This new study of Baudelaire's writings is the first book to apply the principles of schizoanalysis to literary history and

cultural studies. By resituating psychoanalysis in its socioeconomic and cultural context, this framework provides a new and illuminating approach to the poetry and art criticism of the foremost French modernist. Professor Holland's book draws upon and transforms virtually the entire spectrum of recent Baudelaire scholarship, and demonstrates the impact of the capitalist market and Second Empire authoritarianism (as well as Baudelaire's much-discussed family circumstances) on the psychology and poetics of the writer, who abandoned his romantic idealism in favour of a modernist cynicism that has characterized modern culture ever since.




General editor: Malcolm Bowie (All Souls College, Oxford) Editorial Board: R. Howard Bloch (University of California, Berkeley), Ross Chambers (University of Michigan), Antoine Gompagnon (Columbia University), Peter France (University of Edinburgh), Toril Moi (Duke University), Naomi Schor (Duke University) Recent titles in this series include

The Rhetoric of Sexuality and the Literature of the French Renaissance

The Love Aesthetics of Maurice Sceve: Poetry and Struggle

Politeness and its Discontents: Problems in French Classical Culture

Subjectivity and Subjugation in Seventeenth-Century Drama and Prose: The Family Romance of French Classicism
37. 38. TOM CONLEY

The Graphic Unconscious in Early Modern French Writing

Baudelaire and Intertextuality: Poetry at the Crossroads

Justice and Difference in the Works of Rousseau: Bienfaisance and Pudeur

System and Writing in the Philosophy of Jacques Derrida

Politics and Narratives of Birth: Gynocolonization from Rousseau to Zola

The Discourse of Enlightenment in Eighteenth-Century France: Diderot and the Art of Philosophizing

Women Readers and the Ideology of Gender in Old French Verse Romance

Narration and Description in the French Realist Novel: The Temporality of Lying and Forgetting
A complete list of books in the series is given at the end of the volume.

The Sociopoetics of Modernism

Department of French and Italian, The Ohio State University



CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS Cambridge, New York, Melbourne, Madrid, Cape Town, Singapore, Sao Paulo Cambridge University Press The Edinburgh Building, Cambridge CB2 2RU, UK Published in the United States of America by Cambridge University Press, New York Information on this title: © Cambridge University Press 1993 This publication is in copyright. Subject to statutory exception and to the provisions of relevant collective licensing agreements, no reproduction of any part may take place without the written permission of Cambridge University Press. First published 1993 This digitally printed first paperback version 2006 A catalogue record for this publication is available from the British Library Library of Congress Cataloguing in Publication data Holland, Eugene W. Baudelaire and schizoanalysis: the sociopoetics of modernism / Eugene W. Holland, p. cm. - (Cambridge studies in French: 45) Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 0 521 41980 8 (hardback) 1. Baudelaire, Charles, 1821—1867 — Criticism and interpretation. 2. Literature and society - France - History - 19th century. 3. Modernism (Literature) - France. 4. Psychoanalysis and literature. I. Title. II. Series. PQ2191.Z5H65 1993 841'.8-dc20 92-35913 CIP ISBN-13 978-0-521-41980-2 hardback ISBN-10 0-521-41980-8 hardback ISBN-13 978-0-521-03134-9 paperback ISBN-10 0-521-03134-6 paperback

To the memory of my father .


Contents Preface Acknowledgments i Introduction Social decoding Psychological decoding Textual decoding page xi xvii i 11 17 30 PART I POETICS 2 Correspondences versus beauty The romantic cycle The beauty cycle Metonymy prevails 43 43 53 67 3 Spleen and evil "Spleen and Ideal" The spleen cycle The cycle of evil 80 80 86 96 PART II PSYGHOPOETIGS 4 Romantic temperament and "Spleen and Ideal" The psychodynamics of experience The early art criticism The psychopoetics of "Spleen and Ideal" 111 111 116 124 IX .

Contents Modernist imagination and the "Tableaux Parisiens" The The The The later art criticism introductory poems street scenes domestic scenes 137 139 148 157 166 PART III SOGIOPOETICS 6 Decoding and recoding in the prose poems Historical Others " Moral masochism " Historical masochism Borderline decoding Narcissistic recoding 177 177 186 190 197 209 7 The prose poem narrator Historicizing borderline narcissism Super-ego failure Ego disintegration Bohemia at the heart of bourgeois society Modernity as prostitution The prose poem narrator as borderline narcissist The prose poem narrator as programmer 221 221 222 230 236 242 248 251 8 Conclusion The metonymy of real reference and desire The historical emergence and dispersion of the imaginary The split structure of social life in modernity 258 266 267 274 Motes Select bibliography Index 278 296 303 .

he sees one single catastrophe which keeps piling wreckage upon wreckage and hurls it in front of his feet. His eyes are staring.Preface A Klee painting named " Angelus Novus" shows an angel looking as though he is about to move away from something he is fixedly contemplating. his wings are spread. feel like someone who sees little but bitter disappointment in the past. awaken the dead. dans les annees profondes. coudoye par les foules. Lost in a wasteland. et devant lui qu'un orage ou rien de neuf n'est contenu. This storm irresistibly propels him into the future to which his back is turned. nor grief. like someone being blown irresistibly backwards into the future. Charles Baudelaire2 Charles Baudelaire. his mouth is open.. jostled by the crowds. I am like a weary man who sees in the depths of the past behind him nothing but disappointment and bitterness. Walter Benjamin1 Perdu dans ce vilain monde. que desabusement et amertume. neither insight. and before him a storm that contains nothing new. and has got caught in his wings with such violence that the angel can no longer close them. ni douleur. and make whole what has been smashed. while the pile of debris before him grows skyward.. But a storm is blowing. His face is turned toward the past. ni enseignement. The angel would like to stay. This storm is what we call progress. je suis comme un homme lasse dont Poeil ne voit en arriere. Where we perceive a chain of events. too. This is how one pictures the angel of history. who can xi . c'est moil For I.

including the high-tech military-industrial complex. it recurs at the moment that democratic potential once again succumbs to the authoritarian realities of capitalism. the culmination of the oil crisis begun in 1974. World War II had generated a tremendous concentration of highly productive capital which the outbreak of peace risked leaving idle. curtailment of women's . more aggressive state action against labor. authoritarian phase of "capital /^-accumulation. the figure of Baudelaire provides such an image: Charles Baudelaire. But this liberalizing phase of "capital ^-accumulation" was soon reversed in the subsequent. Our own "moment of danger" did not arrive so punctually. So a period of liberal largesse followed. Benjamin speaks of "wish[ing] to retain that image of the past which unexpectedly appears to a man singled out by history at a moment of danger " .xii Preface only look aghast at the mounting piles of toxic waste and the growing numbers of homeless children that "progress" hurls at his feet. sponsoring waves of social innovation in the civil rights. only to be dashed by the founding of the Second Empire and the authoritarian reign of Napoleon III. and counter-culture movements while bankrolling "consumer society" in order to keep the wheels of industry turning. anti-war." triggered by the oil crises of 1974-81: funding for social. am someone who has witnessed authoritarian capitalism in the Reagan/Bush/Thatcher era crush the Utopian promise of a more democratic society under its boot-heel.3 for him." as this study will show. I. too. c'est nousl Baudelaire's historical "moment of danger. Its corresponding dates might be 1968. and Hitler those Benjamin shared in the 1930s. and 1981. cultural. boom-and-bust rhythm of capital accumulation. just as Napoleon III destroyed the democratic ideals Baudelaire shared in the 1840s. the height of the antiauthoritarian counter-cultural "revolution". revolved around Napoleon's coup d'etat of December 1851: the romantic-socialist hopes fueling the Revolution of 1848 seemed on the verge of becoming reality in the Second Republic. as for me. and political innovation was ruthlessly cut off in order to be reinvested in instruments of capital's self-expansion. This recurring nightmare is no historical accident: within the cyclical.

it is a recognition of our shared socio-historical situation and the resulting psychological configuration (here designated as "borderline narcissism") — a configuration that is epitomized in his works. in the two cases. the contrast between the two phases is strikingly similar. c'est moi" is not a statement of identification with Baudelaire as an individual (with whom I personally have very little in common: I did not lose my father at the age of five. not a melancholic bachelor. Though the transformation itself was not as dramatic as the coup d'etat of Baudelaire's day. but at twenty-seven." Baudelaire's own. This is the form of temporality emphasized by Lacan in the notion of "deferred action" (Freud's Nachtrdglichkeit). and so on). but only memories of childhood. but which is more or less characteristic of everyone living in market society. but a professional cultural historian.for whom there exist not memories from childhood. From this perspective. to "grasp the constellation which [our] own era has formed with a specific earlier one.Preface xiii and civil rights. in Benjamin's words.for whom " the anatomy of the human is the key to the anatomy of the ape " . That those conditions still exist and capitalist authoritarianism has not ceased recurring enables us. and to suffer the emergence of a specifically capitalist form of authoritarianism. Rather than a statement of personal identification. and so on. Hence Baudelaire's lasting acclaim as the "lyric poet in the era of high capitalism" (as Benjamin put it). but a happily married husband and father. For he was among the first to diagnose the conditions of existence typical of modernity. I am not a destitute poete maudit. and equally dispiriting.4 Schizoanalysis insists on restoring the full range of social and historical factors to psychoanalytic explanations of psychic structure and proclivities. and by Benjamin in his critique of historicism: . This inclusion is possible largely because of a certain notion of temporality that is shared by Marx . the claim that "Charles Baudelaire. That similarity made this schizoanalytic study of Baudelaire possible.and by Freud . At the same time. schizoanalysis insists on including psychodynamic factors in historical materialist explanations of social structure and cultural change.

Historical recurrence never amounts to sheer repetition. sadism. The Lacanian school is a special case: schizoanalysis draws heavily on Lacan. he grasps the constellation which his own era has formed with a specific earlier one.5 This form of temporality is crucial to schizoanalysis. before being treated as psychological ones. In focusing on Baudelaire. An historian who takes this as his point of departure stops telling the sequence of events like the beads of a rosary. I have been unable to do justice here to all the complexities of schizoanalysis." but because of historical dynamics specific to capitalism. however canonical he has become: it will take yet another book to show why the cultural masochism he shared with Masoch himself was not exceptional. and to show indeed that masochism. as it were. but to extract what is useful for the purposes of historical analysis and social change. yet insists that even a stance conducive to profoundly radical (not to say revolutionary) therapy nonetheless risks appearing profoundly and " tragically" reactionary if transported into the domain of historical study unchanged. But no fact that is a cause is for that reason alone historical. and narcissism are all fundamentally historical and cultural phenomena. In focusing on Baudelaire alone. is that authoritarianism recurs in modernity. unavoidably made him appear to be more of a special case historically speaking than he really is. through events that may be separated from it by thousands of years. nonetheless. What a schizoanalytic study focusing on Baudelaire is able to demonstrate. but part of a larger pattern in late nineteenth-century history. however: it always entails repetition with a difference. Let me say in passing that the point of schizoanalysis is not to enter (much less settle) disputes among competing schools of psychoanalytic therapy or doctrine. as well. Instead. although the present study explores its psychodynamic more than its socio-historical implications. I have also. against my best intentions.xiv Preface Historicism contents itself with establishing a causal connection between the various moments in history. that is the aim of my next book. and that it does so not merely because of "man's eternal inhumanity to man. It became historical posthumously. Merely to draw parallels between 1848/51 and .

The point of doing schizoanalysis is not just to interpret history. anti-aestheticist reading of Baudelaire." In repudiating romanticism. As a postmodern intervention. and so on. Baudelaire formulated his distinctive modernism in repudiation of romanticism . we are now struggling to repudiate modernism in the name of something called the "postmodern. for example. Baudelaire rejected the romantic commitment to nature and woman in favor of misogyny and urban artifice. real postmodernism will not occur by fiat. However out of favor it may be in some circles of high modernist criticism today. for personally I do. and however complex our understanding of it has become (thanks in part to that very criticism). how do they look after suchand-such occurs? How. for most of the institutions reflecting and supporting modernism are still very much in force today. inasmuch as modernism has roots in Baudelaire. Hence the explicitly narrative cast of my reading of Baudelaire and his modernist repudiation of narrative. there are . then. this schizoanalytic study aims instead to produce a resolutely anti-historicist. any postmodernism worthy of more than the mere name will have to be feminist and environmentalist. having had more than a century since Baudelaire's time to consolidate themselves. narrative remains a fundamental form of human thought. one that is simply indispensable for thinking through historical change: things looked a certain way before.6 Repudiating modernism is not easy. one that in the face of historical contingency willingly assumes the risk of appearing "partial" or "dated. modern (ist) disciplines are still organized to produce knowledge of literature for literature's sake. but to change it. Within the academy. or amount to nothing at all. after more than a century of market rule. does the modernity we still share with Baudelaire look after modernism? At the very emergence of market society in France. of history for history's sake.Preface xv 1968/81 would be no better than noting similarities in myth criticism or establishing causal connections in historicism. of art for art's sake." This is not to say that I do not appreciate the lasting beauty of Baudelaire's poetry. But I am someone who feels that in moments of danger.

too. I have succeeded only in talking about myself.and I am convinced that Baudelaire was. It would certainly mean more to say that it is Baudelaire who was talking about me. intending to talk about Baudelaire. Michel Butor7 . Some may consider that.xvi Preface more important things to talk about . He is talking about you.

S. xvn . Most deserving of thanks and acknowledgment are my wife. whose bibliographic input over the years I am pleased to acknowledge. Faith M. Dick Bjornson and Vassilis Lambropoulos read the manuscript early on. I am most grateful for generous support and encouragement in those early stages from Gilles Deleuze in Paris and Michel de Certeau in La Jolla. it is a pleasure to recall their enthusiasm and contributions. expert advice. too. Dick Terdiman. and I would like to thank Charles G. Bandy Center for Baudelaire Studies at Vanderbilt University. Nancy Armstrong and Sabra Webber provided shrewd insights into the publishing process. and to the W. whose clinical and political insights into schizophrenia and capitalism. Eliza Segura-Holland. Williams. and our daughter. Holland.Acknowledgments The ideas for this book first took shape in independent study with Chuck Wiz and Brenda Thompson at the University of California at San Diego. for all his help as chairperson and senior colleague. and whose spirited intellectual companionship and unstinting support were crucial to writing this book. Ross Chambers. T. and Fred Jameson deserve special recognition for their careful readings. who showed consideration far beyond her years: I thank them both with all my heart. and/or welcome encouragement at various later stages of the writing process: I cannot thank them enough. Lauren Louise Holland. Several valuable secondary sources were recommended by my mother. My thanks for research assistance go to Medha Karmarkar of Ohio State. giving sound advice and much-appreciated encouragement.


the techniques of modernism and advertising are one and the same.A n d what would be the cost to our historical understanding of Baudelaire and modernism. The modernist attempt to salvage or forge some domain of authenticity over and against the wasteland of commercial culture has been swallowed whole by commercialism itself: " defamiliarization. is now a wellworn advertising technique. the assimilation of modernism itself into mainstream culture — conditions that were not met in mid . no: advertising and modernism were only in their infancy in Baudelaire's day. a measure of sophistication and sheer desperation on the part of advertisers." as the Russian Formalists termed the renewal of perception through aesthetic innovation and willed distance from the ordinary.CHAPTER I Introduction " Au fond de l'lnconnu pour trouver du nouveau!" To the depths of the unknown to find something new: is this the battle cry of modernism or an advertising slogan? Could it be both? What reading procedures would distinguish absolutely between the t w o ? . from standard-brand beer to haute couture perfume. it has by now become commonplace. their merger presupposes a degree of commercial oversaturation and sophistication on the part of consumers. of elite and mass culture may once have seemed. used to confer an aura of novelty and exoticism on the most familiar and banal of commodities. were such procedures to succeed? However scandalous the alleged identity of high and low. But can the same be said for Baudelaire himself? In one sense. For us (and this realization surely counts as one signal of our postmodern condition).

Yet in another sense. metaphoric rather than metonymic in form. Baudelaire's poetics defies these readings. embodied in discourses that are. for despite the notoriously varied and often contradictory positions taken by Baudelaire himself. for Baudelaire became acutely aware of the complicity between his modernist poetics and the very market society that modernism had set out to baffle and surpass. the prose poems in particular are highly selfconscious of their inextricable relations with the commercial context. This is not an entirely new claim about Baudelaire.2 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis nineteenth-century France. has condemned modernism as a " reified " cultural form characteristic of market society under bourgeois rule. Walter Benjamin characterized Baudelaire as the quintessential "lyric poet in the era of high capitalism. however. The call to explore the unknown in search of the new concludes the second of Baudelaire's three published collections of poetry (comprising the first and second editions of Les Fleurs du Mai and the posthumous edition of the Petits Poemes en prose): seen as the culmination of Baudelaire's work in verse. based on epistemologies of identity rather than difference. it may well appear as a purely modernist gesture. . Yet in some important ways. it appears quite differently. reflections on the relations between modernism and commercial culture appear throughout Baudelaire's writings. and this modernist poetics ultimately diagnoses both Benjamin's and Lukacs's critical perspectives as premodern: as metaphysical rather than ironic. ' 5l Georg Lukacs.was and is incomprehensible apart from the transformation of culture and lived experience by the rapid installation of market society in SecondEmpire France. is that the emergence of modernism for Baudelaire himself as well as for us . then. in studies of somewhat broader scope. Read in light of his later work. in the terms of this study. My claim. nor about modernism.2 Both provide crucial insights into the relations between Baudelairean modernism and market capitalism as they emerged in mid nineteenth-century France. the development of Baudelairean modernism entails an unmistakable evolution away from the poetics of metaphor in the direction of metonymy.

but only half right: the Baudelairean poet. He construes Baudelaire as a transitional figure who managed to salvage lyric poetry from market society's implacable erosion of shared culture and collective memory. without ever completely identifying with either. But the characteristic Baudelairean defense mechanism. thus turns out to be right. happened to occur in reaction to Napoleon Ill's founding of the Second Empire on the ruins of the Second Republic. Baudelaire was bound to "find the reader at whom his work was aimed" (p. and particularly the narrator in the prose poem collection. One result will be the exploration of an explicitly anti-lyric poetry. Benjamin shows how the development of a hyperconscious defense against the shocks of modern city life served Baudelaire as a resource for generating specifically modernist lyric poetry from modern urban experience itself. Baudelaire's own shift from high-anxiety hyperconsciousness to psychic splitting. It also explains why. especially evident in the prose poem collection.Introduction 3 Benjamin's study nonetheless constitutes an indispensable point of departure. as Benjamin put it.and in Baudelaire criticism. One of Benjamin's central insights. modern personality in market society. I will argue. a quite distinct defense mechanism with very different psychodynamics. evolves beyond Benjamin's shock-defense toward splitting. but such splitting thereafter conforms to and illuminates one of the basic structures of capitalist society: the radical split between production and consumption that pits buyers against sellers in market transactions. By bringing Freud's theories of perception and memory into contact with the material circumstances of Second-Empire Paris. 109): the . occupies the split positions of buyer and seller in turn. as it appears in the "Tableaux Parisiens" section of the second edition of Les Fleurs du Mai and throughout the Petits Poemes en prose. by recourse to strictly personal recollection. This helps make sense of the bewildering disparity of opinion found in Baudelaire . that Baudelaire as lyric poet of high capitalism viscerally identified with the melancholic commodity seeking buyers on the open market. Such psychic splitting and the disintegration of experience epitomized in Baudelaire's writings are basic configurations of postromantic.

" Lukacs diagnoses the impact of the market on social activity and cognition: market society is characterized by the predominance of exchange-value over use-value. the direct and total representation of history characteristic of realism drops away. In studying the novel. With his key concept of " reification. in the same historical framework as the poetically very different." for example." which promptly falls prey to advertising in nascent market culture. Lukacs concludes that the impact of exchange and specialization on cognition is disastrous: the cognitive use-value of cultural instruments such as the novel deteriorates sharply. even if we discount Lukacs's visceral dislike of modernism and his preference for prose fiction over poetry as irrelevant for our purposes. Some such periodization is indispensable for understanding Baudelaire.4 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis split "structure of experience" (p. the triumph of exchange-value meant that buyers lose all shared "organic" connections to goods and must rely instead on personal "taste. distinguishes very sharply between modernism and movements such as romanticism and realism that preceded it. since the vocation of the realist novel he champions is to represent the totality of historical development in a given period for the purpose of understanding. with only a hope that the "invisible hand" of the market will knit specialized work and partial perspectives back together to produce a superior outcome. 110) conveyed in the work of this exceptional poet has become the rule in modern capitalist society. The melancholy of the poet's identification with the commodity in search of buyers reflects his loss of connection with an increasingly anonymous public of consumers. Exchange-based social relations fragment and specialize social activity and cognition. Lukacs is more interested in the effects of reification on cognition. he situates the early sonnet " Correspondances. Benjamin conflates distinct stages in Baudelaire's evolution from romanticism to modernism." Lukacs. In addition to its deleterious results in the economic sphere. later prose poem "Perte d'aureole. abandoning the genre to evolve auto- . For Benjamin. by contrast. In overlooking the distinction between shock-defense and psychic splitting.

the repudiation of woman as "natural" and of passion. The thorough-going overhaul of European society by the market changes the very texture of prose fiction: the author shifts from the position of participant (for whom narrating history has use-value) to that of observer (whose relation both to historical content and to narrative itself is mediated by exchange-value). linear narrative is explicitly and utterly repudiated. Lukacs's account of the emergence of modernism construes authors as passive occupants of positions determined by economic processes alone. In Baudelaire. The repudiation of historical narration belongs to a set of disavowals of youthful enthusiasm that. at the start of the prose poem collection. The declared intention of an early version of the verse collection that became Les Fleurs du Mai had in fact been to "trace the history of the spiritual agitations of modern youth".Introduction 5 nomously in accordance with strictly internal. and of any supposed "harmony" with nature in favor of the artificial (which is one reason Benjamin is so wrong to locate " Correspondances" in the same historical field as "Perte d'aureole"). define the emergence of Baudelairean modernism: the repudiation of romanticism. spontaneity associated with the feminine. this narrative design is more and more firmly suppressed in the successive editions of the verse collection. in favor of a virulent if inconsistent misogyny. of nature. But Baudelairean modernism does not involve a passive loss of cognitive access to reality. For all its explanatory breadth and illumination of market culture. ultimately. primarily aesthetic laws of development. these disavowals amount to a repudiation of history itself: of the . in favor of pseudoaristocratic cynicism and disdain. political engagement. but the active repudiation of any direct representation of the historical process. inspiration. the repudiation of democratic aspirations. Modernism for Lukacs represents the epitome of reification in high culture. taken together. and hope for a better future. the dominant textual mode shifts from narration to description. the reactionary political views of a Balzac have absolutely no bearing on the cognitive use-value of his realism (just as the progressive views of a Zola have no redeeming impact on his naturalism). So for Lukacs.

1848) prompts the repudiation of that tradition and of romanticism as its penultimate cultural expression. he is now forced to sell himself (as prostitute). But he thereby privileges in the Baudelairean corpus and in his own mode of analysis the very poetic mode associated with romanticism that Baudelaire ultimately rejects.a constant threat to all under capitalism . Modernism is constituted on that repudiation. and collapses very different stages of development into the unity of a single historical period. the rise to power of Napoleon III resonates most fully in the public texts (including the journals and notebooks). and functionalizes the unity of .acquaints him intimately with the contradictory extremes of market existence: once a consummate buyer (as dandy). Of all the many disappointments in Baudelaire's life. In a very revealing phrase. 1830. Lukacs identifies writers with their position in an economic process (reification). my emphasis). Financial dispossession . Benjamin identifies Baudelaire in terms of a unified personality-type (the melancholic). are vitiated by an overweening emphasis on identity. Benjamin at one point says that "the shock experience which the passer-by has in the crowd corresponds to what the worker 'experiences' at his machine" (p.3 Similarly. Utter dismay at the mass-authoritarian outcome of a purportedly democratic revolutionary tradition (1789. valuable as they may be. and especially of the coup d'etat that finally dashed those hopes and led directly to the Second Empire. which fills the private correspondence: the loss of his paternal inheritance to a trusteeship imposed by his stepfather and mother. and it continues to inform our "modern structure of experience " as long as the contradiction remains between the democratic promise and the authoritarian realities of capitalist society. Benjamin's and Lukacs's insights. 134.6 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis revolutionary hopes of 1848 he shared with so many romantics. it finds an uncanny echo in the other major disappointment of his life. This singular coincidence makes Baudelaire the preeminent poet of modernity. This private humiliation at the hands of his stepfather is compounded by the virtually simultaneous public humiliation of the democratic ideals of the Second Republic at the hands of Emperor Napoleon III.

in a word. even though history itself is nowhere represented as such in the poetic works themselves. that seeks differences rather than presupposing identity between of whose results is precisely the modernist repudiation of linear-progressive historical narration.Introduction 7 the literary text as representing the coherence of historical development. is to read the texts of Baudelaire in a relation to their historical contexts that is metonymic rather than metaphoric in nature. any more than it merely reflects the process of reification to which Lukacs attributes modernism: it also includes a complex of reactions to specific historical experience and developments — the sting of poverty and the lure of advertising in an increasingly commercial culture. but a split subject occupying or manifesting a number of different "personalities" and traversing two or more moments of historical development.whose effects are legible throughout the Baudelairean corpus. the series of three published poetry collections does not directly represent history. the rapid transformation of Paris and the dynamics of modern urban life .5 To this end I will focus on the differences between the first and second editions of Les . requiringfurther differentiation. finally. My aim.i.e. the auspicious overthrow of Louis-Philippe and the scandalous rise to power of Napoleon III in a nascent democracy. but will be read in relation to and as part of a larger historical development to be reconstructed .to account for changes (relations of difference) within the texts. that constructs an " absent cause" (to invoke Althusser's term) . without presuming that literary discourse faithfully represents a history which takes place outside the text itself.4 Baudelaire's texts. historical developments not represented in the texts . Such psychic splitting does not simply "correspond" to the social conditions Benjamin cites in explanation of the shock-defense. The name "Baudelaire" designates not a single personality or personality-type. These identifications are not so much wrong as necessarily incomplete. This study thus answers the deconstructive challenge to produce a literary history that is truly responsive to historical events. are not unified but dispersed.

by contrast. The figure of "The Voyage" (the title of the final poem of the collection) combines two basic poetic principles explored in the course of Les Fleurs du Mai: the metonymy of time and the metonymy of space. in metonymic proximity to modern Paris. The " Tableaux Parisiens " section. Ever since Barbey d'Aurevilly's famous remark attributing a "secret architecture" to Les Fleurs du Mai. Baudelaire scholarship has explored the question of the supposed structure of the verse collection. to paraphrase Baudelaire. as a purely linear succession of isolated moments. specific changes were made for the second edition of Les Fleurs du Mai (including but not limited to the removal of the six poems banned from the first edition by the state). of course. the Petits Po'emes en prose differentiates itself from the verse collection by taking some of the same titles and themes. situates the poet spatially.8 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis Fleurs du Mai and on the differences between them and the prose collection. the entropic gloom of "Spleen" culminates in "The Clock" ("L'Horloge" LXXXVII).only different. At the end of the "Spleen and Ideal" section. combines the . to travel via the medium of poetry. Poetry here depends on the chance encounters that befall the poet who maintains unflinching contact with the turbulent urban milieu. And the orientation given to these differences is a sometimes halting but nonetheless insistent shift in Baudelairean poetics away from metaphor toward metonymy. Traveling. each signaling the poet's imminent demise. was to be the Fleurs du Mai all over again . Time is depicted here metonymically.7 Baudelaire's own characterization may be more revealing: he spoke not of a structure with a secret architecture but of a book "with a beginning and an end. unredeemed by any prospect of salvation. unconjoined by any life-project.6 These differences are not random: in response to a host of personal and historical circumstances. where unremitting time counts down "thirty-six hundred times an hour" the meaningless seconds leading to death." 8 And it is a book whose final poem issues a ringing challenge to explore the unknown in search of the new. but giving them very different treatment in prose: the prose collection.

zero-degree plot structure when any more elaborate pretext for narration would appear contrived and therefore undesirable. opposing the romantic. Robbe-Grillet) become one of the few remaining touchstones of modernist narrative." and the "Tableaux Parisiens" section itselfwere added to the second edition of Les Fleurs du Mai. decoding is a basic feature of capitalism.Introduction 9 temporal succession of moments with the spatial succession of places: following Baudelaire. in individual psychodynamics. 11 The range and power of this term arise from their transcription of diverse social. Important scholarship on the predominance of metonymy over metaphor in Baudelaire's work has tended to distribute this opposition over his two major collections. a kind of lastditch. poststructuralist semiotics they call "schizoanalysis. and in the socio-economic and . They serve to reinforce the predominance of metonymy that is already legible in the rhetoric and organization of poems in the first edition. It is significant that all of these poems . and that the move from the stable oppositions of romanticism into the exhilarating uncertainties of modernity is as central to the verse collection as it is characteristic of the latter's relation to the prose collection." According to Deleuze and Guattari. I aim to show that the departure from romanticism is already legible in early poems of Les Fleurs du Mai. metonymic poetics of the prose collection. or more accurately. psychological." L e Voyage. informs the first. they add a thematics of metonymy for the second edition to the poetics of metonymy that already. metaphoric poetics of the verse collection to the modernist.9 By focusing attention on the changes Baudelaire made for the second edition of verse.10 While the concept of metonymy enables us to trace the development of Baudelairean poetics across the three major collections. explanation of this trajectory depends on a concept of "decoding" derived from the work of Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari." "L'Horloge. it would (via Rimbaud and Gide. if somewhat more obscurely. Butor. and cultural phenomena into a historical. the aim here is to demonstrate its operation in texts and other cultural artifacts. in Beckett.

Decoding. It refers instead to processes which disrupt and subvert the very functioning of codes altogether. for the sake of exposition." the concept of metonymy cuts across various domains: I draw most directly on the linguistic and psychoanalytic uses of the term . Although Deleuze and Guattari almost never employ the term "metonymy." From the Petits Poemes en prose." I have found it useful in bringing their notion of "decoding" into simultaneous contact with the poetics and the psychodynamics of Baudelaire's texts. In order to make intensive analysis of individual poems manageable in an extensive treatment of the historical evolution of Baudelairean poetics. Baudelaire and schizoanalysis cultural dynamics of market society. through the psychological (Part II: Psychopoetics). moving from the textual (Part I: Poetics). The succeeding parts of the book then examine Baudelaire's works in each of these domains. the psychological. there I reconsider the work of Baudelaire as an " apparatus of registration " for the processes of decoding characteristic of capitalist society at the emergence of modernism. our analysis will move through the verse collection (Parts I and II) to the prose collection (Part III) . I have selected poems that most clearly register the psychic splitting produced by metonymic decoding in its characteristically modernist form. "encoded" message into a more familiar code so as to enable or improve comprehension. At the same time.even though both collections are marked by historical context and equally affected by the metonymy of decoding. the additions and rearrangement of poems at the end of the "Spleen and Ideal" section. and the textual. Like "decoding. the inclusion of a new section entitled "Tableaux Parisiens. to the socio-historical (Part III: Sociopoetics). This introductory chapter outlines the functioning of decoding in these three domains: the social. I leave to the concluding chapter some methodological reflections on another schizoanalytic category I have found especially useful. in the sense it is used here. has nothing to do with the process of translating an incomprehensible. I focus in Les Fleurs du Mai almost exclusively (though not exhaustively) on the revisions Baudelaire made for the second (1861) edition: the additions to the cycle of poems devoted to beauty.

metonymy proves useful in this regard because it involves both time and space. and their degree of instability varies historically. Codes are not always equally unstable or "undecidable": rather. For poststructuralism. where they serve as the very basis of social order. they are relatively unstable. Codes are central to other modes of production. that social codes become widely unstable. they also conflict among themselves. For and multiple. according to schizoanalysis. the general priority of social conditioning over individual expression (of langue over parole) and of code/structure over message/substance. As the figure of travel in "Le Voyage" suggests. It is especially under capitalism. schizoanalysis accepts many of the basic tenets of structuralism: the importance of languagelike codes of behavior and signification. unstable nature of social codes. overlap and leave interstices. They are of secondary importance under capitalism. Schizoanalysis is at the same time a resolutely historical semiotics: it does not merely participate in poststructuralism. Its jfro^structuralism lies in the denial that various codes ever "add up " to compose a stable signifying structure or social order. The point is not that behavior and practices are no longer understood to be governed by structure. both duration and context. decoding is important because it magnifies the interstices. both desire and reference. enabling trajectories of decoding such as Baudelaire's to intensify and proliferate.the basis of surplus-value — count for more than similarities between . it also proposes to account for its emergence historically.Introduction 11 developed in the work of Roman Jakobson and Jacques Lacan. codes are not only internally conflicted and ultimately incomplete. As a poststructuralist semiotics. but that structures are heterogeneous . but on the "cash nexus" of the market. measurable quantities . SOCIAL DECODING The inherent instability of codes is magnified under capitalism because its social organization depends not on codes. because here differentials between abstract. illuminating and aggravating the non-cumulative.

decoding replaces the experience of sensible qualities with measurable quantities. Operating in this case in the sphere of empirical science. decoded difference prevails over coded identity. First of all. however." decoding does not inhere in some properly sociological development peculiar to institutions or culture. but in the allpervasive role of the market under capitalism. It is the market. and so forth.12 Social decoding. reducing them to more strictly calculable. where reason replaces superstition. while there may be a gain in manipulability of the empirical world to be had through "rationalized" attention to "primary" rather than "secondary" qualities. Hence the predilection for difference and metonymy in poststructuralism. as Fredric Jameson has remarked. There are. and in line with Lukacs's similar rewriting of rationalization as " reification. The sensual experience of the color called " r e d " has become in Locke's empiricist view a mere "secondary " quality. With the predominance of exchange-value.t h e process. which is a critical perspective derived in large part from the modernist and avant-garde cultural movements of nascent market society to begin with. as market society in Marx's phrase "strips the halo" from previous forms of social intercourse.13 The distinction drawn by the English Enlightenment philosopher John Locke between "primary" and "secondary" qualities illustrates the process of decoding very aptly. . epitomized in the Enlightenment. has certain affinities with what Max Weber called "rationali z a t i o n " . but an abstract quantity: a range of the color-spectrum determined by measuring the wave-lengths of the light reflected. the price to be paid for such rationalization is the "disenchantment" of the world we inhabit as sentient human beings.the basis of metaphor and of codes.12 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis sensible qualities . which is rendered strictly meaningless in the process. two important differences between rationalization and decoding. induction and deduction replace story-telling. commercial concerns. quantity replaces quality. As Weber suggests. The corresponding "primary quality" is (in our sense of the term) not a quality at all. by which the familiar world of experience is subjected to " rational" explanation (science) and administration (bureaucracy).

In their analysis of the dynamics of the market. for the analysis of literature and culture. In the course of expansion.14 The first and still most fundamental forms of capitalist decoding bear on labor and wealth. (Recoding is a term Deleuze and Guattari rarely use themselves. whether that take the form of rational explanation or something else. of labor power needing work. In Baudelaire's lifetime-the "take-off" period of French industrial capitalism . is decoded by the "ob- . Industrial capitalism presupposes a critical mass of workers divorced from any means of gainful employment and a critical mass of wealth available for gainful investment. defining the legal status and relations offeree obtaining between workers and private property. the bracketing or subordination of meaning so as to enable calculation. for instance.) Underlying both decoding and recoding lies the process of " axiomatization.decoding. "Recoding" designates an attendant process of re-endowing experience stripped of its "original" meaning with some semblance of significance." Decoding designates the "de-mystifying" operations entailed in rationalization.Introduction 13 as the very matrix of social organization under capitalism and through its systematic subordination of use-value to exchangevalue. and recoding pervade the cultural sphere: the synthetic perspective of the subscription newspaper written for a homogeneous audience of like-minded subscribers. linking technology to continual improvement in efficiency of the means of production." which orchestrates decoding and sponsors recoding according to the logic of the capitalist economy. that fosters decoding by "constantly revolutionizing production [and consumption] " in the pursuit of surplus-value. since they consider capitalism to be at bottom completely meaningless. it emerges when the basic capitalist axiom conjoins the one decoded mass. other axioms are added: those of empirical science. those of state policy and the judicial systems. with the other: the mass of wealth to be invested as capital in means of production. Deleuze and Guattari distinguish three moments within the process named by the single terms "rationalization" and "reification. it proves indispensable. however. axiomatization. and so forth.

the impact of the market on mid nineteenth-century French society is particularly sudden and severe.15 At the same time (with textile manufacturing among the first sectors of the French economy to become capitalist). the bankers shall rule!" cried one new minister. Baudelaire's relations to the market are considerably more complex than the reactionary Balzac's straightforward condemnation. When the July Revolution installed the "Bourgeois Monarchy" of Louis-Philippe in 1830. This may amount simply to making the best of a bad situation.16 The reaction of the French cultural elite to the rule of the market is correspondingly acute: Flaubert remarks that "all of society has been prostituted" (adding ironically. they also comprised the first proto-mass market for military suppliers and outfitters (notably for uniforms). however. the implacable subversion of an older social order by the forces of the market registers as the valorization of prostitution over and against all morality and convention. "but the prostitutes themselves least of all"). before him. Napoleon's mass-levy armies not only revolutionized early modern European warfare. fashion becomes a veritable industry: henceforth advertising must continually recode consumer preferences to stimulate retail trade and absorb increasing quantities of mass-produced merchandise . as documented in La Come'die humaine. market forces stifled under the Restoration burst forth and ran rampant: "Henceforth. For Baudelaire.what Baudelaire referred to as the "damaged goods of a good-for-nothing age" ("produitsavariesd'unsiecle vaurien" "L'Ideal" [xvm]. Balzac had already made prostitution the general figure for emergent capitalist social relations. and the Bourbon Restoration then succeeded in slowing the conversion of military markets to broader civilian ones in its efforts to restore landed wealth to its former position of privilege over manufacturing and the bourgeoisie. whether "The Voyage" . but to the modernist. But the defeat of Napoleon of course dispersed that market. 1-2). Due to contingent historical circumstances.14 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis jective" reporting of isolated facts in the mass-circulation newspapers produced for the market and sold indiscriminately to anonymous readers on the street.

Such repudiation can best be understood as a cultural ramification of the decoding inherent in modernity itself: the aim of modernist formal innovation would in this light be to accelerate the decoding unleashed by market forces so radically as to prevent its ever being axiomatized and recoded in the service of capital accumulation. and modernism to that extent has failed. as does the Lukacs of " Reification and Class Consciousness. to psychodynamics." Enfer ou Ciel. and the ones fabricated in moments of recoding. The second major difference between the concepts of rationalization/reification and decoding/recoding is that the latter construe the process not thematically. is a locus of decoding and recoding.) One aim of the present study." but semiotically. as it is in the case of Baudelaire. as does Weber. Although the basic axioms of capitalism are a-semiotic — they involve a calculus of differentials among pure quantities — axiomatization is imbricated on both sides with sign-systems: the ones it subverts in the process of decoding. 143-44) . (That capital has largely succeeded in recuperating this gambit. in any case. too. to forms of textuality and poetics. A major advantage of using semiotic terms rather than rationalization/reification is that they do not refer to bureaucratic or economic processes alone: culture.Introduction 15 leads through heaven or hell no longer matters . And while rationalization/reification does account well for the tendency of the arts in market society to become autonomous and progress each according to its own formal laws of development. and they are therefore detectable in the psyche and in literary texts as well as in social institutions. Once a critical threshold of decoding has been crossed. is as I have suggested a telling sign of our postmodern condition. qu'importe? / Au fond de l'lnconnu pour trouver du nouveauV (cxxvi. nor epistemologically. it does not account for the modernist repudiation of modernity which gives force and direction to that development. the system of codes (or "socio- .a s long as it leads to novelty forever. 11. is to show how the notion of decoding can serve to designate and explore the interrelations among phenomena ranging from socio-economic processes.

