four inches. There W81 then an
effort to get rid of the gutt er s in the center of the streets." Lucien Dubech and
Pierre d ' Espezel. lIutoire de Paru (Paris, 1926), p . 336. (P2,7]
" In 1805, the new system of sequenti al numbering of houses , begun on the initla­
tive of Frochot and still in e£fect today: even numbers separ ated from odd, the
even numbers on t he r ight and the odd on the left . according as one movet away
from the Seine or foll ows its course. The numbers were white and were placed OD a
red background in streets paraUelto the ri ver, on a black background in st reell
perpendicuJar to it ." Lucien Dubeeh and Pierre d'EsI)C!.el, Ilu loire de Po";"
(Paris. 1926). I). 337. (P2,8)
Around 1830: " The Cha ussee d' Antin is the neighborhood of the nouveaux ri chee
of the financial world . All these districts in the western pa rt of town have been
the cit y planner s of the period believed that l'Bris was going to develop
in the directi on of the saltpeter works. an opiuion that ought to instill pr udence in
today's developers .. . . A lot on the Chaussee d' Antili had trouhl e fllldiug a buyer
at 20.000 to 25.000 francs. " Dubech and d' Espezei . Ili.Hoire de Pari.s (Paris,
1926), p. 3M. (l'2a,l )
Jul y Monarchy: " While most of t he street names recalling politi cal events were
dOlle away Wilh, new olles appeared commemorati ng a date: t he Hue dll 29 Juil­
leI. " Dubeeh alld d' EslJezel. lIu toire de Paru , p. 389. [P2a. 2)
" I know uothing more ridicuJoul and more inconsistent than the names of I treets,
S(luarel, blind alleys, and cull -de-sac ill Paris. Let UI choose at random some of
these names in oll e or the nlOre bea ut ifulneighborhoodl . and we cannot but note
this incoherence and ca pr ice. I arri ve by the Rue Cr oix-de.-Petits-Champs; I
cross the Place des Vi ctoires; I tur n into tbe Rue Vuide-Gousset , whi cb takes me to
the Passage des Petitl-perel . from whi ch it is onl y a Ihort distance to the Palais­
Egal ite. Wha t a salmagundi! The first name call s to mind a cult object and a rustic
landscape; tbe second o£fer s milit ary triumpbs; the third. an ambush ; the fourth,
the memor y of a nickname given to a monastic order ; and the last, a word whi ch
ignorance. intri gue. and a mbition bave taken turns abusing." J . B. Pujoulx, Paris
ii lafin du XVIII' siecle (Paris, 1801), pp. 73-74. [P2a,3]
"Two steps from the Place de la Bastille in the Faubourg Saint-Antoine, people still
say, ' I am going to Paris' .... This suburb bas its own mores and customs, even its
own language. The municipality has numbered the houses here, as in all other
parts of Pa ri s; but j( you ask one of the inhabitants of this suburb for his addrels,
he lrill always gi ve you the name his house bears and not the cold, official num­
ber . ... This house is known by the name ' To the King of Siam,' that by ' Star of
Gold' ; thi s house is called ' Court ofthe Two Sisters,' and that one is called 'Name
of J esus '; other s carry the name ' Basket of Flower s,' or ' Saint Esprit,' or ' Bel
Ai r.' or ' Hunting Box,' or ' The Good Seed. , .. Sigmund Engl ander, Ge.schichte der
f raruQsu chen Arooiter auociationen (Ha mburg, 1864), vol. 3, p. 126. (P2a,4]
Excerpt from a proposal for naming streets which presumably steDlll from the
Revoluti on: "Someone . . . proposed giving str eets and alleys the namet of virtUet
and generous sentiments , without reflecting that this moral nomenclature was too
li mited for the great number of streets to be found in Pari, .... One senses that in
this proj ect there was a certain logi c in the arrangement of namet; for example. the
Rue de la l w tice, or that of "lIumanite, had necessaril y to lead to the Rue du
Bonheur • .. . while the Rue de la Probite ... had to Crolili all of Paris in leading to
the most beautiful neighborhoods. " J . B. Pujoulx. , Pari! ii hlfin du XVIII- siecle
(Paris . 1801), pp. 83-84. (P2a,5]
COncerning t he magic of street names. Delva u on the Place Maubert : " It is not a
square: it is a la rge blot , so full of fi lth and mire that even the lips sully themselves
ill prono.uncing thi s name frOIll the thirt eenth century- not because it is old but
because it exhales an odor of ini quit y .. whi ch shocks the sense of smell ."