In a perfectly organized symbolic order (were such a thing possible). Baudelaire. Taking leave of movements such as romanticism and realism. and aiming crucially for poetic rather than cognitive effects.16 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis symbolic order") comprising a culture implodes. all reference would pass through the defiles of the established grid of signification or master-code.17 Baudelaire's case epitomizes one important effect of the collapse of socio-symbolic order: the referential function of discourse becomes less completely mediated by a relatively coherent set of codes. like the public execration of works by Courbet and Manet. eschews established aesthetic codes to make reference to modern realities in some of his most charac- . too. man and woman. disclose the generally hostile reaction to reference outside the accepted aesthetic codes of Second-Empire France. 19 Though in a conventionally opposed sphere of culture. phenomena. Yet the goal of unmediated contact with reality is the informing principle of positivism.all lose their stability and henceforth float freely. at least hopelessly out-dated). A premodernist like Balzac bemoans the loss of stable signification resulting from decoding (and in retrospect appears on this issue to be. experience would be understood according to the accepted definitions of good and evil. nature and culture. Baudelaire rails against the "esprit de systeme" and proudly claims the right of self-contradiction. and so forth. 18 Of course. the modernist will try to make the most of modern instability: his works both exploit and aggravate it. real and fictitious. the reception accorded modernists illustrates the obverse: the censorship trials of Flaubert and Baudelaire himself. For better and for worse. which emerges not coincidentally at just the same moment as literary modernism in France. sacred and profane . decoding fosters reference to reality against the grain or through the cracks of social master-codes. all events. if not downright reactionary. and the binary oppositions that once structured and sustained it no longer hold: good and evil. subject to dizzying reversals and perverse appropriations. base and noble. completely unmediated contact with reality would be just as unproductive as a perfectly organized code is impossible.

The poetics of real reference in the second edition of Les Fleurs du Mai will be examined in Parts 1 and 11. Lacan's linguistic symbolic order is ruled by a law of signification governing opposition. equivalence." and into the "Tableaux Parisiens. inasmuch as Weber and Lukacs have been translated into semiotic terms as well. the elaboration of personal codes in its place becomes possible and necessary. and substitution: its fun- . PSYCHOLOGICAL DECODING The second major effect of the collapse of socio-symbolic order is psychological rather than referential.Introduction 17 teristically modern works. inasmuch as individuals (and groups) are forced or enabled to compensate for the demise of comprehensive public codes with local. this explains the importance of the term "recoding" for cultural study. First of all. Baudelaire (one among many) will thus place individual "temperament" at the center of his understanding of contemporary art and criticism." Given the modernist repudiation of direct historical representation. citing Baudelaire precisely as a prime example. private codes of their own devising. their translation of Lacan's structurallinguistic version of psychoanalysis into fully semiotic terms enables us to discuss socio-economic and psychological processes in a single terminology. as we have said. the shifting dynamics of real reference in the poetry are considerably illuminated by consideration (in Part 11) of the more programmatic statements Baudelaire made about reference and modernity in his art criticism. two moments of their dialogue with Lacan are particularly important. As the coherence of the socio-symbolic order succumbs to decoding. In the same vein. For our purposes.20 The analysis of psychodynamics in market society in terms of decoding and recoding draws on the work of Jacques Lacan and especially on Deleuze and Guattari's critique of orthodox psychoanalysis in the Anti-Oedipus. through "Spleen and Ideal. Michel Foucault takes the heroic invention of self through its relation to the present moment of history to be the characteristically modern attitude toward modernity. as it develops from the beauty cycle.

syntax. here.21 Borrowed initially from the structural anthropology of LeviStrauss. substitution. and opposition. however. "schizophrenic" desire would invest anything and everything. including the persons forbidden by the incest taboo expressed in the laws of equivalence. the result according to Lacan is "schizophrenia. to high priests and gods. historical and anthropological sense of the "symbolic order". behavior. at any rate. and lexicon of the symbolic order. I use the term "socio-symbolic order" to distinguish this sense from Lacan's own. a tension (if not an evolution) between the anthropological connotations of the term and an increasingly mathematical or purely logical use of it. which establishes the social bond by forcing desire away from the body of the mother toward others and simultaneously translating the entire complex governing desire into the realm of social signification. and cognition. equivalence. comprises a more or less coherent set of social codes that govern opposition. to heads of state such as . but by what we might call various " figures-of-the-despot. A socio-symbolic order. In cases where the law of signification fails. in Levi-Strauss as well as in Lacan. linguistically conceived. semiotically conceived. insist on retaining the concrete." ranging from totem animals. establish social bonds of various kinds." This symbolic structure and its operations are "guaranteed" by the "nom/non-du-pere. launching the subject on an endless search for substitute objects. Socio-symbolic orders are not (or not usually) guaranteed by the name-of-the-father. the notion of a symbolic order once implied a matrix of concrete social determinations.18 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis damental opposition is the difference between the sexes." a purely metonymic form of desire not governed by the metaphoric grammar. Operating outside the law." (Lacan's intentional pun for the name and the interdiction of the father). Deleuze and Guattari. which Lacan calls the " metonymy of desire. the law of equivalence prescribes identification with the parent of the same sex.22 There exists. and substitution. particularly when the "nom/non-du-pere" is denied (or "foreclosed"). while that of substitution proscribes the parent of the opposite sex. and also affect social relations and communication.

" but the full socio-historical context that ultimately determines psychic life. or deferred action. Lacan himself had already insisted on the importance of Freud's concept of Nachtraglichkeit. the case of Baudelaire is significant as an example of the psychological impact of market decoding in mid- . but it becomes really widespread only with the systematic decoding of social codes by the capitalist market: hence the subtitle of Deleuze and Guattari's two-volume study. The logico-linguistic and socio-semiotic accounts of schizophrenia do not necessarily contradict one another: presumably. Operating outside or in between socially established codes. the child is not "father to the man". behavior. free to invest anything and everything.23 Schizophrenia. conversely. derives from the failure of the set of codes comprising a sociosymbolic order to maintain coherent rule over social relations. On this view. and cognition. with no fixed rules governing equivalence or even metaphorical resemblance." as Lacan says." Deleuze and Guattari conclude that it is not mere "family romance. on this view.Introduction 19 presidents and prime ministers. in light of later experiences which alone endow them with meaning. denial of one's father's law in a socio-symbolic order firmly centered on a strong figure-of-the-despot would be unlikely to free desire from the law to any significant extent. From this rejection of "infantile determinism. Capitalism and Schizophrenia. inhabiting a socio-symbolic order riddled by decoding would make it more likely and far easier for individuals to deny successfully the name and law of their fathers. the second moment of Deleuze and Guattari's dialogue with Lacan makes the priority of socio-historical over familial determinations of the psyche absolutely clear.24 At any rate. childhood events do not unilaterally determine adult complexes: memories of childhood become psychologically effective only ex post facto or "apres coup. the pure metonymy of schizophrenic desire moves from one object to the next. indiscriminately. To stipulate that a socio-symbolic order entails concrete social determinations means that it is subject to historical change: in this light. Schizophrenic desire may arise on occasion from the demise of a certain figure-of-the-despot.

not as some cataclysm befalling an originally solid entity from without. (Here. and a corollary weakening of the socio-symbolic basis for ego-integration. the so-called "death of God" .especially. generalized egodisintegration as a historical trend must be understood in terms of the disintegration of the socio-symbolic order itself. as in the process of conventional therapy. Ego-integration is socially reinforced. At issue are the disintegration of the ego. or the sacking of the royal palace and the destruction of the throne during the Revolution of 1848 . in line with and dependent on such an Other or signifier: this is one way he defines neurosis. it is with respect to the "name-of-the-father" that the ego is constituted. The ego is always constructed or "integrated. and the ego as a neurotic formation. One function of the symbolic Other or "master signifier" within the psyche is to anchor the metaphoric axis of identifications that constitute the sense of self and individual personality by assigning meanings to things . but had no properly psychoanalytic means of explaining it.25 Granting the importance ascribed by Lacan to the mirror stage and the ego's dependence on the Other. concrete events like the actual death of Louis XVI during the Great Revolution (1793).but does so only under certain historical conditions.20 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis nineteenth-century France. I mean the term "disintegration" to designate the failure or reversal of this constitutive process of ego-integration.) In Lacan's Oedipal-family metaphor. of its various modes of processing everyday experience in terms of both cultural and personal memory. For the modern period. for us. which overlays on top of the recognition-scene of the mirror stage another." according to Lacan. Second-generation psychoanalyst Otto Fenichel already adverted to the generalized "degeneration of the bourgeois personality" in the modern period. according to Lacan. however. to the events of one's life. quite . and an attendant openness to and/or threat of engulfment by the forces of the unconscious and the real. by entry into language and the symbolic order. the figure-of-thedespot fulfills such a function . of course.these imply the collapse of the socio-symbolic order whose center the despot occupied or symbolized.or better still.

but on the "private" fixations of the neurotic ego.constitutes an individual identity in fixed relation to a certain form of socio-symbolic order. come into conflict. son of long-dead Joseph-Francois Baudelaire (and recently deprived of his legacy by my stepfather!)..Introduction 21 different (though equally alienating) form of identification: the duplication of self-recognition in the universe of social signification via investment of the first-person pronoun-shifter " I " and the imprimatur of a proper name. Imagine Baudelaire speaking in place of Louis X V I : " I am Charles Baudelaire. indeed at its very center. severe decoding produces trauma.. as metaphoric equivalence is (im) posed between the two terms by the copulative predicate " to be " in the present indicative. poetlaureate of France?" It is not clear what kinds of metaphoric identifications are possible in such circumstances. however. Certainly the statement " I am King Louis XVI. they also protect the psyche. Taken in an absolute sense. or cancel one another out. based not on firm socio-symbolic coordinates. any attempt to represent the real as such is of course doomed to failure: representation inevitably . the psyche suffers contact with a decoded. Caroline Defayis... individual personality is largely imaginary. " I am Charles Baudelaire" is in principle a fundamental assertion of selfidentification. completely meaningless "real" — Lacan's term for what lies completely outside all codes and signification. Here the symbolic construction of personal identity is definitive and lends it supreme stability. In most cases.26 In modern society with its decoded symbolic order. son of Louis XV. nor whether diverse identifications will add up. son of. whether socio-centric (the symbolic register) or ego-centric (the imaginary register). the mantle of Victor Hugo. heir apparent to. The impact on individual psychology of the absence of a stable symbolic Other and the dissolution of codes in market society can be assessed in terms of decoding and recoding. legitimate heir to the throne of France" — with the copulative predicate linking the shifter to a proper name magnified by a title and followed by additional metaphoric appositives . stepson of Jacques Aupick. for codes not only constrain. As their coherence wanes.

Benjamin identified "Spleen" hyperconsciousness as one such vehicle. whose evolution we will trace through his art criticism.whose evolution we will also trace through the series of published collections. but Baudelaire experiments with at least two others." "Le Soleil" [LXXXVII]. as a means of managing decoded contact with the real. The differences among these various figures are important because they show that the imaginary personalities compensating for the decoded symbolic Other in market society are themselves always susceptible to decoding in turn: the heroic invention of self in modernity is a Sisyphean task. Nevertheless. 7). If a body of poetry can in this context be considered to be. much of Baudelaire's literary work. . 1. as Benjamin was the first to recognize. is an attempt to develop poetic vehicles suited to registering the shock-experience of the real that is characteristic of modern market society — the moment at which. for example. like an extended dream. the poet of cynical selfdistantiation. alternating with cycles of recoding accompanied by withdrawal from the real into the construction of personality. and so forth .22 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis endows its object with meaning. a perpetual reinvention of self as previous "styles" of self become outmoded and are abandoned. is the process of recoding. the poet "stumbles upon words as upon paving-stones" ("Trebuch[e] sur les mots comme sur les paves. however. in the "Tableaux Parisiens" and in the Petits Poemes en prose." But there are others .the poet of self-lacerating evil. which provides defense against the real through the constitution of personality in the imaginary register. Benjamin has identified one such personality: the romantic poet-personality of the "Ideal. an attempt to develop ex postfacto the defenses required to protect the psyche from some traumatic real event. We will see that Baudelaire's evolution from romanticism to modernism is comprised of cycles of decoding accompanied by intense contact with the real. Here again. Far more common than poetry. the trauma in Baudelaire's case was the coup d'etat of Napoleon III. around which his published collections may be said to revolve in a desperate attempt to exorcise its dismaying shockvalue.

groups as well as individuals — with which Baudelaire entertains very different kinds of relationships. despite or perhaps because of his intense experimentation with decoded forms of experience. even though the psychodynamic relation Baudelaire entertains with them in the process of recoding is. Since capital involves a calculus of differential relations among pure quantities rather than coded relations among qualities. in that under his aegis. teachers. in order to stress that they arise from the field of history (just as Napoleon III did). This break with the earlier personae in favor of a modernism sanctioned by Poe is precisely the move that leads . it does not provide (and cannot tolerate) a symbolic Other valid for society as a whole." 27 I refer to these Others as historical Others. The relationship to Poe is significantly different from the other two. women as well as men.if only for a while. Baudelaire's historical Others are shown to include quite diverse social entities — momentary as well as lasting. instead — ranging from parents. transformed.Introduction 23 Social life under capitalism is in general composed of such cycles of decoding and recoding. These historical Others preside over Baudelaire the romantic. with the decoding and recoding rhythms of capital itself. and priests to rock stars. of course. military officers. which are ultimately linked. Baudelaire the revolutionary. howsoever distantly. however. too. and finally. and Baudelaire the modernist. fellow poet Edgar Allan Poe. so recoding takes place under the aegis of other Others. Butor's study is unusual and particularly significant for us because it avoids construing these Others on the Lacanianlinguistic model of the name-of-the-father: instead. In Baudelaire's case. the two earlier relationships are repudiated. then the people of Paris in 1848. an imaginary one. In an extraordinary psycho-biographical study of Baudelaire. The series of figures Butor identifies are Baudelaire's longtime mistress Jeanne Duval. and reincorporated only under disavowal by Baudelaire the modernist. imaginary personalities arise that are dependent on figures which effectively occupy the place of the Other for him and sanction the construction of an ego . and elected officials. respectively. Michel Butor has identified these figures and calls them "intercessors.

in her view." He calls the immature psyche in which part-object representations predominate the "corps morcele" . pre-Oedipal stages of psychic development. in the "mirror stage" (his term for Klein's "depressive stage"). which entails a recognition of their " ambivalent" nature (hence the depression associated with this stage).though belonging to quite different branches of post-Freudian psychoanalysis . and depends on achieving a synthesis of the life and death instincts and their derivatives.24 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis Baudelaire beyond the shock-defense of the early works identified by Benjamin to the psychic splitting characteristic of the prose poems. however (and here he departs sharply from the Kleinian perspective). Klein drew attention to the near-total disorganization of the psyche at the earliest. The one-sided nature of such partial object representations derives from the lack of synthesis of the life and death instincts that is characteristic of this stage. Of course. The function of the subsequent "depressive" stage of development.draw directly (and selectively) on the work of Melanie Klein. and therefore very different from Oedipal neurosis.the body in pieces . This is precisely what is obtained. is to unify diverse part-object representations into whole objects. In drawing on Klein's work. according to Lacan. Lacan and Kernberg develop the core notion of "splitting" in different directions. both of whom .in order to emphasize that the infant at this point lacks control of the body and its drives and has no coherent self-image. Freud himself occasionally used the term Spaltung (in his work on fetishism. this coherent mirror-image of a whole . The concept of splitting employed here is based on the work of Otto Kernberg as well as Lacan.those not based on repression and symptom-formation. and particularly to a lack of object constancy resulting from the splitting of objects into disparate "good" and " b a d " versions. when its reflection gives the maturing infant a sense of its own coherence as a "whole object." On Lacan's view.28 Lacan distinguishes two developmental stages within the general notion of " splitting. most notably) but he seemed somewhat ill at ease exploring what he sometimes called the " paraphrenic" afflictions .

Baudelaire's metonymic poetics deconstructs the protective stability of both social codes and lyric enunciation as an approach to registering decoded contact with the real. Precisely this defense characterizes the prose poem collection: Baudelaire's ultimate identification with Poe secures for him an inviolable position of narcissism. and a corollary reversion to part-object relations fueled by drive-derivatives of the poorly amalgamated life and death instincts. Primitive splitting based in pre-Oedipal relations can then later become a defense mechanism. which therefore fails to cohere. the prostitute and the dandy) by keeping them at a safe distance via the presence of the prose narrator. and hence oscillating . enabling him to isolate threatening images of former selves (the romantic and the revolutionary.Introduction 25 ego is an imaginary fiction: the concept of the "split subject" (or "barred subject. Kernberg focuses on the disparity between "good" and " b a d " part-objects within the pre-Oedipal psyche. when it serves to separate off and isolate from one another the incompatible facets of an incoherent self. Lacan's emphasis on the predominance of part-objects and split subjectivity sheds light on the evolution from romanticism to the alienated realism of the "Tableaux Parisiens": in its development beyond and repudiation of the nostalgic and recuperative metaphoric poetics of " Correspondances" in the imaginary register." usually designated by " $ " and aligned with the bar of repression separating signifier and signified. What he calls "borderline conditions" (from their uncertain location somewhere on a border between neurosis and psychosis) are cases in which such disparity is so great as to prevent the synthesis of part-objects into wholeobject representations altogether. Lacan and Kernberg both emphasize the disintegration of the self: a failure to consolidate a coherent mirror-image of self and whole representations of objects. This betrays a failure to synthesize life and death instinct drive-derivatives under the aegis of the ego. designated by "S/s") signals the fundamental incompatibility of disparate drives with any function of unification or mastery attributable to the ego. Where Lacan emphasizes the sheer diversity of part-objects and the split between body and ego.

between buyer and seller that is so fundamental to modern life in market society. a trajectory which leads from romanticism through Masochian masochism into the split subjectivity and partial self-repudiation typical of modern market society. 30 But whereas Masoch's stories provide narrative closure by answering the betrayal of romantic ideals with bitter (apparently "sadistic") revenge. And it is precisely the interface between Kernberg and Lacan regarding split subjectivity as a primordial condition and a mechanism of defense that sheds so much light on the dynamics of Baudelaire's most striking prose poems and enables us to situate them relative to the earlier verse collections in his trajectory from romanticism to modernism. ontological condition (the "split subject").a position Jacques Attali calls that of the "designer" or "programmer. but also about Baudelaire and sadism . the narrative structure typical of the works of Baudelaire's popular contemporary. Kernberg sees as a particular type of clinical case (the "borderline condition"): here. which I will call borderline narcissism.testimony to the importance and severity of psychic splitting in his work." 32 The market .26 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis wildly between indiscriminate fusion and violent antagonism. But what Lacan sees as a universal. It therefore falls to us to reconstruct a historical trajectory left intentionally incomplete in the published work.29 Here. and yet occupy a position over and above that split .31 It is in this psychic configuration that Baudelaire's prose poem narrator manages for one thing to register the split between dandy and prostitute. Much has been written about Baudelaire and masochism. by contrast. Crucial to that trajectory is Baudelaire's passage through masochism. but a preeminently historical phenomenon fostered by social decoding. enables us to understand the role of a certain masochism in propelling Baudelaire out of romanticism into psychic splitting and modernism. with the prose poem narrator entertaining a wide variety of often undecidable relations with repudiated former selves. ranging from the sympathetic to the mortally cruel. psychic disintegration is considered neither a universal condition nor an individual case. Baudelairean modernism leaves the story unresolved. in connection with the defeat of the Second Republic by Napoleon III. Sacher-Masoch.

they always have been. A corresponding three-term series of "poetic Others" (were such to exist) might include nature. on the other. the judge. given the intensity of his former enthusiasm for its promise. The modernist repudiation of narrative and suppression of history open a gap that must be acknowledged between what Baudelaire lived and what is registered in his poetry collections. and to bend its perpetual definition and redefinition to the service of economic gain. and the borderline modernist as programmer. and the modern aristocrat. and the development of the poetry appearing in the published works themselves.the Revolution of 1848 . and Edgar Allan Poe —figureswhich give rise in turn to Baudelaire the melancholy romantic. No doubt the most striking difference in this "poetic " . For another thing. Modernism and advertising may never have seemed so close — but as Baudelaire shows. And what Baudelairean modernism repudiates and suppresses from the published record is revolution . Psychic splitting in borderline narcissism is Baudelaire's only means of making the intensity of dismay at the revolution's failure bearable.Introduction 27 function of programming is to bestow semiotic value in a context of generalized decoding which renders value entirely mobile. the revolutionary.and more specifically the promise of a revolution that failed and the failure of a revolution that had promised so much. but ended with the definitive institution of authoritarian market rule in France. they are different. without reducing one to the other. the people of Paris in 1848. yet related: our aim will be to explore the complexities of that relation as fully as possible. These two series are not identical. borderline narcissism enables the modernist narrator to observe from a safe distance images of former selves that have been repudiated. on one hand. Borderline narcissism reflects or supports the programmer's ability to acknowledge and yet preside over the conflict between buying and selling that characterizes market society. The series of historical Others comprises Jeanne Duval. It is thus imperative for us to distinguish between Baudelaire's own evolution from romantic to revolutionary to modernist.

of the figure of conscience or the judge. Secretly defending himself from the exhilarating enthusiasms and shattering . the ambient decoding of the socio-symbolic order has undermined the social basis for identity-formation. beginning with "La Beaute. the poet recodes present perception with past memories of a deeper self. exposing the modern individual to real trauma." But as the poet's object of attention switches from the pristine beauty of nature to the sensual beauty of woman. But the development of the poetry is not governed by a series of discrete Others in this way. in a nostalgic attempt to shore up a compensatory imaginary identity outside society in romantic harmony with nature. act and judgment. in place of the revolutionary crowd. by which substitution the suppression of revolution constituting Baudelairean modernism is accomplished." stabilizing memory is decoded by volatile fantasy." and then traces the increasing predominance of metonymic poetics. where the poetic subject and objects are so decoded as to appear completely meaningless. though in a diametrically opposed mood. instead. and the paradoxical figure of the modern aristocrat to Baudelaire the programmer. The cycle of decoding begun with "La Beaute" reaches its apogee. and the poetic act ultimately becomes an anti-lyric gesture of empty reference to the real. which far from joining past with present in a self at home in nature. particularly in the poems added for the second edition of the collection. and is epitomized in " Correspondances. it is far more complicated than that: it can be better approximated in terms of a series of cycles of decoding and recoding that comprise as it were the basic rhythm of evolution of the published collections. Nature as "poetic Other" would then correspond to Baudelaire the romantic. A second phase of recoding then occurs. This stance informs the early poems of Les Fleurs du Mai. at the end of the "Spleen and Ideal" section. ironically opposes desire and prohibition. In a first cycle. which disintegrates the objects of poetic perception along with the fantasizing self.28 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis series is the appearance. Chapter 2 compares the metaphoric poetics of "Correspondances" with the metonymic poetics of "La Beaute. In defense against the threat of the decoded real. in the "Spleen" poems.

the poet turns inward on himself in the second half of the "Tableaux Parisiens. consciously pursuing wrong for the sake of the very punishment it incurs from his own super-ego." and a third form of recoding takes place. transforming the confident civics lessons of contemporary pro to-"realist" or documentary genres (the "physiognomies" and "tableaux de Paris") into a fruitless search for meaning in the modern city. Here decoding and recoding function as .Introduction 29 disappointments of the revolution. Instead of the ironic doubling of evil-doing and conscience. which is death. but a subject that virtually disappears between the pulsions of desire and the sanctions prohibiting them. the ultimate embodiment of Baudelairean modernism. but here the dreary monotony of spleen time is replaced by the cyclicity of day and night. recuperated self of the early poems. Chapters 4 and 5 examine the evolution of Baudelaire's art criticism in connection with the "Tableaux Parisiens" in order to shed additional light on the poet's negotiations of the paradoxes of real reference in modernity. Chapter 3 examines how the revisions for the second edition transform the ending of the " Spleen and Ideal" section to accentuate both the decoded metonymy of time (in the "Spleen" poems and "L'Horloge") and the recoded self-flagellation of evil (in " L'Heautontimoroumenos " and "LTrremediable"). The "Tableaux Parisiens" section then introduces a third phase of decoding. the poet revels in evil. there are no cycles: linear narrative and history have been rejected in favor of haphazard conglomeration and the freedom to chose at random among selfcontained prose poems. as the poet examines his own desires. This resigned accommodation sets the stage for the new ending of Les Fleurs du Mai which invokes an endless journey beyond death as the ultimate realization of decoding in both time and space." decoding empties reference of meaning. recoding now involves the cynical doubling of self-observation. but decides they are nonetheless better than the alternative. realizes they are delusory. and the real context appears as contemporary Paris. The irony characteristic of this phase of recoding produces not the stable. In the Petits Poemes en prose. As in "Spleen. In defense against the agonizing loss of meaning in the city.

to a metaphysics of structure and a metaphysics of speech. the former involving sets of language-units associated with one another by some similarity of meaning or form. Chapters 6 and 7 show that the former identities of the poet in commercial culture have been splintered by decoding. according to Derrida. The point of departure. metonymy and metaphor. but that the fragments are nevertheless retained and put in perspective through recoding by the narrator. the poststructuralist break with metaphysics occurs with the realization that. we exist inside . the latter involving the combination of language-units into longer sequences. where individuals would use it to execute speech-acts (and corresponding acts of comprehension). imagined that langue existed inside the mind. This may have made a satisfactory basis for structural analysis of the language-system itself. the dynamics of programming crucial to capitalist culture. rather than cyclically. even as it reflects on.30 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis it were simultaneously. It is in this configuration that Baudelairean modernism approaches. of course. we must consider what structural linguistics and poststructuralist discourse analysis (principally the work of Jakobson and Lacan) contribute to the specifications of decoding and recoding. but did not prove very satisfactory for the analysis of actual discourse. The founding gesture opposing a self-contained language-system to individual acts of speech amounted. The language-system according to Saussure was in turn composed of "paradigmatic" and "syntagmatic" relations. whose defense against the market is to stand apart and observe its ruthless operations with as much distance and reserve as can be mustered.33 Saussure. individual acts of speech from the language-system that makes them possible. rather than having the language-system inside us. TEXTUAL DECODING In order to link the insights of psychoanalysis to the texture of individual poems and collections of poetry. the protostructuralist. and within the latter distinguished parole from langue. is Saussure. who founded modern linguistics by distinguishing diachronic from synchronic linguistics.

outside of time. "there is no meta-language.. This I take to be one important sense of the Lacanian dictum. and appears to exist as a given. lexically." and of his insistence that the ego forms always in dependence on the Other. and hence translates Saussure's paradigmatic and syntagmatic relations into the processes of "selection" and "combination" that comprise the production of discourse.. sustains the process of combining different terms contiguously to form a chain of signification "within" time. For as a structuralist. Utterance is thus composed of two axes of discourse that Roman Jakobson has named the "metaphoric" and the "metonymic" (which should not be confused with the figures of speech of the same names). Poststructuralist discourse analysis focuses on the actual process of utterance rather than on the language-system as an abstraction. which examines the actual conditions of language-use in context. The two axes of discourse. S. This marks a crucial disjuncture between structural linguistics. from among an indefinite number of (grammatically.e. with its focus on the code as precondition for speech. i. in contrast to the metonymic axis which is precisely the sequentiality of actual discourse as it is produced in context and through time. along the unfolding or disseminated duration of utterance. " provide each sign with two sets of interpretants. phonologically) similar terms. Jakobson goes on to explain with reference to his own studies of aphasia and in terms of C.34 The metaphoric axis supports the process of selecting. The metaphoric axis is thus a function of the language-system. by contrast. The metonymic axis. Saussure construes the linguistic sign in terms of value rather than meaning: a term's differential value within the language-system is defined as the intersection of all the paradigmatic and syntagmatic relations it entertains with the other terms of the . Peirce's pragmatic semiotics. It is thus based on identity or equivalence among terms as defined by the storehouse of the language-system functioning "in absentia" (as Saussure put it) "outside" the linear time of utterance itself. the code and the context" (p.Introduction 31 it. and poststructuralist discourse analysis. 75). morphologically. one specific term to occupy a given position in the spoken chain.

the opposite of determinate meaning is not meaninglessness. reference equals representation: the sign captures the "essence" of its referent. between sign and referent: M r (f) M s . the abyss. cannot be represented. i. Conceived of metaphorically. but are understood to be willfully related to one another in a specific way (an epistemological position that has come to be known generally as "constructivism"). that a final adequation of context and code is possible. the meaning of the referent is "the same as" the meaning of the sign: M r = M s . given what Jakobson calls the bipolar composition of language. being that which lies beyond signification. Conceiving of reference metonymically. even when specific subcodes are devised (as we are doing here) for the purpose of reconstructing particular aspects of the context in knowledges.35 Jakobson. thereby enabling an accurate or "realistic" representation of reality in discourse.38 The second major consequence of analyzing signs in use in . a process governed by extra-linguistic (what we are calling fully "semiotic") codes as well as by the strictly linguistic code of the language-system itself. The two are not imagined to be the same. or better yet. First of all. the difference between them must be acknowledged.36 Two important consequences follow. and what we cannot speak of. and cannot be made identical.37 And the vexing problem of reference is henceforth to be construed in two different ways. to paraphrase Lacan along with Wittgenstein. Metaphoric reference presupposes that. metonymic reference implies thorough-going epistemological irony. as interpretants. rather than equivalence. installs some specific function. The code and the context are not one. that they are or can be identical. considers signs as they are used in context. code and context are fundamentally or potentially one. any question of reference is quietly excluded from the very start. Such is the mirage of the metaphysics of realism. in terms of equivalence or identity. The real. we must pass over in silence: contrasted with the metaphysics of metaphoric reference.32 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis system. by contrast. chaos. by contrast.e. and so forth (which are merely contraries of meaning): the opposite of sense is reference.

Again. of course. The code. The same is true. or structuralist structures.Introduction 33 actual discourse rather than in terms of their value in the language-system is paradoxically that. although code and context cannot on any one occasion be presumed or made identical in order to represent reality in discourse. When someone hears the statement "This is Christmas. sedimented in the code — for the successful production of meaning in utterance. nominalist essences. For one thing. but arises historically from past occasions of the "successful" production of meaning. others what has been read or heard in stories or advertising jingles-it makes little difference: the textual or experiential memory-chains converging on the sign "Christmas" in large part constitute its meaning for the auditor. a host of recollections arise that endow both the sign for and the experience of Christmas with meaning. Some of the recollections may involve actual experiences of the auditor. as Merleau-Ponty puts it. The statement "That is a pipe" will suggest a certain meaning to." for example. and a different meaning to smokers based on the metaphoric memory-identifications they make with the term. A "sediment" of meaning. accrues to the signs of a code due to their repeated use in contexts past. in other words. as suggested by the poly valence of the term "pipe" in the . of any sign. not just names of holidays: a sign's perceived meaning will derive in large part from its location in a metaphoric memory-chain of previous uses in appropriate contexts. Two words of caution regarding the importance of memory for discourse production and reception are necessary." i. plumbers on the basis of the memory-chains that comprise their (professional) identity. say. is not metaphysically grounded in Platonic forms. which involves differential relations with other signifiers. nevertheless the code comes from nowhere other than previous uses of discourse in context. It is the result instead.e. the meaning so constituted is not to be confused with what Saussure calls the "value" of the signifier <(Christmas> considered as an object of linguistic study. of repeated use of that sign in social context.39 This places crucial emphasis on the role of memory — both individual and "collective. as Wittgenstein insists.

in a decoded symbolic order. So even the conventional meanings sedimented in social codes. he recognizes the object of representation and seesfitto declare "That is a pipe. and so on. radically de-centered not really an order or structure at all." But he thereby overlooks the specific means of representation. existing as an "absent cause" only insofar as it gets embodied diversely in the speech-acts and memories of countless individuals and discourses disseminated in time and space.34 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis foregoing illustration. and thus never " add up " to a fully structured or centered socio-symbolic order. the Other. imaginary misconstruction of the name-of-the-father. the phallus. each individual's memory constitutes a specific version of or stance toward the "collective memory" sedimented in the code. This is also why for Lacan the "symbolic order" we inhabit is ultimately empty. as Lacan puts it. one is . but even where there is considerable overlap in memorychains and hence general agreement about meaning. an individual's own memory never equals that of the "collective memory" registered in the social code. This contributes to the sense in which we live strictly inside social codes rather than having them inside us. Someone more canny about metonymic reference might well reply "That's not a pipe: that's a picture of a pipe!" 40 To put the point another way: given the demise of the metaphysics of representation. Not only do individuals' memory-chains differ. the contexts to which discourse refers are always different. subject to change. are never guaranteed to match the irreparable contingency of any actual context. there is no meta-language: all we have as ground for the socio-symbolic codes enabling speech-acts are other speech-acts. collective memory simply does not exist: the social code is all there is. Imagine a smoker in the context of a Magritte exhibit: confident of the match between his own memory-chains and the metaphoric axis of the shared code. though derived from previous "appropriate" uses in context. Or rather. but only a presumption of order and structure based on a mistaken. specific. instead. in which. the sediment of meaning comprising the socio-symbolic order is understood to be constitutively incapable of representing a real context in any complete or definitive way.

Cognizant of such conditions. in addition to an Other or Others.identifications that are dependent on and formed strictly in relation to the metaphoric axis of the socio-semiotic code. Baudelaire's "Tableaux Parisiens" aspire to such a metonymic mode of referentiality.41 This has advanced our understanding of the founding psychological mechanism of ideology considerably. and experience . so does this study. and also interested — representing the interests of those doing the reconstruction as well as the reality being reconstructed. which can nevertheless be processed only in the terms of an already-established symbolic code. I take it. This. This striking transformation enables us to understand recognition as indistinguishably a linguistic and a psychological event. as when an infant "thinks" "Ah-ha." or an adult (looking in the mirror) says "That's me" or " I t is I. the speaking subject's ineluctable dependence on the symbolic Other reinforces the sense in which human beings exist only and always within a symbolic order that preexists." However powerful a concept and experience recognition may be. discursive reconstructions of historical reality cautiously and self-consciously adopt ironic modes of reference that are avowedly partial.Introduction 35 never prepared for the shock of the new. Charles Baudelaire. envelops. but it is nevertheless still too narrowly linguistic and Lacanian: what we are calling the socio-symbolic order comprises. Reference to code and reference to context are equally and as it were reciprocally unstable. explains the appeal for Lacan of the image of the Mobius strip: we are irremediably consigned to the contingency of a given context. Althusser has named the subjective and ideological aspect of identity-formation in recognition " interpellation"-the process whereby the very sense of self is forcibly produced in relation to the Other of the symbolic order. an ensemble .acknowledging the uneliminable difference of the real. Jakobson and Lacan thus transform Saussure's paradigmatic or associative relations within the linguistic code into the metaphoric chains of identifications in individual memory. in both senses of the term: incomplete . and overdetermines them. discourse. in dependence on the Other of the symbolic order. that's the breast.

even more important than fixed codes in the constitution and psychodynamic effects of the socio-symbolic order are what we might call its "forms of semiosis" .36 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis of social codes in and through which subjectivity is lived. most often structured in value-hierarchies.a quintessentially Baudelairean move if there ever was one! In Lacan. in the absence of a single. then. of a symbolic Other. and thus in history . stable Other. and nature/artifice. Within a social context so defined. And especially for capitalist society. so that identity. Decoding also disrupts the value-hierarchy of binary oppositions. equivalence and socially sanctioned substitution lose their stability. (3) an ensemble of binary oppositions. it also . of which the clearest expression is the copulative assertion of identity or equivalence: M 1 = M 2 . In much the same way. including (among others) man/woman. (2) an ensemble of combinatory relations. the basic discursive elements of a socio-symbolic order of codes will for our purposes include: (1) an ensemble of metaphoric relations. as exemplified in syntactical structures such as subject-predicate. decoding tends to undermine all metaphoric relations. situating the actual use of language in time and context. decoding in Baudelaire has relatively little effect on syntax per se (whose dissolution awaits the pen of Mallarme). of which the most visible instance in Baudelaire is no doubt good versus evil. moreover. sacred/profane. including cause-and-effect and transitive relations generally. or absence. on the contrary. and of which cause-and-effect relations are a characteristic expression. the metonymic axis not only sustains the unfolding of discourse over time. Beyond the existence.what we have described as the processes of decoding and recoding. With respect to combinatory relations. as embodied for instance in dictionaries and thesauruses. Jakobson's transformation of structural linguistics into discourse analysis also foregrounds the metonymic axis. the de-stabilization of metaphoric relations in Baudelaire's poetry brings to the fore metonymic relations of all kinds.

metonymy subverts and defies the identities of integration and recognition. recognizable objects. both duration and context. At the limit designated as "schizophrenia. integrated ego and a world of familiar. for better and for worse. forever obliged to seek vainly for substitutes over time. a fixed reality. and in reality from any metaphoric adequation of sign with referent. This is the sense in which metonymy engages discourse in both time and space.42 The result is that the utterance finally "makes sense. but also in space. Discourse becomes not just an allegory but an instance of desire. where objects are sought after in the real. and univocal meaning through the construction of a comfortable. Metaphor defends the psyche against such engagement by identifying the sense of self. coherent social codes. While the "metonymy of desire" propels discourse forward. opposition. This is for Lacan ultimately a neurotic form of satisfaction not because it is discursive rather than real. if not the imaginary fiction par excellence. Given the perpetual disparity between context and code. self. and reality open to endless experimentation and reinvention. of its peripeties and its satisfactions. desire in discourse is expelled from any metaphoric adequation of signifier with signified. Such. weakness or instability of the metaphoric axis of these codes. both based on stable." and a kind of discursive orgasm or sense of satisfaction is achieved. But in the absence. is the impact of market decoding in modernity. the metaphoric axis supports what Lacan calls " points de capiton. yet are lost as real the moment they are recognized in the symbolic or the imaginary register." where expectations created earlier are met by the successful alignment and identification of memory-chains with the codes of the symbolic order in moments of recognition. driving discourse onward toward conclusion." decoding frees metonymic engagement from all preconceived and imposed standards of identity. leaving questions of meaning. as from some epistemological Garden of Eden or mother's breast.Introduction 37 embodies the motivation of desire. both desire and reference. simultaneously. but rather because the putative identity of codes and of individuals alike upon which the satisfaction of closure depends represents an imaginary fiction. and substitution. .

" of thematics of being and essences. of this being more or less than that (comparisons of degree). and of metaphor as trope in metaphoric poetics. by contrast. In this light. and in it mechanical tropes tend to predominate." Copulative predication is a direct expression of the metaphoric axis . they serve their intended purpose of training Lacanian analysts far better than they serve as models or instances of literary study. copulative predication and stipulative definition: " this is a pipe." or "this means that. As illuminating as these writings are.which helps explain the prevalence of the verb "to be.43 Metaphoric discourse tends to be metaphysical. in that it suppresses the predicative copula "is. Jakobson's in-depth analysis of poetry and of specific poems in terms of metaphor and metonymy is obviously invaluable for this study of . of this causing that (causality). o r . Lacan's own writings on literary works treat them as little more than allegories of the psyche and/or the process of psychoanalytic therapy. of this doing that (action). But poststructuralist literary and cultural criticism has rarely brought discourse analysis derived from Jakobson and Lacan to bear on historical cases such as this.) Metonymic discourse. and its dominant tropes organic. (Nearly all figures of speech depend ultimately on a metaphoric relation of substitution: this [figural sense] means that [literal sense]. It is less a matter of this being that than of this having that (possession)." " that is evil." and thereby makes the essential equivalence between compared terms all the stronger for being simply posited. one axis or the other can predominate in a given discourse or discourse-genre. Mf = M1.38 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis Although no one-to-one correlation exists between the axes of discourse and specific figures of speech. not expressed. It is based on an essentializing syntax involving intransitive. the evolution from a metaphoric to a metonymic poetics in a major historical figure such as Baudelaire is likely to have important ideological implications. favors transitive predication.more generallyof this affecting that in some way (effectivity). and such predominance can have significant ideological implications. And metaphor as trope represents the epitome of metaphoric discourse.

and expressed doubts that structural analysis alone could ever tell us anything of interest about them. beyond affirming the capabilities of the method itself to detect and record structural features in poetic discourse for their own sake. but these studies.Introduction 39 Baudelairean poetics. it entirely lacks social and historical dimensions. Indeed. But as the work of Michel Foucault has amply demonstrated (in line with the conclusions of Nietzsche and Wittgenstein that grammar itself entails a world-view or ideology of its own). My contention is that the concept of decoding enables us better to understand not only the transformation of French society and culture by market society. analysis of the discursive form of virtually any kind of text can be highly significant when read in relation to institutional and historical context. deconstructive critics have in a set of very close readings (including some of Baudelairean texts) aligned metaphor with the illusions of metaphysics and personal identity.44 Turning structuralist poetics on Jakobson's own prose. Baudelaire not only suffered such decoding at the emergence of modernity in mid nineteenth-century France. .45 And Foucault is not the only postSaussurian to derive some broader significance from structurallinguistic discourse analysis. Drawing in particular on Jakobson's two axes of discourse. like Jakobson's. for real contexts and sensible effects to become paramount. he also promoted it in the poetic texts most characteristic of his modernism. and psychodynamics. and the effects of this transformation on personal experience. but for all its insight and rigor. lack (or in some cases patently eschew) a historical dimension. and metonymy with a heroic acknowledgment of contingency and flux. memory.46 Much of this drama indeed appears in the figure of Baudelaire. Culler has shown that structural features can be found in any and all discourse. as Jonathan Culler (among others) has observed. for constraints on the substitutions permissible in discourse to weaken (if not disappear altogether). it is not clear whether Jakobson's analyses serve any purpose at all. but also the effects of both as registered in the poetry itself: the tendency of the metaphoric axis to lose its stability. for meaning and essence to become " undecidable ".