A. Dcl vau, Les Dessous ele P(lris (Pa ri s. 1866), p. 73. [P2a,6]
··It is not superfluous to observe that a foreigner, who. on a rriving in a cit y. sta rU
out el'er ywhere judgi ng by a pl>ear ances. could well suppose, in coming IIpon these
Ull systetnati c and insignifi cant street namel. t hat the r easoning of tbose who live
here was no less loosely connected; and . cert ainl y, if several st reets presented him
wi th base or obscene names, he would have grounds for believing in the immor alit y
of the inhabitall u." J . B. Pujoub: , Pori" ato fin d" XVIII ' $iecie (Pa ri s, 1801),
p.77. [1'3, 1]
RatiOll alilO m t ook particul a r offense at namelO like Hue des MauvailO-GarJ<oIl S. Rue
Tire-Boudin, Rue MauvailOes-Parok"ll, Rue Femme-sans-'I't:te. nue du Chat qui
Peche, Rue Court aud-Vi ll ain.: It ilO such pl aces I.hal are fre(l ul" nted , UYIO Pujoulx,
by those wll o won' t listen to hi s prolJ05als. (P3,2]
" What a pl easure for til e resident of the Soutll of France to redi scover, in tile
names of the various di stri cts of Paris, those of til e pl ace wll er e he was borll , of the
town where hi s wife came into the world , of the vill age wll ere he spent hi s early
years." J . B. Puj oulx, Pari" Ii fajin du XVlll' si&cle (Paris, IBOI ), p. 82. (P3,3]
"The hawkers choo5e their newspaper s according t o wll icll neighborhoods they
want to work in, and even within these areas there are nuances that must be
distingui shed. ODe street reads Le Peupfe, while anotll er will have only La
Rejorme, but the street perpendicular to these, whi ch cOllnccts them, t akes L'A,­
.embtee nationaie, or perhaps L'Vnion . A good hawker ought t o be able to teU
you, with an eye t o the promises millIe by aU the aspiring legislators and written
upon our wall s, what l)ercent age of the vote in a particular arrolldi.s.ement each o(
these political mendi cants can expeet to have." A. Privat d' Anglemont , Paris in­
connu (Paris, 1861), p. 154. 0 F1i neur 0 (P3,4)
What was othernise reserved for only a very few words, a privileged class of
words, the city has made possible for all words, or at least a great many: to be
elevated to the noble stants of name. 1bis revolution in language was carried out
by what is most general: the street.- Through its street names, the city is a
linguistic cosmos. [P3,S]
Apropos of Victor Hugo's "command of image. The few insights we ha ve into his
methods of composition confirnl that the facult y of interior evocati on was much
st ronger in him than in other peopl e. This iii why li e was able-from memory, and
without taking any notes-to describe til e qlUJrtier of Pa ris through whi ch J ean
Valj ean escapes in U.s Muerabie,; a nd this description is strictl y accurate, street
by st reet, houllC by house." Paul Bourget . obituary notice for Vi ctor Hugo in the
Journal des debat,,: "Victor Hugo devant I'opinion" (Pa ri s, 1885), p. 91. [P3,6]
On lUI etching: " Rue TirecllHl'e-in 1863 as it was ill 1200. " Cabinet dell
Elllampcll. [P3, 7]
III all engra ving frolll 1830, olle call St.'C a man seated on a Iree trullk in the
Saint-Dcnis. [P3,8]
In 1865,011 the 80uleva rd des Cal'uci nc8, at the corncr of t he nul" de Seze and the
Rue Caumartin. the fi rst refllse. or Slreel. island, was illl;t all ed . [P3a, l )
" The way Ille Clltups go to IIl ake faces al the cnt.ra ll ee 10 I.hc morgue; the way the
sho"" offs come tllt're to recil e 111t:ir grol cS(ILl c j okes ... ill I> u(' h a place; t he way the
j·rowd . . ga lhers urOllnd II) laugh thei r fill al t ilt' indecent anti c;; uf a
j uggler. after ga ping al fi\'e cadu\'ers laid out side hy side .... Now, that'8 what 1
cull rC\'olting ... !'. ViClor Fuurnel. Ce flll'Otl 110i, da"" tes riles fi e Paris
1858). 1" 355 ("' La Morguc"). {P3a,2]
Chosts of the eity: '; Romnnti eism on decl inc ... {leli ght 8 in legeml il. While
Ceol'gc Sand , dressed as I.L mall , supposedly rides 0 11 horseback ncross Pnris in the
('ompa ll y of Lalll l.Ll"ti lu:, drencil as a womllll , DUlll as has hi s lI uvels writt en i.1I
cellars allli clullnpagne upstairs wit.h va ri OIi S actrenes. Or, belt el' yet , I)u­
mas does not exist; he is only a mythi cal heing, a trade name invent ed by a syndi­
cate of editon. ,. J . Lucas- Dubreton, UI Vie tl'AlexlIIlftre Dllma" Pere (Paris
(1928») .1). 141. (P3a,3]
" Here, then, ... is the ... DiClionnaire de ftl la"s ue verl e ( Dictioll ary of Slang>,
of ""hich 1 would li ke l)Copl!;! to sa y ... what was sai tl of Sebastien Mcrc::ier's
Tableau de Pari.-namely, that it was conccl\'ed in til e st reet and writt en on a
mil estone." Alfred Del vuu, Dicliomwire de f(f lmls ue l1erte (Pa ri s, 1866), p. iii .
[P3a, 4]
A ni ce description of elegant neighborhoods: " the nobilit y, silentl y bunkered in
t hellC cloistral streets as in an immense and splendid monastery of l)eace a nd
refuge.'" Paul -Ernest Rallier. P(fri" n 'exule P(u (paris , 1857), p. 17. {P3a,5]
Around 1860, the Paris bridges were still in.'iI1ffi cient for the traffic between the
two ballks; there was fretjLlellt recourse to ferries. The fare for thi s 5erviee was t wo
SOil S; proletarians, therefore, could only r arel y mnke use of it. (From P.-E.
tier, Ptlris 11 'existe pa. (Paris . 1857), pp. 49-50. [P3a,6]
" In Hugo, the Vend,j me Coluntn, the Arc Triomphe, and the In\' alides go haud
in hand , if I may put it thi , way. There is a hi slorical alllllJOlit ical , a real and
literary connecti on among these three monuments. To-dllY. ... tile IJOsitioll of thClje
t hree terms, their relati on, has changetJ. The Column has bt.'1! n effect ivel y sup­
planted, in Sl)i te of Vui liaUllle. Ant! it is the Pa llllll .. ·i)ll that has come, liS it were, to
replace since Hugo's success ill " r ingi ng it t o so to 51)eak, to
the greatmell . the tril ugy of monUlllcnt s is the Arc ti e Triomphe, the Pa ll ­
theon, anti till' Chul'cli of the hl\' ulides." Charles Peg-uy, Del/ ores CQIIIIJ{ete"
1873- 1914: Oeuvres de prO$e (Puris, 19 16), p. 4 19 ("Vi ctol ...Muri e, Comt e Hugo" ).
(St.'(' C6; C6a. l . scction Ill .) [P3a,7]
" TIlt- Irll e Pa ris is hy II lI turl' II (lark , mir),. ma lu<loroll s cit y. confilH'd within its
lI arrow Il! neil . ... 8wurlll ing ...ilh hlin<1 a nd mysterious pas­
with la byrinths that Icat! you to t hc dC\' il ; n cit )' whcl'c II,c Iwint cli roofs of
t i' e somher joil! together up there II car the duml" a nd tlms hl'gl'udge you
the bit of blue which t.he northern sky would give in alms to the veat capital. ...