40 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis The aim of this study is not to celebrate the advent or longevity of this modernism. but to understand its complex historical determinations." .that is to say. we take as our point of departure what is surely — though for all the wrong reasons — Baudelaire's best-known poem: "Correspondances. It is to this end that posts tructuralist discourse analysis is pressed into the service of a resolutely historical reading of the Baudelairean corpus "as a whole" . then and now. In tracing this trajectory. assessing all three published collections in terms of Baudelaire's historical evolution from romanticism to modernism.

PART I Poetics .



Correspondences versus beauty


" Correspondances" (iv) has traditionally been hailed as the centerpiece of Les Fleurs du Mai and the most direct expression of the Baudelairean aesthetic. According to the standard interpretations, this sonnet presents with "remarkable clarity and brilliance " the " eternal formulae " of romantic symbolism: the absolute intelligibility of the sensible world, the hidden unity of humankind and nature which it is the poet's privilege to decipher and represent. 1 But romanticism was a stance Baudelaire came to regard with suspicion, even disdain. Far from being the key to Les Fleurs du Mai, "Correspondances" epitomizes an aesthetic that the rest of the collection will work to undermine and ultimately to reject. Alongside or beneath whatever thematic structure the work may have, the process of decoding in Baudelaire's work leads away from the romantic poetics of "universal analogy" so exquisitely formulated in "Correspondances" toward a modernist poetics that will predominate from Les Fleurs du Mai to the Petits Poemes en prose, and which first appears in the pivotal sonnet entitled "La Beaute" (xvn). "Correspondances" figures in an introductory group of poems (the prefatory "Au lecteur" apart) 2 that reiterate the romantic topos of the misunderstood artist reviled by a philistine society (starting with "Benediction" [i]). The theme of this first cycle is usually considered to be the relation between the artist and the world, and its early poems illustrate the two extremes of this relation: abjection and exaltation. The ungainly Poet 3 is


Baudelaire and schizoanalysis

cruelly taunted by uncomprehending humanity in "L'Albatros" (n) while in "Elevation" (m) the Poet soars high above the mortifying world of earthly existence and "comprend sans effort / Le langage des fleurs et des choses muettes" (11. 19-20). This inspired communion with nature becomes the subject of the famous fourth poem of the cycle: Correspondances La Nature est un temple ou de vivants piliers Laissent parfois sortir de confuses paroles; L'homme y passe a travers une foret de symboles Qui l'observent avec des regards familiers. Comme de longs echos qui de loin se confondent Dans une tenebreuse et profonde unite, Vaste comme la nuit et comme la clarte, Les parfums, les couleurs et les sons se repondent. II est des parfums frais comme des chairs d'enfants, Doux comme des hautbois, verts comme les prairies, - Et d'autres, corrompus, riches et triomphants, Ayant l'expansion des choses infinies, Comme Tambre, le muse, le benjoin et l'encens, Qui chantent les transports de l'esprit et des sens.


8 11 14

As the title itself suggests, this poem depicts nature as a realm of divine equivalences between the natural and the human; and the insistent repetition of "comme" implies that in this realm, everything becomes potentially identical with everything else. The first quatrain asserts this principle of equivalence most forcefully with the initial metaphor " La Nature est un temple," which is further developed in a second metaphor according to which "vivants piliers" mumble "confuses paroles." Man seems to be at home in an almost domesticated nature that speaks (albeit confusedly) and recognizes him: nature and man occupy the same position as grammatical subjects of parallel clauses within the stanza, with the adverb " y " enclosing the second in the first, thus placing man squarely within the natural realm. The second clause of the quatrain then transforms the sound imagery of whispering trees into visual terms: the forest of symbols takes note of the passer-by with familiar glances.

Correspondences versus beauty Already, an equivalence is implied between auditory and visual sensations (to which the olfactory will be added in the final stanzas). The rhyme of "paroles" with "symboles" reinforces the congruity between the familiar sights and human sounds characterizing the temple of nature. The relation between sight and sound is developed, first implicitly, then explicitly, in the second quatrain. The echoing sounds of its first line merge together (by a con-fusion reminiscent of the "confuses paroles" of the first quatrain) in a harmony characterized by visual spatial imagery: a shadowy deep unity vast as luminous night. In the last line, colors and sounds are said to echo or answer one another, along with the fragrances that lead into the final tercets. Three uses of the preposition "comme," the rhyming verbs "se confondent" and "se repondent," two succeeding parallel double complements ("une tenebreuse et profonde unite / Vaste comme la nuit et comme la clarte") and the four anapests linking the triple subject with its reflexive predicate in the last line (" Les parfums, les couleurs, et les sons se repondent") - a l l contribute to the sense of harmony and unity in the quatrain and by extension, from the metaphors of the first quatrain to the repeated similes of the tercets, in the poem as a whole. This metaphoric poetics - which expresses harmonious unity and equivalence through metaphor, analogy, and simile, with its mystical correspondences enveloping man in nature — typifies the initial, romantic
cycle of Les Fleurs du Mai.


The sonnet "La Beaute," by all accounts, starts a new cycle in Les Fleurs du Mai. This is so not only because of the subject of the poem, as Paul Mathias among others has remarked, but more importantly because its form questions and radically transforms the metaphoric principle of equivalence and unity that governs the introductory cycle directly preceding it.4 The subject of beauty - or perhaps more accurately, the relation between beauty and poets - is, to be sure, of crucial importance. All the more so since Beauty herself speaks here. Having discussed the condition of poets in the world and their position in society, having characterized the context of poetic activity, Baudelaire now goes right to the heart of the matter and


Baudelaire and schizoanalysis

addresses the object of poetry: beauty - or rather, he has Beauty address us. Beauty, it turns out, defies metaphor and comparison. She will incite poets to attempt instead a very different form of poetic investigation. La Beaute Je suis belle, 6 mortels! comme un reve de pierre, Et mon sein, ou chacun s'est meurtri tour a tour, Est fait pour inspirer au poete un amour Eternel et muet ainsi que la matiere. Je trone dans l'azur comme un sphinx incompris; J'unis un coeur de neige a la blancheur des cygnes; Je hais le mouvement qui deplace les lignes, Et jamais je ne pleure et jamais je ne ris. Les poetes, devant mes grandes attitudes, Que j'ai Fair d'emprunter aux plus fiers monuments, Consumeront leurs jours en d'austeres etudes; Car j'ai, pour fasciner ces dociles amants, De purs miroirs qui font toutes choses plus belles: Mes yeux, mes larges yeux aux clartes eternelles!


8 11 14

The first hemistich of the poem opposes Beauty, the singular (grammatical) subject announced in the title and immediately repeated in the initial " J e , " to her plural audience of common "mortals." This opposition of singular to plural, subject to object, constitutes the basic structure of the entire sonnet. Apart from the audience addressed in the first line, there are no plurals in the first quatrain; the last tercet is composed entirely of plurals, with the symmetrical exception of singular Beauty, who appears here again as the grammatical subject ("Carj'ai... "). The first tercet, too, is composed entirely of plurals with the exception of Beauty's "j'ai l'air ... ", while the second quatrain has plural substantives only in grammatically subordinate positions (" cygnes " is the qualification of an attribute; "lignes " the object of a dependent clause). Moreover, two crucial adjectives appearing in singular form in the first quatrain — both occupying the first quarter of an external line (first and fourth), thus forming a strong internal rhyme: "belle" and "Eternel" — are repeated, but in plural form, in the last lines of the second tercet, which they thereby constitute as the final

Correspondences versus beauty rhyming couplet of the sonnet. The same pluralization in the final tercet affects the possessive pronouns and other major semes appearing in the first quatrain: "mon sein" becomes "mes yeux"; "poete/amour" becomes "dociles amants." And in much the same way, the singular "azur," "sphinx," and "coeur" of the second quatrain become the plural "mes attitudes," " monuments," and " clartes" of the first tercet. The sonnet moves from singular to plural. The same opposition and movement seem to govern grammatical subjects in the poem: its first two sentences — i.e. the first two quatrains — each start with " J e , " and if we include "mon sein" as a synecdoche, Beauty is the grammatical subject of all seven independent clauses in the first two sentences; the third and final sentence (in the tercets), by contrast, starts with "Les poetes." This apparent symmetry is reinforced by the fact that the subjects of the dependent clauses in the first and last sentences correspond to the subjects of the independent clauses of their mirror opposite: " ou chacun . . . " (1. 2) to " Les poetes "; "Que j ' a i . . . " (1. 10) to Beauty. But the final clause of the last sentence breaks the symmetry: introduced by a striking "For I have... " - t h e only logical expression in the entire poem, explaining a relation of cause and effect - this explanation reduces the poets active in the first clause of the sentence to the status of " dociles amants," objects of Beauty's act of fascination. The poets, despite their brief appearance in line 9 as active subjects, thus become logically subordinated to the actions of Beauty: to fascinate and render more beautiful. The verb tenses of the poets' two paltry actions also distinguish them from Beauty. Their futility extends from an indefinite past - "ou chacun s'est meurtri tour a tour" - to an equally indefinite future - " Consumeront leurs jours ... " while Beauty is always portrayed in the eternal present (through the present tense and infinitives such as "fasciner"). The mode of the verbs of which Beauty is the subject reinforces both this distinction between poets and Beauty and the division of the sonnet into Beauty's singular quatrains and mortals' plural tercets. In effect, all Beauty's actions take place in the last tercet: here is where she fascinates and beautifies — and retro-



Baudelaire and schizoanalysis

actively induces poets to waste away their days (in the first tercet). In the quatrains, by contrast, she does not act but is. The main verbs in the first quatrain describe her being. Of the five main verbs in the second quatrain, all first person singular, only the last two express actions - which Beauty never indulges in; the others describe her role, nature and attitude: she reigns in the heavens (intransitive) rather than governing a people (transitive); "J'unis" describes her dual nature rather than a physical act of uniting; even "Je hais" expresses an emotion rather than an action. Even in the first tercet, Beauty does not actually borrow her attitudes: she only appears to — a lack of decisive action that, if anything, makes the poets' austere research even more self-defeating. Thus the quatrains are the locus of her identity, the tercets the domain of her activity. The only two adverbs of place in the poem - both in the first hemistich of a sentence and stanza, one in Beauty's quatrains, the other in the poets' tercets - directly contrast the interiority of Beauty's being in her reign ("Je trone dans l'azur... ") to the poets' relation of exteriority with respect to her ("devant mes grandes attitudes"). The displacement affecting the sonnet's two parallel teleological expressions "pour inspirer au poete un amour" and "pour fasciner ces dociles amants" —reinforces this contrast. The direct objects are the "same" —only pluralized and subjugated the second time - but the subject of the infinitives takes different forms: in the first instance it is Beauty's synecdochic heart or breast, made to "inspire" the poet; whereas in the second instance, it is one of Beauty's possessions - the pure mirrors of her eyes ("Car j ' a i . . . / De purs miroirs... ") - t h a t fascinates the poets. An interior relation of metaphoric expression is supplanted by an exterior relation of mere possession, as "inspiration" is replaced by "fascination." It is not surprising, therefore, that the only explicit comparisons in the poem, expressing equivalence, occur within the realm of Beauty's identity with her being, in the quatrains: she is beautiful " comme un reve de pierre "; she inspires " un amour / Eternel et muet ainsi que la matiere"; she reigns in the heavens " comme un sphinx incompris." These three similes are

Certainly by the time we reach the world of the poets in the third stanza. as in the common expression "coeur meurtri" (a "bruised" or "broken" heart)." it is impossible to determine their authenticity: she only seems to have borrowed them from the proudest monuments.all form the last hemistich of a first or last stanza line. by her " b u s t " . as the standard Parnassian interpretations have it). by something physical. how could love . 5 but the line's end insists that the sphinx in question remains misunderstood ("incompris"). The "reve de pierre" at the end of the line 1 is ambiguous: what is beautiful about dreaming of stone? Or a dream made of stone? And in the fourth line. perhaps. But the relations proposed — at least in the first two instances — are so paradoxical that they undermine the force of the very comparisons they are supposed to serve. and the first two rhyme .Correspondences versus beauty not only grammatically and positionally alike . suggesting innocence and purity. correspondences between inside and outside have become completely undeterminable and appearances evidently deceiving.perhaps with some self-deprecating irony . then why does she seem to? (Or to capture the 49 . the "sein" of the second line appears especially ambiguous: is it to be taken figuratively or literally? Is breast here a synecdoche (as I suggested above) standing for the heart and soul that inspire such love? Or is that love inspired by Beauty's literal breast.t h a t is.the most spiritual or explosive of emotions-be like matter? In light of these uncertainties. something more "like matter?" And given this ambiguity. as one might bruise oneself on a bust of stone? The image of the sphinx in the first line of the second quatrain may appear to settle these questions (by suggesting the love of statuary. is "meurtri" in turn to be taken figuratively.may demonstrate just how misleading external appearances can be: the swans' whiteness. covers a snowy heart of coldness and cruelty."J'unis un coeur de neige a la blancheur des cygnes" . or literally. If she has not borrowed them. And the strange juxtaposition in the next line .her "grandes attitudes.but they are semantically related as well: all three propose some kind of relation between inside and outside. spirit and matter. For from the point of view of poets transfixed by what Beauty "herself" calls .

despite. The ultimate inaccessibility of a transcendent world of equivalent correspondences and sure comparisons. / Est fait pour inspirer. de purs miroirs"). her effect on things will be measured by relative comparisons of degree: she renders things more beautiful.." Denied access by the "pure mirrors [of] her eyes" to Beauty's inner essence. prepares Beauty's actual effectivity in the last tercet. are they "really" hers? No wonder the poets' love remains eternally silent: their metaphors prove unable to determine Beauty's true inner nature.. / Consumeront leurs jours. "sein" appears to be a metaphorical synecdoche for Beauty's inner heart or soul. . however. It is not through essences but through things that Beauty reaches poets. and eventually via all the things she has made "more beautiful. by external causality ("Les poetes. she affects them only metonymically: by parts ("mon sein . But as the perplexity of comparisons and the incongruity between inside and outside increases and Beauty's inner essence becomes increasingly unfathomable.. Yet by the time we reach the last stanza.... this metaphorical reading gives way to a more literal one which provokes resignation and despair: the breast does not give access to beauty through synecdoche. In fact. as rock-hard matter against which they bruise themselves and will forever waste away. not by relations of interiority but of exteriority. which inspires eternal love. / Car j ' a i ." "mes yeux . it is ultimately the beauty of things that will fascinate them anyway . but has instead become concrete. This concluding stanza sheds new light on the ambiguity of the term "sein" noted above. or even because of..50 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis active verb in the French. shutting the poets out and defeating them.. On a first reading. Her essence and identity lost among questionable comparisons of equivalence. pour fasciner"). why does she put on airs?) And if she has indeed borrowed them. although the poets' inspired love and austere research may lead them to believe in the wholeness and self-identity of Beauty. lack of access to Beauty's inner nature: the loss of the metaphorical breast thus pales in contrast with the eternal splendor of the real ones that . . the poets remain endlessly fascinated by proliferating images of the more and more beautiful things illuminated by them.

Only relatively recently have critics begun to wonder whether the perplexing metaphors and comparisons might not have been intended as self-deprecating irony by Baudelaire. The poem thus immediately introduces a disjunction between its communicative level. 51 . appears as an insistent temptation . but it is only when "sein" is taken literally that it becomes a candidate for the process of beautification offered by the poem as its ultimate poetic resource. But equally important here is the manner in which such a replacement is recommended.which functions here to depict within the poem a version of poetic activity very different from the one the poem itself enacts. the poets' task is defined by Beauty to which many readers have not failed to respond.Correspondences versus beauty Beauty's acts of beautification will bring to light.vainly tries to make sense of the impossible metaphors she proffers. We abandon metaphor at the cost of a bruising. on which the writer addresses readers by means of Beauty's speech to mortals. it is clearly "Beauty" that speaks. routinely getting bruised in the process and wasting away their days in austere pursuit of inner meaning. and its textual level. The metaphorical reading was not simply banished from the poem: it remains an option. on which Beauty addresses herself to mortals. as a way of demonstrating how difficult is the poet's task in trying to define beauty.mortals who are poets . however. but in "La Beaute" its effectiveness hinges on the crucial role played by prosopopoeia (endowing inanimate objects or abstractions with speech) . she who formulates the figures found so perplexing by the mortal poets she addresses. is that in this poem. Because "La Beaute" is a complete prosopopoeia .and it is the only poem in the collection spoken entirely by a fictional person — it cannot be understood as a lyric act of communication: the " J e " of the first line cannot be that of the writer.6 What these readings miss.7 One subset of the audience she addresses . Irony is certainly an important part of Baudelairean modernism. It is she who speaks throughout. The elaboration of a metonymic poetics of beautification to replace the metaphorical poetics of romanticism is an important first step in the development of Baudelairean modernism.

The poem must then be taken as an act of writing. to confuse writer with speaker. Such a stance entails or derives from the refusal to identify communicative function with textual function. he abandons lyrical romanticism for an anti-lyrical modernism: a naive. so to speak: they undertake a hopeless search for Beauty's inner essence. Awareness of the prosopopoeia comprising the entire poem thus suggests a particularly modern stance: one which recalls that the author is not " i n " but somehow "behind" the poem. and are of course confounded by the breast when it appears as a concrete thing.a poetic effect accessible to everyone. communicative reading is proffered.readers who take Beauty's address at face value.52 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis Readers who identify with these poets . through it. and as readers enjoy the prospect of endlessly more beautiful things. But its becoming a thing is a precondition for its becoming endlessly more beautiful: so why do the poets bother wasting their time on essences. For now. fruitless metaphoric search for meaning undertaken by poetlisteners. but is ultimately refused or undermined by an ironic or self-conscious reading that treats the poem as text rather than as a message. we can disengage from the tortured. and the corresponding recognition of the purpose for which the writer has produced the figure of Beauty speaking.and one cannot really read the poem without doing so to some extent . Inasmuch as we recall the function of the writer as distinct from the speaker. We will see later how and why such a modernist poetics of dual address developed in Baudelaire. actively projecting the figure of Beauty as speaker and that of mortals or poets as listeners. This switch in stance is central to Baudelaire. and to recognize that they lead nowhere. when Beauty's mirror-eyes make all things more beautiful . it is important to review the outcome of the defeat of metaphoric reading: it leads to a metonymic poetics most of whose key features already appear in . rather than direct communication: one which projects a model for reading the text that is very different from the communicative model staged within it. take the metaphorical bait. to any mortal? All that is required to partake of such enjoyment is to refuse the lures of metaphoric essence. as a communicative act.

once bragging in his journal that "inspiration always comes when a man wants i t " . The movement of the poem opposes a dazzling multiplicity of beautiful things to the sterile and forbidding singularity of Beauty herself. The concluding phrase .Correspondences versus beauty this pivotal sonnet." I now want to show how the second-edition revisions of the cycle of poems devoted to beauty reinforce and develop the central features of the meto- . it will guide the development of Baudelaire's metonymic poetics until it is in turn replaced by "spleen. perhaps. These differences can perhaps be summed up in the displacement of "inspiration" by "fascination" in the concluding stanza of the poem. as concern for essential qualities and equivalence gives way to an indiscriminate interest in things and comparisons of quantity or degree: to make all things more beautiful." but it does not always leave when he wants it t o " ("mais elle ne s'en va pas toujours quand il le veut") . similes and metaphors to transitive verbs. mon unique.may be equally revealing: it suggests a kind of compulsive attraction to images and things. in the wellknown sonnet. This move corresponds to a shift from interiority to exteriority. as well as in the famous dictum: " Glorifier le culte des images (ma grande. a feeling that reappears in some distinctive prose poems on window-shopping." the force exerted by the multiplicity of glittering objects devoid of interior essence and reflected in Beauty's mirror-eyes is called "fascination": having replaced romantic inspiration." 8 In "La Beaute. ma primitive passion). in part by passing from the perplexing realm of her identity and being to the more tangible realm of her direct actions and their prolific effects. Baudelaire grew to disdain the romantic notion of inspiration. but of sheer force of will or discipline.i n which case it is clearly no longer a matter of inspiration at all. from copulative predication. and from figurative to more concrete language. " Correspondances." THE BEAUTY CYCLE 53 It should be clear that "La Beaute" undermines and replaces the metaphoric poetics characteristic of the initial romantic cycle of Les Fleurs du Mai and epitomized.

adorablement mince." Condemned in the 1857 trial of the first edition. morceau vraiment miraculeux. Where metaphor as trope elides the copulative in order to express metaphoric equivalence most forcefully. While Beauty defied poetic appropriation by defeating metaphor in "La Beaute. it already embodies key features of metonymic rather than metaphoric poetics." Read in the context of the cycle on beauty." and "La Beaute"): Contemplons ce tresor de graces florentines. allegory makes significant equivalence patent: it explicitly posits meaning as a function or relation between distinct terms. The first half of the poem describes a female figure incarnating many of the capital qualities attributed to similar figures in the immediately preceding poems ("La Geante. 5 . whose increased scope and import were already signaled in the second-edition version of "La Beaute" by the replacement of "font les etoiles plus belles" with "font toutes choses plus belles" in the concluding couplet. essence and embodiment. Cette femme.54 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis nymic poetics adumbrated in " La Beaute. The subversion of metaphor and the poetics of dual address central to "La Beaute" reappear in "Le Masque" in the form of ironic allegory. already staged as the impossibility of metaphor in "La Beaute." "LTdeal. Allegory thus implies transitive rather than copulative predication: it represents as it were a willed act of writing rather than a passive reading of meaning. soeurs divines. "Les Bijoux" was replaced in subsequent editions by two new poems. becomes a fullblown and explicit aesthetic program in " Hymne a la Beaute. " 9 It is by now well known that allegory decodes metaphor and symbol. And the project of beautification. Dans l'ondulation de ce corps musculeux L'Elegance et la Force abondent. "Le Masque" (xx) and "Hymne a la Beaute" (xxi). "Le Masque" makes explicit the incongruity between inside and outside. Divinement robuste. Et charmer les loisirs d'un pontife ou d'un prince. In these respects. Est faite pour troner sur des lits somptueux. meaning and vehicle." allegory in "Le Masque" shows beauty to be a lie masking the true agony of human existence.

vois ce souris fin et voluptueux Ou la Fatuite promene son extase. et la sincere face Renversee a l'abri de la face qui ment.Correspondences versus beauty . insense. like the poets in " La Beaute. et tournons autour de sa beaute. promettant le bonheur. the use of all three main verb tenses opposes the world of mortal existence to the world of perfect beauty. apres-demain et toujours! — comme nous! 35 In both poems. Pauvre grande beaute! le magnifique fleuve De tes pleurs aboutit dans mon coeur soucieux. ce qui la fait fremir jusqu'aux genoux. langoureux et moqueur. C'est que demain. La veritable tete. beaute parfaite Qui mettrait a ses pieds le genre humain vaincu. regarde. helas! il faudra vivre encore! Demain. Ce visage eclaire d'une exquise grimace. Ce visage mignard. 55 10 15 This inspired description is brought to an abrupt halt by the discovery.Aussi." she is condemned to live in real time: 30 . the figure is weeping. of the true reality behind the lying mask: O blaspheme de l'art! 6 surprise fatale! La femme au corps divin. narrated in the second half of the poem. Dont chaque trait nous dit avec un air vainqueur: "La Volupte m'appelle et 1'Amour me couronne!" A cet etre doue de tant de majeste Vois quel charme excitant la gentillesse donne! Approchons. Et. et mon ame s'abreuve Aux flots que la Douleur fait jaillir de tes yeux! 25 Far from basking in her glory. .Mais pourquoi pleure-t-elle? Elle. Quel mal mysterieux ronge son flanc d'athlete? . Ce long regard sournois. Ton mensonge m'enivre. crispee atrocement. and she weeps because. Par le haut se termine en monstre bicephale! 20 Mais non! ce n'est qu'un masque. voici. un decor suborneur. parce qu'elle a vecu! Et parce qu'elle vit! Mais ce qu'elle deplore Surtout.Elle pleure. which upon reading "Le Masque" proves to be a lie. tout encadre de gaze.

not the statue described by the narrator. 32).56 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis "Le Masque" thus in one sense makes explicit what the incongruous metaphors of "La Beaute" only suggested on careful rereading: that a direct correspondence between truth and appearance is impossible or misleading. this very assertion of metaphorical non-correspondence depends on a correspondence between sensation and sense. The allegorical lesson derived from the encounter is that beauty is condemned to live in time. Allegory functions here as a means of explicitly making sense in order to facilitate the decoding of metaphoricity. but an encounter with the statue at an exhibition. beauty's appearance only masks her true agony. which he discussed in his Salon of 1859 and then made the topic or pretext of "Le Masque. just as later lines seem to enjoin us to examine the statue's magnificence: "Aussi. This is in fact where Baudelaire first saw the statue. figure and meaning at another level. The message we were led to believe was addressed to " us " as readers turns out to be addressed instead to an interlocutor within the poem itself. " (1.comme nous!" (1. not necessarily of the poem itself. the communicative function is framed by a textual function that sets itself off as distinct: here.. vois ce souris fin et voluptueux. The " Contemplons" of the first line seems to address us as readers. parce qu'elle a vecu!" (1. the referent of the poem turns out to be not an object but an event. insense'. 8).. Yet in another sense. But the address of the last stanza reveals instead that the narrator has been addressing a companion all along: the person who asks in line 29 " — Mais pourquoi pleuret-elle?" and whom the narrator then calls a fool in his reply: " .Elle pleure. But this allegorical truth about the impossibility of metaphor is the message of the statue. As the discursive mode shifts from description to narration in the second half of the poem." As in "La Beaute. But the extent of inclusion implied by this " us " is put into question by the poem's complex system of address." though by other means. now understood as staging a conversation between visitors to an exhibition such as the Salon of 1859. the communicative function . a correspondence achieved by the "Allegorical Statue in the Renaissance Manner" named by the poem's subtitle. tomorrow and forever-just as we are: " . 36).

instead: to the context in which the sculptor addressed his statue to (among other viewers/reviewers) the poet." In the context of the beauty cycle. but merely dedicated to him . it does not supply a message at the textual level to replace the one it subverts on the communicative level: it merely makes reference to Christophe as the person who produced the real statue exhibited in the 1859 Salon that Baudelaire reviewed.lest the reader of the poem be reduced to the status and position of the "fool" in the poem.Correspondences versus beauty 57 imparting narrative meaning at the end must be understood as an event occurring within the narrative. "Le Masque" adds "ironic allegory" to the metonymic poetics initiated in "La .for the text is not "saying anything" to. instead. Now. who in turn addressed his poem to (among other readers) the sculptor. has no "message" for. the text ends up referring ultimately to its historical context of production. Just as perfect beauty ("La Beaute") turns out not to be the truth but a mask (" Le Masque ") within the narrative. but also to supply readers with an addressee for the text preferable to the one offered within the narrative. This strategy of emptying the text of meaning the better to make reference to historical context will be more fully developed in the "Tableaux Parisiens. this narrative message itself turns out not to be addressed to us as readers. This disjunction between communicative and textual function reproduces rhetorically the fall from the metaphoric realm of embodied essences into real time that the poem depicts narratively. sculptor. but framed within a text." Yet the poem is not really addressed to Ernest Christophe. even though the narrative message is addressed to a fool. reference to the real " allegorical statue " Baudelaire reviewed in his Salon ofi8jg remains in force: when the poem is added to the second edition of Les Fleurs du Mai two years after its initial publication. Yet even though confidence in the narrator's message is undermined in this way." It serves not only to specify which "allegorical statue" the subtitle is referring to. and not as the messagecontent of the text at all . Bracketing its own meanings. a dedication is also added: "To Ernest Christophe. the text can satisfactorily be understood as addressed "to Ernest Christophe. the sculptor.

albeit more explicitly than metaphor as trope: it can be formulated V (f) M. therefore that. meaning and vehicle." "sail" stands as an equivalent for "ship. not by attacking romantic metaphors in order to replace them with better ones. Whereas metaphor implies a universe of intrinsic analogy uniting outside and inside.58 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis Beaute. and (ultimately) of pure chance." is also a metaphoric figure in this sense: stable meaning is secured by a relation of equivalence operating through the exclusive disjunction of binary opposition: either this (apparent meaning) or that (opposed meaning). "Just as reference according to Jakobson can be divided into two kinds. It is this kind of irony that functions in the beauty cycle to decode the romanticism of the earlier poems. where (f) is a posited (rather . But there is another kind of irony that involves not the opposite of what is said.e." metonymic irony entails merely "not meaning what is said. Traditional. i. But in Baudelaire. allegory itself becomes ironic. Inasmuch as figures of speech usually depend on one term being understood as standing for another. but only something other than what is said. and since not this. and the poetic symbolism that romantic metaphoricity entails. allegory construes such relations in terms of extrinsic causality. so can figures of speech. though the most common are metaphoric in kind. with no other possibilities. Recourse to allegory is one way of decoding metaphoricity. thereby contributing to further metonymic decoding.") Irony as it is usually understood. be classified as metaphoric or metonymic. but rather by attacking metaphoricity itself. in eternal harmony. metaphoric allegory reinforces the metaphoric axis by equating this with that. (Even the figure commonly called "metonymy" is metaphoric in this sense: in the expression "fifty sails. The intended. " 10 Metonymic irony forgoes determinate meaning by undermining the stability of virtual substitution on the metaphoric axis. including irony and allegory. temporal imbrication. Rather than "meaning the opposite of what is said. as "meaning the opposite of what is said. they ultimately make sense by means of a metaphoric relation of substitution and equivalence. ironic meaning is the strict opposite of the stated meaning.

such a subversion of determinate meaning would defeat the purpose of figure entirely. putting the meaning of metonymic allegory in question ironically redeems its vehicle. The result is a strictly "meaningless" — but not insignificant — gesture of appreciation for real things in the vecu of real time. "Le Masque.11 59 .Correspondences versus beauty than merely implied) equivalence of vehicle (V) and meaning (M). by refusing metaphoric identity and the law of the excluded middle so crucial to the stability of the socio-symbolic order. thereby undermining its own message. Just as the metonymic irony of "La Beaute" and the ironic allegory of" Le Masque " go beyond attacking metaphors to subvert metaphoric poetics altogether. whether by way of strict opposition (as in conventional irony) or some other metaphoric figure. In the context of the project inaugurated in "La Beaute. "Hymne" goes beyond the reversal of value-hierarchies to subvert the metaphoric logic of binary opposition underlying hierarchy itself. in that the text's ultimate address refers to the real allegorical statue by Christophe: far from defeating its purpose. this is a self-consciously ironic allegory which can offer only a privative reading of metaphor and meaning. "deeper" message." this forfeit of meaning proves to be a small price to pay for the prospect of enjoying beauty's effects in real life. since the vehicle means nothing without its allegorical import. which unlike the symbol is devoid of any value of its own. But in the metonymic allegory of "Le Masque. the discovery of allegorical meaning completely exhausts its vehicle. This ironic stance toward allegory is in one sense a negative or privative one: the allegory is meant only for fools. "Hymne a la Beaute" then delineates the conditions under which such enjoyment may take place. instead. In metaphoric allegory. as romantic champions of symbolism recognized." the subversion of meaning serves to underscore reference to context. If" Le Masque " represents an advance beyond the confusions of metaphoricity in "La Beaute" to their explicit denunciation by means of allegory. undermines rather than reinforces the metaphoric axis: metonymic irony reframes and subverts the allegorical message of the statue. yet without supplying any other." however.

as the framing apostrophes of the second and second-to-last lines ("O Beaute. and indeed the address of the title." "6 mon unique reine)." the sonnet that opened it. by suggesting [contra Kant. among others) that beauty may spring from and incarnate evil rather than good.60 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis At the close of the beauty cycle. "Hymne a la Beaute" represents in many respects the symmetrically reversed mirror image of "La Beaute. Tu repands des parfums comme un soir orageux. "Hymne" steadfastly maintains the perspective of the Poet in relation to her. Tu marches sur des morts. The first part of the poem. Tu contiens dans ton oeil le couchant et l'aurore. make clear. dont tu te moques. Et Ton peut pour cela te comparer au vin. devoted to Beauty. infernal et divin. Beaute. parmi tes plus cheres breloques. But while the questions undermine essential hierarchies by put- . each of which begins with an either/or question regarding the origins of Beauty. depicted in the final two (as the distribution of subject and object pronouns makes abundantly clear). De tes bijoux l'Horreur n'est pas le moins charmant." "Hymne" moves topically from the realm of Beauty. instead of an answer: Viens-tu du ciel profond ou sors-tu de Tabime. O Beaute? Ton regard. Like "La Beaute. even poets' experience. and ends with a refutation of the question itself. Tu semes au hasard la joie et les desastres. Tes baisers sont un philtre et ta bouche une amphore Qui font le heros lache et l'enfant courageux. Sors-tu du gouffre noir ou descends-tu des astres? Le Destin charme suit tes jupons comme un chien. Et le Meurtre. is comprised of two pairs of stanzas. depicted in the first four stanzas. to the world of poets. But whereas "La Beaute" considered everything. Sur ton ventre orgueilleux danse amoureusement. Verse confinement le bienfait et le crime. 4 8 12 16 We may note that the alternatives presented in the questions themselves already decode fundamental hierarchies of the sociosymbolic order. from Beauty's perspective. Et tu gouvernes tout et ne reponds de rien.

"bienfait" (1.of the responses that belie the essentializing questions that provoke them.the poetics . one effect simply contradicts the other. 2). 8).) composing a catalogue of Beauty's various effects. Rather than accept this exclusive disjunction. In line 8. and "desastres" (1." the nature of these effects proves no more possible to identify with any certainty than her essence itself. "crime" (1. It is not with respect to semantics that the answers refute the questions.. 3). "le couchant" (1. for example. while "infernal" (1. but in "Hymne. According to such logic. what enables us to recognize the responses as answers to those questions is that they share a semantic system structured by the opposition of heaven and hell. "le heros lache (1. Terms such as "divin" (1. 1). 11) align with heaven. 11) align with hell. beauty will come from either heaven or hell. the answers contain a series of conjunctions (this and that. 11)." the question-and-answer format moves from Beauty's essence or origins to her effects. 5). either from the blackest depths or from the heavens. "l'enfant courageux" (1. The Poet's questions locate Beauty on a vertical axis: she either springs from spacious skies or rises from the abyss (1. The kinetics of Beauty prove equally confounding. it is the grammar and syntax . as well as by strict equivalence: this is the logic underlying valuehierarchies in socio-symbolic orders. or "la joie et les desastres " (1. since all other possibilities are ruled out by exclusive disjunction [either this or that). 5). the answers take decoding even further by thoroughly confusing the terms and refusing the logic in which such hierarchies are expressed. and "joie" (1. however. 2). The questions are based on a corollary of the law of identity. either emerges from the depths of darkness 61 . 3). Rather than the semantics. Thus metaphoric identity within socio-symbolic codes is defined and stabilized by binary opposition. the effects are themselves internally contradictory and act to disrupt their objects' essences: the hero is made cowardly and the child courageous. the law of the excluded middle: something must be either one thing or its opposite. 8).. Like "La Beaute. and this and that.Correspondences versus beauty ting heaven and hell. On the contrary. In cases like "le bienfait et le crime" (1. 'Taurore" (1. 3). on equal terms. and.

But the domain of her activity does not correspond to these alternatives. "Tu semes au hasard lajoie et les desastres" 11. ton souris.with a resounding "qu'importe" that will echo crucially in later poems in the collection12 . where her bearing oscillates wildly between movements of concentration and dispersal ("Tu contiens dans ton oeil" versus " T u repands des parfums" 11. si tu rends. qu'importe? Ange ou Sirene. m'ouvrent la porte D'un Infini que j'aime et n'ai jamais connu? De Satan ou de Dieu. parfum. effrayant. it occupies instead a more or less horizontal plane.62 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis or descends from the firmament (1. and speaks in his own voice and on his own behalf. Que tu viennes du ciel ou de l'enfer. and refute their binary logic as well. finally. simply to submit to the effects of her charms instead. ton pied. between figures of close attachment and chaotic release ("Le Destin charme suit tes jupons comme un chien" vs. No wonder. and between a formidable upright posture ("Tu marches sur des morts" 1. that the only daring and potentially significant comparison is tendered quite prosaically (complete with an explanation: "pour cela").fee aux yeux de velours." it is because he has abandoned . ingenu! Si ton oeil. Rythme. 9). 5-6). in a domain "governed" by chance and confusion. issues forth from either heaven or hell (1. they actively refuse them.the futile attempt to determine the origins and essence of Beauty. " When the Poet is. and is willing. 24 . 10-11). 15-16). able to speak (unlike the poets of "La Beaute"). . qu'importe. 13) and a seductive prostrate one ("le Meurtre [danse] sur ton ventre" 11. 21). and only as a possibility rather than an affirmation. even eager. without guarantee of results: "Et Ton peut pour cela te comparer au vin" (1. 4). and attributed instead to an anonymous " o n . here they are eschewed by the poet completely. Qu'importe. 6 mon unique reine! L'univers moins hideux et les instants moins lourds? Not only do these conclusions not answer the initial questions. O Beaute! monstre enorme. lueur. If in "La Beaute" metaphor and simile proved perplexing. at the end of "Hymne a la Beaute.