The tnl e Pa ris is full of freak shows, reposi tories at three centimes a night for
unheard-of heings alltl hUIII l! 1I "llIlIItn magori as .... There, in a cloud of ammo_
ni llC valwr, ... and on beds that have 110t been made since the Creati on, reposinl!
si{le by side are bundreds. t housands, of charlata ns, of mll tch sell ers, of accordi on
players, of hunchbllcks, of till: blind and t he IlIme; of dwarfs, legless crippl es, and
Inen whose noses were bitten off in quarrel s, of rubber-j ointed men, downs mak_
ing a comeback, and sword swallowers ; of jugglers who balance a greasy pole on
the tips of their teeth ... ; children with four lega, Basque giants and ot.her kinds,
Tom Thumb in his twentieth reincarnation, pla nt -IH!Ople whose hand or arm is the
soil of a living t ree, which sprouts each year illl crown of branches a nd leaves ;
walking skeletons, t ranspa rent huma ns made of li ght ... and whose faint voice
can make itself hea rd to an attentive ear ... ; orangutans with human intelligence;
monsters who speak French." Paul-Ernest de Ratti er, Paria ", 'eriue pal (Paris,
1857), pp. 12,17- 19. To be compared with this are Hugo's drawings, and also
IhUSSlll ll nn's vision of Paris. [P4,l )
.'ate of the republican opposition under Cuitot. " L 'Emancipalion, of Toulouse,
cit es the words of a conservative to whom someone had expressed pity for the
plight of those political prisoners langui shing behind bars: ' I will feel sorry for
t hem when mushrooms begin vowing on their backs. , .. J ean Skerlitch , L 'Opinion
pub/ique en Fnmce d'apres la poesie politiqlte et sociale de 1830 Ii 1848
<Lausanne, 1901 >, pp. 162- 163. [P4,2)
" With this magic titl e of Paris, a play or review or book is always assured of
success." Theophile Gautier, first sent ence of the Introduction to Paris et let
Parisien.! (m XIX" siecle (Pa ris, 1856) , p. i. [P4,3)
"The universe docs nothing but gather the cigar bulls of Paris." Theophile Gau­
tier, int roduction, Paris et les Poriaiens au XIX' siecle (Paris, 1856), p. iii . [P4,4)
"A long tilll e ago, someone bad the idea of peopling the Champs-Elysees with
statues. The moment for this has still not arrived." Th. Gautier, "Etudes philoso­
phiques," Pa ris el les Parisiens au XIX ' p. 27. [P4,5)
""Thi rty yea rs ago ... it was still ... virt uaUy the sewer it had been in ancient
l imes. A very large number of streets, whose surface is now were then
holl ow causeways. You very often saw, at the low point where t he gullers of a street
or a squa re terminated, large rectangula r gra tings wit h great han, t he iron of
which sllOne, poli shed by the feet of t he multitude, dangerous a nd slippery for
wagons, and making horses stumbl e. .. In 1832, in many streets, ... the old
Gothic cloaca still cyni call y showell its j aws. They were enormous, sluggish gaps of
Slone. SOllu:timCII surroundl,. .. 1 hy stone blocks, displaying monumental effr ont­
cry." Vietor Hugo, Oeuvres complete,. novels, vol. 9 (Paril!.
1881), p. 181 (Lu
[p4a.I )
Miserables). l
On the wall of t he .'arlllcrs-General, untl er Louis XVI: " The mur (wall ) by whicll
Paris is immured makes Paris murmur.... [p4a,2)
t\.s II legentl of the morgue, l'tlaillard ci tes the followi ng rema rks from E. Texier, Le
1'ableall de Paru (1852): " In this building Ii vCII a clerk who ... has a famil y. Who
knows wht:ther the clerk's daught er docs not have a pi ano in her room and, on
Sunday evenings, does 1I 0t dance with her fri ends to til e st rains of the rit orneUos of
Pilodo or Mmard.'" According to MaiUartl , however, the cler k did 1I 0t live in the
nlOrgue in 1852. Cit ed ill Firmi.n Maillard , Recherclles histori(IIJe! et critiques !ur
III Mors ue (Paris, 1860), pp. 26-27. The account gocs back, liS Maillard himself
expl ains, to II r eport of 1830 by Leon Gozlan, whicb for iu I)art was somewbat
fcuilletonisti c. [p4a,3)
"The Place Maubert, accursed S(luare whi ch hides the name of Albertus Magnus."
Puris che= !oi <Paris, 185-1-> , p. 9 (Louis Lurine, "A tra vers les rues") . [p4a,4)
In Mercier, No uveau Pa ris ( 1800), vol. 6, p . 56, it is recount ed that " the mysteri­
OilS hornblowers ... in fact made a prell y sinister noise. It was not to announce
the sal e of water that they made thi s noise; their lugubriou8 bla re, dignified bn­
fare of terror, was most often a threat of arson: ' They were in the taverns , and
t hey would communi cate from one ueighborhood to the next ,' says Mercier. ' All
their ha rmonizal sounds were centrally coordinated , a nd when tbey played with
force, one expected something to happen. You would listen for a long
while, wlderstanding nothing; but in aU this uproar there was a language of sedi­
tion. These plots were 110 leu deep for being hat ched so blatantl y. It has been
remarked that , at the time of the fires , the signal was more Ilrompt, more ral,id,
n;ore shrill . When the blaze broke out at Les Celcstins, ... my brain had been
tlulled the day before hy the noi se of the horns. On another occasion, the ears were
assailed by the cracki ng of whi ps; 0 11 some days, it was a hanging 0 11 boxes. Olle
trembles at t hese keen daily alarms.'" Edoll ard Fournier, Enigmes des rues de
Puris (Pa ris, 1860), pp. i2-73 ("Sur quelques bruits de Pari .... ). (p4a,5)
C. Bougie, Chez Ie! prophiues !ociuiistes (Paris, 1918), ci tes, in the essay " l..' AIIi­
flli ce int ell ectuell e franco-all emande" (p. 123), Borne'8 phrase about the st reets of
Illl ri S: thosc glorious street" " whose pavement one ought
to tread with bar e feet
oll ly."
Tile AVenue Rnehel leads to the celll cter y of !\I ontmurtr('. About thi s, Daniel
lI ali:vy writ es (Poys iJu ri$ien. [Pari s <1932> ] , p. 276); " Rachel , the tragedi ellue,
is here the herald ami patroness." (P5,2)
"The importa nce accorded the traffic of pil grim!!-many people in those daya WeDt
to vellcrate relics-is attcsted hy the fact that the old Roman road, with its two
sectioll s, was named after t he pr incipa l destinations of such pilgrimage: in the
north, Saint -Marlin, aft er Ihe Cat hedral of Tours; and in the south, Saint_
J acques, after the Spanish Jago di Compostell a. " Frillll St ahl , Paris (Berlin
( 1929» , p. 67. [PS,31
The oft-formulated observation that the neighborhoods of Paris each have a life
of their own is given support by Stahl (Paro, p. 28) in a reference to certain
Parisian monuments. (He speaks of the Art de Triomphe, and one could also
mention Notre Dame or Notre Dame de Lorene.) Fonning a background to
important streets, these buildings give their districts a center of gravity and, at the
same time, represent the city as such within them. Stahl says "that each monu­
mental edifice .. . appears with an escon, like a prince with his train of followers,
and by this retinue it is separated from the respectfully withdrawing masses. It
becomes the ruling nucleus of a neighborhood that appears to have gathered
around it" (p. 25). [ps,4-]
Does anyone still want to go with me into a panorama?
- Max Brod, tllm die &M../Jeit hiiJJlickr Bilder
(Leipzig, 1913), p. 59
There were panoramas,1 dioramas, eosmoramas, di aphanoramu., navaloramas,
pleorumas (pleQ, " I sail," " I go by water"'), fanto8cOPC( s>, fantasma-parast ases,
phantasmagorical and fa nt asmaparast atie experience$, picturesque journeys in a
room, geor amas; opti cal picturesques, cineor amas, "hanoramas, stereoramas, cy­
cloramas, panorama dramatill rre.
" In our time so rich in pano-, cosmo-, neo-, myrio-, kigo- and dio-ramas. " M. G.