In response. in order to belie and subvert essentializing dichotomies in favor of Beauty's multiple and varied effects. but partly also as questions.Correspondences versus beauty What matters now is not the inner essence of Beauty. she explains. While "Hymne" adopts a perspective symmetrically opposed 63 . lueur. that make all things more beautiful. In "Hymne." More important.t h e "essential" questions. si tu rends. The concluding stanzas invert the question—answer format of the first four. at least make the universe less hideous and time's passing less grievous..?" (11.and the effects these body-parts may have on the Poet: to open the door to an unknown yet longed-for infinity. for they are posed not simply as answers. the qualities attributable to Beauty herself appear to contradict one another: "effrayant.... / Et tu gouvernes tout et ne reponds de rien" (11.their refusal o f . the modern Poet in a world ruled by chance can only hedge his bets and wager that for him they will. not even linked with the word " a n d " : "ton oeil. as ardently longed-for as they are.. ton souris. these effects are by no means a definitive answer. to diminish the horror of the universe and ease the burden of time's passing moments. asserting with a bold "qu'importe" their answer to . ingenu. These fervently hoped-for possibilities that are posed by the mortal Poet regarding Beauty. and which end the poem and "close" the cycle. as before. " . But this brazenly indifferent answer is itself contingent on Beauty's effectiveness: "qu'importe . these contradictory qualities appear in a series which lists them without disclosing their interrelations or mitigating the ensuing confusion.. / Rythme.. ton pied. 26). thus mirror and respond to the clearly superlative assertion made by Beauty to mortal poets in "La Beaute" at the beginning of the cycle: she has pure mirror eyes. parfum." a poetics of inclusive disjunction replaces exclusive disjunction. Yet.. The world of poets is a universe governed by chance and without guarantees: " T u semes au hasard la joie et les desastres. 11-12). Qu'importe. What now counts above all are external parts of her body . 21-23." "yeux de velours.the syntax has shifted from exclusive disjunction to paratactic enumeration of parts. if not make all things more [tu] m'ouvre[s] .

a remark about the rhetoric of its final poem is in order. Before moving beyond the beauty cycle. and subverts them by defying binary logic altogether. Yet compared with the poets depicted in "La Beaute. in both.this symmetry is broken by an anomalous stanza intervening between the sections devoted to Beauty and the Poet. Both poems are structured around the opposition between subject and object. " the logic of question and answer. .w i t h the reciprocity between the allegorical " j e " and " t u . but completely irrelevant. and so forth . and self-identical wholeness is contrasted with multiplicities of body-parts and possessions." the Poet of " H y m n e " has learned something: that the metaphorical realm of identity and essences is not just selfdefeating. alternately depicting beauty's desired effects as both good and evil. and therefore truly neither." its metonymic poetics is much the same. flambe et dit: Benissons ce flambeau! L'amoureux pantelant incline sur sa belle A Fair d'un moribond caressant son tombeau. but with the refrain of "qu'importe" he categorically rejects questions of essence and origin in favor of transitive effects located "beyond good and evil. For the tight symmetry of the two parts of "Hymne a la Beaute" we have just delineated . a harmonious and eternal realm of intransitive inner essence is opposed to a contingent and temporal world of transitive external effects. set apart like a miniature portrait from the surrounding discourse of anxious internal debate: L'ephemere ebloui vole vers toi. good and evil). The increasingly indeterminate nature of beauty's effects at the close of the cycle prefigures the evolution of Baudelaire's metonymic poetics beyond beautification to the sheer intensification of experience in spleen. 17) evidently refers to the second-person figure of the preceding four stanzas. Crepite. chandelle.64 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis to that of" La Beaute. 20 Semantically." The beauty cycle thereby closes with an act of decoding directed at the fundamental value-hierarchies of the socio-symbolic order (heaven and hell. answer and question. Not only does the Poet use no metaphors in the stanzas we examined. the prepositional object " t o i " (1.

thereby confirming or even enacting the poem's religious title. Metaphorical figuration and relations of equivalence accelerate in the next two lines. were it to read: Ephemere. the phrase "Let us bless this flame" (1. flambe et dit: Benissons ce flambeau! Amoureux pantelant. as the succeeding apostrophe.Correspondences versus beauty namely Beauty. we take "l'ephemere" on first reading to mean the Poet —either by metaphor (may-fly :poet::candle:Beauty) or by synecdoche (a part — the quality of being ephemeral — for the whole. J'ai Fair d'un moribond caressant mon tombeau.. given the irrelevance of Beauty's divine or infernal origin and the radical promiscuity of her effects. The may-fly/Poet first becomes a lover: "L'ephemere" and "L'amoureux" occupy parallel positions as subjects of the two sentences comprising this stanza." and the "flambeau" that kills with the cherished "tombeau. the Poet). "chandelle. This metaphorical reading is supported in the next line when "l'ephemere" speaks and blesses the candle's flame. incline sur ma Belle. But the mode of her figuration has here changed abruptly from allegory to metaphor. should we not expect "ma Belle" and "mon tombeau"? The stanza would be far less disconcerting. "Hymn to Beauty. ma chandelle. Crepite.." equates the " t o i " (presumably Beauty) with the candle whose flame will consume. 65 . literally." Indeed. indeed. Reinforced by the rhyme scheme and semantic resonance linking "chandelle" with "belle." this parallelism implies an equivalence between the may-fly and lover as metaphors for the Poet that is a far cry from the explicit logic of the other stanzas and the allegorical force of the " j e " that apostrophizes Beauty and addresses her there as " T u . The same change in mode of figuration has affected the Poet: for to make sense of this stanza in the context of the poem. 18) seems to be the only line in the poem that corresponds to the title at all." If we were right in taking "L'ephemere" and "L'amoureux" metaphorically to be the Poet. je vole envers toi. " This difference is sharply accentuated by the surprising appearance of third-person possessive pronouns in lines 19 and 20: "sa belle" and "son tombeau. the dazzled mayfly ("Pephemere ebloui") that starts the line.

and the effect of the actual text is to evacuate the Poet as lyric subject of enunciation from the stanza where he is supposed to appear most poetical. that the Poet abandons the figures of lyric metaphor. then. meanwhile. presumably by the allegorical " I " that will stake its claim in the following stanzas of the poem." "moribund" — as if the core substance of the Poet had disappeared beneath a welter of mere attributes and possessions.66 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis But it does not. and finally equated — by explicit comparison — with "son tombeau. the direction of its movement through metaphor becomes clear: the metaphorical figure of the lyric poet as ephemeral. " elle " . the initial "toi. but is ironized in turn to undermine meaning and foreground the text's reference to context. and where what " h e " says comes closest to matching the sense of the title. The projected redemption of all things by Beauty's eyes." The mode of dual address in " La Beaute.equated with " belle " (itself modified by a third-person possessive " sa " ) .b y a rhyme comprised. t h e n . but the terms used metaphorically to represent the Poet are themselves only substantivized adjectives: "ephemere. Not only is the " j e " absent. As we reach the last two lines of this curious but compelling stanza. since they have led him directly to death. appears in "Hymne a la . takes in "Le Masque" the more explicit form of ironic allegory. via metaphor. dying lover is abruptly dismissed through the use of the third person possessive pronouns." "amoureux. Our analysis of the concluding poems of the revised beauty cycle has underscored two aspects of the metonymic poetics inaugurated in " La Beaute. where the allegory serves to decode metaphor." referring back to the Beauty of the previous stanzas. is first equated metaphorically with "chandelle". and to count on the ameliorative effects of Beauty's parts as they are registered in real time." designed to cast doubt on the viability of romantic symbolism. He has learned to rely instead on self-consciously ironic allegory. Like the metonymic poetics informing the project of beautification. and replaced moreover by thirdperson possessives. this anti-lyric stance will reappear in the poems devoted to spleen. suggestively enough. of the third-person feminine pronoun." It is no wonder.

the contingency of this poetic enhancing-act is underscored by the accompanying "voracious irony": the poetic "charge" added to things to make them ever more superlative is not an effect of divine inspiration. and hallowed metaphors of romantic symbolism. aesthetic. but a product of worldly fascination. in which meaningful communication is subordinated to contextual reference. essential values. Baudelaire's metonymic poetics aims against the grain of (ethical. and the increasingly pervasive use of sheer enumeration. from unicity and binarity to multiplicity. "all things [become] more beautiful. At the same time. The decoded referentiality of metonymic allegory frees or strips real things of preconceived value in order to make them more beautiful.Correspondences versus beauty Beaute" as the alleviation of human suffering through the contingent effects of Beauty's acts and body-parts. What becomes poetic is the beauty of any thing. or less hideous: what counts is not their "essence" but the degree to which their beauty can be enhanced poetically and these effects of beauty multiplied indefinitely. poetic) socio-symbolic codes to focus primarily on things. thus of everything: in Beauty's eyes. and this fascination is susceptible at any moment to ironic reversal leading to or resulting from the weary tedium of spleen." 13 67 METONYMY PREVAILS "La Beaute" and the revised cycle of beauty introduce a metonymic poetics that both decodes the romantic stance expressed in the preceding poems and informs most of the rest of the collection. it might well be "ironic supernaturalism. Partly out of a modernist preference for textual inscription rather than direct address. setting the stage for other significant revisions ." Hence the profusion of things referred to in Baudelaire's texts: the move from singular to plural. Were Baudelaire to forge a term for the effect of allegory in his metonymical poetics. which compensate for the refusal to submit to the conventional valuehierarchies identifying her origins and essence. and partly out of a refusal of the binary oppositions.

in Chapter 3 . les deux yeux fermes.68 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis and additions to Les Fleurs du Mai. For the same reason. Comparing "Parfum exotique" with the well-known. particularly "Parfum exotique" (xxn). to the confusion of sight and sound typical of the doctrine of synaesthesia. the intervention of the revised beauty cycle throws into sharp relief the very different mode of presentation of these correspondences compared with a metaphoric sonnet such as "La Vie anterieure. for it is the differences between metaphoric and metonymic poetics that truly distinguish the early cycle from later ones. "La Vie anterieure" in many ways embodies the aesthetic epitomized in "Correspondances. to show again that metonymic poetics prevails despite the recurrence of themes. . In "Parfum exotique. bear on the directly succeeding poems in the collection. and then between smell and sound." similar synaesthetic "correspondences" are suggested between sight and smell. Nevertheless. early sonnet "La Vie anterieure" (xn) will enable us to see how "Parfum" realizes the program of metonymic beautification announced at the end of "Hymne a la beaute." I have purposely chosen to compare two poems whose themes and tone are very similar. The new context in which "Parfum" now appears significantly alters our reading of a sonnet that in some ways recalls the synaesthesia typical of " Correspondances" and the evocative power of other poems from the romantic cycle. but also for critical reflections on the role of poetry in market society that occur in the Petits Poemes en one of the "Spleen" poems with another poem from the romantic cycle. en un soir chaud d'automne Je respire Podeur de ton sein chaleureux." Parfum exotique Quand. The most immediate effects of the revised beauty cycle." from the first stanza's depiction of a former life under "majestic pillars" and "vast porticoes" (recalling the "living pillars of Nature's temple" in "Correspondances"). whose addition to the second edition accentuates and extends the beautification project beyond the bounds of the beauty cycle itself. I will . which now appears between two new poems: "Hymne a la Beaute" and "La Chevelure" (xxm). however.

des splendeurs Et des esclaves nus .. Je vois .. " This is not to say that time is absent in "La Vie anterieure. the fragrance now actively guides the Poet toward his visions (1.. ") the scent of tamarind trees wafts in the air. 14 Se mele dans mon ame au chant des mariniers... Pendant que le parfum des verts tamariniers. Guide par ton odeur vers de charmants climats.. 8 Et des femmes dont Poeil par sa franchise etonne.. What the Poet sees is a series of images enumerated without the relations that might obtain between them being made . they simply situate the Poet in the natural setting whose evocation is the poem's main point: 2 10 J'ai longtemps habite sous de vastes portiques Que les soleils teignaient de mille feux.. Au milieu de l'azur. "Parfum exotique. The fall into time depicted in "La Beaute" and particularly in "Le Masque" echoes in the very first word of "Parfum": " Q u a n d . insists on the explicitly temporal and implicitly causal relation of inhaling a fragrance and seeing with closed eyes ("Quand je respire ." on the contrary. 9). Je vois un port rempli de voiles et de mats 11 Encor tout fatigues par la vague marine. Des hommes dont le corps est mince et vigoureux. "). recurring use of the imperfect tense in five of the seven conjugated verbs.Correspondences versus beauty 69 4 Je vois derouler des rivages heureux Qu'eblouissent les feux d'un soleil monotone. Nor do the other two conjugated verbs depict events or actions. The implicit causality of this temporal relation is made more explicit in the tercets: while ("Pendant que. as evidenced by the predominant. des vagues. as the title indicates. Qui circule dans Fair et m'enfle la narine. but this is a completely undifferentiated past where in a sense nothing happens. Une ile paresseuse oil la nature donne Des arbres singuliers et des fruits savoureux. C'est la que j'ai vecu dans les voluptes calmes." which is patently about the past.

6-8). he is reduced . 2). 10). but has merely noted the temporal and proto-causal mechanism of the process he is undergoing.. At the beginning of the first quatrain. 3. 13) to the Poet's inner life.. The explicit stipulation of Poetic agency here contrasts sharply with the Poet's passivity in " La Vie anterieure " (and indeed his total absence from "Correspondances"): there. In this "former life. but his deepest secret that lies at the heart of the setting evoked: nature is not only reflected in the Poet's eyes (1. he has become the object of the woman's fragrance that guides him (1. 9). the process begins to appear as if it were running on automatic: the Poet still sees. the Poet appears to initiate the process: when he inhales. 5. 3 and 10). but he is no longer a sovereign subject." outer nature seems to correspond exactly (even "uniquely" 1. i) through " i n " (1. he sees. 8). 8). he sees (11. Indeed in the last tercet. The end of the first and the entire second quatrain consist of the series of images provoked by inhaling the fragrance. and it is nature that actively "colors the vast porticoes" (1. whereas in "Parfum" he is merely a spectator. it appears as though the Poet never really initiated anything. This enumeration of images contrasts with the enumeration presented in lines IO-I i of "La Vie anterieure. By contrast. Indeed. as adverbs of place move from "under" (1. the final tercet of "La Vie anterieure" suggests that it is not merely the Poet. he merely lives. 7. 2-3). But by the first tercet. and so forth. the very title "Parfum exotique" names not a whole life.70 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis explicit: "des rivages / une ile / des hommes / et des femmes" (11. " whose subject is the Poet and whose point of reference is underscored in the first line of the stanza by "C'est la que j'ai vecu": the Poet is located at the very center of the past life being evoked." for the elements listed there are all objects of the preposition " Au milieu de . 9) to "in the middle of" (1. but may be said to revolve in an evertightening spiral around the core of his being. with its repetition of " J e " and the present indicative (11. Retrospectively. here. but a discrete thing (a "stimulus") which initiates an almost mechanical process whose logic the poem will attempt to spell out. "mixes [its] rich music with the colors of sunset" (11.

2). 2 and 9)." the answer is yes." 1. fragrance. glow" ("Hymne. 27) . even if the Poet himself (or his "soul") turns out to be only the locus rather than the agent of the process. "Parfum exotique" provides an answer to the question raised by the Poet's wager at the end of "Hymne": leaving aside the abstract question of Beauty's origins. and not in nature. And it is not the woman herself that affects the Poet and enables him to the door to infinity. but rather the flights of fancy parts of her body may set off in the poetic imagination. can she . this scent mixes "synaesthetically" with the chant of mariners. but rather a part of her body — or more precisely. In the last line of the poem. the second person whom the poem addresses takes the exclusive form of possessive pronouns (11. but here only the woman's breast and its fragrance are mentioned in the poem. This is. but "in his soul" (1. of course. What matters is not the woman as an essence or a whole. and again in the revised context of the new ending to the beauty cycle.or her "rhythm. but this confusion is attributed neither to some natural agency. 14). to say that the poem recounts an encounter with a particular woman is almost an exaggeration: this is a specific woman and not Beauty. precisely the manner of operation of womanly beauty that "Hymne" and the beauty cycle led us to expect. in line with the metonymic poetics of beautification. Unlike the passive Poet living at the heart of an active nature in the romantic cycle. Indeed.Correspondences versus beauty virtually to a nostril flared by the scent of tamarind trees. 71 . and make the entire universe less hideous? In the concrete case of the woman addressed in "Parfum exotique. nor to the Poet himself: it simply takes place (through the reflexive "Se mele" 1. a part of a part: the smell of her breast (1. Synaesthesia has become. 14). she "appears" only in parts and through the effects they produce in the Poet. the Poet in this sonnet intervenes between sensation and meaning — even if the apparent action of the first quatrain is reduced to the mere location of relatively autonomous poetic interchange by the last tercet. to be sure." but a function of Poetic inscription. Finally. not a reading of "universal analogy. it is true.

" recasts this apparent certainty as a . 23-24). It is the woman's hair that is addressed in the first lines. and not herself. Dans ce noir ocean " (1. then " mon esprit subtil." "La Chevelure" appears to give an equally unequivocal and even more strenuously affirmative answer to the question of Beauty's potential effectiveness that is posed at the end of "Hymne a la Beaute. and up until the very last stanza. and by preceding it with his motive for wanting to shake her hair: to revive the memories sleeping there." As the title makes abundantly clear. 6 fecond paresse " (11. O toison.. as desire. Where "La Chevelure" goes beyond the earlier "Parfum exotique" in developing the poetics of beautification is in its insistence on the role of active poetic volition and desire in attaining beauty's effects. ultimately appears infinite in its own right: "J'irai la-bas" (1. 21).. Je la veux agiter dans l'air comme un mouchoir! 5 The force of this inaugural vouloir echoes throughout the poem in the repeated use of the future tense expressing a Poetic will that. The inverted syntax of the poem's first complete sentence underscores the importance of the Poet's active wanting by isolating "Je la veux" at the beginning of line 5..72 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis The sense of success of the beautification project and the emphasis on the intoxicating effects of women's body-parts are considerably reinforced by the addition of "La Chevelure" to the second edition. moutonnant jusque sur l'encolure! O boucles! O parfum charge de nonchaloir! Extase! Pour peupler ce soir P alcove obscure Des souvenirs dormant dans cette chevelure.. la perle. et le saphir. "Je plongerai ma tete. saura vous retrouver. n ) . immediately following "Parfum exotique. that provokes the Poet's imagination. like the final stanza of "Hymne a la Beaute. Afin qu'a mon desir tu ne sois jamais sourde! Following "Parfum exotique. and finally. it is "chevelure" and its metaphorical equivalents that are repeatedly addressed in the second person. it is the woman's hair. 32 Longtemps! toujours! ma main dans ta criniere lourde Semera le rubis." But the final stanza of the poem.

" (as opposed to "afin d e . 14 Yet compared with " Correspondances" and the other poems of the romantic cycle. what is striking about the many equivalences proposed in " L a Chevelure" between the .. Nevertheless. The question on this reading would be merely rhetorical and therefore positively assertive: is she not just as I say she is?! And it would affirm the ability of the Poet to achieve the effects of beauty through the exercise of volition and desire. It is true. the promise of jewels aiming to secure a lasting response to the Poet's desire. is she not the flask of memory? 35 N'es-tu pas l'oasis ou je reve.. the flask from which he drinks the wine of memory.all suggest that the Poetic project of beautification that appears here as a willed future is a contingent one. and the uncertainty even as to the kind of question it is . . the question that ends the poem. And this in the form of a question: is she not such a place. . . the poem has already answered the question: it states unequivocally in line 14 that her hair contains a dazzling dream ("Tu contiens. dans ta criniere") with jewels in the hope that she will always respond to his desire. as Barbara Johnson has demonstrated. will never be attainable with absolute certainty. for instance) serves to underscore the contingency of the Poet's gambit. the Poet promises to shower her (or more precisely to "sow her m a n e " . the verse version appears metaphorical. that compared to the prose "version" of this poem (entitled " U n hemisphere dans une chevelure" [17]). mer d'ebene. The subjunctive following the optative construction "afin q u e . in a world governed by chance. et la gourde Ou je hume a longs traits le vin du souvenir? 73 These lines appear on one reading as a serious question suddenly casting doubt on the Poet's vigorous enthusiasm: is this woman really not what I think she is? But in another sense. un eblouissant reve"). and one which. ." [sjemera .Correspondences versus beauty wager: for the first time addressing the woman herself rather than her hair. But then the final couplet of the poem transforms the woman back into things: the place where he dreams. " with an infinitive.

decoding has everywhere " always already" begun (pp. Johnson's assertion that "La Chevelure" is predominantly metaphorical derives from her concern with deconstructing the binary opposition between two genres." prose "Chevelure" as functioning . on this view. and indeed we might consider the "later.the verse poem that appeared metaphorical compared with its prose doublet nevertheless functions metonymically in relation to its predecessors in the romantic cycle of the collection. and so on. To assert in this way that the decoding of metaphor by metonymy is already at work in the verse version of "Chevelure. but effects of the Poetic will foregrounded in the first stanza and echoing throughout the poem in the recurring future tense. But Johnson's claim that "La Chevelure" is metaphorical is based not only on the preponderance of metaphors found there. harbors.much as "Le Masque" and "Hymne a la Beaute" do with respect to "La B e a u t e " . . 50).i n order to make the decoding inscribed in the "earlier. To put the point another way. known only to an elect few.the context precisely of Les Fleurs du Mai . We will see in Part II that integrating personal identity by recuperating the past is a program characteristic of the romantic cycle that the beautification project rejects and replaces. is that they are all functions of the Poet: not hidden correspondences of nature herself. we may note that it is not clear in what sense or on what grounds Johnson can assert that the Poet attains identity and recuperates his past by means of the head of hair invoked in this poem. but also on what she calls the Poet's "recuperation of the past" by which he is supposedly able to "attain the totality of his identity" (p. For now. oceans. " which Johnson considers comparatively metaphorical. But situated in a different context . metaphoric poetics can be decoded more than once. (metaphorical) verse and (metonymical) prose poetry. perhaps only confirms the conclusion she herself draws from her comparison of the two versions of the poem: that the difference between metaphor and metonymy does not so much clearly distinguish verse from prose as it differentiates each from itself.74 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis woman's hair and forests." verse "Chevelure" more explicit and hence more legible. 54-55).

not an achievement already attained. but the woman first becomes the place where the Poet dreams. as we have seen. but fantasy-production in general. un eblouissant reve" of line 14. " I n the last two lines of the poem. and this explicitly reiterates the " T u contiens. Finally. not the past: the poem presents a project to be realized. the optative of the last stanza indicates that the project's realization is by no means guaranteed. contact with the head of hair does not stimulate memory alone: it is in fact more likely to provoke revery. 4-5. The point I want to make here is that the apparent metaphoricity or metonymicity of a poem depends on the context in (relation to) which it is read .Correspondences versus beauty For one thing. on the other hand. underscores their metonymical qualities . the woman becomes the ideal container of memories." Johnson asserts (p. 34-35) and once in a flat affirmative (1. mer d'ebene. for my claim is not that the poems following the beauty cycle are all 75 . Reading them in the context of the revised beauty cycle that immediately precedes particular a poetics that tends to undermine the romantic symbolism informing universal analogy and synaesthesia in the romantic cycle. even if the rhetorical question ending the poem suggests that the Poet's desire for it will persevere indefinitely.15 Furthermore. I stress that metonymy tends to undermine metaphor. in those last two lines.which is itself a decisively metonymic perspective! We have repeatedly emphasized how changing contexts (notably the revisions for the second edition of the collection) inevitably alter our perception of the relative value or weight of elements in a poem. Reading poems such as "Parfum exotique" and "La Chevelure" in line with the romantic poetics of " Correspondances" and in contrast with the stark metonymical poetics of the prose collection inevitably highlights their metaphorical features notably a semantics and imagery of synaesthesia. whereas revery appears once in that same interrogative (11. 34-35). 45). What is at issue in this poem is thus not memory alone. References to memory occur only in a subordinate conditional and an interrogative clause (11. the poem is dominated by the future tense. 14).

nor even that they become increasingly metonymic according to some straightforward. his most characteristically modern poetry registers a trajectory away from the metaphoricity of romantic symbolism. it would be possible retrospectively to reread even " Correspondances" itself in light of such a tension: not (as it has most often been read. Baudelaire will cite "Correspondances" in support of a theory of "reciprocal analogy" and "indivisible totality" (although he cites only the first two verses. This metonymic poetics may be most patent and severe in the prose poems.76 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis uniformly metonymic. between a romanticism being abandoned and a modernism still in the making. among which " U n hemisphere dans une chevelure" [1857]). via its decoding by a metonymic poetics. For something unexpected starts happening in the tercets of "Correspondances. beginning the first and third lines. and as I reiterated at the beginning of the chapter) as crystallizing the aesthetic program of romantic symbolism. which may be telling).16 My claim is rather that. as we have seen." as if poetic momentum suddenly picked up and began to accelerate out of control: metaphoric balance and unity give way to metonymic parataxis and enumeration.e. I do not mean to imply either that the beauty cycle can be taken in a biographical way as a simple reflection of some earth-shattering prise-deconscience on Baudelaire's part: as late as April 1861 (i. One might even attribute some of the extraordinary energy of Les Fleurs du Mai to a tension between semantics and poetics. but it is already at work in the verse collection. and well after the publication of some of the most important prose poems. . between metaphor and metonymy. Indeed. but rather as already prefiguring the move away from it. well after the preparation and publication of the second edition of Les Fleurs du Mai. regardless of and perhaps even sometimes against Baudelaire's conscious intentions and most trenchant declarations. The quatrains move smoothly between singulars and plurals: nature's temple and man are the only singulars in the first stanza. followed by plurals. linear progression throughout the rest of the collection. which becomes explicit in "La Beaute" and the poems added to the beauty cycle.

Correspondences versus beauty In the second stanza, plurals occupy the first and last lines, while the singular predominates in between. Substantives receive usually one, at most two complements; in the latter case (11. 6-7) they are parallel and joined symmetrically by "and." The sole exception to this pattern of singularity and symmetrical binarity occurs - perhaps significantly, as a lead into the tercets - in the last line of the second quatrain, with the triple nominative naming synaesthetic elements. But as noted above, both the (parallel anapestic) rhythm linking the triple subject to the terminal reflexive verb (so that each element is both subject and object) and the rhyme linking "se repondent" with "se confondent" in line 5 serve strongly to unify the line and the stanza as a whole. The tercets are, from the start, very different. The impersonal (and elevated or "poetic") "II est des parfums" of the first line of the tercets contrasts sharply with the "La Nature est un temple" of the first line of the quatrains: there a striking equivalence, a substantive claim, is being asserted with all the force of the metaphoric copulative "this is that"; whereas here in the tercets, all that is being said is: "There are fragrances." What follows is a list of similes that is potentially endless - if we take the lack of conjunction between the second and third simile, the comma at the end of the line, and the dash that intervenes at the beginning of the next line to signal that the enumeration of similes could continue indefinitely, but has been interrupted in mid-sentence. And as the similes multiply in number, they also increase in banality: "fresh like babies' skin" is nice enough; "mellow like oboes" will do; but "green like prairies" ? As in the case of the copulative that begins the tercet, the poetic force of simile has here been reduced to a minimum. The list then starts off in another direction: "And [there are] others [fragrances] . . . " But in the second tercet these fragrances are said not so much to be or be like something else (by metaphor or simile), but rather (metonymically) to possess a certain property: that of "having the expansiveness of infinite things." What follows this attribution of expansiveness to the other perfumes is another list... of perfumes, introduced by the term " comme " functioning here in a way slightly different from



Baudelaire and schizo analysis

the straightforward similes of the second quatrain. As De Man has noted, this "comme" is ambiguous: it can refer either to having the property of expansiveness -"as do ambergris, musk, benjamin and incense," or to the perfumes themselves" [There are] other [perfumes] such as ambergris, musk, benjamin, and incense." In the first case, "comme" is still engaged in comparison, but instead of associating a single property with a discrete stimulus - as do the similes in stanza 2: freshness with babies' skin, mellowness with oboes - here the single property is distributed indiscriminately across the entire list of stimuli. In the second case, the "comme" is not comparative at all, but purely illustrative. This ambiguity is " undecidable "; but in either case, the "comme" introduces not a balanced equation, but serial enumeration.17 It would appear, then, on this reading, that "Correspondances " itself moves away from metaphor toward metonymy as it moves from cerebral to more corporeal sensations.18 The first stanza is the most forcefully metaphoric: it boldly declares that "this is that." It is also the most abstract, referring to knowing glances, words, and even symbols. The second stanza is more cautious: it only suggests that "this is like that." It is also somewhat more concrete, naming various sensations, but describing primarily the relatively cerebral senses of sight and sound. The third stanza begins with an assertion of mere existence ("There are perfumes..."), then multiplies comparisons to the point of banality. Here the concrete sense of smell predominates. The fourth stanza attributes a property instead of comparing likenesses, and ultimately enumerates tautologically: here, perfumes are no longer like babies or prairies, they are like ... perfumes; or more precisely, the quality of the "other" (1. 11) perfumes is exemplified... by other perfumes: ambergris, musk, and so on. Perhaps this is why Baudelaire in 1861 quotes only the quatrains in support of his theory of universal analogy: there, "everything becomes potentially identical with everything else," while in the tercets, everything becomes virtually indiscriminate. It is as if the poetic charge increases as stimulating sensations get closer to the body; as if in the proliferation of comparans and comparata, the poetic

Correspondences versus beauty process engaging senses and spirit gets carried away with itself - or gets carried away by corporeal sensations that "chantent les transports de l'esprit et des sens" - and gets carried away from the possibility of making any meaningful or unambiguous sense whatsoever. It is not my aim to read poem by poem through the entire collection of Les Fleurs du Mai to measure in each case the relative weight of metaphor and metonymy. My argument has been that the revisions for the second edition of Les Fleurs du Mai produce significant changes in context for the other poems and the collection as a whole, changes that tend to foreground the process of decoding initiated most clearly in "La Beaute." My procedure so far has been to examine the revised beauty cycle to see in what ways it reinforces the decoding already inscribed in "La Beaute," and to see how the cycle as a whole affects our reading of the poems immediately following it in the collection. I want to turn now to the end of the first section of the work, " Spleen et Ideal," to determine what effects the second-edition revisions have had and what forms the inscription of decoding takes there.



Spleen and evil


With the evident exception of the creation of an entirely new section, the "Tableaux Parisiens," no changes for the second edition are more marked, or more complex, than the revision of the end of "Spleen and Ideal." Most commentators agree that the changes give the section a clearer sense of an ending than did the first edition, which meandered to a close with some of the collection's least remarkable poems, such as "La Pipe" (LXVIII) and "La Musique" (LXIX). In the revised version, these poems have been moved from the very end to a position preceding sixteen poems — some old, some new — which now conclude the section. To be sure, this new grouping of poems — which starts with "Sepulture" (LXX) and "Une gravure fantastique" (LXXI), but also includes new poems such as "Le Gout du neant" (LXXX), "Alchimie de la douleur" (LXXXI), and "Horreur sympathique" (LXXXII) - accentuates a thematics of morbid perversity as a kind of counter-weight to the faithful optimism of the opening, romantic cycle of the section. But considerable controversy remains as to whether the overall unity of the section has been enhanced, as well as to what the significance of the new ending cycle might be. D. J. Mossop who offers the most complete, strictly thematic (and hence ultimately unsatisfactory) interpretation of the "architecture of Les Fleurs du Mai" (as per his subtitle) -commends the new positions of" L'Heautontimoroumenos" (LXXXIII) and"LTrremediable" (LXXXIV), now third- and second-to-last, for the emphasis they put on the Poet's self-imposed damnation; but he

Spleen and evil


therefore must dismiss the addition of "L'Horloge" (LXXXV) at the very end of the section as an anomaly, for it does not square with the thematics of self-consciously pursued vice that for Mossop make the revised "Spleen and Ideal" section a drama of the Poet's fall from the "aspiration toward ideal beauty" of the early poems to the "hell of spleen" at the end of the section.1 It was, of course, Barbey d'Aurevilly who coined the term "secret architecture" to suggest the by now famous notion of a "structure" informing the collection. But it is important to recall that he did so in an article defending Baudelaire during his obscenity trial.2 Baudelaire, too, insisted at one point that the work be read as a whole ("dans son ensemble"), so that its "terrifying morality" would stand out - but he did so in notes to his lawyer for the same trial; he would write years later in a personal letter that he filled "that atrocious book" with all his hatred, and that the solemn oaths he swore to the contrary were nothing but lies.3 In yet another letter, he insists that the collection has not so much a stable architecture, but rather a coherent movement: " a beginning and an end"; 4 here he is ingratiating himself with Alfred de Musset, whose help he hopes to enlist in his candidacy for the Academie Frangaise. In letters to his mother regarding the second edition, Baudelaire also underscores the pre-existing framework into which he has inserted new poems, although it is clear that in many cases (particularly the "Tableaux Parisiens") it is the frame that is new, and the poems (in some cases) that are old; here, too, there is more than a hint of self-justification involved.5 My point in sketching the contexts in which Baudelaire and others insisted on the coherence of Les Fleurs du Mai is not to deny categorically the existence of a thematic structure, but to temper the attraction of too simple a notion of coherence in order to suggest that there is something else at work in the collection as well — what I have identified as a tendency toward metonymy that disrupts the metaphoric poetics conducive to stable architecture. 6 In this light, the revised ending of "Spleen and Ideal" can best be understood in terms of a tension among three different impulses: first, a stark and explicit thematic opposition to romanticism, often conducted in the latter's own


Baudelaire and schizoanalysis

metaphoric poetics and imagery; second, a continuing poetic subversion of metaphoric romanticism via metonymy; and finally, an increasingly explicit thematicization of metonymic poetics itself, especially compared with the beauty cycle that inaugurated it. The first of the five new poems added to the new ending of "Spleen and Ideal," entitled "Obsession" (LXXIX), embodies this tension by first of all reversing the tone of specific metaphors borrowed from the romantic cycle, and then subverting metaphoric poetics altogether. The harmonious images of man and nature characteristic of " Correspondances" and the romantic cycle as a whole are here so explicitly and utterly rejected that it is difficult to understand how "Correspondances" could ever have been taken as the key poem expressing the aesthetic program of the collection.7 Obsession Grands bois, vous m'effrayez comme des cathedrales; Vous hurlez comme Porgue; et dans nos coeurs maudits, Chambres d'etemel deuil ou vibrent de vieux rales, Repondent les echos de vos De profundis. Je te hais, Ocean! tes bonds et tes tumultes, Mon esprit les retrouve en lui; ce rire amer De l'homme vaincu, plein de sanglots et d'insultes, Je Pentends dans le rire enorme de la mer. Comme tu me plairais, 6 nuit! sans ces etoiles Dont la lumiere parle un langage connu! Car je cherche le vide, et le noir, et le nu! Mais les tenebres sont elles-memes des toiles Oil vivent, jaillissant de mon oeil par milliers, Des etres disparus aux regards familiers.


8 11 14

The first quatrain clearly invokes the imagery of nature as place of worship from "Correspondances," but with the effect of virtually canceling it out: what conveyed mystical elevation and divine inspiration in the early poem now conveys terror and dejection, instead. And in order to accomplish this reversal, the stanza functions according to the same poetics as the earlier poem: the woods are compared in explicit similes to cathedrals

Nature. 2). moreover." Even while repeating the imagery of an earlier. as well as (by synecdoche: "Mon esprit") at the beginning of the second line. 1) and as part of a (plural) possessive pronoun ("nos coeurs maudits" 1. In a similar way. now becomes object .8 The last line of the stanza. the metaphorical apposition equating inside with outside (cursed hearts with rooms of mourning) in the following line makes the comparison that is patent in the "comme" of lines 1 and 2 all the more forceful for being implicit. which begins "Homme libre. Present in the first stanza only as a direct object ("vous m'effrayez" 1. The first tercet . But here the poetics changes radically. Each of the first two stanzas presents a distinct idea in a complete sentence with no rhymes repeated. toujours tu cheriras la mer! / La mer est ton miroir." as if to ensure that the allusion to the key words of the doctrine of correspondences and universal analogy is not missed. 1-3). only to reverse its valence: here it is patently something the Poet longs to escape. The second quatrain. "ce rire amer / Je l'entends dans le rire enorme de la mer. then of his perception: the equivalences presented apodictically in the first quatrain appear here as a function of Poetic appropriation: "Mon esprit retrouve [tes bonds] en lui". 10) echoes the imagery of nature's secret language from the romantic cycle ("Le langage des fleurs et des choses muettes" 1. 20 of "Elevation"). and their sound to the wail of an organ (1. tu contemples ton ame / Dans le deroulement infini de sa lame" (11. reverses imagery from an early poem: the image of the sea as mirror of the soul from " L'Homme et la Mer" (xiv). the Poet suddenly appears as subject of the three main phrases comprising the second stanza: foregrounded as an active "Je " at the beginning of the first and last lines. too. the middle line of the third stanza ("la lumiere parle un langage connu" 1.first of the Poet's hatred. 1). this stanza shifts its poetics in the direction of metonymy by foregrounding the agency of the Poet in the composition of comparisons and equivalences. 2). repeats the terms "echo" and "respond" from " Correspondances. metaphoric poem (in order to reverse its value).Spleen and evil 83 (1. subject of the first quatrain.

" But what are the shadows " themselves " ? What can "toiles" mean in this context? Are they. by synecdoche. This virtually endless proliferation of beings.. by common synecdoche. but he is sometimes unable to rid himself of it. The final tercet then explains in turn why escape to the void is nonetheless futile: the language he seeks to avoid is not a part of nature. et le noir. The line's unexpected repetition of " e t " (instead of the normal "le vide. 11).contains the only verb of being in the poem: "sont" (1. by extension in another direction. le noir. This last tercet — perhaps contrary to expectation. et le n u " (1. and that.. paintings " i n " which the beings in question live? Or. and now seeks a dark and barren void. but an open-ended series: this. emerges here (as in "Parfum exotique") as a process independent of him. which is moreover reinforced by the emphatic " elles-memes " immediately following it and perhaps by the substantive "etres" of the last line. adumbrated in the last line of the first tercet by the open-ended series of qualities actively sought by the Poet. somewhat literally again. The Poet may be able to summon inspiration whenever he wants (to paraphrase Baudelaire). away from the metaphoricity of the first stanza . et le nu") produces not a closed set. poses an equivalence between shadows and " toiles. apostrophizing night this time. This verb. since the movement of the poem seems to be in the direction of metonymy. and ends by explaining the fear and hatred expressed in the quatrains: the Poet would shun star-light which speaks a well-known language. canvass in the form of sails? Or are they. slightly less figuratively. and that. ships on which forgotten beings live? Are they. beyond his control: the Poet who (as subject or agent) reviled nature in the preceding stanzas is eclipsed by a Poetic faculty which here threatens to overwhelm him. which bears the weight of explaining why recourse to the void is futile. and . noir et n u " or even "le vide. even the darkness opposed to nature's light teems with beings that spew forth by the thousands from the Poet's eye. spider webs which harbor phantom . as is the case here. 12). but — as we know from the poetics of the second stanza — a product of Poetic imagination.84 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis starts up again. are they the canvasses on which the Poet (as artist) paints these beings? Are they. "le vide.

Avalanche. would open the door to a longed-for infinity hitherto unknown to him ("m'ouvrent la porte / D'un Infini que j'aime et n'ai jamais connu" "Hymne" 11. or dead souls who give us knowing looks (" Des etres disparus. finally displaying in the abysmal ambiguities of the phrase "sont elles-memes des toiles" the insistent uncertainties of a decoded metaphoric axis. By the time we reach "Obsession. invoked in the poem immediately following "Obsession." that infinity appears in a very different light: as a terrifying abyss the Poet now longs to escape. The quatrains' neat thematic opposition to the aesthetics of the romantic cycle is thus undermined by the poetics and assertions of the tercets. At the end of the beauty cycle. neither can we know who or what lives there: are they beings who have disappeared from our view ("Des etres. despite or because of her essential indeterminacy. 23-24).Spleen and evil 85 creatures? Or are they. Je contemple d'en haut le globe en sa rondeur Et je n'y cherche plus Pabri d'une cahute. the Poet finds that time unredeemed by the hoped-for effects of beauty is a disaster. disparus aux regards familiers"). Gomme la neige immense un corps pris de roideur. snares which trap the thousand-fold figments of an excessive imagination? If we cannot know with certainty what the shadows are. For the nothingness the Poet sought as an antidote to romantic idealism/symbolism proves impossible: he is faced instead with a multiplicity of images whose indeterminacy seems to grow with their proliferation. so apparently does their indeterminacy. Having fallen into time ("Le Masque"). but then proceeds to decode metaphoric poetics itself. The only recourse. a nightmare from which he cannot awake. aux regards familiers ") ? There is really no way to tell: as the number of fantasy images increases. veux-tu m'emporter dans ta chute? 14 . the Poet had hoped that Beauty's effects." appears to be death: Et le Temps m'engloutit minute par minute. more figuratively. "Obsession" is a poem that initially "reverts" to metaphor in order to decode the imagery of romantic symbolism.

especially in "Hymne" and " Chevelure. unlike mortal dipsomaniacs. 9-14). but as he invites the worms to consume his remains. from which the Poet is unable to escape. memory in "Spleen" no. . THE SPLEEN CYCLE The spleen poems and the cycle centered on them are crucial to the new ending of "Spleen and Ideal" for two reasons. Here the Poet's attempt to revive old memories in song is likened to the death-rattle of a dying man immobilized under a huge pile of corpses (11. 12—14). 3. 4)." Secondly. First of all. This theme is introduced early in the cycle. ni gibier. they show how the failure of beauty to endow lived experience with value and meaning nonetheless does not preclude metonymic reference to context. In the same vein. first in the figure of the Danaides' vessel. which is impossible to fill. The failure of the lyric subject in invoking memory to counteract the passage of time appears as the thematic content of "La Cloche felee" (LXXIV). And in "Le Tonneau de la haine" (LXXIII). they make explicit the eclipse of memory and the renunciation of the lyric subject that remained implicit in the beauty cycle and following poems.. 12-14). " (LXXVII) culminates a series of distractions and amusements that can no longer rouse the Poetking from his lethal boredom: " Rien ne peut Pegayer. can never get enough vengeance to pass out under the table (11. and then in the image of a perpetually drunken Hate who. this fear of empty infinitude is in effect confirmed. he worries that there might be some further torture in store (11. "Le Mort joyeux" (LXXII) depicts a Poet ready to lie down and die so as to "sleep in oblivion" (1. But the theme of the cycle is epitomized in the four " Spleen" poems that form its core. "Je suis comme le roi.86 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis "Obsession" and "Le Gout du neant" conclude a cycle of eleven poems devoted to the theme of the empty infinitude of time lived in the absence of beauty. which introduces the "Spleen" poems (and was itself originally entitled "Spleen"). in a poetic project of " intensification" that takes up where the project of beautification leaves off..