Saphir, in the Berliner COllrier, Ma l·ch 4, 1829; cit ed in Erich Stenger, Dagllerre$
Diorama in Berlin (Berlin, 1925), i'. 73. [QJ. , I]
The postrevolutionary Ver sailles us waxworks; "'The leftover royal statues wcre
rcnlOdeled. That of Loui s XlV in the great SaUe de l' Orall gerie wears a liberty cap
in place of the chi seled-away peruke, carri es a pike inst ead of the official baton;
IIlld, so that no one mist akes the identity of the newly created god of war. there is
~ · r i t t e l l at the foot of the st at ue: 'French Mars, protector of the liberty of the
world. ' A similar prank was playell with Coustou' s colossal bas-relief, repre­
k illing Louis XIV 011 horseback, in the large gall ery of the chiteau. The genius of
faille, who descends f rom the clouds, holds a libert y cap over t he bare head of the
king. instead of the laurel wreath of former times ." O Colport age 0 F. J . L. Meyer ,
rr{ll5mcm e au.s I'{lris im IV. l ahr der J r{llizosischen Republik (Hamburg, 1797),
\'01. 2, p. 3 15. [QJ. ,2]
On the cxhili iti oll of a group of thieves reproduced in wax, which (around 1785)
Was put together by Curliug or some othcr entreprenell r for t.he fair in Sailll­
Lalll·l· nt : "Some wel·c chai ne!1 and clad in rags, while others were al most naked
1I IlII Iyi lig on straw. II was a fairly graphi c remlerill g. The onl y port rai ts that were
likenesses were those of the two 0 1· 1.i1n:.-e Icullers; liut since the gall g was la rge, the
O ... ·lIcr hUll 11(,, "(: 11 obli gcd t o find them some COlllpall y. I took it for granted tlll.!t he
hall fll si1i oned these others more or less accordill g to whim, a nd with this t.hought
i1] llIilul I Wil l> ratllCr casuall y strolling past the swarthy faces--oft en obscured liy
the coa rse of these inferior brigands-when I thought I lH!rceived
beneath thci.r relmlsive appearance some characteristics that were nol at aU unfa_
mj(jar. As 1 looked more closely, 1 became convinced that the owner of the master
thi eves (who was also the owner of the other waxworks), wanting to make use of
some wax fi gurc8 that were 110 10llger ill fashion, or of some commi ssioned portraits
that were lJ ubsetluenti y rejected, had dressed them up in rugs , loaded them with
chains, alld slightl y disfi gured them in order to place them here with the great
thi eves.... I couJd not help smiling whell I considered that the wife of one of the
subj ects mi ght well discover, among these gentlemen, the portrait of her husband
t hat had oll ce bcen so gloriously commissiolletl. And, reall y, I am not joking when
I say thll.l 1 saw among this group an excell ent likeness of Linguel ,- who, several
months ea rli er, had enj oyed a place of honor in the other room, and who undoubt_
edly had been transported here for e(;onomic reasons, and to fill out the prison."
(-Simon-Nicolas-Henri Linguet , 1736-1794; polygraph and lawyer ; executed on
the guilloline.) J . B. Puj oul x, Puru alafin d" XV///' siecie (Paris, 180 I), pp. 102­
103. 0 Colportage 0 iQJ ,3]
"Waiting" can be associated with the exhibition of imperial panoramas as much
as with boredom. It is highly significant that Brod, in a gloss on "panorama," hits
upon all the keywords of this investigation: "fashion," "boredom," "gaslight."

"A melange of Morgue and Musee de Luxembourg": this was howJules Cl..arerie
characterized the battle panoramas. La Vie Ii Paris, 1881 (Paris), p. 438. In these
panoramas we perceive that wars, too, are subject to fashion. Max Brod, in his
"Panorama," sees "inactive officers ... searching about for suitable battle6e1ds to
wage their imaginary colonial wars." 1t is a wardrobe ofbatt1es: the impecunious
come and look around to see if somewhere there is not a used battle6e1d they can
make their own without going to great expense. [QJ ,5]
Play on word8 with "-rama" (on the model of "diorama") in Balzac, at the bepn­
!ling of Perf! [QJ,6]
Setup of the panoramas: View from a raised platform, surrounded by a balus­
trade, of surfaces lying round about and beneath. 111e painting runs along a
cylindricaJ wall approximately a hundred meters long and Meney meters high.
The principal panoramas of the great panorama painter Prevost: Paris, Toulon,
Rome, Naples, Amsterdam, Twit, Wagram, Calais, Antwerp, London, Florence,
Jerusalem, Athcns. Among his pupils: Daguerre. iQJa,l ]
1838: the HotOlule des Panoramas constructed by Hittonf. 0 I.ron 0 [Q)a,2[
l'&norll.lIIl1 11. 1 t ilt: Puri!J Exhi bition of 1855. iQ!. a,3]
Apanorama under construction, in an image originally published in L'fllUJtration. Courtesy of
the Syndicat Autorttl- und Verlagsgesellschaft, Frankfurt am Main. See QJa, I.