2—3). instead of blood. the poem insists in the last two couplets. the Poet's soul is likened to the cracked church bell of the title ("Moi. " (LXXVI). Qui contient plus de morts que la fosse commune. Not even memory. 2.. . ") whose imaginary comparata (" . in the other. de proces. 5-6). respirent l'odeur d'un flacon debouche. Oil comme des remords se trainent de longs vers Qui s'acharnent toujours sur mes morts les plus chers. / Ni son peuple mourant en face du balcon " (11. ballads) appear in profusion (11. unable to give voice to memory. flow the green waters of forgetfulness [rechauffer ce cadavre hebete / Ou coule au lieu de sang l'eau verte du Lethe] " (11. "J'ai plus de souvenirs .. / It's . In one. C'est une pyramide. emblems of memories (balance-sheets. by contrast.. De vers. Comparisons then multiply. 5 10 The process starts with a hyperbolic comparison ("I have more memories than. than if I were a thousand years old") makes the Poet's "more" memories virtually innumerable.. In "Spleen" no. their secrets (1. can "revive this dazed corpse / In which. . 9). the hopeless struggle of memory against the passage of time and the disappearance of the lyric subject are staged in a metonymic mode more like that of "La Beaute. 17-18)." The first part of the poem is marked by the repetition of " J e " in a series of futile attempts to find it adequate expression: J'ai plus de souvenirs que si j'avais mille ans. becoming more and more extravagant. . 5) unrevealed. Un gros meuble a tiroirs encombre de bilans.. Cache moins de secrets que mon triste cerveau. billets-doux.Spleen and evil 87 ni faucon. un immense caveau. Avec de lourds cheveux roules dans des quittances. Oil les pastels plaintifs et les pales Boucher. de romances. mon ame est felee. Seuls. de billets-doux. " 1. Oil git tout un fouillis de modes surannees. And in the final comparison (" my sorry head. the opening simile equating the Poet with the king of a rainy country governs the imagery of the entire poem..Je suis un cimetiere abhorre de la lune. Yet the poetics of these poems remains largely metaphoric. Je suis un vieux boudoir plein de roses fanees. But the emblems remain mute.

. " ) : Je suis un vieux boudoir plein de roses fanees. but these equivalents are not persons. In a text where generally speaking no rhyme repeats. the grammatical subject in the second rhymed quatrain (11. At the same time. nor even animate beings. which hyperbolizes and metaphorizes the preceding comparison. 1 and no. Seuls. . the eight lines in the course of which the subject disappears (11.. as if to underscore the complete elimination of the speaking " J e " . 1. At this point the text switches modes and posits equivalents (rather than comparisons) for the speaking subject. 11) where paintings alone breathe the odor of an unstoppered bottle (11.88 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis a pyramid. then " I am an old boudoir" (1. respirent l'odeur d'un flacon debouche. the " J e " of line 11 is the last firstperson pronoun in the poem. Oil les pastels plaintifs et les pales Boucher. As in "Spleen" no. " [LXXVIII]). first of all: nothing (subject of the main clause. 13-14). the eclipse of the speaking subject leaves only places and things in its wake. indeed. Rien n'egale en longueur les boiteuses journees. Oil git tout un fouillis de modes surannees. 11-14). and appear more numerous in the Poet's head than corpses in the common grave (1. fruit de la morne incuriosite. and thus stand out unmistakably. 17. the condition that in a sense (as in " Spleen " no. 8). 4 ("Quand le ciel bas et l o u r d . 5-6).. these secrets themselves expire. 6). subject of a temporal dependent clause introduced by " Q u a n d " at the beginning of line 16). After disappearing as " J e " in a regime of equivalence (11. equivalence is forcefully rejected in favor of comparison (particularly in the phrase "Rien n'egale. 11—18) all share the same rhyme. accentuated as one syllable at the beginning of the alexandrin and the stanza. but places totally and explicitly devoid of life: first " I am a graveyard" (1. .Desormais tu n'es plus.. and then: ennui (1. 15-19) becomes. Quand sous les lourdsfloconsdes neigeuses annees L'ennui. 1) replaces the " I " as (at least the topical) subject of the entire poem.. " 11. 6 matiere vivante! 15 . Prend les proportions de Pimmortalite. 15).

Living matter . 20-23) into a thing ignored and deserted." 11.. Whatever interpretation prevails over this indeterminacy. The first reading of the next line (particularly with the exclamation point at the end: " . So the first-person subject. only when day is done. as "you are no more" becomes "you are no more. a sphinx. though devoid of content." "ignore. now addressed in the second person: "Living matter. memory appeared virtually infinite. et dont l'humeur farouche Ne chante qu'aux rayons du soleil qui se couche. Assoupi dans le fond d'un Saharah brumeux. Oublie sur la carte. 89 Whereas initially.Desormais tu n'es plus. only to be resuscitated in the second person and immediately transformed into a third-person matter that is addressed in the second person is suddenly transformed into no more than matter. than a block of granite surrounded by vacant terror " (11." "oublie. a non-person: a rock. art. and perfume-bottles ." "assoupi.. is able to address the absent Poet and locate him outside the referencepoints of a heedless humanity. 6 matiere vivante!") reiterates the disappearance of the subject. 19-20). now time does: nothing is as long as the days when listless boredom assumes the dimensions of immortality. a thing that sings at the farthest remove from human concerns. Un vieux sphinx ignore d'un monde insoucieux.Spleen and evil 20 Qu'un granit entoure d'une vague epouvante. disappears in the face of ennui."9 Perhaps it is Ennui personified who. the dash at the beginning of line 19 and . transformed (in a series of objectifying passive participial complements: "entoure. as Laurent Jenny would have it: "Thus the poetic song would arise not so much from the soul of the romantic as from the granite of his tomb itself.f o r instance a " j e " that would declare itself (11. having taken the measure of immortality (1. 18). even now you are no more [or] you already no longer exist!" But the supposed death of living matter is immediately recast by the following line as its transformation into stone instead. And who addressed it as " t u " ? Who depicts the forgotten song? Perhaps the Poet has doubled himself at death and now speaks from beyond the tomb. 11—14) a boudoir full of old fashions. full only of dead memories.

The same effect of" pietinement sur place. she clearly fails to. here the Poet. Beautification verges into sheer intensification. In his essay on Gautier. Baudelaire insists that the rhythm of lyric poetry must be "elastic and smooth-flowing. "gives out within a few lines. But this failure does not signal the defeat of the metonymic poetics she inaugurated. commentaries frequently mention a halting. " 12 and is replaced by another in turn.the text operates so as to make simply anything more intense. Or conversely: her failure ." 10 On this criterion alone. The oppressive weight of time is a recurring theme in the spleen cycle. is patently clear: the lyric subject is transformed from living matter into stone." how the Poet strives to define himself by means of a series of comparisons. The eclipse of the speaking subject is not the only signal of the anti-lyrical stance of the "Spleen" poems. or rather the poetic text .90 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis the sudden appearance of the second person and an apostrophe signal a change of register from the communicative mode. and recalls the Poet's wager at the end of the (revised) beauty cycle: that she will "ease the burden of time's passing moments. almost staccato rhythm as one of their distinctive features. characterizes . On the contrary: metonymization continues unabated.since this is the very moment of the Poet's disappearance as lyric subject ." but in a temporal rather than subjective frame. Bereft of speaking spleen. however. the text stages the fate of a lyric poetry which has foundered on the death of memory and remains sunk in the limitless wastes of time. in which the lyric subject had addressed us as "je." to a textual mode where who or what is addressing living matter as " t u " is not clear. the "Spleen" poems could spell the end of the lyric in Les Fleurs du Mai. if Baudelaire's own characterization of lyric poetry is taken into consideration. The effect of this switch of address. even the repulsive and utterly meaningless experience of boredom so typical of Baudelairean spleen." In spleen.11 We have seen in "J'ai plus de souvenirs. each of which soon proves redeem the moment . nothing brusque or choppy befits it. Yet the terms of the poetic project have changed: where Beauty proposed to make all things more beautiful.

with neither a grammatical person (such as the u j e " in "Spleen" no. by returning to a fixed point of departure or nexus of associations.. 2 (" Quand le ciel bas et lourd .. 1 ("Pluviose . they appear to start over and over again instead (as in "Spleen" no. L'Ennemi Ma jeunesse ne fut qu'un tenebreux orage. Et l'obscur Ennemi qui nous ronge le coeur Du sang que nous perdons croit et se fortifie! 4 8 11 14 "L'Ennemi" (x) is organized as a cohesive metaphoric system based on the equivalence posited from the very first line between .. or even cancel each other out (as in "Spleen" no. tout a coup" in "Spleen" no. What is striking is that these metaphoric associations never add up and develop. Traversee $a et la par de brillants soleils. 4). In both cases. Le tonnerre et la pluie ont fait un tel ravage. 2). 2) nor an explicit temporal frame (such as "Quand . Qu'il reste en mon jardin bien peu de fruits vermeils..the burden of time ... even while contributing to the choppiness of the poems' rhythm. Et qu'il faut employer la pelle et les rateaux Pour rassembler a neuf les terres inondees.O douleur! 6 douleur! Le Temps mange la vie. Oil l'eau creuse des trous grands comme des tombeaux. "Spleen" no. ") takes this attenuation of the metaphoric axis even further. by juxtaposing a series of discrete images. 4) serving to ground or unify the associations.will highlight the anti-lyric rhythm of the "Spleen" poems and further demonstrate in what sense that rhythm can be considered metonymical in its poetics. Voila que j'ai touche l'automne des idees. Et qui sait si lesfleursnouvelles que je reve Trouveront dans ce sol lave comme une greve Le mystique aliment qui ferait leur vigueur? . the repeated term reinforces the metaphoric axis. " ) : the repetition of " Q u a n d " at the beginning of each of the first three stanzas finally leads to a brief spurt of activity in the fourth stanza. before returning to the initial state of morbid boredom in the fifth. Comparing it with a sonnet from the romantic cycle that treats precisely the same theme .Spleen and evil 91 " Spleen " no.

. the "Spleen" poem lurches from image to image without apparent connections. 5-8) and the hope sustained for future blossoms (11. g—11)." as opposed to "Pendant que" or "En meme temps que") accentuates the exteriority and lack of relation between succeeding images in the poem.what little there is left after the ravages of youth have let so little fruit ripen to nourish the poet's dreams . ". 4 8 11 14 Where "L'Ennemi" flows smoothly as each metaphor modulates neatly into the next. et la buche enfumee Accompagne en fausset la pendule enrhumee. L'ame d'un vieux poete erre dans la gouttiere Avec la triste voix d'un fantome frileux. The tragic conclusion of the final tercet itself employs the same "organic" metaphoric system in force throughout the sonnet: time devours life . we find not a coherent set of "organic" metaphors.92 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis the poet's life and nature. Le bourdon se lamente. Mon chat sur le carreau cherchant une litiere Agite sans repos son corps maigre et galeux. Heritage fatal d'une vieille hydropique.. Le beau valet de coeurs et la dame de pique Causent sinistrement de leurs amours defunts. No temporal indices are given to relieve the indeterminacy of the homogenous present tense. but a disjointed series of images each expressing in itself the theme of weary boredom: Pluviose. De son urne a grands flots verse un froid tenebreux Aux pales habitants du voisin cimetiere Et la mortalite sur les faubourgs brumeux. irrite contre la ville entiere. by contrast.and drains the heart of blood. Cependant qu'en un jeu plein de sales parfums. The poet's life span is likened to a growing season through the development of the initial metaphor of a storm-troubled and impoverished childhood garden (11.13 In "Pluviose. 1-4) into images of the autumn of intellect's discontent (11. . with the possible exception of "Cependant que" of line 11 which only reinforces the indifferent simultaneity ("while") of the setting or at most (by resonance with "cependant" in the negational sense of "however" or "nevertheless.

7). to the residence itself. and furthermore by its expulsion (to the gutter) from the very residence whose extensive description was supposed to attest to his presence. it might be equally or even more plausible to refer " M o n . while the phantom voice of the former (lyric) poet wanders sadly outside in the gutter. This suggestion is supported by the mention of "the soul of an old poet" occurring in the same position as subject of the second clause of the stanza (both subjects being determined. Whichever interpretation one chooses in the face of this indeterminacy. treating them instead as discrete images in the metonymical sequence of images that comprises the entire poem. thereby situating him as owner of the cat and by implication as occupant of a residence the description of whose interior constitutes a large portion of the text.. " in the absence of a resident. Only the possessive pronoun " M o n " (the only firstperson pronoun in "Spleen" no. and by personification of a thing.. agite. 2-3 and 8). It may. it is clearly the setting that predominates in this ." "erre dans la gouttiere"). by predicate complements of place and semantically similar verbs of erratic motion: "sur le carreau . In light of this expulsion of the poem's only figure of the poet (who thus spatially joins the chilly inhabitants of the neighboring cemetery whose status as shivering phantoms he shared anyway. the two parallel independent clauses joined paratactically by the semi-colon separating them at the end-of line 6 mirror one another and are to be read in a metaphorical relation making one the virtual equivalent of the other. be the place that is inscribed as the first person in this poem.Spleen and evil 93 The contrast between the two poems also points up the almost total absence of the Poet from the latter. 1) — appearing in line 5 and modifying the subject of the first clause of the stanza — suggests that it is perhaps the Poet who is speaking. 11. in other words.14 But this interpretation is belied first of all by the anonymity imposed on the "old poet's soul" by its indefinite article. whereas the former places the Poet at its center and makes his life its guiding thread. On this interpretation. " u n " ("L'ame d'un vieux poete" 1. moreover. This reading refuses metaphorical status to the parallel clauses of stanza 2.

The foregrounding of the referential function in metonymic discourse may help explain the difference in "feel" between the metaphors of "L'Ennemi" and the emblems in "Spleen. the fireplace log (1. the metaphorical images of the romantic sonnet seem unreal and the strong Poetic voice strangely unsituated or disembodied. 9. as if the acuteness of the ennui enhanced the acuity of the Poet's perception — or rather of poetic depiction. and to the exclusion of any determinate meaning. And this is one of the salient features of a discourse in which the metonymic axis predominates and the metaphoric is attenuated: reference to context prevails over stable meaning and identity.focusing ever more obsessively first on the rainy season outside. While the Poet figures at most only as owner of his cat. rather than the Poet. ennui . the clock (1. The project of intensification thus picks up where beautification left off. then on the residence itself.seem palpably concrete and the setting starkly real." For all their drama and systematic concision. 1-4). the " Spleen" text gives voice instead to things: it is by the intensity of their depiction and not of subjective expression that spleen is to be measured. We are in effect obliged to infer the presence of the Poet (and for instance the possibility that he may be playing or shuffling cards in order to pass the time) from the setting rather than simply read his presence symbolized in/by nature. the great bell (1. the things that surround him are all personified: the rain (11. 9). 10). is based on comparisons rather than . then on the hearth and mantle. For having banished the Poet as speaking subject. 11—14). finally on the pack of cards in the Poet's hands .boredom. Or more precisely: we infer the condition of the (disappearing) Poet . whereas the emblematic images of "Spleen" . as the Poetic will required to appreciate beauty evaporates under the influence of spleen.94 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis poem. along with the recourse to memory to salvage experience from the ravages of time. the deck of cards (11. Metonymy continues to prevail.from the emblems of that condition that comprise the surroundings. recalling the carillons of "La Cloche felee"). for splenetic intensification entails multiple and indeterminate referentiality rather than integrative identity.

Its opening stanza seems to comment explicitly on the inherent ambiguity of "ironic supernaturalism. we invoked Baudelaire's term "ironic supernaturalism" to designate the poetic charge added to things to make them more beautiful. 9-10). can be more surely attained through willful perversity than from even the most excruciating boredom." its capacity for spleen as well as beauty — to the point of citing the title of the poem that opens the spleen cycle ("Sepulture"): L'un t'eclaire avec son ardeur. choosing to "change gold into iron / And paradise into hell (je change Tor en fer / Et le paradis en enfer)" (11. the Poet takes the side of evil. and occupies the dispersion of real time rather than the fictive unity of remembrance. One of the ironies of such "supernaturalism" is that this poetic charge. it turns out. Such is the conclusion drawn in "Alchimie de la douleur. . the charge of intensity. in the absence of beauty and with the evaporation of Poetic will. and the thematic opposition itself is accompanied by further metonymization of poetics. and thence throughout the four poems comprising this cycle. can make things simply more intense. as well. But the subject of evil is also a subject of irony. The turn from passively suffering spleen to actively willing evil necessarily entails a reappearance of the subject and also involves explicit thematic opposition to the romantic homilies of the opening cycle of the collection. In the absence of inspired faith and of beauty's fascination. In discussing the importance of things and of reference to context in the beauty cycle. the succeeding poems then showed that beautification depended not on divine inspiration but on an increasingly carnal Poetic will.Spleen and evil 95 equations. L'autre en toi met son deuil. Another of its ironies is that it can make things more terrible. Nature! Ge qui dit a l'un: Sepulture! Dit a l'autre: Vie et splendeur! But in the next sentence." the poem that marks the transition from spleen into evil.

The total absence of the "first person. vos lueurs sont le reflet / De l'enfer ou mon coeur se plait" (1.. the Poet of "Horreur sympathique" claims the light of the heavens as a mere reflection of his own infernal predilections: "Cieux.96 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis THE CYCLE OF EVIL Having started in the third person.. 11 Dans le suaire des nuages Je decouvre un cadavre cher." of the Poet himself. Mon desir gonfle d'esperance Sur tes pleurs sales nagera 4 8 . Pour abreuver mon Saharah. refer explicitly to irony and to the doubling of the self as mirror of itself." and is in fact prepared by the fate of the Poet as speaking subject in the preceding poem of the pair. Gomme Moise le rocher! Et je ferai de ta paupiere. Et sur les celestes rivages 14 Je batis des sarcophages. "Alchimie de la douleur" reaffirms the role of Poetic will by switching thereafter to firstperson pronouns. Jaillir les eaux de la soufFrance. But in "L'Irremediable. "L'Heautontimoroumenos" and "L'Irremediable.. comme un boucher. Both poems.. "L'Heautontimoroumenos": Je te frapperai sans colere Et sans haine." Reading these two poems side by side and in this order produces poetic effects that were no doubt illegible in the first edition. 14). of course. concluding with four assertions of Poetic activity: Par toi je change Tor en fer Et le paradis en enfer. Yet the actual identity of this active Poet is immediately put into question by the closing poems of the cycle." this doubling occurs without the use of first-person pronouns. where eleven other poems separated the two. is an important feature of the ending of" Spleen and Ideal. / . In much the same way.

It is here.Spleen and evil Comme un vaisseau qui prend le large. of course. allegorized and personified by the capital " I " and the transitive relation she takes up with respect to the Poet (himself now reduced to two object-pronoun complements) in the subordinate clause that ends the stanza ("la vorace Ironie / Qui me secoue et qui me mord" 11. transitive relation to the second person that will predominate throughout the first three stanzas. Or . Je suis la plaie et le couteau! Je suis le soufflet et la joue! Je suis les membres et la "la criarde" of line 17 becomes "la megere" of line 20 . 15) makes her appearance. 20). But the Poet then returns as subject of the next phrase. . 15-16). Et qui ne peuvent plus sourire! 97 12 16 20 24 28 The first person " J e " begins the poem by positing a forceful. ce poison noir! Je suis le sinistre miroir Oil la megere se regarde. the second person disappears and the syntax switches from forceful assertion to rhetorical question. that "voracious Irony" (1. ce poison noir!" 1.Un de ces grands abandonnes Au rire eternel condamnes.contemplates herself: "Je suis le sinistre miroir / Oil la megere se regarde" (1. she soon becomes the Poet's very life blood ("C'est tout mon sang. Grace a la vorace Ironie Qui me secoue et me mord ? Elle est dans ma voix. Et la victime et le bourreau! Je suis de mon coeur le vampire. only to become the mirror in which shrewish Irony . Et dans mon coeur qu'ils souleront Tes chers sanglots retentiront Comme un tambour qui bat la charge! Ne suis-je pas un faux accord Dans la divine symphonie. and the Poet addresses not an other. la criarde!" 1. At this point. 18). 17). la criarde! C'est tout mon sang. but himself. She then appears to take over as subject at the beginning of the next stanza: first described as being " in " the Poet's voice (" Elle est dans ma voix.

Like the first. then.. Un Ange. which would assign a recognizable role to the subject. and now developed in the image of the mirror. 34) .the speaking self is abandoned entirely. une Forme. "LTrremediable" appears in this context as the logical next step in the depersonalization of lyric enunciation through the doubling and subsequent disappearance of the speaking subject. 1 4 .. It is perhaps no surprise. both victim and torturer. the limbs or the rack). "). " identity collapses as the expected exclusive disjunction (either the knife or the wound. imprudent voyageur Qu'a tente l'amour du difforme. 33): L'Irremediable Une Idee.98 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis is it the Poet. where despite the (almost desperate?) repetition of the subject " J e . 21-25). But there the similarity ends. makes the identity of the mirror figure impossible to determine with any certainty. This doubling then dominates the famous penultimate stanza (11. un Etre Parti de l'azur et tombe Dans un Styx bourbeux et plombe Oil mil oeil du Ciel ne penetre. almost third-person appositive condemning the self to eternal and humorless derision (in both the active and passive senses: the act of deriding and the state of being derided). that in the last three lines of the poem .separated by a dash signaling as it were the expiration of lyric subjectivity . All that remains is an anonymous. his voice so suffused with shrewish irony (" Elle est la criarde dans ma voix") as to become the shrew of line 20. the second poem uses the image of the mirror to figure the doubling of the subject.and by extension perhaps a head (given the typography of the idiom "Tete-a-tete" in 1. but only " a heart" (1. is replaced by inclusive disjunction: he is both the slap and the face. who here contemplates himself in the mirror? There is no way to tell: the doubling of the Poet introduced first with the disappearance of the second person and in the grammar of the rhetorical question. Here it is not the Poet himself who becomes a mirror ("Je suis le sinistre miroir.

Soulagement et gloire uniques . Qui donne a penser que le Diable Fait toujours bien tout ce qu'il fait! 11 99 12 16 20 24 28 32 36 Tete-a-tete sombre et limpide Qu'un coeur devenu son miroir! Puits de Verite. Et luttant. tableau parfait D'une fortune irremediable. Oil tremble une etoile livide. infernal. Indeed. Un phare ironique. Au bord d'un gouffre dont l'odeur Trahit l'humide profondeur. Emblemes nets.Spleen and evil 8 Au fond d'un cauchemar enorme Se debattant comme un nageur. Un malheureux ensorcele Dans ses tatonnements futiles. Comme en un piege de cristal. clair et noir. Gherchant par quel detroit fatal II est tombe dans cette geole. Flambeau des graces sataniques. For against the . Ou veillent des monstres visqueux Dont les larges yeux de phosphore Font une nuit plus noire encore Et ne rendent visible qu'eux.La conscience dans le Mai! 40 T h e speaking subject is totally absent from the poem as personal pronoun. Pour fuir d'un lieu plein de reptiles. D'eternels escaliers sans rampe. Un navire pris dans le pole. the third-person " s o n " modifying mirror in line 34 is the only personal pronoun in the entire poem . Cherchant la lumiere et la cle. angoisses funebres! Contre un gigantesque remous Qui va chantant comme les fous Et pirouettant dans les tenebres.if " p e r s o n a l " is the right word in this context. Un damne descendant sans lampe.

The closest we get to the alleged person this heart would "stand for" is "L'Irremediable" of the title ." which would usually be a synecdoche or metonym for someone. In the last stanza.i oo Baudelaire and schizoanalysis grain of regular usage. 2. 17). Even after the introduction of the mirror in which Irony and Poet interchange places (in the stanza where for once the Poet's possessive appears in feminine form: " ma voix"). anonymous one. And not a personal fate: as the indefinite pronoun insists. All the substantives associated with the mirror image in the second poem are masculine (even the "Tete-atete" beginning the stanza). as are all the comparata emblematizing the absent persona except those in the very first line of the . "Comme Molse" 1. This gender indifferentiation characterizes "LTrremediable" as well. the Poet takes exclusively masculine forms. 3. all nouns (and pronouns) are masculine. But it turns out in line 30 that what is irremediable is an abstract condition: "une fortune irremediable" —not a person.the Poet. "Comme un vaisseau" 1. What role can a doubling mirror play in the absence of a person to be doubled? In "L'Heautontimoroumenos.irony personified ("la vorace Ironie" 1. 15. . but a fate. or finally in copulative predication ("Ne suis-je pas un faux accord" 1. 7. 10). the opposition between masculine and feminine holds sway (though without consistent distribution of the roles victim/victimizer) in the series of matched-gender pairs of the following stanza ("Je suis la plaie et le c o u t e a u ! / . a generalized.." the mirror serves as pivot for the ultimate cancellation of a set of exclusive disjunctions introduced first of all by the opposition between the feminine . / Et la victime et le bourreau!"). " 1. "son" appears here as a rigorously apersonal pronoun: it refers to "coeur. but in this poem that someone is never named.which may at first reading be taken as a substantivized adjective naming an incorrigible person. however. and the masculine .. 13). "mon coeur" 1. 9). as if the differentiation of gender had to disappear along with the speaking subject. 5. "Elle est. . In the four stanzas preceding the appearance of the mirror image. whether through possession/attribution ("mon Saharah" 1. "Mon desir" 1. by comparison ("comme un boucher" 1.

" U n navire" (1. through the substantivized adjectives "malheureux '' and '' damne. 25). in the final one. away from the transcendental splendor of "Une Idee. un Etre" and " U n Ange" of the first two stanzas (all capitalized). inasmuch as the series of emblems forms a sequence rather than an equivalence: they describe an arc that moves from the abstract to the concrete. The kinetics of the sequence follows suit: the early emblems involve a tragic fall from heaven to hell. the mention of irony here recalls the immediate context and significantly transforms the personified allegory "Ironie" of "L'Heautontimoroumenos" into a mere adjectival comp- . no one. Moreover." the mirror in "LTrremediable" functions more like a hall of mirrors. The emblems thus appear to shed their poeticality as the sequence finally reaches its term and names only "an irremediable fortune" as its reference." U n etre" (1.which suggests a very different comparison. there are also no subjects whatsoever and no main predicates. " U n Ange" (1. 26). Compared to the clear-cut gender oppositions and neatly balanced disjunctions surrounding the mirror in "L'Heautontimoroumenos. But the second stanza of the second part of the poem contains yet another masculine appositive . " U n malheureux" (1.. endlessly multiplying poetically fainter and fainter images of the same .Spleen and evil 101 poem. In fact. which thus serve as a kind of transition from the opposed gender roles of "L'Heautontimoroumenos'' to the insistent repetition here of " u n " .. i). " U n damne" (1. the vivid metaphors characteristic of the previous stanzas have given way to simile ("Comme en un piege de cristal" 1. 5). all conjugated verbs appearing in clauses subordinate to the starkly apposed "emblems" (1. 17)." even "tomber") themselves taking on secondary senses which no longer imply motion at all. not only is there no personal pronoun subject in the poem. the descent of the damned into the depths. since it implies equivalence through substitution of one item by the next. 29). the verbs of motion ("chercher. 37) .that names. 13). 25) . une Forme.'' to the final emblem: a ship trapped at the pole (1.. the ship is trapped motionless. infernal" (1. but here apposition is largely metonymic. Of course.." Un phare ironique. Apposition is metaphoric in principle.

which thus provides a virtual mirror image of a former Poet or poetics in a setting where the subject is now absent and poeticality itself is on the wane. . ces pleurs. . They not only occupy roughly symmetrical positions near the beginning and end of the "Spleen and Ideal" section (in the second edition). Seigneur. "LTrremediable" can be considered the reversed mirror image of "Les Phares" for a number of reasons. ces Te Deum. and so on. But despite the similarity of paratactic form. da Vinci. Ces extases. after which the singular indefinite article is repeated in each of the five succeeding lines before taking final form in a superlative (hence with definite article: "le meilleur temoignage") de- . 35) in the last three stanzas: Ces maledictions. in a broader context. " 1. extended paratactic form that sets them apart from all other poems in the collection. But this appositive also recalls.102 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis lement (in fact. le meilleur temoignage Que nous puissions donner de notre dignite Que cet ardent sanglot qui roule d'age en age Et vient mourir au bord de votre eternite! 36 40 44 The eight stanzas of description are resumed in the plurals of lines 33-34 before being reduced to " a [single] echo" in line 35. ces cris. Un ordre renvoye par mille porte-voix. What appears in the later poem as the sequence of emblems we have examined appears in " Les Phares" as a set of great painters whose art worlds are described one by one in the first eight stanzas: Rubens. ces plaintes. C'est pour les coeurs mortels un divin opium! C'est un cri repete par mille sentinelles. and are conjoined and literally made one (" [Ce] sont u n . ces blasphemes. this chain of appositives forms a strongly metaphoric set rather than a metonymic series: the art worlds really are equivalent. Sont un echo redit par mille labyrinthes. the glorious beacons of the early poem of the same name ("Les Phares" [vi]). but they also share a distinctive. Rembrandt. C'est un phare allume sur mille citadelles. one of two such modifying "beacon" in the same line). Indeed. Un appel de chasseurs perdus dans les grands bois! Car c'est vraiment.

emblems: "concrete object[s] endowed with abstract meaning[s]. in "L'Irremediable" irony is explicitly named and assumed by the text." by contrast. Even in the striking absence of a speaking subject. here emblems are taken as. poetry henceforth finds expression in images of things . since in the poem's romantic counterpart it was the works of painters that became a prayer. God) as the model poetry presents of itself.. the apposed chain of emblems and virtual mirror images (reflections of "L'Heautontimoroumenos. followed by an exclamation point . this concluding appositive reinforces the metaphoric quality of the chain by providing a single general equivalent for the entire series of emblems. rather than a prayer addressed to God." Whereas in "L'Heautontimoroumenos. It is. Where " Les Phares" took paintings as prayers.Spleen and evil 103 noting true testimony addressed to the Lord (11.much as if its avowed aim were simply to glorify the adoration of images: " Glorifier le culte des images (ma grande." the speaking subject appeared so as to be ironized." of "Les Phares") tends to produce a phantom "consciousness" or "conscience. by a dash: " . richly ironic that the emblems here become a painting of the Devil's work.and preceded. mon unique. the emblems barely form a set of equivalences. This contrast highlights in " L'Irremediable " a mode of address with which we have become familiar since the beauty cycle: with the disappearance of the speaking subject. ma primitive passion). It is no longer through speech that the Poet expresses himself. a substitute in feminine form this time. as if to signal an important shift of register. post-lyric modernist poetry refuses speech (and afortiori speech in the form of prayer addressed to the ultimate transcendental interlocutor. In "L'Irremediable.. 29) of the success of the Devil's work. 41-42). Compared to the unmitigated metonymy of the " Spleen" poems." a . 40). introduced (the only time in the poem) by a definite article." 15 Yet the poem ends with one final apposed substitute for the absent persona emblematized throughout. of course. so that the speaking subject never appears at all. appearing rather as a gradated series whose devolution represents a "perfect painting [or] tableau" (1.L a conscience dans le Mai!" (1.

as it were. Hence the impossibility of disambiguating (and of translating) the crucial phrase "La conscience dans le Mai!" There is no way to decide which of "conscience" or "Evil" prevails over the other. The arrangement of these four poems in the second edition of Les Fleurs du Mai certainly serves to strengthen a sense of strongwilled perversity and self-conscious indulgence in evil that diametrically reverses the romantic idealism of the opening cycle of" Spleen and Ideal. so that mere "awareness" of the impossibility is the most the phrase can convey. Irony such as this subverts the value-hierarchies informing fundamental binary oppositions of the socio-symbolic order. Its opening sonnets ." However. This addition brings to the fore the decoding of subjectivity characteristic of the metonymic poetics inaugurated by "La Beaute" and culminating in " Spleen. the section does not end there.both added to the second edition — introduce an active subject of evil keenly aware of the decision to vilify rather than glorify nature." rather than the thematic binary opposition ." The cycle thereby concludes with a radically metonymic form of irony in which no position is available from which to stabilize and hierarchize binary opposition. If the subject is both victim and torturer. shadowing the sujet (Tenonciation so rigorously eliminated from the text itself." a poem added to the second edition to conclude the revised section.104 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis doubled or ironic subject of the text . but with "L'Horloge." while clearly opposing the section's opening romantic cycle on the thematic plane. both conscience and evil. also reiterates in the space of four poems the assertion and subsequent evaporation of the speaking subject that characterizes the evolution of metonymic poetics from the end of the beauty cycle to spleen. but that subject is immediately split into mutually contradicting roles in " L'Heautontimoroumenos " and then stripped of its status as first-person speaking subject in " LTrremediable. even while keeping those oppositions in play.a phantom sujet cPenonce. neither pole can be considered the basic one in relation to which the other could be judged. So the cycle of evil at the end of "Spleen and Ideal.

15). the allegorical personification of the timepiece (called a sinister god in line 1). the prosopopoeia in "L'Horloge" appears all the more explicit because it is not total: the timepiece's warning appears in quotation marks and is introduced by a brief. For the figure of the Poet is completely absent from "L'Horloge. with the timegod thereby wagging his index finger at us in admonishment.suggests rather the ticking sound of the clock's pawl and ratchet wheel. The admonition itself (whoever pronounces it — and again. 9) and "Now" (1. which would thereby admonish us and represent time's menace in retrospect.Spleen and evil 105 of good and evil. 2). impersonal apostrophe: Horloge! dieu sinistre. " Dont le doigt nous dit. the immediate mise-en-question of the allegorical figure's status by the syllepsis involving the term "doigt" (1. Indeed. Dont le doigt nous menace et nous dit: " Souviens-toi! These two lines alone contain many features of the metonymic poetics of the beauty and spleen cycles: the potentially interminable paratactic list of attributes (1." And the text compensates for the eclipse of the Poetic voice by recourse to an extended prosopopoeia. in that "the Second" (1. effrayant. 1). " le doigt. as if to make it more legible." on the other hand . 11) are cited as speaking within the long quotation comprising most of the poem — so that the text effectively underscores its own rhetorical figure wise en abime. to insist on deciding between the two possibilities would be to miss the indeterminacy so characteristic of Baudelaire's metonymic . for while "Dont le doigt nous menace" on the one hand supports the allegorical reading. impassible. after all . the reduction of the subject presented in the first line by metonymy to one of its parts. which recalls the rhetoric of "La Beaute" (these two being the only poems in the section to make such extensive use of this figure). Only this time.a strange thing to say of a finger." which will menace and address us mortals (1. The double subordinate predicate of line 2 will then accentuate the syllepsis. which can refer either via personification to the finger of the time-god or more concretely to the pawl of the clock itself. the prosopopoeia itself contains a prosopopoeia.

. ") and "Spleen" no. Only in the fifth stanza (out of six) does a direct object make it clear that the imperative is not to remember something past ("souviens-toi de ce qui fut"). 4 ("Quand le ciel bas et lourd. 17). but to always bear in mind that time is the enemy: "Souviens-toi que le Temps est un joueur avide .. But with the personification of time (in the clock or the time-god). " (1. sont des gangues Qu'il ne faut pas lacher sans en extraire Tor! le Temps est un joueur avide Qui gagne sans tricher. the poem warns of the inevitable defeat of memory by time. "). or intense experience of any kind. with the dreary moments ticking away one by one by one. Far from successfully resuscitating memory or even recommending the attempt. vieux lache! il est trop tard! The poetics of the admonition. " Souviens-toi" always appears there as an imperative without further predication that would disambiguate it. a tout coup! c'est la loi.106 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis poetics) this admonition recalls the oppressive atmosphere of decoded time from the "Spleen" poems.. as the stanzas return repeatedly to the refrain "souviens-toi" as if to hammer home the sense of time's relentless passage and the need to mobilize memory against it. and followed by descriptions of the various tortures dealt out by the passage of time. The descriptive passages intercalated between . instead. Tantot sonnera l'heure ou le divin Hasard. 2 ("J'ai plus de souvenirs. mortel folatre. it also echoes the universe ruled by chance in "Hymne a la Beaute" (the two poems in fact initially appeared together in L Artiste) and the desperate gamble taken in the projects of beautification and intensification to salvage beauty.. If the repetition of the imperative "souviens-toi" in this context appears to evoke the potential of memory in the struggle against time. meanwhile. from the ineluctable ravages of time: 16 Les minutes. 24 Oil tout te dira: Meurs. recall the halting rhythm of "Spleen" no.. it is largely because of the syntactical relations the phrase entertains in the first four stanzas..

the diverse and striking psychodynamic effects of the eclipse of memory and integral subjectivity our poetic analysis has brought to light — ranging from the exhilarating pleasures of beauty. to the self-lacerating thrills of evil . at every move (in checkers or chess). at every turn (in any game).Spleen and evil 107 the repeated command to "remember" thus appear not as motives for recalling the past. But "L'Horloge" does not only reiterate the metonymic poetics of the beauty and spleen cycles preceding it. but as so many features of what it is that needs always to be kept in mind: time is an avid gambler or game-player who wins without cheating. to the excruciating boredom of spleen. it also thematizes metonymy itself in the allegorical figure of decoded time. If its final poem is an indication. at every throw (of the dice). . the "Spleen and Ideal" section concludes with a categorical rejection of memory and of the prospect of recuperating the identity of self metaphorically by reuniting past and present. 18) — at every stroke (of the clock). which now represents the context in which all poetic projects are for an examination of Baudelaire's poetic supernaturalism from the perspective of psychopoetics. "L'Horloge" affirms the anti-lyrical metonymic poetics that underlay the intensification of things. At the same time. at every shot (at the billiard table). It thus sets the stage for the drama of the "Tableaux Parisiens" to follow. In contrast to the cycle of evil immediately preceding it. " a tout coup!" (1. and that appears here in the project to salvage poetic value in a wager against the ever-present menace of splenetic time.





Romantic temperament and "Spleen and Ideal'


Walter Benjamin's germinal insight was to have read "Spleen and Ideal" in conjunction with Freud's analysis of memory and perception in Beyond the Pleasure Principle. This enabled him to understand the aesthetics of both " Correspondances " and " Spleen" as facets of Baudelaire's poetic response to the crisis of experience in market society, a response he dubs the "shockdefense." Benjamin's perspective has its limitations: in making the "Spleen and Ideal" section the core of his entire reading, Benjamin neglects important developments in the "Tableaux Parisiens" and the Petits Poemes en prose; he even overlooks the importance of the projects of beautification and evilification in "Spleen and Ideal" itself; finally, he somewhat hastily merges the textual figure of the Poet with the historical figure of Baudelaire himself. On this last point, it is worth recalling that "Some Motifs in Baudelaire" was only a draft portion of a larger study of the poet that Benjamin never finished: an examination of Baudelaire's early art criticism will largely corroborate Benjamin's assessment of his historical significance, which is presented in shorthand, as it were, in the unfinished essay. Then Benjamin's psychodynamic reading of "Spleen and Ideal" can be broadened to encompass the projects of beautification and evilification, as well as correspondences and spleen. The aim will be to examine the evolution of Baudelaire's metonymic poetics and the alternating cycles of decoding and recoding in "Spleen and Ideal," as preparation for the psychopoetic reading of the "Tableaux Parisiens" in the next chapter.


Baudelaire and schizoanalysis

The essay "Some Motifs in Baudelaire" hinges on the distinction Benjamin proposes between mere "lived time" (Erlebnis) and "experience in the strict sense of the word" (Erfahrung).1 In merely "lived time," passing moments are linked by the degree-zero of relation, pure linear succession. This is the decoded form of splenetic time that appears in " L'Horloge," where the time-god counts down the meaningless sequence of minutes and seconds till death. Recollection (longterm memory) that would serve to integrate a lifetime of experience no longer functions here; recall (short-term memory) that serves to synthesize immediately lived experience is reduced to the registration of sheer seriality. In "true experience," by contrast, passing moments are integrated into meaningful life-experience via the memory-chains of recollection, the operations of which are "frequently unconscious" (Benjamin here invokes the memoire involontaire of Bergson and Proust). Successful integration of personal life-experience depends, according to Benjamin, on a framework of memorability created by the repetition of collectively observed special occasions: Where there is experience in the strict sense of the word, certain contents of the individual past combine with material of the collective past. Rituals, with their ceremonies, their festivals ... kept producing the amalgamation of these two elements of memory [individual past and collective past] over and over again. They triggered recollection and remained handles of memory [with which to grasp experience] for a lifetime, (p. 113) But the modern calendar, on Benjamin's analysis, does not integrate time in that way: the unexceptional, day-to-day passage of lived time {Erlebnis) predominates instead, broken only on weekends and by holidays, which represent the rare occasions on which individual and collective memory might realign to produce experience in the strict sense {Erfahrung)} For modern man, however, even the places of recollection [that take] the form of holidays ... are left blank... [Modern man] loses his capacity for experiencing [and] feels

Romantic temperament


as though he is dropped from the calendar. The big-city dweller knows this feeling on Sundays; Baudelaire has it avant la lettre in one of his Spleen poems, (p. 144) Life after the decline of experience, Benjamin suggests, risks degenerating into the empty spleen time of "L'Horloge." Yet Baudelaire's poetry constitutes for Benjamin not simply an expression of the crisis of experience, but a complex reaction involving (inter alia) both defense against and compensation for the loss of collective traditions. The key hypothesis on which Benjamin bases his distinction between lived time and true experience Freud formulates as follows: "becoming conscious and leaving behind a memory trace are processes incompatible with each other" (cited by Benjamin in " Some Motifs, " p . 114). On this view, the principal role of consciousness is not so much to receive stimuli as it is to shield the rest of the psyche from them. What Freud calls the "consciousness-perception system" processes or manages sensory input by binding incoming stimuli to preexisting memorychains in order to "make sense" of them and thereby prevent trauma. In this way, consciousness integrates the function of the pleasure principle, bending it to its own purpose. The pleasure principle generally governs the reading of perceptual stimuli in terms of memory-traces left by previous satisfaction of a drive, so as to enable the organism to obtain an appropriate object and thence discharge the energy of the drive. But the ego is satisfied with the binding of stimuli itself, regardless of whether it leads to discharge or not: its primary aim is not to obtain pleasure, but merely to reduce anxiety over potential trauma from incoming stimuli. Trauma results when the shield of consciousness fails and a memory-trace is inscribed directly in the unconscious: an incident leaves a lasting, unconscious impression deep in memory precisely to the extent that it is not registered in consciousness first.3 As a modern man and urban dweller, Benjamin suggests, Baudelaire was particularly susceptible to traumatic shocks, and this for two interrelated reasons. On one hand, the decline of collective festival and traditions leaves modern man psychically exposed, without the ready handles of collective


Baudelaire and schizoanalysis

memory that would enable him to process experience more or less automatically. On the other hand, the rapid pace of modern city life (epitomized for Benjamin in the image of the Poet dodging horse-drawn carriages racing down Haussmann's new boulevards)4 gravely taxes the ability of the exposed psyche to protect itself. Baudelaire's response is the shock-defense. The greater the risk of traumatic shock, Benjamin explains,
the more constantly consciousness has to be alert as a screen against stimuli; the more efficiently it is so, the less do these impressions enter experience (Erfahrung), tending to remain in the sphere of a certain hour in one's life (Erlebnis) ... Baudelaire made it his business to parry the shocks ... (p. 117)

The shock-defense thus results in the "lived time" of "L'Horloge" and the "Spleen" poems; as Benjamin puts it: "in spleen the perception of time is supernaturally keen; every second finds consciousness ready to intercept its shock" (p. 143). The shock-defense is not without serious consequences: the process "of assigning to an incident a precise point in time in consciousness at the cost of the integrity of its contents" in effect turns the incident "into a moment that has been lived (Erlebnis)" (p. 117); it thereby "sterilize[s] the incident for poetic experience" (p. 116). Baudelaire thus appears as a lyric poet whose conditions of experience threaten to preclude the possibility of writing lyric poetry. Baudelaire's response to this challenge, according to Benjamin, is the doctrine of correspondences, an "attempt to establish experience in a crisis-proof form" (p. 140, translation modified). The disintegration of experience provokes a desperate battle waged by Baudelaire to salvage some form of experience from the ravages of modernity; hence Benjamin's gloss on the title of the first section of Les Fleurs du Mai: "The ideal supplies the power of remembrance; the spleen musters the multitude of seconds against it" (p. 142). Only traumatic experience resonates deeply enough in memory to become the stuff of characteristically modern lyric poetry. In effect, Baudelaire writes his own calendar (p. 142), creating poems out of personal trauma to fill in the spaces that are left blank by the erosion of collective holidays (p. 116) and

There are no simultaneous correspondences. such as were cultivated later by the Symbolists. .. What makes festive days great and significant is the encounter with an earlier life. The weekends or "significant days" of Baudelaire's own life (as expressed in his poetry) end up fusing with the festive holidays that once cemented tradition and triggered "handles of memory" for whole societies. and the canonical experience of them has its place in a previous life. correspondences are inseparable from an experience of the remote past: The correspondances are the data of remembrance .Romantic temperament 115 threatened with engulfment in the dreary emptiness of spleen time. [the] collapse of that experience which he once shared" (p. Baudelaire was able to fathom the full meaning of the breakdown which he. Thus a certain line of poetry in Baudelaire "expresses . 139). and at the same time.. a modern man. Proust describes the Baudelairean calendar thus: "Time is peculiarly chopped u p . included in the concept of experience recorded by the correspondances.. 143. Erlebnis].or that of some vanished collectivity? The strategic value of the calendar figure for Benjamin is that it enables him to fuse together the individual past (lodged deep in memory) of the Poet with a kind of collective past that he claims Baudelaire once shared but which is on the verge of disappearing in the poet's own lifetime.. Baudelaire recorded this in a sonnet entitled "La Vie anterieure" . .. but data of prehistory.not historical data. 139. The murmur of the past may be heard in the correspondences. my emphasis)." p. but stand out from [the passage of] time" (p. . What makes them significant is that "they are days of recollection [Erfahrung].. was witnessing" (p. 141) But whose previous life? Whose past is heard in the murmur of correspondences? The Poet's own? . Thus for Benjamin. (p... only a few days open up. my emphasis). not marked by any experience [of lived time. "by appropriating the ritual elements . 139). The essay's cognitive force derives from a kind of stereoscopy by which the textual persona of the Poet is seen to converge with the historical figure of Baudelaire at a moment of transition. they are significant ones" (cited by Benjamin in "Some Motifs. They are not connected with the other days.

This may be due to the nature of Salon criticism itself. " Memory is the principal criterion of art. while demanding at the same time that the critic say something interesting and accessible to a broad range of readers. even though some aspects of his early criticism remain perplexing. In this light.116 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis As suspect as such an assertion may seem in the condensed form given to it by Benjamin's essay. a similar but not identical formulation of socio-symbolic "breakdown" appears in Baudelaire's early art criticism. THE EARLY ART CRITICISM Baudelaire is now generally agreed to be among the most brilliant art critics of his generation. for "exact imitation spoils memory (Pimitation exacte gate le souvenir). who is pilloried in the same essay for having no passion and an almanac memory ("nulle passion et une memoire d'almanach"): Qui sait mieux que lui combien il y a de boutons dans chaque uniforme. In any case. and yet the appeal to memory must not be too explicit. far from sharing the form of traditional experience Benjamin claims was just disappearing in the poet's lifetime. art is a mnemonics of the beautiful (le souvenir [est] le grand criterium de l'art." Baudelaire declares at one point in the Salon of 1846. which stretched whatever underlying presuppositions a critic may have had over (potentially) hundreds of works of art of various genres. one point is clear: the young Baudelaire considered a certain kind of memory to be the foundation of great art. partly by resorting to private recollection in its stead. Benjamin's invocation of "involuntary memory" to explain the aesthetics of correspondances appears perfectly appropriate and quite persuasive. quelle tournure prend une guetre ou une chaussure avachie . Baudelaire's own formulation reveals that. l'art est une mnemotechnie du beau). Baudelaire was already compensating for its loss: partly by appealing to the endangered tradition of great art." 5 This explains Baudelaire's dislike of the paintings of Horace Vernet.

and it has already taken its place in our store of memories.." or "melody": Ainsi la melodie laisse dans l'esprit un souvenir profond .Romantic temperament 117 par des etapes nombreuses.e."despotic": it imposes itself on the viewer. It is thus when a painting is seen at a propitious distance that it has "already" imposed itself in memory. whereas sculpture. il a deja un sens. it already has a meaning... It may seem perplexing that a painting seen for the very first time is described as being ''already part of our store of memories. almanac-like memory of a Vernet. If it is melodious." "harmony. Baudelaire distinguishes painting from sculpture partly on the grounds that painting is . S'il est melodieux. Taking one's distance is not the only way to recognize great painting. of exactly what it represents in a cognitive sense. La bonne maniere de savoir si un tableau est melodieux est de le regarder d'assez loin pour n'en comprendre ni le sujet ni les lignes. or the anatomy of a gaiter or boot worn out by many days' marching. 232) Melody thus leaves a profound memory in the mind . The right way to know if a picture is melodious is to look at it from far enough away to make it impossible to understand its subject or to distinguish its lines. (p. 250) Who knows better than he how many buttons belong on each that characteristic Baudelairean expression (which Benjamin would undoubtedly translate as "shocking") . before we are consciously aware of what it is about. Baudelaire describes the "deep-memory" impressions left in the psyche by the quality of great painting he refers to at various points in the essay as "unity. i. however. a quel endroit des buffeteries le cuivre des armes depose son ton vert-de-gris? (p." 6 but this is precisely the circumstance Benjamin and Freud posit for perceptions' making a lasting impression on the psyche: that conscious schemes for processing experience be out of play so as to let sensations impinge on deeper layers of the psyche. et il a deja pris sa place dans le repertoire des souvenirs. accessible from too many . or the exact spot on a soldier's gear where the copper of his small arms deposits its verdigris? In contrast to the overly detailed.

by contrast. that it was difficult tofigureout their parentage. 243). If we follow his train of thought on Decamps. 20 quelle horreur! 30 c'est mal peint. then. (p. "Lasting memory (souvenir durable)": great paintings leave lasting memories. for example) leave no memories whatsoever ("ses tableaux ne laissent pas de souvenir. from which studio his solitary and original talent had come. Following the initial shock of a truly original painting. mais c'est une composition singuliere et qui ne manque pas de charme. elle est exclusive et despotique: aussi l'expression du peintre est-elle bien plus forte. we see yet another aspect of the criterion of memory: L'impression que [sa peinture] produisait. partly due to the striking impression they create at first glance. 242) The impression his paintings produced on the spectator's soul was so sudden and so novel. but has an interesting composition which is not lacking in charm. 257). (6) lasting memory. (Painting has only one point of view. But a certain shock-value and memorability are not the only aspects of Baudelaire's standard for great art.quel avait ete le parrain de ce singulier artiste. [to determine] who had been the godfather of this singular artist. 243) Here are the six distinct stages of the spectator's impressions in front of so poetically brutal a painting as this: (1) lively curiosity.. 6° souvenir durable. it is exclusive and despotic: thus painterly expression is more powerful) " (p. (4) it is not as badly painted as one first might think.. mediocre paintings (those of Diaz. qu'il etait difficile de se figurer de qui elle estfille. the viewer strives to align it with other paintings and movements. Baudelaire in fact goes to some lengths to describe the shock experience that great painting entails: Voici en six points les differentes impressions du passant devant ce tableau [si] poetiquement brutal: i° vive curiosite.118 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis different points of view. . (5) let us have another look at this painting. (2) what an abomination! (3) it is badly painted. (p. leaves too much to the viewer's conscious mind. et de quel atelier etait sorti ce talent solitaire et original. sur l'ame du spectateur etait si soudaine et si nouvelle. 40 ce n'est pas aussi mal peint qu'on le croirait d'abord." p. "La peinture n'a qu'un point de vue. 50 revoyons done ce tableau.

though not too explicitly. apres avoir si franchement deploye nos sympathies. Haussouillier] should be wary of his erudition" (208). Baudelaire continues: dans cent ans. Thus great painting not only becomes memorable. Haussoullier serai t-il de ces hommes qui en savent . As Baudelaire explains with respect to William Haussoullier (in the Salon of1845)? lt ls possible to "know a little too much about art. qu'on y mele quelques souvenirs de peinture anglaise . (Recall if you will some of Rubens' and Rembrandt's landscapes. 256).Tantot il relevait des anciens maitres.. its relation to tradition must not be obvious. to take another example.Romantic temperament 119 For the painting to appear new.Sometimes he appears to belong to the Flemish l'Ecole flamande.. as well. les historiens auront du mal a decouvrir le maitre de M. tantot la pompe et la trivialite de Rembrandt le preoccupaient vivement. sometimes the pomp and triviality of Rembrandt seem to engross him deeply. If there is a danger of being too scrupulously faithful to the details of subject-matter (as in the case of Vernet). oserons-nous dire que le nom de Jean Bellin et de quelques Venitiens des premiers temps nous a traverse la memoire. .. historians will certainly have a hard time determining who M. Decamp's teacher was. at other times his skies recall a fond memory of the skies of [the seventeenth-century French landscape painter] le Lorrain. Decamps. can we best appreciate the greatness of a paysagiste such as Rousseau? "Qu'on se rappelle quelques paysages de Rubens et de Rembrandt.. then add some memories of English painting .. d'autres fois on retrouvait dans ses ciels un souvenir amoureux des ciels du Lorrain.. there is a corresponding danger of being too explicitly faithful to the painterly tradition. How. on pourra peut-etre se faire une idee de la magie de ses tableaux.. 242) one hundred years from now.. and you may be able to get some idea of the magic of his paintings" (p. (p.. apres notre douce contemplation? M.. of other great painters in the tradition. but such a relation must nonetheless exist.. it must also evoke memories. for his paintings risk stating too clearly their debt to the past: Oserons-nous.. .. [M.

. Baudelaire thus defines great painting in terms of its capacity simultaneously to appear new (to shock). [Yet] neither must they quite be forgotten.. they must remain below the threshold of conscious awareness•. but not only must those memories not be allowed to overwhelm .8 This is the balancing-act characteristic of modern art.. say that following our pleasant contemplation of this work the names of Giovanni Bellini and some early Venetian painters crossed our memory? Is M. 235). (p.. to recall nonetheless (and however vaguely) previous paintings. he refers to this characteristically romantic amalgamation of the collective past (the tradition) and the individual present (the demand for originality) as the artistic expression of "temperament" (p. 229 and passim). for [then] they would no longer be available to come to the support of new perceptions.....120 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis un peu trop long sur leur art? C'est la un fleau bien dangereux. and whose indomitable individuality has alternately submitted to and thrown off the tutelage of all the grand masters (un des rares hommes qui restent originaux apres avoir puise a toutes les vraies sources. Haussouillier one of those men who know a little too much about their art? That is a truly dangerous scourge. Temperament is indeed the touchstone of Baudelaire's early criticism. that perception.. et dont Pindividualite indomptable a passe alternativement sous le joug secoue de tous les grands maitres)" (p.. when he claims later in the essay that he has " already observed that memory is the principal criterion of art (J'ai deja remarque que le souvenir etait le grand criterium de Tart)" . The perception of a new work of art must. From it follows his rather acrobatic description of the foremost modern temperament in French painting: Delacroix is "one of the rare men who remain original even after having drawn from all the right sources. after having so frankly displayed our sympathies. trigger . as Michael Fried explains. investing the present with the aura and significance of memory without for a moment appearing on its stage. Throughout the essay. memories of earlier works. according to Baudelaire. 208) Dare we. and to impress itself on memory (in order to become part of the tradition in turn).

voir dans le Salon de 1845 l'article sur William Haussoullier. see my article on William Haussoullier in the Salon of 1845" (quoted above). he has in fact not mentioned memory itself.doit entrer comme ouvrier au service d'un peintre a temperament. Baudelaire begins by refusing perspectives that would limit the critic's appreciation to e."] Qui n'a pas de temperament n'est pas digne de faire des tableaux. 244)." On Baudelaire's cultural calendar of post-revolutionary France. In explaining right at the outset the proper role of criticism (the first section is entitled "A quoi bon la critique?" ["What good is criticism?"]). " eclectics. (p. Section 17 of the essay (entitled "Des Ecoles et des ouvriers") spells out the socio-historical context in which temperament is assigned such an important role. C'est ce que je demontrerai dans un des derniers chapitres. only line or only color in an artist's work. And indeed.Romantic temperament 121 (p. un point de vue plus large sera l'individualisme bien entendu: commander a l'artiste la naivete et l'expression sincere de son temperament.g.] Whoever lacks temperament is not worthy of painting.since we are tired of imitators and especially of eclectics . That is what I will show in one of the final chapters. [Here Baudelaire appends a footnote: "On the proper understanding of individualism. [Here Baudelaire appends a footnote: "A propos de l'individualisme bien entendu. leaving the field to "imitators" and "eclectics. the disintegration of the socio-symbolic order takes the form in the plastic arts of a generalized "doubt". et — comme nous sommes las des imitateurs. the works of "imitators" appear too metaphoric. fixated on the repetition of preexisting styles and asserting no individuality of their own. . and . 258). et surtout des eclectiques.must apprentice himself to a painter of temperament. In contrast to such narrow perspectives." conversely. aidee par tous les moyens que lui fournit son metier. 229) a broader perspective requires a proper understanding of individualism: the imperative for the artist to express his temperament with naivete and sincerity. it results from an anarchic individualism which has sapped the "profound unity [of] the great tradition (l'unite profonde [de] la grande tradition)" (p. . but is referring to the role of memory that is implicit in the criterion of individual temperament announced in the first section. aided by all the means provided by his talent. For Baudelaire.

que dans une imagination tresvive. entirely of an imagination that is very of each [new] sensation. (p. and we may suspect that the same would apply to his own case and to his lively.. producing the distinctly new. and thus liable to evoke scenes from the past in support . Baudelaire defines the role of memory (here quoting E. The deterioration of the great tradition requires painters to forge their own unity...12 2 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis appear too metonymic. Such a reading would tend to confirm Benjamin's view that. A. 25on) True memory. ne consiste . given the romantic demand for "naive" originality) to the tradition.. In a footnote appended to the attack on Vernet's "almanac memory" (cited above). comme par enchantement. T. (my emphasis) Read in its most immediate context. But there is another way of reading Baudelaire's allusion to "scenes from the past": they would consist of scenes from the poet's or painter's own personal past rather than scenes from the collective tradition. in the face of a disintegrating sociosymbolic order... facile a emouvoir. de la vie et du caractere propres a chacune d'elles. et par consequent susceptible d'evoquer a l'appui de chaque sensation les scenes du passe.... as if by magic. Baudelaire insists that the true modern artist must strike a balance between the two. consists . the evocation of "scenes from the past" refers to scenes from previous paintings in the great tradition (and this indeed is the way that Fried as art critic reads the passage). with the life and character appropriate to each of them . relying on the faculty of memory to supplement present perception with distant (and purposely latent) echoes from the past... Baudelaire tries to resuscitate or bolster the psychopoetic functions of the metaphoric axis in the form of the collective memory-chains of painterly schools and tradition which serve as hidden points de repere for modern art. producing a "jumble" of idiosyncratic styles bearing no meaningful relation to the past at all. according to the demands of romantic individualism. endowing them. easily moved. while retaining a certain relation (necessarily a subliminal one. en les douant. Hoffmann) as follows: La veritable memoire .. Baudelaire invokes just such a source of memorable impressions in his analysis of Delacroix.

In this way. The notion of "temperament" assigns a crucial role to the "power of remembrance" in modern art in the face of the deterioration of the socio-symbolic order. While "Les Phares" reinforces the metaphoric axis by invoking the great art tradition. This quotation suggests that lasting impressions may result not only from the experience of great painting in the Western European tradition. a poem such as " La Vie anterieure" (especially when read in the light of Baudelaire's remarks on Delacroix) reinforces the metaphoric axis in a more inward and private mode. "seems to have left a profound impression in his soul (Un voyage au Maroc laissa dans son esprit. Yet it is not the traditional but the personal sources of memory that prevail here. these two sources of memory-traces appear side by side: tradition and personal past simply coexist. perhaps invoking profound impressions from the poet's own past. These two sources also coexist in the romantic cycle of Les Fleurs du Mai." Baudelaire remarks of Delacroix. In the Salon criticism. 234). but it turns out that the memorable impressions Baudelaire calls upon to bolster the flagging metaphoric axis may be either traditional or personal in origin.are called upon to play a crucial role. the possibility of a conflict between them not sufficiently evident to provoke even an attempt at reconciliation. These early poems share a metaphoric poetics in which "involuntary" memorieswhether of great art ("Les Phares"). inasmuch as an exotic context renders the usual cultural and linguistic codes inappropriate and ineffective for protecting the psyche through the binding of incoming stimuli.Romantic temperament 123 own ocean voyage as well: "A trip to Morocco. or exotic adventure ("La Vie anterieure") . partly because the romantic stance favors relations with nature rather than with society. It is therefore worth distinguishing the "over- . but also from geographic and cultural dislocation which would for the traveler make that tradition largely irrelevant. une impression profonde)" (p. The psyche under these conditions would be equally (even dangerously) "open" to traumatic experience. Baudelaire's art criticism stages the same stereoscopy that Benjamin achieved through the figure of the calendar. personal trauma ("Benediction"). a ce qu'il semble.

in accordance with the universal prohibition against incest. substitutability means that." and other poems in the cycle. Within a socio-symbolic order. . THE PSYGHOPOETIGS OF SPLEEN AND IDEAL Deleuze and Guattari's reading of Lacan is helpful in this connection because it resituates various forms of coding in cultural context. the power of the notion of socio-symbolic order stems from its simultaneous evocation of the determinations of a social formation on one hand and those of a linguistic system or structure on the other. The Oedipus complex founds culture. then. In socialpsychological terms." "L'Ennemi. As we have said. substitutability means that. individual neurosis (recoding). requires that "wife of" or "child of" be substituted for "husband/father" as signifieds of the father's name. or language itself (simple coding). and requires that it seek substitutes for her.124 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis coding" epitomized in "Les Phares" from the "recoding" characterizing "La Vie anterieure. signifiers are separated from any one-to-one relation with signifieds. the father's interdiction (Lacan's "non-du-pere") separates the child from its one-to-one relation with the mother as its original object of desire. in accordance with the arbitrariness of the sign-relation posited by Saussure. Lacan had already translated the Freudian Oedipus complex from socialpsychological into linguistic terms. (This is the role of the castration-threat in the Freudian Oedipus complex. depending on whether substitution is sanctioned by social norms (overcoding). for example. and instead accept various substitutes: the assignment of the father's name (Lacan's "nom-du-pere") to the mother or to the child. by training desire to accept substitute objects (in the process Freud called sublimation) and by situating desire in a universe of signification where symbolic substitution is the law. emphasizing the process of symbolic substitution that all semiotic coding enables. We will then be in a position to examine the relations of Benjamin's shock-defense to the interplay of recoding and decoding throughout the section. three different modes of coding can be distinguished.) In linguistic terms.

uncoded sense-impression which.Romantic temperament 125 In the absence of any coding whatsoever. This is the limit-case of pure psychosis. inasmuch as the "original" object of desire (the mother. the metaphoric axis of desire is not based on organic drives. acceptance of the law of signification . The metaphoric axis of desire. upon the child's entry into language. Lacan . real sense-experience unmediated by language and culture) is now irretrievably "lost. Indeed. While metonymy continually displaces the repressed signified of desire along the signifying chain. but on what he calls the "primal signifier"-a strictly meaningless. metaphor successfully crosses the "bar of signification" separating signifier and signified. meanwhile. The force of desire. but also never takes on any single definitive meaning.10 It nevertheless represents the ballast that enables the metaphoric axis to serve as a kind of counterweight to the metonymy of desire.9 Subsequent repressed or traumatic material will henceforth gravitate toward this primal signifier and remain bound to it by the force of the repetition compulsion. and henceforth serves as the foundation of the unconscious. according to Lacan: with the name-of-the-father and entry into the symbolic order foreclosed. determines which substitutes are found satisfactory. so that the primal signifier is not only originally meaningless. and momentarily knits the repressed signified to a substitute signifier. and so desire remains fixed upon singular objects. substitution would be impossible: each signified would be irrevocably fixed to a single signifier.resolution of the oedipus complex. and now moves from one object to another in endless pursuit of satisfactory substitutes: this movement constitutes the metonymic axis of desire (what Lacan calls simply "the metonymy of desire"). desire becomes mobile. and can thus bring the metonymy of desire to a momentary pause. substitution is required by the symbolic. the law of signification does not apply. of course." So upon separation from the mother and the real as erstwhile unmediated objects. generates endless displacement within the unconscious. It is entry into the symbolic order of language . remains outside or beneath the sphere of signification. According to Lacan.that makes substitution possible.

And the polar opposite of absolute fixation (psychosis). and hence enable them to pursue substitution more wisely and freely. Both forms of metaphoric axis may be based ultimately on the meaningless . which prides itself on being rigorously non-normative. the relative weight of the social and personal metaphoric axes varies considerably. it is not only important to determine the structures of metaphoric axes. The aim of therapy is to detach patients from mystified compulsory investment in one imaginary metaphoric substitute. they are the linguistic form of the neurotic symptom. For the purposes of cultural history and critique. It is this interplay of metaphoric and metonymic axes that structures the unconscious like a language (as Lacan says). how are satisfactory substitutes to be recognized? How is the metaphoric axis of equivalence structured ? What counts as a substitute for the mother. which govern stipulative definition and hierarchized binary oppositions. Opposed to the imaginary. however. is schizophrenia: the pure metonymy of desire freed from any compulsory metaphoric axes whatsoever. the symbolic is in Lacan the realm of unrestricted (or decoded) equivalence. But if the original object of desire is irretrievably lost and the primal signifier utterly meaningless. around which the neurotic ego has been constructed. such a distinction is irrelevant. inasmuch as the aim of therapy is not to adapt individuals to society by realigning their metaphoric identity-structures with the metaphoric axes stipulated by the culture.126 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis calls these metaphoric moments in discourse "points de capiton". it is also crucial to distinguish those metaphoric axes that are mandatory within or promoted by a given culture from those structured idiosyncratically against the grain or in opposition to cultural norms. In Lacanian therapy. The sole reason for determining the structure of a metaphoric axis is to dissolve it. absolutely anything counts. among other things. but rather to transcend metaphoric structure altogether by dissolving imaginary fixations of either kind from the perspective of the symbolic. But historically speaking. or for the primal signifier itself? For the purpose of Lacanian therapy. as Deleuze and Guattari were the first to seize on.

and the equally metaphoric but privatized r^coding of the individual. Poetic effects are achieved and experience is salvaged from the dreary monotony of spleen time when such memorytraces "involuntarily" supplement present perception. " Les Phares" appears to be a clear instance of overcoding. not the tradition or God. traumatic events leave traces deep in memory. which entails a socially sanctioned master-signifier such as God. and the primal signifier managed or redeemed. who grounds the unity of the tradition and the identity of the figures composing it. serves as the mirror of his soul. Homme libre. 1-3 The correspondences program predominating in the early cycle of the collection thus stages a kind of mystical recuperation of the poefs life in nature. "L'Homme et la Mer" 11. tu contemples ton ame Dans le deroulement infini de sa lame . In this instance of personal recoding. It is for this reason that we invoke Deleuze and Guattari's distinction between the metaphoric o^rcoding characteristic of the socio-symbolic order at large. The socio-symbolic metaphoric axis defining art is reinforced by aligning great artists of the Western European tradition in an invocation to the ultimate transcendental Other or master-signifier.. God. toujours tu cheriras la mer! La mer est ton miroir. producing correspondences linking self and nature through the reunification of past and present. the metaphoric axis is based on the imaginary integrity of private life-experience as it is reflected in nature: the poet is able to recollect himself and his true being insofar as nature. Especially in light of Baudelaire's insistence on the role of " temperament" in his early art criticism. by master-signifiers of very different provenance.. But the disintegration of the socio-symbolic order and the volatility of modern urban life render traditional codes increasingly unable to protect the psyche through the binding of perceptual input. which entails a private master-signifier such as the name-of-the-father of the nuclear family.Romantic temperament 12 7 and ineradicable " primal signifier" that makes humans susceptible to culture in the first place. But they are structured. Instead. whereby an imaginary self is constituted at .

and experience is endowed with poetic value to the extent that perceptual stimuli trigger associations with images lodged deep in memory. metaphor proves impossible." the metaphoric poetics of the correspondences program is itself decoded by a metonymic poetics that already prevails by the end of" Spleen and Ideal." the opposition between imaginary and symbolic registers is staged in the conflict between the poem's communicative and textual functions." In the psychopoetics of" La Beaute. and as such represents an obstacle to the poets' obsession to determine Beauty's inner essence. in the vain hope of determining their hidden meaning. But this is not because Baudelaire himself actually remembered anything from earlier in his life suggesting that traditions were intact. remembrance is predominantly personal rather than traditional in origin. Yet despite the enormous appeal of this program for most critics (up to and including Benjamin). On this reading. Release from fixation on the metaphoric breast and the un-anchoring of the points de capiton grounding metaphor then . as Baudelaire put it. Furthermore. but appears instead as a thing. last long nor bulk large in Les Fleurs du Mai as a whole. starting as early as "La Beaute. Yet the correspondence between inside and outside and the "crossing of the bar of signification" such a figure of speech implies does not take place: the imaginary reading is surely an intended temptation.) Benjamin was right that Baudelaire assigns a special role to the power of remembrance in the face of a decoded socio-symbolic order. it does not. The imaginary reading accepts Beauty's address and pursues the metaphors she proffers. as a metaphoric figure of speech. Beauty's breast appears as a synecdoche for the inner soul of Beauty that inspires true love in the poets. (Nor do memory and " temperament" remain central to Baudelaire's mature art criticism. as we will see in the next chapter. the breast "stands for" Beauty's essential nature. The breast is thus no longer a symbol of Beauty's inspiring loveliness. but as the perplexity of comparisons magnifies and Beauty appears increasingly unfathomable. and in the poetry itself. by "imitators and eclectics".128 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis odds with the established social order. in fact. The tradition of great art was already being overrun.

With access to essence denied by the mirrors of Beauty's eyes. Yet in the absence of a metaphoric axis that would found identity. In the trajectory following " La Beaute" that we have traced. It is a fitting irony that the poetic charge added to things in "La Beaute" appears at first to derive from the "pure mirrors" of Beauty's eyes. and knows the Other to be an empty position or perspective. Just . Such a reading depends on our "seeing through" the figure of speech (prosopopoeia). For this reading suggests that the desire that beautifies is the "desire of the Other" (in Lacan's formula). poetic desire is gradually reappropriated. where poetic will figures so prominently. so that we move beyond believing in Beauty and reassign the "desire of the Other" to the functioning of the text itself. it is the metonymy of poetic desire that sponsors the appreciation of real things.'" 11 With the text's decoding of metaphor. Despite — or because of— the lack of access to Beauty's inner nature. In this light. the loss of the metaphoric breast is more than compensated by the increased splendor of real things. The symbolic reading recognizes the textual function of the extended prosopopoeia. a function of the text that presents the figure of Beauty as its porteparole. it is precisely the beauty of the things they enhance that will fascinate." and continuing in poems such as " Parfum exotique " and particularly " La Chevelure ". starting with the gambit in " Hymne a la Beaute. of course. the beautified things fascinating the poet are not whole persons but part-objects. But such effects are.Romantic temperament 129 inaugurate the metonymy of desire and the endless search (underscored by the future tense: "Consumeront leurs jours") for the part-objects Lacan calls the "objets petit-a"-substitutes for the breast or original object of desire. it is because the text has us looking into them in the first place. attributing the statement to the "imaginative" as opposed to the "positivist" artist): " ' J e veux illuminer les choses avec mon esprit et en projeter le reflet sur les autres esprits. and that it is she who describes her effects on poets rather than the other way around. instead. As Baudelaire says in another context (in the Salon de 1959. if Beauty's mirror-eyes make all things more beautiful. not a person.

the evocation of memories to supplement present perception gives way to the exhilaration of purely mobile fantasy. As the decoding of the metaphoric axis accelerates the metonymy of desire. these part-objects provoke wild flights of fancy bordering on hallucination. either: instead of provoking a moment of recognition in which present perception is aligned with a stable metaphoric axis." which is neither imaginary nor socio-symbolic. as in the memory-based program of correspondences. a smile. Poetic effects are achieved not by harmonizing sensations to make sense. but by multiplying associations against the grain and beyond the bounds of common sense. a foot." it is not the woman herself but rather parts of the body (an eye. instead. and her eyes that affect the poets in " La Beaute. Not only are such part-objects not grounded in the poet's own personal imaginary. Demystification of the correspondences program thus leads to the supplemental beautification of things through ecstaticfantasy. Such disintegration of the objects of poetic perception also destabilizes the fantasizing self. And far from calling up memory-chains that would serve to reconfirm a coherent sense of self. The result is the mode of substitution Deleuze and Guattari call "schizophrenic. they are not grounded in the socio-symbolic code.12 .130 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis as it is not Beauty herself but only her breast. a breast. her poses. the points de capiton so shallow as to be practically ineffectual. The beauty-effect thus entails a mode of free substitutability that realizes the subversion of metaphoric codes (both socio-symbolic and imaginary) through the investment and inscription of poetic desire in the part-object real. and where the metonymy of desire freed from metaphoric identity (of self and object alike) is invested both in time and in real context. present perception is linked contingently with random associations: the metaphoric axis is no longer in play. the resulting metonymy of desire is now the very source of poetic enthusiasm and the motor of poetic production. which operates through part-objects rather than whole objects. the mere scent of a breast) that exhilarate the poetic faculty in the succeeding poems.

the poet is in an important sense beside himself. the poetic imagination in Baudelaire will make "all things more beautiful" . Furthermore. setting it afloat in mobile fantasy-production.even the rotting corpse of a whore. as we have seen. finally to anything at all. Since no stipulative definition of beauty any longer applies. on this conception. The poet is no longer reading "the language of flowers and all silent things" ("Elevation"). "reference to code" (to recall Jakobson's terms) even the idiosyncratic code of the poet's own associations . regardless of the nature of the object itself. but merely of adding a poetic intensity or charge to what is already given.Romantic temperament 131 The thorough subversion of the socio-symbolic code and the concomitant decoded metonymy of desire have this readily recognizable effect on the content of beauty in Baudelaire's poetry: now anything goes. Or rather of enhancing the beauty of things: for it is not a question of changing or even considering the meaning of things. With the decrease in weight of the metaphoric axis in poetic production. By the time we . This threat to the coherence of the self is inherent in the process of decoding. the Poet cries. The program of correspondences substituted personal memory-chains for the disintegrating metaphoric axes of social codes. the affirmative answer implied in poems such as "Parfum exotique" and "La Chevelure" accompanies a process that itself undermines the stability and coherence of the speaking subject. as becomes clear in spleen. is a function of poetic imagination alone. if parts of her body send me into ecstasy?! There are no guarantees that part-objects will continue to fascinate the poet and stimulate his imagination. the project of beautification is a gambit: what does the essence of Beauty matter." as the project of beautification verges into a project of sheer intensification. Under the influence of beautification and in the throws of mobile fantasy. disrupting its sense of time and way to "reference to context. deriving its value solely from the investment of poetic desire. And most important. but the beautification project then frees the imagination from dependence on even the poet's own personal past. Beauty. as it were: he has become conscious of writing the meaning of things himself. for example (in "Une Charogne" [xxix]).

" as pure metonymic seriality triumphs. and that have.132 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis reach the "Spleen" poems." the sources of poetic energy are no longer grounded in drive-gratification mediated through deeper layers of memory. reference to the present context comes to the fore. that addresses us in the absence of the Poet himself. in any case. By the time we reach the end of "Spleen and Ideal. According to the pleasure principle. once again) another (Other) voice. drive-gratification is not involved. But the pleasure principle also governs the reservoir of psychic energy placed at the disposal of the ego. and which serves in states of anxiety to protect the psyche from trauma by binding stimuli for the sake of recognition alone. but ego-defensive anxiety. the voice of the time-god. is that ego-defensive anxiety has so totally appropriated the stimulus-binding energy of the psyche that the lyric agency of the poet. And with the complete disintegration of the metaphoric axis and shallowing-out of the points de capiton. led to the disappearance of the lyric Poet as speaking subject. Reference to context. which depends as Benjamin saw on memory resonances of some kind (whether social or individual). decoding has accelerated to the point that memory is totally defunct and fantasy-supplementation completely exhausted. that Benjamin claims are incompatible with lyric (or lyricizable) experience. in effect. instead. What has happened. with beauty no longer available either by traditional definition or through fantasy production. With reference to codes (traditional and now personal as well) on the wane. is all that remains. is totally eclipsed. but derive instead from anxiety-driven ego defenses that the poet may feel are somehow alien to the lyric project itself. it is (through prosopopoeia. drive-motivated energy in the psyche should work to bind incoming stimuli to (metaphoric) memory-chains of previous images of gratification in order to facilitate the location of such an object in reality and then satisfy the drive. and the project of beautification gives way to referential intensification through ego- . the Poet as speaking subject utterly disappears: in "L'Horloge. since it is no longer drive-energy that motivates the stimulus-binding process. in bleak yet intense depictions of barren things. here.

" and epitomized in the slogan.13 Under these conditions. One of the ironies of the dialectic of this modernity is that at just the moment the individual is freed through decoding from the imposition of traditional codes. In this light. only as a shadow of his former self. It is more akin to beautification. drives can be represented only in an ironic mode . the program of evilification reinvokes the figure of the Poet ." Unlike the metonymic decoding of spleen with its banishment of the Poet. decoding also magnifies anxiety to the point of virtually precluding the possibility of what Benjamin calls "authentic" experience. the Lacanian claim that. "La conscience dans le Mai. if Baudelaire's testimony is any indication. spleen intensification invokes the metonymic axis of seriality. has become so decoded that the drive-based subject of desire gets submerged by ego-defensive anxiety.such as the satanic irony of the cycle of evil appearing after the spleen cycle near the end of "Spleen and Ideal. While the metaphorical recoding of the correspondences program achieved its poetic effects in reinforcing psychic wholeness through the integration of past and present. of experience that bears some discernable relation to the gratification of drives. The socio-symbolic order in modernity. This response to the decoding of the socio-symbolic order is the contrary of correspondences: instead of invoking the metaphoric axis of remembrance. in that content is irrelevant: things are transformed by poetic charge alone. the ironic recoding of evilification produces intensity through a doubling that sunders the self into act and judgment: "Je suis la .although in this recoding he appears ironically. In place of protection by metaphoric recognition. with the acquisition of language.Romantic temperament 133 defensive anxiety. What distinguishes spleen from beauty is that anxiety rather than pleasure fuels the binding and endows the charge. organic drives are irretrievably lost behind the screen of the primal signifier (while undeniably central to his radically anti-normative therapy) appears to be symptomatic of the modernity that Baudelaire's texts were among the first to diagnose. focus on the passage of time shields the psyche from trauma by providing a kind of zero-degree binding of any incoming stimulus whatsoever: it occurred at such-and-such a time.