It remains to be discovered what is meant when, in the dioramas, the variations
in which the passing day brings to a landscape take place in fifteen or
thirty nunutes. Hen= is something like a sportive precursor of fast·motion cinema­
witty, and somewhat malicious, "dancing" acceleration of time,
which, by way of contrast, makes one think of the hopelessness of a mimesis, as
Bn=lqn evokes it in Nadja: the painter who in late afternoon sets up his ease1
before the Viewc:-Pon in Marseilles and, in the waning light of day, constantly
alters the light·relations in his picrure, until it shows only darkness. For Breton,
however, it was "unfinished."J [QJa,4]
To reSect rigorously on the particular pathos that lies hidden in the an of the
panoramas. On the particular relation of this an to narun= but also and above
all . . ' ,
, to history. How peculiar this relation was may be gathered from these sen·
by YVienz, whose painting, in fact , has a distinctly panoramic tendency.
has been much talk of realism in painting. Generally speaking, palllongs
wilich are called ' realistic' are rarely in keeping with this rubric. Pure realism
oUght to manage things so that a represented object would seem within reach of
rOUr hand.... If, in general, what is properly tenned trompe·l'oeil has been little
appreciated; that is because up until now this genre ofpainting has been pranked
only by mediocre painters, by sign painters, those restricted merely to lhe repre­
sentation of certain still-life objects .... Will the uample of M. Wieru give binh
to a new genre?" Commentary on La Cuf"inm, in the catalogue written by the
painter himself and entitled L'Att/j" de M. Wi"it. In Oeuvres littiraire; <Paris,
1870>, pp. 501-502. 1Q) .,5]
" Nocturnorama. A new sort of concert will entert ai n the fashi onable society or
Paris this winter. All that the music expresses, these concerts, will be
dcred visi ble t hrough painted transparencies of superior ' Iualil y. Haydn's Crea_
tion is in rehearsal and, accompani ed by the appropriate pbant asmagorias, will no
doubt doubly capti vate the senses ortbe audi ence. I To me, however, this arrange..
ment seems more suited to gay and llentiment al diversions than to this great work.
I Thus, for example, a strikingly lifelike and moving portr ait or Malibr an is 10
aplH!ar, while, behind the scenes, a very hne singer deli vers an itali an aria_a.
though one were hearing the shade of Malibran sing." August Lewald, Album. de,.
Boudoirs (Leipzig and Stuttgart, 1836), pp. 42-43. [QJa,6]
From time to time in hi s diorama , Daguerr e would have, among olher thingll, the
Church of Saint-Eti enne du Mont. Midnight Mass. With organ. At the end: extin­
guishing of candles . [QJa,7]
The fact that film today articulates all problems of modem form-giving-under­
stood as questions of its own technical existence-and does so in the most
stringent, most concrete, most critical fashion, is important for the following
comparison of panoramas with this medium. "The vogue for panoramas, among
which the panorama of Boulogne was especially remarkable, corresponds to the:
vogue for cintmatographs today. The covered arcades, of the type of the Passage
des Panoramas, were also beginning their Parisian fortunes then." Marcel Fbete,
Une Vie de cili Paris {Paris, 1925), p. 326. (QJ a,8)
,J acques-Louis)
David exhorted his sludents to make 8tudi es of nature in tbe
"Many people inlagine that art can be perfected indefinitely. This is an error.
There is a limit at which it stops. And here is why: it is because the conditions in
which the imitation of nature is confined are immutable. One wants a picture­
that is to say, a Bat surface, surrounded or not surrounded by a frame-and on
this surface a representation produced exclusively by means of various colored
substances .. .. Within these conditions, which constitute the picture, everything
has been attempted. The most difficult problem was perfect relief, deep perspec­
tives carried to the most complete illusion. The stereoscope resolved it." A. J.