Yet these cycles are not just poetic or psychopoetic in nature: they have other determinations. through the decoding of beauty and spleen. Yet it is the conflict between desire and judgment that is affirmed in these poems. most notably determination by the series of Baudelaire's historical Others. Intensity now derives not from nostalgically supplementing present perception with past memories.. The alternating cycles of recoding and decoding that characterize this evolution continue in the "Tableaux Parisiens. what is doubled is not united by a nostalgia linking present with past. on the other. as Benjamin's reading and perhaps the section's title suggest. The initial "Spleen and Ideal" section of Les Fleurs du Mai thus consists not of an alternation between two psychopoetic modes.134 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis plaie et le couteau! / ." only to appear in a very different form in the Petits Poemes en prose." the subject recedes in the face of the alien pulsions of prohibited id desires. such a conflict allows no role for the integrative ego at all: as in "LTrremediable. on one hand. trauma-like memories instead. but of an evolution of metonymic poetics from the romantic recoding of the correspondences program. Baudelaire was subject to the kind of decoded life-experience that caused and resulted from precisely the absence of such codes. but from avidly desiring to do what is wrong while knowing full well it is wrong. and the equally alien super-ego prohibitions against them. The resurgence of this phantom metaphoric axis thus produces a kind of guilty evilification through ironic doubling. Benjamin is again only half right about Baudelaire: his poetry does testify to a historic moment of accelerated decoding of the socio-symbolic order.. At the extreme. but divided by guilt. The Lacanian notion of the "primal signifier" enables us to . for it is in itself a source of searing intensities.Et la victime et le bourreau!" In evilification. and which led him therefore to rely for his lyric poetry on personal. which will be examined in Part III. but not because it contains any true memories of a disappearing social order with authentically collective social codes. to the ironic recoding of evil. despite the absence of a stable or sovereign poetic subject. which opposes conscience to desire for evil. Rather.

as Benjamin implies. Yet there is another sense in which Benjamin is only half right about the importance of both memory and boredom as crucially historic responses in Baudelaire to the disintegration of sociosymbolic order: he nowhere acknowledges their thorough and .14 A situation of widespread decoding first induces a substitution of imaginary personal codes for declining socio-symbolic ones. in the ratio of personal and social coding. as nostalgic memory-supplementation in the correspondences program gives way to exhilarated fantasysupplementation in beautification. after Baudelaire's participation in the overthrow of King LouisPhilippe and his vehement rejection of Napoleon III as social symbolic Others. the French poet's imaginary metaphoric axis eventually aligns on the American poet. which he reads as a historic shift in the ratio of ego-anxiety and drive-gratification as functions of the pleasure-principle. as the social symbolic Other gives way to more private ones. in some lost form of authentic social life: they always converge and diverge to a greater or lesser degree. Yet this degree of convergence varies historically: in a decoded socio-symbolic order — and especially for romanticism — they are likely to diverge quite significantly. as a personal symbolic Other. Personal and social metaphoric axes neither originally nor ultimately coincide. is a hallmark of modernity. Edgar Allan Poe. as Benjamin might say. As meaningless ballast in the service of psychic stability. more authentic form of social life is unnecessary.Romantic temperament 135 understand both why the claim that Baudelaire actually remembered a previous. The notion of "primal signifier" so central to Lacanian therapy thus turns out to obscure the important historic shift. Beautification then succumbs to bare referential intensification. and how the substitution of personal for social metaphoric axes is possible. This point. the primal signifier supports both social and personal coding indifferently. but then those personal codes get decoded in turn. at the point that the relation of recognition to the body and drive-gratification becomes completely submerged in the ego-defensive anxiety of spleen. As we will see in Part III. first discerned in Baudelaire's poetry by Benjamin.

not to mention the total eclipse in the later art criticism of the criterion of memory so crucial to the earlier Salon essays. . This is the focus of the next chapter.136 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis explicit repudiation in the " Tableaux Parisiens" section immediately following " Spleen and Ideal" in the second edition of Les Fleurs du Mai .

and then that of the ability to " tirer un soleil de mon coeur " during a sleepless night of work. Yet as Ross Chambers has shown. the section's frame and its arrangement of poems transform this linear day — night sequence into an endless cycle. les automnes " 1. in 137 . and even puts the seasons themselves in the plural ("Je verrai les printemps. the "Tableaux Parisiens" recontain and defuse the death-threat of spleen time by depicting time as cyclical rather than linear. and this group is followed by a nocturnal set of poems. invoking first the pleasures of " voir naitre / L'etoile dans l'azur et la lampe a la fenetre" (11. the entire section is structured on the cycle of day and night. "Paysage" also alludes to the cycle of day and night. with the clock God of spleen time counting down the defeated Poet's meaningless minutes and seconds to death. comprising roughly the first half of the section. The very first tableau. les etes. the action in this second poem takes place in the daytime. in order to emphasize their cyclical recurrence. 9—10) at dusk. in the second half. The cyclical alternation of night and day is reinforced by the appearance of "Le Soleil" (LXXXVII) immediately following the nocturnal "Paysage" (in the second edition): as the title suggests. stages time in the cycle of the seasons. and then from night to day again.1 The two "Crepuscule" poems which had appeared side-by-side in the first edition are now strategically placed to mark the transitions first from day to night. " Le Soleil" introduces a diurnal set of poems. in " Crepuscule du soir " (xcv) at the end of the diurnal series.CHAPTER 5 Modernist imagination and the " Tableaux Parisiens" The "Spleen and Ideal" section ended in "L'Horloge" on a morbid and monotonous note. 13). Indeed. "Paysage" (LXXXVI).

with time no longer a problem. and now the circumvention of linear time has rendered spleen intensification ineffectual. from temporal duration to contextual reference. 25 While the fate of Poetic will is an important issue in the "Tableaux Parisiens. by contrast. In this way. But how is such reference possible? The decoding of the subject of memory rendered recognition problematic." its reappearance at the beginning of the section forms a striking contrast with " L'Horloge " at the end of "Spleen and Ideal. De tirer un soleil de mon coeur. Here." "Paysage" starts with an assertive "Je veux" that echoes throughout with "Je verrai" and other first-person future indicatives.138 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis " Crepuscule du matin" (cm) at the end of the nocturnal series. The two were intimately entwined in the "Spleen" poems. of course. Recontaining spleen time this way will have two effects. Yet as the title of this new section suggests. Poetic will dramatically reasserts itself in the early poems of the "Tableaux Parisiens. tempetant vainement a ma vitre. Baudelaire is looking for some way to situate the poetics of real reference in the . with its alternation from night ("Paysage") to day ("Le Soleil"). et de faire De mes pensers brulants une tiede atmosphere. where the decoding of the metaphoric axis grounding the Poet's memory resulted in reference to a context of bleak objects existing in linear spleen time. Gar je serai plonge dans cette volupte D'evoquer le Printemps avec ma volonte. the dawn in the very last poem refers us back to the beginning of the section. Free of the menace of time and death. contextual reference takes place in conjunction with an apparent resurgence of Poetic will. There is no question. and ends in supremely self-confident defiance of history and nature: L'Emeute. of the real appearing directly or simply by default as the metaphoric axis is decoded. Ne fera pas lever mon front de mon pupitre." The second effect of the recontainment of time in cyclicity is to shift the emphasis in Baudelaire's increasingly metonymic poetics from time to space.

and their treatment there sheds light on the ways in which the "Tableaux Parisiens" advance the poetics of metonymic reference beyond the dilemmas of "Spleen and Ideal. 400). en supposant que je n'existe pas') " ." but transform its tenor and function dramatically by undermining both the mastery of the subject who deciphers modern Paris and the meaning of the scenes he encounters in the ever-changing city.Modernist imagination 139 context of contemporary Paris. while still pursuing the decoding of memory and subjectivity initiated in "Spleen and Ideal. "the positivist" (so called by Baudelaire in order to "better characterize his error") "says CI want to represent things as they are. but a logical or epistemological error. or rather as they would be supposing that I did not exist' (le positiviste dit 'Je veux representer les choses telles qu'elles sont." rails against the realists who believe " that art is and can only be the exact reproduction of nature (que l'art est et ne peut etre que la reproduction exacte de la nature)" and who thus take Daguerre as their "messiah." who declares. Baudelaire will insist on its importance. The positivist position elides the subject. " 2 This position entails not merely an aesthetic deficiency. he will draw on the well-known contemporary genre of the "tableaux de Paris." THE LATER ART CRITICISM Section 2 of the Salon 0/1859. entitled "Le Public moderne et la photographie." In polar opposition to the positivist Baudelaire proposes the "imaginative (Pimaginatif). "The universe without man (L'univers sans l'homme).a stance Baudelaire dismisses by adding. Similar questions of subjectivity and reference occupy Baudelaire in the essays on art contemporary with the second edition of Les Fleurs du Mai. But this subject is not the subject of temperament that characterized the Salon criticism of 1845 an( ^ !846: it is the . " I want to illuminate things with my soul and project their reflection onto other souls (Je veux illuminer les choses avec mon esprit et en projeter le reflet sur les autres esprits) " (p. To this end. ou bien qu'elles seraient." as he revises the collection for republication.

. to alter the beautiful . 410). To be sure. by contrast. erudition. curious. but only to characterize the "artist of old": Jadis. David .. usually borrowed from the past (une poesie etrangere.. qu'etait l'artiste (Lebrun ou David. to transfer. References to the past and to memory of the past still appear in the later criticism. Esprit ingenieux. Among contemporaries. in order to arrive at a preconceived style (M. Now the key word is imagination. Penguilly est aussi un amoureux du passe. curieux. An ingenious mind..140 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis subject of imagination. for instance) ? Lebrun: erudition.. amour du grand. imagination. empruntee generalement au passe)": " M . p.. " M . imagination. connaissance du passe.. l'amour du grand uni a l'erudition . but a "foreign poetry. par exemple)? Lebrun. memory of the past no longer plays such a role: the costumes and figures of a Lies "reflect a curious love of the past (un curieux amour du passe) " (my emphasis. Ingres est victime ..392) What was the artist of old (Lebrun or David.. II a la minutie. No less an artist than Ingres is criticized precisely because his style is considered not the "naturally poetic quality" of the subject-matter ("la qualite naturellement poetique du sujet qu'il faut en extraire pour la rendre plus visible"). "Temperament" in the early Salons designated a certain relation to the past and the art tradition in which the memory of that tradition played an essential (if essentially subliminal) role. love of greatness. hard-working. (P. Le peintre de la vie moderne (published in 1863. Penguilly is also an admirer of the past. but that style is no longer to be drawn from the past. David: . also love of the past. the ardent patience and the tidiness of a booklover. Ingres is the victim of an obsession which always compels him to displace. (M. aussi l'amour du passe. 3 The Salon of 1859 and the essay on Constantin Guys.. mastery of the past. but written three to four years earlier) represent an important evolution in Baudelaire's theory of art... the contemporary artist must distinguish himself from positivist non-art and photography by means of style. laborieux. love of greatness combined with erudition .. 410). He has the scrupulousness.. la patience ardente et la proprete d'un bibliomane) " (p.

. they are always intoxicated.. he expresses above all what is inner-most in the mind. que la joie avec laquelle l'enfant absorbe la forme et la couleur. And it is in the very next section of the essay. where the artist's vision is compared to that of a convalescent or a child: "Nothing resembles what is called inspiration more than the joy with which children absorb form and color.. pour arriver au styleprecongu) " (P-4I2). On peut dire que. Paspect etonnant des choses. D'ou vient qu'il produit la sensation de nouveaute? Que nous donne-t-il de plus que le passe?.a thoroughly decoded perspective from which things are not recognized.. (pp. doue d'une plus riche imagination.. for in this section of the essay . but always experienced as if for the very first time..... being endowed with a richer imagination. One could say that.) " 5 Rather than temperament.. enfant" — the productive naivete of infantile perception is equated with the perspective of the urban flaneur.. Children see everything afresh. It is worth examining this new art theory in greater detail. the astonishing side of things .4 Even Baudelaire's terms of praise for the great Delacroix have shifted in emphasis. a transporter et a alterer le beau .. artistic vision now entails a child-like openness and freedom from preconceptions ." that Baudelaire will assign to the artist (poet or . with its grounding in the metaphoric axes of tradition and thorough familiarity with the art of the past. L'enfant voit tout en nouveaute. il exprime surtout l'intime du cerveau.entitled "L'Artiste. away from the past toward novelty and surprise (toward "the shock of the new"): Je tourmente mon esprit pour en arracher quelque formule qui exprime bien la specialite d'Eugene Delacroix.. The importance of novelty in Baudelaire's new art theory recurs in Lepeintre de la vie moderne. Why is it that he produces the sensation of novelty? What does he give us that is more than the past? ... il est toujours ivre. (Rien ne ressemble plus a ce qu'on appelle l'inspiration. 403-04) I wrack my brains to find some formula that adequately expresses the special quality of Eugene Delacroix.. entitled " La Modernite. homme des foules. homme du monde..Modernist imagination 141 d'une obsession qui le contraint sans cesse a deplacer..

Millet cherche particulierement le style. Baudelaire adopts conflicting positions on this question. photographic realism opposed to a specious and usually anachronistic stylization.142 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis painter) of modernity the task of "extracting what is poetic from the fashions of history. transforming the mere replication of nature into true landscape painting." Already in the Salon 0/1859. " M . de tirer l'eternel du transitoire) " (p. temperament mediated the opposition between imitators and eclectics. on the other.. Under such conditions.. however. pointless objectivity. what remains is barren.. [but] style brings him bad luck. Instead of simply extracting the natural poetry of the subject.. a notion that may be fruitfully compared with Baudelaire's adaptation of the tableaux de Paris tradition for his "Tableaux Parisiens. of plucking the eternal from the transitory (degager de la mode ce qu'elle peut contenir de poetique dans l'historique. mais par moi. Yet just three paragraphs later. This polarity matches the terms of the tableaux de Paris genre as Baudelaire inherits it: an anonymous. apparently unaware of the evident self-contradiction. on one hand. par ma grace propre. " If what we call a landscape is beautiful. 553). [he] wishes at all costs to add something (M. (Si ce que nous appelons un paysage est beau. Au lieu . unsystematic observer encounters random and ever-changing urban scenes. groundless subjectivity. a tension that develops without prospect of resolution in the subsequent essay on Guys. providing just the right "balance" of (subliminal) reference to the tradition with (original) treatment of contemporary subject-matter. par l'idee ou le sentiment que j'y attache) " (p. Now the terms have changed: with both personal memory and collective tradition decoded and out of play. [mais] le style lui porte malheur. how are truly artistic effects to be achieved? In his discussion of landscape painting in the Salon of i8$g. Millet is looking specifically for style. through the idea or feeling I attach to it. ce n'est pas par lui-meme. In the earlier Salon criticism. there appears a tension stemming from the shift from memory-based temperament to decoded imagination. 414. but thanks to me. my emphasis): here personal style is crucial to art. it is not so in and of itself.

l'enfant les a faibles. l'enfance douee maintenant. the child has weak ones.Modernist imagination 143 d'extraire simplement la poesie naturelle de son sujet. la sensibilite occupe presque tout l'etre.. in order to express itself. which reverberates as far as the cerebellum. Chez Tun. a childhood now endowed. The passage on the artist's child-like perception of novelty cited above continues as follows: toute pensee sublime est accompagnee d'une secousse nerveuse. L'homme de genie a les nerfs solides. between passive reception and active execution.." Baudelaire's account of Guys' work appears at first to establish a clear opposition between impression and expression. The man of genius has solid nerves. chez Pautre. reason plays a considerable part. For Baudelaire. interfering with the proper appreciation of nature's "own" poetry.552) every sublime thought is accompanied by a synaptic shock.. [il] veut a tout prix y ajouter quelque chose" (p. my emphasis): here personal style is inimicable to art. between the initial experience of modern city life and its subsequent depiction in a drawing or poem. with virile organs and with the analytic mind that enables him to organize the mass of material involuntarily accumulated. in the other. In one.6 The effect of such an opposition would be to attribute the distinctive quality of art to artistic volition. 415. sensitivity comprises almost the entire being. pour s'exprimer. Mais le genie n'est que Venfance retrouvee a volonte. d'organes viriles et de P esprit analytique qui lui permet d'ordonner la somme de materiaux involontairement amassee. but how is such a distinction to be made under decoded conditions? Is the distinguishing quality something inherent in the subject-matter ("the natural poetry of the subject") or something the artist contributes to it ("the idea or feeling [he] attaches to it")? This is an issue Baudelaire will explore in more detail as he traces the workhabits of Constantin Guys. exemplary "painter of modern life. (P. true art is to be distinguished from photographic realism: this is the thrust of the entire Salon review. The initial moment of child-like sensitivity and impressionability is supposedly followed and compensated for by a moment . qui retentit jusque dans le cervelet. la raison a pris une place considerable.. But genius is nothing but childhood regained at will.

musique. of letting the phantom escape before the synthesis has been extracted from it and laid hold of (un feu. ressemblant presque a une fureur. The artist-flaneur "enters the crowd as if entering an immense reservoir of electricity (entre dans la foule comme dans un immense reservoir d'electricite)" (p. tout cela entre pele-mele en lui. de laisser echapper le fantome avant que la synthese n'en soit extraite et saisie" (p. This would be an intervening moment of "synthesis" or "composition" (as Baudelaire frequently calls it).. [due to] the fear of not going fast enough. of the brush. But in Baudelaire's actual depiction of the moment of execution in Guys' work. the highly sensitive artist involuntarily absorbs these always novel impressions deep in the mind: " ." The force and originality of Guys. music. each surprise he is subject to registers as " a synaptic shock that reverberates as far as the cerebellum. "ideal execution becomes as unconscious . une ivresse de crayon.sparkles.. Located neither in the object of perception nor in the willed mastery of the artist. and in a few minutes. in which "reason plays a considerable part" (p. . but once again the details of his account of Guys' work make it impossible to identify with any certainty or locate securely in either subject or object. even the moment of execution would become completely unconscious'. full and serious mustaches . 552). Reasoned analysis and virile command are nowhere to be found. C'est la peur de n'aller pas assez vite. Baudelaire insists. 7 Whereas the dandy-flaneur has solid nerves and remains impervious to the shocks of city life.. are due to his ingenuous "obeissance a l'impression" (p. as digestion (l'execution ideale devienne aussi inconsciente.. the distinctive aesthetic moment is perhaps to be found somewhere between the two. 555).. the resulting poem will already be virtually composed (scintillements. moustaches lourdes et serieuses. regards decides. almost like a furor. que Test la digestion) " (p. as "an intoxicated flash of the pencil.144 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis of virile command and analytic mastery of the involuntarily amassed materials.. ideally. the process appears instead as frantic and feverish. in fact. resolute looks. de pinceau. 555). 554) and to the fact that his perception has not been dulled or blunted ("emousse").all this enters him in disorder. 552).

seems to place the moment of synthesis or composition several hours later. natural and more than natural. the passive construction ("has been extracted") at a crucial moment leaves the agent or agency responsible for "extracting" the poetic from the natural indeterminate. a propos of an encounter with a military regiment). imply an activity undertaken by the materials themselves yet separate from memory itself. s'harmonisent et subissent cette idealisation forcee qui est le resultat d'une perception enfantine.. Here. That apparently autonomous activity is then recast as subject to a "forced idealization" (whose passive construction once again does not specify the agent/agency doing the forcing) which is supposed somehow to "result from" the passive "infantile perception" that marked the start of the process hours before." meanwhile. le poeme qui en resulte sera virtuellement compose) " (p.Modernist imagination 145 et dans quelques minutes. 553. harmonized. 553) And the things are reborn on paper. If the allusion to a "forced idealization resulting from infantile perception" seems to locate the moment of synthesis . La fantasmagorie a ete extraite de la nature. magique a force d'ingenuite! (p. /harmonisent") governing the "materials congesting memory.. that is to say a keen perception that is magical by dint of its innocence! Here again.. beautiful and more than beautiful. The reflexive constructions ("se classent. c'est-a-dire d'une perception aigue. se rangent. se rangent. however.. Tous les materiaux dont la memoire s'est encombree se classent. composed ") suggests that composition is as involuntary as the impressions themselves. as the artist struggles to commit his impressions or memories to paper: Et les choses renaissent sur le papier. the aesthetic moment (of composition) seems to occur within a few moments of the initial impression. classified. naturelles et plus que naturelles. and undergo that forced idealization which is the result of an infantile perception. the passive construction ("will be .. The phantasmagoria has been extracted from nature. (But what could "already virtually composed" mean?) The very next paragraph.. All the materials with which memory stocked itself are categorized. belles et plus que belles . as the experience registers in memory.

. sees distinctly the impression things produced on M.j traduisant fidelement ses propres impressions. or its principal characteristics.. brings out with an instinctive energy the salient or striking features of an object. voit avec nettete l'impression produite par les choses sur l'esprit de M. G. passive] impressions faithfully.even if he does so with "instinctive energy" (rather than analytic command) and in the process of "translating his [initial.. The spectator's imagination suffers in turn this despotic mnemonic . the same mnemonic the artist suffered: the apparently active stance whereby the artist was supposed to have left his distinctive mark on the work of art is transformed back into the passive suffering of a shock and reception of impressions. sometimes resorting to exaggeration as an aid to human memory. G. whatever Baudelaire's difficulties in specifying the privileged location. First of all. G.'s mind. Baudelaire's account in the next section (entitled " L'Art mnemonique") seems to relocate it once again closer to the final moment of expression: M. suffering this despotic mnemonic in turn.. Here the artist appears actively to mark or stress the distinctively aesthetic features of his subject-matter .. G. . 555) .. (p. The spectator is here the translator of a translation that is always clear and intoxicating... 555) Faithfully translating his own impressions. et Timagination du spectateur.146 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis comfortably close to the initial moment of impression in the artistic process. subissant a son tour cette mnemonique si despotique. ou ses principales caracteristiques. who becomes the "translator of a translation.. (p. M." Nothing has been settled. marque avec une energie instinctive les points culminants ou lumineux d'un objet .that is. and the imagination of the spectator. Le spectateur est ici le traducteur d'une traduction toujours claire et enivrante." But for or in whose memory is such "exaggeration" useful? The passage continues: ... quelquefois meme avec une exageration utile pour la memoire humaine. The artist thus occupies the same position as the (surely passive) spectator. Two sets of remarks are in order..

to render things. the effects of "so despotic a mnemonic" are never in doubt. and strongly resembles the poetics developed in the "Tableaux Parisiens. If merely representing Paris were Baudelaire's concern. In this vein. no matter how meaningless.Modernist imagination 14 7 moment. inasmuch as protective recognition is thereby out of play. or agency of the modernist aesthetic. but something in between. The effect of the mnemonic in the art work itself is therefore not so much to change anything as simply to add a "charge" or to intensify what is given in the initial impression. something like the tableaux de Paris (with its built-in observer-flaneur and its broad interest in various aspects of city life) might have served tel quel. Baudelaire's metonymic poetics also undermines the stability and coherence of the observing or reporting self. meaninglessness is the necessary precondition for obtaining really vivid impressions. "always clear and intoxicating": the effect of the despotic art work on the public is to transmit from artist to spectators the decoded perception of things that serves as modern art's point of departure and/or defining characteristic. 553). On the content plane. as Baudelaire says here (echoing Beauty). "belles et plus que belles" (p. On the expression plane. as we have seen. Yet this undecidability is productive. nor a pure product of artistic will or style. but only on recapturing or . representation in the "Tableaux Parisiens" is decoded in that any chance encounter in an ever-changing cityscape. indeed. may produce a vivid impression. what Baudelaire here calls "mnemonic art" is in a sense undecidable: neither a simple reproduction of the object-world. and in relation to the issues broached in the Salon of i8jg and Baudelaire's adaptation of the tableaux de Paris." The art criticism of the late fifties and early sixties in fact explores terrain opened up by the metonymic poetics of the beauty cycle. Secondly. the gist of the essay on Guys parallels the direction taken in the "Tableaux Parisiens": lyric subjectivity and referential representation are both canceled out. as the new section devises and deploys a poetic discourse where decoding affects both the content plane and the expression plane. But even while fostering reference to real context. lyric subjectivity is decoded in that poetic effects depend not on subjective mastery or control.

but an observer venturing forth to . is the role of the subject in decoded poetic discourse: the "Tableaux Parisiens" dramatize this question. the point of view would no longer be that of a Poet mired in the melancholy of spleen time. the genre originally depicts encounters between an anonymous stroller and various facets of city life: the point is.. Baudelaire here draws directly on the contemporary tableaux de Paris. the transformation of a pre-existing popular genre .is matched on the expression plane: metric and stylistic analysis has shown that the poems of the "Tableaux Parisiens" section contain the most innovative versification in the entire collection. at least in its broad outlines.9 Based in part on Diderot's theory of dramatic realism and in part on the experience of rapidly changing city life. on the beautification project from his own earlier poetry. too. The singularity of the genre in its initial (late eighteenth-. but will move sharply away from their positivist objectiverealism.the choice of everyday subject-matter for poetry. THE INTRODUCTORY POEMS Baudelaire's "Tableaux Parisiens" draw on and transform a popular genre well known to his contemporaries (though largely forgotten now).8 Still very much in question. early nineteenth-century) stages lay in its unconventional depiction of all aspects of city life and its attempt to make snap sense out of haphazard and fleeting contact with the new and unfamiliar.148 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis "translating" what has already come to be in the elusive space/time Baudelaire refers to (necessarily somewhat incoherently) as "mnemonics. without preconceptions or systematic preparation. suits Baudelaire's requirements admirably: the context of reference will no longer be insignificant objects which happen to be at hand. Such a genre. but an ever-changing cityscape. however. the tableaux de Paris." It would appear in this light to be no accident that innovation affecting the content plane of the "Tableaux Parisiens" . yet will move decisively away from the wager placed there on the effectiveness of Poetic will. to draw some kind of moral or civics lesson from these chance encounters. he draws.

in the same vein. the genre had evolved considerably. At the same time that new social relations were altering the aims of the genre and reducing its moral or cognitive doubt Diderot's and Mercier's most important heir in this tradition . The first poem of the "Tableaux Parisiens. He certainly has no desire to revive the moralizing stance of a Diderot or a Mercier. Mercier (in his prototypic turn-of-the-century Tableau de Paris) insisted on the valuable information his tableaux contain for those (viz. pure spatial extension becomes the cityscapes of Paris. as is abundantly clear from the art criticism contemporary with the poetry of the second edition.Modernist imagination 149 test his mettle against the unknown. yet he also despises photography and realism. on the transitory. on whatever is new for newness's sake.made similar claims throughout the novels of the Comedie humaine. But by Baudelaire's day (already in the 1840s and certainly by the late 1850s and 1860s when Baudelaire composed most of his "Tableaux Parisiens"). nearly everyone) less familiar with the new city than he. Within the overall structure composed of diurnal and nocturnal poems. stressing the "objectivity" or photographic realism of the genre. Balzac . the new reproduction technologies of lithography and especially daguerreotypy were changing its form. foregrounds Poetic will and presents time's cyclicity in terms of . This is the situation in which Baudelaire adapts the genre for the "Tableaux Parisiens" section and takes it in a very different direction. But the growth of the textile industry. a preliminary cycle consisting of the first three poems reiterates the project of beautification and re-stakes the wager on poetic will. but ends with the acknowledgment that the Poet's will-to-beauty is hopelessly unrealistic. the mass circulation press. Bare temporal duration becomes historical change." as we said. and of advertising — and especially the commercialization of the concept and practices of fashion — soon displace information and civics lessons to the background: the focus is now on the fugitive. The Poet of the "Tableaux Parisiens" sets out instead to explore the "in between" of uncertain real reference and unstable subjectivity.

T h e title itself introduces this duality. 10. " L e Soleil. but it does so under conditions worth examining in further detail. what he evokes is the sun and warmer climes (11. tempetant vainement a ma vitre.. " ( L i ) . the poem asserts the ascendancy of Poetic will and artifice over nature. 24)." which introduces the set of diurnal poems. and the Poet's actual enclosure with the spacious scenes he imagines. Pour batir dans la nuit mes feeriques palais L'Emeute. Poetic will is exercised not only at night. in contrasting night with day.150 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis the seasons. in the street: " L e long du vieux faubourg. monotonous snowstorms (1. 25-26). Finally and most important. Secondly. Poetic desire figures centrally. Yet the nocturnal setting of " P a y s a g e " also links it " b a c k w a r d .12). Car je serai plonge. to the set of nocturnal poems ending with the dawn of "Crepuscule du m a t i n " at the end of the " T a b l e a u x Parisiens": in this second set of poems. links " Paysage" with the set of nocturnal poems. but it is a cycle the Poet can interrupt at will.. but enclosed: 15 Et quand viendra Thiver aux neiges monotones. complete with chimney pots and church steeples. 14). the passionate and constructive activity of the Poet takes place at night. Not only is time depicted as seasonally cyclical here. This evocation sets the stage for the next poem. simply by "calling forth springtime" ("evoquer le Printemps avec ma volonte" 1. Ne fera pas lever mon front de mon pupitre. For one thing. Je fermerai partout portieres et volets. which are equally well designated as domestic scenes.. 22 This sense of spatial enclosure. Yet the title may refer . for what is first presented as a " l a n d s c a p e " soon appears to be a cityscape instead.. too." whose very first line situates the Poet outside. " L e Soleil. " as it were. too. a central theme of the entire section and a crucial feature of Baudelairean modernism. yet produces daytime scenes: what he actually sees is the moon and stars (11. it also establishes a sharp contrast with the immediately following poem.

25 By the end of the poem. Alors je reverai des horizons bleuatres. De tirer un soleil de mon coeur. 9). 1) and contemplation of the landscape characterized as " d o u x " (1. 16). idyllic nature is clearly less engaging than what the Poet himself constructs ("batir" 1. pour composer chastement mes eglogues. starting with " L e Soleil. The attempt to forsake and indeed surpass nature through the exercise of Poetic will forms the drama of the introductory cycle. des jets d'eau pleurant dans les albatres. romantic section of the collection (where it followed "Benediction") to the introductory cycle of the "Tableaux Parisiens" is surely among the most striking revisions Baudelaire made for the second edition of his work. Such a gestalt shift is . the poem itself moves away from the innocent calm associated with the pastoral toward an energetic pleasure associated directly with Poetic activity itself. et de faire De mes pensers bmlants une tiede atmosphere." The displacement of " L e Soleil" from the heart of the first. and dramatically changes the poem's impact and effects." his passion heats up: Gar je serai plonge dans cette volupte D'evoquer le Printemps avec ma volonte. Goucher aupres du ciel.. Et tout ce que l'ldylle a de plus enfantin. Its new location in a section addressing the complexities of modern city life brings into predominance certain aspects of the poem that appeared secondary in the context of the earlier section devoted to the harmonies and grandeur of nature. but once the Poet turns away from winter "pour batir dans la nuit [s]es feeriques palais. des oiseaux chantant soir et matin. 20 In whichever sense we read the title. Des baisers.Modernist imagination 151 not to the Poet's setting but rather to the "childish" pastoral verses he speaks of composing and the scene he describes in the second stanza: 2 Je veux. Pastoral composition may be "chaste" (1.. Des jardins.

/ Sur la ville et les champs. 17). 15 20 Unlike the Poet of "Paysage" who shuts himself up in his tower whenever winter comes. Trebuchant sur les mots comme sur les paves. the omnipresence of the sun contrasts with the restricted ambit of the Poet: " . sur les toits et les bles " (11. Et s'introduit en roi. which are directly contrasted by parallel structure: stanza 2 "dans les champs" (1. ennemi des chloroses.152 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis possible because the contrast between nature and the city is inscribed in the structure of the poem itself. C'est lui qui rajeunit les porteurs de bequilles Et les rend gais et doux comme des jeunes filles. The tension between nature and artifice introduced in "Paysage" becomes in "Le Soleil" a relatively stark contrast between two external stanzas devoted to city life. 10 Ce pere nourricier. sans bruit et sans valets. Et commande aux moissons de croitre et de murir Dans le coeur immortel qui veut toujours fleurir! Quand. 10).. stanza 3 "dans les villes" (1. Each of the subsequent stanzas then expounds the sun's activities in one of these locales. the Poet of "Soleil" is found in the street. 4-5). Heurtant parfois des vers depuis longtemps reves. Already in the first stanza. II fait s'evaporer les soucis vers le ciel.. II ennoblit le sort des choses les plus viles. which opposes the two .. Eveille dans les champs les vers comme les roses. and a middle stanza devoted to the country and nature. But there exists another structure. Flairant dans tous les coins les hasards de la rime. ainsi qu'un poete. 5 Je vais m'exercer a ma fantasque escrime. il descend dans les villes. oil pendent aux masures Les persiennes. le soleil cruel frappe . Le Soleil Le long du vieux faubourg.. engaged in the kind of haphazard encounters typical of city life in the tableaux de Paris genre. Quand le soleil frappe a traits redoubles Sur la ville et les champs. devoted to the Poet's travails in the city. Et remplit les cerveaux et les ruches de miel. sur les toits et les bles. Dans tous les hopitaux et dans tous les palais. abri des secretes luxures.

the other rhetorical and formal as well as topical.. commande " ) . however. most notably the repeated " Q u a n d " at the beginning of lines 3 and 17. descend dans les villes " (1... 17). The first " when " is a strictly temporal determination of the Poet's activity (itself spatially limited to the city) by the sun: he practices poetry when the sun shines. fait s'evaporer.. rajeunit...Modernist imagination 153 external stanzas to the internal one. 3-5) and "Quand [le soleil].. the sun's actions take place at a distance or from a commanding height. This second structure contains yet another..... The second "when" is not symmetrical. 17). rather than a determination. it ennobles.. / Je vais. contrasting the first stanza (on the poet) with the latter two (on the sun). remplit.. local contrast between the urban activity of the poet (stanza 1) and the urban activity of the sun (stanza 3). ending with a direct allusion to a timeless "coeur immortel qui veut toujours fleurir" (1.... The kinetics of stanza 2 reinforce its difference from the other two: there. Stanzas 1 and 3 contain markers of determinate temporality.. dans) " all the hospitals and palaces. ") in the indeterminate or eternal present. a comparison made explicit in the first line of the last stanza ("ainsi qu'un poete" 1... by contrast. but also in the adverbial complements of line 8: "Heurtant parfois des vers depuis longtemps reves.. rajeunit. This contrast is reinforced by the difference between the two parallel temporal expressions mentioned above: "Quand le soleil cruel frappe. 1). ainsi qu'un poete . the sun "goes into town (descend dans les villes) " and "gets into (s'introduit. when it goes into town. it marks an option: the sun can act anywhere (as is clear from line 4)... like a poet. opposing the interior stanza (the eternal sun in nature) with the two exterior ones (poet and sun when in the city). rend . remplit. as it were ("eveille. on a horizontal plane. 16). in the third stanza. moving as does the Poet in stanza 1 ("Le long des faubourgs" 1." Stanza 2. " (11.. The poem thus comprises two comprehensive superposed structures: one topical. "Le Soleil" thus adds a second opposition to the contrast between town and country it inherits from "Paysage" (as well as by implication from its relocation for the second edition from .. presents the sun's actions ("eveille .

Most of the structural features noted so far seem to favor the sun over the poet. "gais et doux comme des jeunes filles" 1. instead. which displaces the relations between town and country.. 10-11) of the second stanza pale in comparison with the striking images and similes of the first (e. is the opposition . and may sometimes stumble across a long-sought verse or a lucky rhyme. however. 20). / II fait s'evaporer les soucis vers le d e l " 11. . which figure among the most memorable in the entire collection. The pertinent contrast here. "Eveille dans les champs des vers comme les roses.. les palais" 1.. a distinction that makes no difference to the sun's urban activity. but the contrast in quality argues for the superiority of Poetic artifice over natural harmony and correspondences. reminiscent of " Correspondances. But there are two mitigating factors which must be taken into account in any comparative judgment of their poetic abilities.g.. and that alter the balance in favor of the Poet. First of all. the "ainsi que" of line 17 that makes the comparison between sun and poet explicit. the sun acts eternally and from a distance. conditions permitting. Yet the existence and specifics of the third stanza disrupt too neat a binary opposition between Poet and sun. 14) and facile word-play (e.g. goes into town .154 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis the pastoral first cycle to the urban "Tableaux Parisiens"): the contrast between the Poet and another poetic agency designated here as the sun. actually refers the sun to the poet as standard of comparison." between nature and the human spirit (" remplit les cerveaux et les ruches dernier 5 ). and thus align the poem with the pastoral cycle in which it first appeared. nature and humankind informing the first two stanzas. Far more telling. The trite images (e. like a poet. " Trebuchant sur les mots comme sur les paves" 1. The urban poet works out (" [s]'exerce") in the street. rather than the other way around: when the sun. is the very quality of the poetry associated with the two poetic figures. 7). It is surely because "Le Soleil" contains instances of both urban and pastoral poetics that it can have belonged to both the romantic and modernist sections of the collection. ultimately generating a neat equivalence.quintessentially urban for Baudelaire between rich and poor ("les hopitaux et.g.

leads us back to the first stanza. the right word) to capture it. Similarly on the expression plane. artistic or poetic agency in the poem may finally be undecidable: it may depend on both Poet and sun. especially introduced by the " Q u a n d . " clause echoing line 3. the poetic illumination or ennoblement of city life attributed to an Other lies completely outside the artist/ poet's control. Yet the descent of the sun into the city. "Le Soleil" thus suggests a program for a specifically urban poetry quite different from the romantic stance figured in "Paysage. the Poet operates by luck and by accident: finding the poetic means to express that illumination is a matter of chance. by "ennobling" it. yet actually take place somewhere between the two.Modernist imagination 155 which involves ennobling all things. As in the later art criticism. the sun. It is clear that the modern urban poet is writing rather than reading the "secret language of speechless things. where it clarifies the Poet's dependence on the sun: if the Poet's urban workouts depend on sunshine. no matter how lowly. This would explain why the Poet encounters "vers depuis longtemps reves": even his best luck in finding means of expression depends on the prior action of the sun having ennobled the cityscape to begin with. . " Le Soleil" proposes a new answer to the question posed by the . It is then a matter of chance whether the Poet will happen across the appropriate means of expression (a lucky rhyme. As in the beautification project." with its emphasis on a self-sufficient Poetic will steeled and exercised in lofty isolation. it is because the sun transforms the cityscape into poetic material in the first place. The project of ennoblement in fact appears closer to the earlier project of beautification. it is not the Poet's personal memories that glorify present perception. which ennobles all things in much the same way that Beauty's mirror-eyes made them more beautiful. but a process attributed to an Other agent. In this way. . On the content plane." and that these things are human artifacts rather than natural harmonies. but now resituated in the context of modernism and the new section on city life. Yet the emphasis in "Le Soleil" on chance and its explicit mention of the means of poetic expression align this new project with the view of modernist art Baudelaire developed in the Salon 0/1859 an<^ Peintre de la vie moderne.

13-16). 9-12).Cependant tu vas gueusant Quelque vieux debris gisant Au seuil de quelque Vefour De carrefour. then. This rather modest and strictly personal ("pour moi") claim escalates in the next stanza into a comparison favoring the girl over a queen from a novel: " T u portes plus galamment / Qu'une reine de roman / Ses cothurnes de velours / Tes sabots lourds" ( longer the sun of "Le Soleil" . In "A une mendiante rousse" (LXXXVIII). 10 first in the optative subjective: " Au lieu d'un haillon trop court.. 41-44). where the Poet. We must not.156 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis wager on beautification earlier in the collection: can ennoblement of even the lowliest of things produce truly poetic effects? The answer given here is: "sometimes" (1. poete chetif.who descends into the street and sets out to "ennoble the fate of the lowliest things. This modulation into the conditional already signals the denouement presented in the last three stanzas. modulating into the conditional: " T u compterais dans tes lits / Plus de baisers que de lis / Et rangerais sous tes lois / Plus d'un Valois!" (11. for him. her sickly young body has a certain charm: " Pour moi. let a superb court robe trail. / a douceur" (11. He begins by apostrophizing her. too poor himself. The next eight stanzas seek in effect to transform the beggar-girl into a queen (to "ennoble" her). / Ton jeune corps maladif.... be too hasty to attribute the stance of "Le Soleil" to the "Tableaux Parisiens" as a whole. / Qu'un superbe habit de cour / Traine a plis bruyants et longs / Sur tes talons (Instead of an ill-fitting rag. however. for the next poem in the section answers this question in a very different way. acknowledges his inability really to transform and ennoble the poor girl: . it is the Poet himself." in this case a poor beggar-girl. Tu vas lorgnant en dessous Des bijoux de vingt-neuf sous 48 . 8). at your feet) " (11. with the transformation complete. and thereby prefigures the psychodynamics of many of the Petits Poemes en prose. 5—8). explaining that.

it does not fail at all: the very failures of poetry in the face of modern urban existence become the stuff of a specifically modernist poetics that informs the structure and poems of the section as a whole. diamant. Yet in another sense." from romanticism through beautification to real reference. 5). Parfum. ending in " A une mendiante rousse" with the conclusion that the real is what resists the ennobling imagination. But the riches of Poetic imagination contrast sharply with the actual poverty of the Poet himself. now exerted on urban artifice rather than natural harmony. perles. oh! pardon! Te faire don.Modernist imagination 52 Dont je ne puis. O ma beaute! 15 7 56 What appears new here in relation to the projects of beautification and ennoblement is acknowledgment of the irrevocable gap between imaginative transformation and the real. This by no means represents a rejection of the poetic imagination: the Poet insists till the very end that the beggar-girl is "his beauty" (1. unable to afford even costume jewelry for the girl (11. dramatically reasserts itself. indeed. Va done. that in portraying . which will become a central theme in the Petits Poemes en prose. the poem cited by Benjamin as the epitome of the shock experience in Baudelaire. 49-52). So violent is the shock. Poetic will. Que ta maigre nudite. echoing the "pour moi" of 1. The preliminary cycle of the "Tableaux Parisiens" thus recapitulates the trajectory of "Spleen and Ideal. sans autre ornement. 56. THE STREET SCENES Nowhere is an experience typical of city life registered in greater purity than in " A une passante" (XGIII). isolated even from the serial flow of lived time (Erlebnis). It depicts the failures of the shock-defense and the limit of decoded temporality: a discrete moment severed completely from past and future. but in a sense ultimately fails: it is able to transform its object only through poetic discourse and in imagination. not through effective action in the real.