Wieru., Oeuure; /iltiraim (Paris, 1870), p. 364. This comment not onJy lhr'?\'IS an
interesting light 0 11 the points of view from which people looked at things like
stereoramas in those days; it also shows very clearly that the theory of "progress"
in tile arts is bound up with the idea of the imitation of nature, and must be
discussed in the context of this idea. {QP]
"Ibe multiple deployment of figures in the wax museum opens a way to the
colportage phenomenon of space and hence to the fundamental anlbigui ty of the
arcades. The wax statues and busts--of which one is today an emperor, tomor­
row a political subversive, and the next day a liveried attendant; of which another
represents today Julia Montague, tomorrow Marie Lafargue, the day after tomor­
row Madame Doumergue-all are in their proper place in these optical whisper­
ing·galleries. For Louis Xl , it is the Louvre; for Richard II, the Tower; for Abdel
Knill, the desert; and for Nero, Rome. 0 Flaneur D 1Q1,2]
Dioramas take the place of the magic lantem, which knew nothing of perspec­
tive, but witll which, of course, the magic of the light insinuated itself quite
differently into residences that were still poorly lit. "Lanteme magique!
curieuse!" With this cry, a peddler would travel through the streets in the evening
and, at a wave of the hand, step up intO dwellings where he operated his lantem .
The tifJiche for the first exhibition of posters still characteristically displays a
magic lantern. [Q7,3]
There was a georama for a while in the Ga lerie Colbert .-The georama ill the
fourteenth arrotldiuemellt contained II small -scale natural reproducti on of

IQf,' ]
1.11 the same year in which Daguerre invented photography, his diorama burned
down. 1839. 0 Precursors 0 [Q1,5]
There is an abundant literature whose stylistic character fonus an exact counter­
part to the dioramas, panoramas, and so forth. I refer to the feuilletonist misceUa­
and of sketches from midcentury. \\brks like La Grande Ville <The Big
City>, u Dlable aParis <The Devil in Paris>, us Franfais peinu par eux-memes
French as Painted by Themselves>. In a certain sense, they are moral
dlOrnmas-not only related to the others in their unscrupulous multiplicity, but
constructed JUSt like them. To the plastically worked, more or less
foreground of the diorama corresponds the sharply profiled feuilletonis­
uc vesturing of the social study, which latter supplies an extended background
analogous to the landscape in the dioranla. (!f,6]
sea-Mnever the sanle'" for Proust at Balbec, and the dioramas with their
lighting, which sets the day marching past the viewer at exactly the speed
wuh which it passes before the reader in Proust. Here, the highest and the lowest
of mimesis shake hands. [(!f,7l
Wax museum <PanoptiAum) a manifestation of the total work of art. The
ulU:rersalism of the nineteenth century has its monument in the wax\\-orks. Pan­
°pucon: not.onJy does one see everything, bUl one sees it in all ways. [(!f ,8]
I avalorarna." Eduard Devri ent, Briefe (I U.s Ptlri.s (Berl in, I&W), p. 57. 1Q1 .9]
Principal panorami c representati ons by Privost for the panoramas of " passage."
" Parill, Toulon, Rome, Naples, Am!l terdam, TIlsit, Wagram, Calais, Antwerp,
London, Florence, J erusalem, Hnd Athens. AU were conceived ill til e same man­
ner. His spectat ors, situa ted on a platform surrounded by a balustrade, as though
on the summit of a central bllilding, commanded a view of the entire hori:r;on. Each
canvas, affixed to the inner waU of a cylindri cal room, IIl1d a ci rcumference of 97
meters, 45 centi nleters, 2 millimetenl (300 fed ) and a lleight of 19 meters, 42
centinl etenl (60 feet ). Thus, the eigbteen panOramn8 by Prevost represent a Sur_
face area of 86,667 meters, 6 centimeten (224,000 feet )." LabedoUiere, fl u foire
du nouveau Paris (Pa ri s), p. 30.
In The Old Curiosity Shop. Dickens speaks of the " uncha ngi ng air of coldneu aDd
gentilit y" about the ",·axwork.
0 Dream House 0
Daguerre and the Academy " l..emercier . . gave me a ticket to II
publi c sellSion of tile Inst itute.... At thi s session he is going t o recite a poem about
Daguerre's machine <See Q3a, I> in order to revive int erest in the thing, for the
inventor lost his wllole appar atus in a fire in his room. And so, during my aojourn
in Paris, there was nothing to see of til e wondrous oper ation of tllis machine."
Eduard Devrient , BrieJe aILS Par;, (Berlin, 1840), p . 260 [letter of April 28, 1839].

In th