158 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis it. 11—12). of course. in the bustling pedestrian traffic typical of the modern city: " La rue assourdissante autour de moi hurlait. Une femme passa" (11... both continuities are interrupted.. but even the metonymic axis which normally supplies at least a synthesis of seriality (as depicted in "L'Horloge ") breaks down in the fleeting encounters typical of city life. Chance encounters of this kind are not the only feature of the modern city depicted in the "Tableaux Parisiens" that defeats the shock-defense. Here. each person's own trajectory presumably has a certain temporal continuity. 11 In its aftermath.3). and the moment of contact stands outside of either. as occurs in " Le Cygne. as is clear in "Le Cygne" (LXXXIX) : 8 30 Le vieux Paris n'est plus (la forme d'une ville Change plus vite. this poem at the same time reproduces the uncertainties about poetic agency characterizing the later art criticism: is memory . both forms of the shock-defense have failed. Baudelaire elides the verb: " U n eclair. This experience of discontinuity takes place. since this woman is someone the Poet has never seen and thus cannot recognize. Not only is the metaphoric axis out of play. ending with an imperfect subjunctive conditional ("O toi que j'eusse aimee" 1. temporal reference oscillates wildly and uncertainly between ''eternity" and "never" ("Ne te verrai-je plus que dans l'eternite? / Ailleurs.. In a city crowd. puis la nuit!" (1. helas! que le coeur d'un mortel) Paris change! mais rien dans ma melancholie N'a bouge! This difficulty is especially resonant when what is mobilized as a defense against change is the memory-based mode of recognition so central to the correspondences program. but when paths cross by chance and then instantly diverge. The rapid transformation of Second-Empire Paris by Haussmann's urban renewal projects proves equally difficult to manage." While depicting the inability of memory to master the rapidly changing cityscape of modern Paris. 1. 14) that underscores the impossibility of ever integrating the moment back into the flow of time. bien loin d'ici. / . trop tard! jamais peut-etre!" 11. 9).

/ . Et mes chers souvenirs sont plus lourds que les rocs.Modernist imagination 159 a resource called upon by the poet at will.anything encountered on a stroll through the new city will do . even blocks of stone . By the time we reach the second part of the poem. or is it something that occurs to him involuntarily? In the poem's famous first line. echafaudages.has become an occasion for allegorical reflection on his homelessness there: Paris change! mais rien dans ma melancolie N'a bouge! palais neufs. The Poet remains undecidably as much the object as the subject of these thoughts in the explanation offered later in the poem: "Aussi devant ce Louvre une image m'opprime: / Je pense a mon grand cygne . instead reproduce his alienation from it. / . And as indeterminate as the signs of alienation are . je pense a vous! Ce petit fleuve. then are the thoughts and images they trigger: the swan. far from reconciling the Poet with the new city. generates images that. not something he recalled at will: "Andromaque. . et puis a vous. Yet it is equally possible that the thought of Andromaque is an involuntary association that suddenly occurs to him. " (U.. Ce Simols menteur qui par vos pleurs grandit. . the Poet's memory appears here not as agent but as a direct object.33~34> my emphasis). je pense a vous!" The active verb suggests an attempt to ennoble contemporary Paris. moreover (whether willed or not). the Poet faced with the shock of the "new Carrousel" ( palaces. The initial reference to Andromaque in exile leads to his own memory of an escaped swan scratching a dry Paris stream bed in search of water.. " Andromaque. tout pour moi devient allegorie. . 6) on a stroll through a once familiar section of Paris exclaims./A feconde soudain ma memoire fertile" (11. blocs. . suddenly fertilized by Andromaque's little river. Recourse to memory. Vieux faubourgs. and apparently reproaching God for withholding rain. Andromaque . . scaffolding. . 1 and 4—5). in line with the stance of "Le Soleil" and "A une mendiante rousse" (which immediately precede "Le Cygne" in the collection). everything in the city . .

Even when the Poet tries to arrest the proliferation of images with a concluding "Ainsi" (1. the indeterminate series of equivalents nevertheless continues: Ainsi dans la foret ou mon esprit s'exile Un vieux Souvenir sonne a plein souffle du cor! Je pense aux matelots oublies dans une ile. Yet this melancholy is itself productive. the river of Andromaque's sorrow. Memory in " L e Cygne" thus produces effects that are virtually the opposite of what would be expected. jamais!" 11. 45-46).economizes and further accelerates the enumeration by reducing mention of additional members of the series to an indeterminate "bien d'autres (many others) ". Aux captifs. and by implication reproaches God for the lack of them. aux vaincus!. and so on in an apparently random series of images. but melancholy and alienation. The Poet invokes the memory of the swan in order to make sense of his own decoded experience strolling through rapidly changing Paris.. Memory thus brings not recognition and homecoming. sounding in the forest of his exile. Indeed. But instead of reintegrating his experience of the new Paris into memories of the old. " C e SimoTs menteur qui par vos pleurs grandit" (1. the Poet vainly searches for familiar meanings in the unfamiliar cityscape. a bien d'autres encor! 52 The series might even by said to intensify: the elision in the last line suggests the possibility of endless continuation of the series at just the moment that the enumeration accelerates by reducing the complements qualifying its members to zero. 49) and by recalling the "old Memory" of the swan. The Poet's internal exile from Paris . 4). may have been what stimulated the Poet's memory in the first place.160 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis then a sickly black woman seeking the palm trees of Africa.. and the final phrase . then anyone at all who has lost what can never be found ("A quiconque a perdu ce qui ne se retrouve / Jamais. this memory merely reproduces another scene of alienation from the city: like the swan vainly searching for contrasting the relative supplement " e n c o r " (meaning " m o r e " : [I think] of many more others as well") with the " c o r " (horn) of memory which might have grounded the series .

here called melancholy (1. 4): the poem shows that. from meaningless to somehow heroic. it is the place of/from which one speaks in/about melancholy — that is. thereby lies. as it were. Rather. though they combine in significantly varying proportions.melancholic as opposed to ecstatic . succumbs to utter defeat in the very next poem. Metaphor and metonymy usually appear in moderation and in combination."Le Cygne" nonetheless finishes on a similar note of exhilaration: a series of short clauses punctuated by exclamation marks. 29)." Even this melancholic exhilaration. under modern conditions. changing their sign. the psychodynamics of discourse are to a large extent determined by the predominance of one or the other. Which is to say that. along with or following perception. memory itself gets decoded here: memory does not serve as a supplement to perception. from dry to wet. Paris thus appears not as a place to which meaning can be successfully attributed so that it can be represented (for it changes too fast for that): the real. "Les Sept Vieillards" (xc) stages the failure of metaphoric poetics itself. serves to supplement the failures of perception. Although the mood here is very different from that of the poems of beautification . from negative to positive. ending with a characteristic "still more. in full cognizance of the impossibility of grounding present experience in memories of it. taken to the extreme. rather the very inadequacy of memory. as in the poetics of correspondences. This may explain Baudelaire's inclination to translate Virgil's relatively mild characterization of Andromaque's "false" Simois (Latin "falsus") as "deceptive" or "lying" ("menteur" 1. however. where no memory-chains attach to the fleeting moments to convert them from "lived .12 Extreme metonymy produced the shock-defense appearing in "L'Horloge" as the empty passage of pure linear time. a replica or sign that evokes memories of something without also acknowledging its irretrievable absence. Whereas "A une passante" and "Le Cygne" stage the failures of temporal continuity and memory.Modernist imagination 161 and the very failure of memory to make sense of present experience in effect generate the endless series of interpretants of exile in those "many more others" as homeless as he. modern Paris resists this kind of recognition.

35-36). The form of shock-defense based on extreme metaphor appears in "Les Sept Vieillards. The metonymy of desire normally displaces investment along the signifying chain. The poetics of extreme metaphor thus ultimately prove inadequate to the challenges of modern city life. but experience thereby loses "the integrity of its content" (p. But such metaphoric poetics accelerates to the point that the figure of the old man begins to multiply indefinitely. The passing moments of metonymical time have no content." In fact. / Ce sinistre vieillard qui se multipliait!" (11. Taken to the extreme. metaphor would entail infinite repetition of the absolutely identical same. extreme metaphor implies total stasis: memory-chains determined by a code would be inseparably attached to each incident or signifier. arresting experience rather than enabling it. 116). unequivocal meaning along with fixed relations to everything else. the force of the repetition compulsion outweighs the force of desire. As if to accentuate the implicit allusion to the earlier doctrine. "Les Sept Vieillards" abounds in figures of comparison. and imitation. If extreme metonymy appears as pure seriality. similarity. 143).162 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis time" to "true experience": "every second finds consciousness ready to intercept its shock" (p. and not even the passage of time differentiates: "Car je comptai sept fois. assigning it a pre-established." where it fails even more dramatically than the metonymic defense does in "A une passante. and in the end. de minute en minute. the metaphoric doctrine of correspondences (already decoded by "Obsession" toward the end of "Spleen and Ideal") is here taken to its extreme and drives the Poet mad. Whereas the aesthetic of correspondences nonetheless preserved difference in its revelation of similarity. deriving their zero-degree "meaning" solely from their ordinal relation in the series. here difference totally disappears. . but where the metaphoric axis predominates. and total identity replaces mere resemblance. the Poet is defeated. The divine faculty of seeing metaphorical similarities in everything and of enriching discrete perceptions with harmonic resonances among them now appears as a terrifying recurrence of something absolutely the same.

. cependant que dans la triste rue Les maisons. "Les maisons .. Un matin. Ou le spectre en plein jour raccroche le passant! Les mysteres coulent partout comme des seves Dans les canaux etroits du colosse puissant.. 3). the threats of city life appear in two forms that recur throughout the poem: the flow of mysteries that inundate the cityscape.. decor semblable a l'ame de l'acteur. Un brouillard sale et jaune inondait tout l'espace. The next two stanzas comprising one long. roidissant mes nerfs comme un heros Et discutant avec mon ame deja lasse. flexing his poetic muscles in wary anticipation. coulent comme des seves" (1. The shock is so severe that it registers twice. Simulaient les deux quais d'une riviere accrue. brandishing metaphors and similes to keep the mysteries at bay: "Les mysteres . 6—7).in a striking enjambement (which contrasts sharply with the smoothflowing. un vieillard dont les guenilles jaunes Imitaient la couleur de ce ciel pluvieux. Le faubourg secoue par les lourds tombereaux. flowing sentence. then again . two-stanza sentence preceding it) . 12). Je suivais. which are already prefigured in the jolts of heavy tumbrels shaking the neighborhood ( the beginning of the fifth: Tout a coup. the shock of specters that accost the passer-by even in broad daylight. once at the beginning of the fourth stanza. dont la brume allongeait la hauteur. "decor semblable a l'ame de l'acteur" (1. . an old man appears before him. 8). the longest in the poem . 10-11).develop the mysterious liquidity of the city as the setting of the Poet's morning stroll: Fourmillante cite. 7-9). And we can almost see him on guard. Simulaient les deux quais d'une riviere" (11. cite pleine de reves. the Poet tries to bolster the courage of his flagging soul and steel his nerves to protect himself from the shocks of city life (11.Modernist imagination 163 Already in the first stanza. 4 8 12 As he follows the suburban rivers overflowing with smog (11. But his defenses fail: suddenly. Et que.

20 The Poet parries with more metaphors.. the final result being that the metonymy of desire is brought to a . but his metaphors and comparisons lack conviction. pareille a celle de Judas.. Blesse par le mystere et par l'absurdite!" (11. stopping at appearances or offering only alternative surmises instead of capturing his essence: II n'etait pas voute.. but with the realization (already made explicit in "Obsession") that such comparisons are not true.. Hostile a l'univers plutot qu'indifferent." but appears here as menacing rather than fascinating .. mais casse. (one might have said)" (1. 14). This. But his fencing skills prove no match for the old man: pierced by a look-which resembles the "coup de foudre" of the "passante. and "similarity" (1. " O n eut dit sa prunelle trempee / Dans le fiel" (11. Lui donnait la tournure et le pas maladroit D'un quadrupede infirme ou d'un juif a trois pattes. 13-14). Se projetait. 8) .the Poet will end up wounded and in retreat: "Je rentrai. Comme j'il ecrasait des morts sous ses savates. On eut dit sa prunelle trempee Dans le fiel. 46. / .with its figures of "simulation" (1. 27).. "sa barbe . Sans la mechancete qui luisait dans ses yeux. roide comme une epee. 19-20).. 17). the Poet now focuses his anxiety exclusively on the old man. / Imitaient la couleur de ce d e l " (11. Dans la neige et la boue il allait en s'empetrant. Anxious about city life from the start. The Poet's metaphoric defense-system . they are proffered quite tentatively. parachevant sa mine.164 16 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis Et dont l'aspect aurait fait pleuvoir des aumones. Et sa barbe a longs poils.. 24 28 Metaphor is the Poet's only defense here. son regard aiguisait les frimas. of course.48).falters on contact with the old man: " On eut dit. Si bien que son baton. je fermai ma porte / . roide comme une epee. M'apparut. similes. "imitation" (1. comparisons: "les guenilles jaunes. 18—18). son echine Faisant avec sa jambe un parfait angle droit. pareille a celle de J u d a s " (11. 7). mostly in the mode of "simulation" and "as if" (1. only aggravates his anxiety in face of the old man.

baton. du meme enfer venu. 35-36). the Poet of the " T a b l e a u x Parisiens" proves unable to master the shocks of city life and derive informative lessons from them. dos. Unlike the roving reporter of the tableaux de Paris. loques") and resort to the zero-degree metonymic defense of counting off minute by minute the endless repetition of the same: " C a r je comptai sept fois. A final remark on the poem's mode of reference is in order. oeil.. the poem's content amounts to little more than the hallucinations of an anxiety-ridden and thoroughly befuddled Poet-flaneur. the city remains the place from which that failure is attested to and by reference to which it is to be understood. de minute en minute. oeil. This metonymic mode of reference aligns "Les Sept Vieillards" with " L e M a s q u e " (although their mechanisms for defeating metaphoric poetics are very different). for metaphoric referentiality here suffers a fate akin to that of metaphoric poetics in general. fixating the Poet's perception on the figure of the old m a n : Son pareil le suivait: barbe. so too "Les Sept Vieillards" is simultaneously a poem about the fate of poetics in modernity and a poem about modern city life: a poem in which the city defies attempts at representation as the metaphoric object of reference. Ge jumeau centenaire. / Ce sinistre vieillard qui se multipliait!" (11. 32 T h e Poet can now do no more than reiterate the list of features characterizing the old man ("barbe. Yet despite the failure of metaphoric poetics to represent the city. Nul trait ne distinguait. loques.Modernist imagination 165 grinding halt: the repetition compulsion completely appropriates the recognition-function and freezes perception altogether. yet nonetheless serves as the metonymic context of reference in relation to which the poem's explanation of its failure ultimately makes sense. In marked contrast to the conventional tableaux de Paris as . Paris is therefore not the representational content of the poem: as a product of metaphoric poetics taken to the extreme.. Just as " L e M a s q u e " was simultaneously an allegorical poem and a poem about an allegorical statue. et ces spectres baroques Marchaient du meme pas vers un but inconnu.

en ce grave moment" 1. Yet the poem also marks an important transition from exterior to interior: its last stanzas invite the Poet to take shelter and collect himself ("Recueille-toi. given the ascendancy of artifice over nature in Baudelairean modernism. particularly when the move inside ." The separation of interior from exterior. Exaspere comme un ivrogne qui voit double.166 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis well as the project of correspondences. has nothing natural about it. as we have said. P esprit fievreux et trouble. Blesse par le mystere et par Pabsurdite! 48 Wounded by the absurdity of modern existence. epouvante. je fermai ma porte. 29). but decoded recognition fails to find meaning in street scenes. mon ame. THE DOMESTIC SCENES "Le Crepuscule du soir" (xcv) marks the mid-point of the "Tableaux Parisiens. the street scenes of the "Tableaux Parisiens" stage the failure of memory and metaphoric recognition to master and derive meaning from the surprising encounters typical of modern city life. and the Poet of the "Tableaux Parisiens" will therefore turn his attention inward to examine the fate of desire. The rejection of nature in favor of artifice leads to anxiety-based recognition. comme des gens d'affaires / . 11-12 and 15). . after all. the Poet retreats indoors at the end of "Les Sept Vieillards. even if it is expressly invoked in this context to neutralize the passage of linear spleen time evoked in "L'Horloge. The move from exterior to interior is in a sense more significant than the transition from day to night. merely a natural cycle. Je rentrai. and by implication to enjoy the quiet charm of home ("La douceur du foyer" 1." thus prefiguring the shift to domestic scenes comprising the second half of the section. Malade et morfondu. 38). . The transition from day to night is. from the diurnal to the nocturnal sets of poems. by contrast. La Prostitution s'allume dans les rues" (11." and the moment of transition. The end of the day and the arrival of night signal the arousal of desire: "Cependant des demons malsains dans Patmosphere / S'eveillent lourdement.

This is the sense in which the gamblers and whores of " L e j e u " (xcvi) are said to "prefer agony to death and hell to nothingness" (11. in that it is devoid of meaning. 13 Decoding releases recognition from fixation on the metaphoric axis and accelerates the metonymy of desire. fantasies. the failure to derive meaning from the exterior scenes depicted inevitably shifts the focus to the reporting observer himself. spurring it onward toward the goal of satisfaction. Hence the domestic scenes are concerned not with meaning. but will only be cautiously observed from a safe distance. ils finissent Leur destinee et vont vers le gouffre commun. Au coin du feu. . but with desire. no matter how painful. 23—24): any substitute gratification. 35 If the decoding of meaning leads to the problematic of desire. aupres d'une ame aimee. it can provide no substitute objects (objets petit-a) of gratification whatsoever: the metonymy of desire thus has nowhere to stop." except that here the split subject of desire is not racked by conscience and self-flagellation. The move inside. en ce grave moment. The retreat from exterior to interior. and resounding here in the concluding lines of "Le Crepuscule du soir": 30 Recueille-toi. the decoding of desire leads directly to death. le soir. But when the metaphoric axis has been radically decoded. and leads straight to death. . foreshadowed in " Le Squelette laboureur " at the very end of the diurnal cycle. dreams. L'hopital se remplit de leurs soupirs. Et ferme ton oreille a ce rugissement. Given the generic conventions of the tableaux de Paris.memories. suffices to detour the "headlong rush into the gaping abyss" (1.Modernist imagination 16 7 constitutes a retreat from an outside that threatens the Poet and Poetic endeavor so gravely. C'est l'heure ou les douleurs des malades s'aigrissent! La sombre Nuit les prend a la gorge. the moment of nightfall . from the street into the house. from questions of meaning to the issue of desire in the "Tableaux Parisiens" reiterates the shift from spleen to evil at the end of" Spleen and Ideal. mon ame.they also evoke in this second set of poems the theme of death. 22).Plus d'un Ne viendra plus chercher la soupe parfumee. and with desire in many forms . the stirrings of desire.

De ces vieilles putains la funebre gaiete. This is the quandary informing the domestic cycle of the "Tableaux Parisiens": one cannot simply affirm the metaphoric axis. 13) he is describing: he is observer both within and of the dream. l'autre de sa beaute! Et mon coeur s'effraya d'envier maint pauvre homme Courant avec ferveur a l'abime beant." In a dream set at night inside a gambling-house. Et tous gaillardement trafiquant a ma face. providing detours to prolong the journey to the abyss. "Le Jeu." Nowhere is this strategy displayed more poignantly than in the opening poem of the cycle. the Poet sees himself sitting off to one side. . Faced with this predicament. that in turn distances the cynical Poet-dreamer from his alterego within the dream in the second place: "Et mon coeur s'effraya d'envier maint pauvre homme . Death thus decodes all modes of gratification. much as he withdraws from desire's invasion of the streets to meditate at home in "Crepuscule du soir. 20 L'un de son vieil honneur. the Poet will typically withdraw from the dilemma and take up the position of cautious observer. yet one cannot simply affirm pure metonymy of desire either. And it is precisely the envy which distances the dreamed-Poet from the players he observes in the first place. he actually envies their "tenacious passion": Je me vis accoude. froid.168 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis This is also the perspective from which the Poet lauds the skeleton of death in "Danse macabre" (xcvn) and shares in her mockery of the dancers who try to mask their inevitable demise with the pursuit of beauty and pleasure. yet desire staves off death. silently watching the players and whores feverishly pursue their ends. what shocks the dreamer is that. Et qui. soul de son sang. inasmuch as this leads directly to death. showing their aims to be delusory and proclaiming itself the true end of life. enviant Enviant de ces gens la passion tenace. muet. . preferait en somme La douleur a la mort et Penfer au neant! The Poet is in a sense twice removed from the scene ("le noir tableau" 1. since it has been thoroughly decoded. " . in the dream.

" R e v e parisien" (en). Et. here the Poet's desire transforms an entire " l a n d s c a p e " in a dream. T h e doubling of the figure of the Poet in " L e J e u " and other poems of the interior cycle is a sign of recoding. 12 22 ." " L e Soleil")." There. either: the dreamed-Poet still envies the players' passion. " A une mendiante rousse. the Poet cannot simply subscribe to desire. At the same time. mais de colonnades Les etangs dormants s'entouraient. peintre fier de mon genie. This process of self-distantiation occurs in " L e J e u " by means of frame-switching: already at a distance from those he (as subject of the utterance) envies in the dream. the Poet then (as subject of the uttering) distances himself from that envy. just as it was in the dynamic of guilty evilification at the end of" Spleen and I d e a l . even while the Poet-dreamer cynically demystifies it. for it is decoded by death. which generates the multiple allegories of exile comprising Part II of the poem. " But now doubling no longer produces the intensification of guilt (pittingjudgment against act): it appears instead in an attenuated form. but cannot entirely abandon them either: they are transformed by the supplement of melancholy. In much the same way. But in direct contrast to the introductory poems of the section ("Paysage. There. but he cannot entirely abandon it. du marbre et de l'eau. Here. mirrors a poem appearing at the beginning of the exterior cycle. there are now no signs of nature at all: 8 J'avais banni de ces spectacles Le vegetal irregulier. Poetic will sought to ennoble a lowly figure on the street. the Poet cannot simply subscribe to meaning and memory. since they are decoded. Je savourais dans mon tableau L'enivrante monotonie Du metal. Non d'arbres. the final poem of the domestic cycle.Modernist imagination 169 T w o remarks are in order here. as a continual moving away from the desiring self on the part of a cynical observing self. the Poet's stance in " L e J e u " mirrors that of " L e C y g n e " in the exterior cycle.


Baudelaire and schizoanalysis Nul astre d'ailleurs, nuls vestiges De soleil, meme au bas du ciel... Et sur ces mouvantes merveilles Planait (terrible nouveaute! Tout pour Pceil, rien pour les oreilles!) Un silence d'eternite.



No signs of nature, no sign of life: the total and explicit exclusion of nature in favor of artifice produce the quintessentially modernist "novelty" (1. 50) of a dreamscape informed by a desire for absolute stillness, or death. Here, the dilemma of desire and death informing the entire cycle is resolved in a tour de force: desire and death simply fuse together to produce a vision of endless yet glittering monotony. In the context of the "Tableaux Parisiens" as a whole, the nocturnal vision of desire evoked at will in "Reve parisien" ("Architecte de mes feeries, / J e faisais, a ma volonte... " 11. 37-38) completes the circle leading back to "Paysage," where the Poet shuts himself in to call forth springtime through sheer force of will ("evoquer le Printemps avec ma volonte" [1. 24]) and to build his fairy castles in the dark ("Pour batir dans la nuit [s]es feeriques palais." [1. 16]). Except that now nature and life have been banished from the Poet's desire-of-death altogether. The contrast with the other dream tableau of the domestic cycle, in the initial poem " L e J e u , " is even more striking. There, the Poet appeared double, both observer 0/and represented in his dream; here, he does not appear in the dream at all: as there are no signs of life, there is no representation of the Poet. The absence of a dreamed-Poet (such as the one in " Le Jeu ") and the externality of the Poet-dreamer to the dream vision are underscored in the first lines of "Reve parisien," as the waking Poet recounts his amazement at recalling a landscape no mortal has ever seen: De ce terrible paysage, Tel que jamais mortel n'en vit, Ce matin encore l'image, Vague et lointaine, me ravit.


Modernist imagination


The vision of desire can appear eternal (1. 52) as long as it does not entail the presence of a desiring, and therefore mortal, subject. But of course, as in its pendant in the diurnal cycle, "A une mendiante rousse," the desired transformation in "Reve parisien" proves illusory: the Poet awakens in his hovel to the clock striking noon, and must immediately face the real that resists desire, the curse of mundane cares that worry his soul. And this rude awakening prepares the dawn of the last poem of the section, " Crepuscule du matin," which with its final image of laboring old Paris rubbing its eyes and shouldering its tools to go back to work, returns us to the opening poems of the diurnal cycle. The reduction of desiring subjectivity adumbrated in the Parisian dream here reaches its limit: for in "Crepuscule du matin," the Poet does not appear at all, not even as speaking subject. If the decoding of meaning in the exterior cycle led inside to the desires of the reporting subject, the decoding of desire leads in turn to the death of the subject, and to an "eternal" temporality devoid of events to report. "Le Crepuscule du matin" inscribes just such a temporality in its series of imperfect verbs - the only tense appearing in the poem - which repeatedly set the stage for an event that never occurs and an actor who nowhere appears. Thus even while "Reve parisien" and "Le Crepuscule du matin" thematically lead back to the diurnal poems at the beginning of the section, they also represent the culmination of both cycles' poetic transformations of the tableaux de Paris genre. Just as the decoding of meaning in the street scenes led inside to the observing subject and the question of its desire, the decoding of that desiring subject leads back outside to a final scene of Paris, but this time without any observing subject whatsoever. The lyric subject of memory and the anti-lyric subject of boredom from "Spleen and Ideal" are no longer in play. The observing and speaking subject is absorbed into the instance of discourse itself (the expression plane); the observed context is absorbed into the meaningless gesture of reference such discourse inevitably makes (the content plane). So although the cyclical temporal structure of the "Tableaux Parisiens" pro-


Baudelaire and schizoanalysis

duces no other result than to neutralize the inhibiting linearity of spleen time, the dynamics of referentiality and subjectivity change substantially across the section as a whole, ultimately locating the modernist poet in the context of modern Paris while thoroughly decoding the conventional genre of the tableaux de

The spatial structure of the "Tableaux Parisiens," meanwhile, attests to the marked split between meaning and desire that characterizes Baudelairean modernism, and which will reappear throughout the Petits Poemes en prose, as well. The decoding of the (collective as well as private) metaphoric axis in " Spleen and Ideal" fostered the kind of real reference suggested by the new section's title. Yet further decoding made real reference problematic: the unavailability of meaning in the street scenes shifted focus to domestic scenes suffused with desire. But the subject of desire is also subject to decoding, and decoding here leads to the attenuated recoding of cynical selfdistantiation, for the limit of decoded desire appears as death. Such a split between exterior and interior, between meaningrecognition and drive-gratification, recalls and exacerbates the dynamics of psychic disintegration already evident in the spleen cycle. Meaning-recognition fueled by anxiety serves only the purpose of ego-defense, here entirely divorced from objectrecognition which could serve the gratification of drives instead. But such psychic disintegration is compounded here by the decoding that affects each of the two spheres: unassimilable shock-experience "outside" thwarts meaning-recognition and weakens the synthesizing capacity of the ego, already susceptible to the destabilizing pressures of unassimilated drive-impulses "inside," thereby making the ego even more unstable. Withdrawal and obsessive self-reference then supervene in an attempt to shore up and protect the weakened ego, through the defense mechanism we have referred to as self-distantiation. Decoding is thus accompanied by a compensatory process of recoding that takes place "on the spot" (surplace) at the very site of the most intense decoding. This dual or doubled stance adopted by the Poet of the

Modernist imagination


"Tableaux Parisiens" presents the central features of "borderline narcissism," a composite diagnostic category whose two terms correspond to decoding and recoding respectively. For our purposes, however, borderline narcissism is finally a historical rather than a psychological category, and it thus points beyond a strictly psychopoetic approach to the sociopoetics of decoding and recoding, and to the situation of Baudelaire's poetic texts in relation to their historical contexts. As central as the recurrent oscillation between decoding and recoding is to the psychopoetics ofLes Fleurs du Mai, the point of sociopoetic analysis is to explain such oscillation in historical terms. From this perspective, the cycles of decoding and recoding represent more than swings of a pendulum characterizing Baudelaire's poetry alone: they have other determinations — the determinations of real Others and ultimately of social semiosis in historical situation. For just as much as decoding depends on the historical conditions of the sociosymbolic order, recoding - the elaboration of personae - never occurs spontaneously or on one's own concerted initiative, but rather always under the aegis of determinate Others. Accounting for the poetic evolution registered in Les Fleurs du Mai will thus involve reconstructing the series of historical Others in relation to which Baudelaire devised and revised his personalities and public personae, and situating each of the three stages of recoding traced in the psychopoetics discussion in relation to one or more of these historical figures. Yet in situating the poetry in historical context, it is important not to equate (metaphorically) the evolution of the poetry with the historical transformations surrounding Baudelaire's life, but instead to acknowledge (metonymically) the differences between his published poetry and his life-history. For the poetic cycles of recoding — romantic recoding in correspondences, "satanic" recoding in evilification, and cynical recoding in self-distantiation - do not correspond in any direct way to the real Others in Baudelaire's life nor to the historical developments through which he lived. From the perspective of sociopoetics, this difference is crucial to the development and to the explanation of Baudelairean modernism.




but it is not the only one. and a book "that has just come out" also figures in the dream itself: delivering a copy of it to 177 . and by association the titles Baudelaire envisaged for verse collections prior to Les Fleurs du Mai and his writings on Pierre Dupont and Edgar Allan Poe. which correspond to three titles for the poems {Les Lesbiennes. Charles Asselineau. and Edgar Poe" (p. 64). In a remarkable study of the poet. but because in this case.CHAPTER 6 Decoding and recoding in the prose poems HISTORICAL OTHERS The series of three published collections of poetry provide one perspective on Baudelaire's life history. Les Limbes. letters. Essays. accounts of his life by others.. Butor divides Baudelaire's life into "three periods. the writings on Dupont and Poe register events that are absent from the lyric poetry itself. and. to three successive intercessors: Jeanne [Duval]. in the author's psychological life.. Histoires extraordinaires) has appeared. Michel Butor takes as his point of departure a dream Baudelaire recounts in a letter to his friend. the [revolutionary] crowd [of 1848]. These "intercessors" represent the historical Others in relation to whom Baudelaire constructed major personalities. Les Fleurs du Mai). editorial comments he made about his poetry. The titles are particularly significant because Baudelaire's dream occurs the night after his first book (the translation of Poe stories. 1 It is important to take these other documents into account: not just because any one set of documentation will differ from the others and can therefore provide valuable illumination in its own right. and the poet's own notebooks provide other perspectives.

Inasmuch as recoding here involves supplementing present perception with memorytraces. little more need be said: Baudelaire himself as well as his critics and biographers have stressed this facet of his childhood. Since Baudelaire had been "morally castrated" (Butor's term. Duval represents a perfect Other for Baudelaire. "Oedipalinfantile" psychoanalysis." The Other of Butor's first period is thus the emasculated poet's "lesbian" lover. before the mother-child relation is disrupted by the figure of the father and those traces overcoded by the name-of-the-father function in the symbolic order. for she can evoke in the poet profound memories from two formative experiences: his very close childhood relationship with his mother. and then cut it short to return to Paris. the figure of woman predominates. and his ocean voyage at age twenty to the South Seas. p. the relationship with Jeanne Duval had secretly been between two women. Jeanne Duval.3 . hence the original title for the collection of poems that will expand to become Les Fleurs du Mai. "Les Lesbiennes. Up to this point. 50) by the legal guardianship arranged by his stepfather which deprived him of his inheritance at the age of twentythree. 11). Perhaps because Baudelaire was forced by his stepfather to take it in the first place (in order to cure him of profligacy). however.178 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis "the madam of a great brothel" will provide him "an opportunity to fuck one of the brothel girls en passant" (p. or perhaps because it does not fit neatly into the chronology or structure of orthodox. its importance for the early poetry has gone largely unnoticed. Butor suggests. involving the recuperation through memory of an integral self mystically linked to a supernatural world. publishing a book will at long last restore his manhood. On the nature of his life-long attachment to his mother. It is thus no surprise that in the first stage of recoding.2 The loss in Baudelaire's case of an already aging father at age five may therefore have merely exaggerated what psychoanalysis insists is generally the case anyway: that the dependence of the preOedipal child on the care-giving mother lays down a fund of precoded memory-traces that will in large part constitute the imaginary register. More needs to be said about his trip to India.

il me semble toujours queje revois. Baudelaire will (in the Salon de 1859) confess a marked weakness for certain otherwise aesthetically mediocre landscapes.. une impression profonde. qui se condense bientot en desirs et en regrets. (p. (p. 234). Hildebrandt.are precisely the kind that arise to supplement present perception in many of the early poems. And a propos of some aesthetically far superior North African travel-landscapes of Fromentin. la il put a loisir etudier l'homme et la femme dans l'independance et l'originalite native de leurs mouvements)" (p. for from these luminous canvases arises for me an intoxicating mist which soon condenses into desires and regrets. he was able to study the originality and independence of movement of the native men and women at leisure (Un voyage au Maroc laissa dans son esprit. imputed to others. Such impressions . bien qu'il ne soit pas doue d'une originalite de maniere bien decidee. M. car de ces toiles lumineuses s'eleve pour moi une vapeur enivrante.. There. Looking through these amusing travel albums always gives me the impression that I am seeing once again and recognizing something that I have never seen. a ce qu'il semble. In his discussion of Delacroix and the probable source of "Femmes d'Alger" (in the Salon de 1846). 418) I must confess in passing that even though his style is not particularly original. Hildebrandt. what may be equally true of Baudelaire himself appears in his art criticism.. such as "La Vie anterieure. solely because they are exotic: 179 Je dois confesser en passant que." In this same vein.those registered deep in memory for having escaped ego-defensive recognition and binding at the moment of initial experience . queje reconnais ce queje n'aijamais vu.. Baudelaire nevertheless suggests that the exotic subject-matter itself plays a role in his enjoyment: II est presumable que je suis moi-meme atteint quelque peu d'une nostalgie qui m'entraine vers le soleil. En parcourant ces amusants albums de voyage. Baudelaire says: "A trip to Morocco seems to have left a profound impression in his soul. . m'a cause un vif plaisir.Decoding and recoding in the prose poems As is so often the case. 409) It is likely that I myself am somewhat susceptible to nostalgia for the sun. gave me keen pleasure. Mr.

this is certainly what his comments in the art criticism about nostalgia for travel in sunnier climes suggests. Baudelaire was captivated by the stature and beauty of this "dark-skinned enchantress" (1. upon entry into the symbolic order. to the considerable extent that Jeanne Duval conjures up for Baudelaire whatever he may know (or think he knows) about Africa and the Orient. the memories associated with the figure of woman as Other diminish in importance. The beauty of woman may still serve as stimulus. From a psychoanalytic perspective. she may evoke memories of the journey in its entirety. to the name-of-the-father. Just as important as the exotic setting itself is the fact that one of Baudelaire's first poetically mature love poems dates from this trip. but the destabilizing exhilaration she provokes exceeds the metaphoric axes of the imaginary register. memories of whom will no doubt be evoked by the mulatto Jeanne Duval's own dark complexion. 5). What's more. as if means of expression developed to retrieve images from memory at just the same moment that decoded experience presented itself to the young poet. in that they have escaped coding. Yet in Baudelaire's case. but they occur well after the "Oedipal stage" and are in no way linked to the specular mother-child relation of the Lacanian imaginary. de Bragard in particular.4 As Baudelaire outgrows his first. as well as those of Mme. this is to be expected.e. The status of these "profound impressions" is akin to those of the pre-Oedipal relation to the mother. Indeed. inasmuch as the imaginary register dominated by the mother gives way. Shortly after staying with Autard de Bragard and his wife Emmelina in Mauritius on his way home. "romantic" personality. unbound) decoded experience inasmuch as the codes at hand to manage familiar experience no longer adequately serve that function in an exotic setting. memories of women diminish in importance largely because the decoding of the correspondences program replaces stable memory with mobile fantasy as supplement to perception. Baudelaire composes and sends to Emmelina a sonnet later included in Les Fleurs du Mai under the title "Aune dame Creole" (LXI). Baudelaire's entry into the .180 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis Exotic travel is conducive to such quasi-traumatic (i.

Decoding and recoding in the prose poems 181 socio-symbolic order entails a repudiation of the name-of-thefather and of the name-of-the-despot. but in more melodious vibrations. (pp.and Emperor Napoleon III." according to Butor. "Les Limbes.. sends along the same line. For Baudelaire's next "intercessor. 66). located at one point on the circumference of humanity. in the figures of his stepfather . Baudelaire also announces a forthcoming collection that will "trace the history of the spiritual agitations of modern youth" (cited by Butor in Histoire Extraordinaire. et echange avec eux des pensees et des sentiments . with its direct allusion to Fourier's mystical socialism.. La revolution de Fevrier activa et augmenta les vibrations de la corde populaire. p. April 1851). Even more than in the projected second title for the collection. 5 whom Baudelaire considered the preeminent popular poet of the age. renvoie sur la meme ligne en vibrations plus melodieuses la pensee humaine qui lui fut transmise. The poet. exchanging thoughts and feelings with them . and at this point the model for poetry in general: je prefere le poete qui se met en communication permanente avec les hommes de son temps. and constructs his next major personality accordingly. Le poete. the human ideas that were communicated to him.. the importance of the crowd for Baudelaire is clearly legible in the essay of August 1851 on Pierre Dupont." alludes to Fourier and to the period of waiting "in limbo" that he imagined would precede the triumphant arrival of the final. The poet comes of age at a time of revolution.General Aupick ... is the revolutionary crowd of 1848... tous les malheurs et toutes les esperances de la Revolution firent echo dans la poesie de Pierre Dupont. In publishing eleven poems (including three entitled "Spleen") under the Fourierist title "Les Limbes" (in Le Messager de VAssembled. The February Revolution heightened the resonance of the people's voice. . 292 and 294) I prefer the poet who remains in constant communication with the people of his time.. The title for the second proposed collection of poems. "harmonian" stage of human history. all the misfortunes and all the hopes of the Revolution found an echo in the poetry of Pierre Dupont. place sur un des points de la circonference de Phumanite.

The figure of Edgar Allan Poe is crucial to Baudelaire at this exiles. according to Butor.182 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis Baudelaire will eventually repudiate such a position in (among many other places) an otherwise still sympathetic review of Dupont in 1861. the historical disaster of December 1851 intervenes between Baudelaire's revolutionary engagement and publication of the first (1857) edition of Les Fleurs du Mai. 21-22). and the vanquished of 1848. but ultimately included in the second edition with an even more direct dedication to the exiled Victor Hugo. Baudelaire's attitude toward the events of 1848 had changed drastically in the wake of Napoleon's coup d'etat. I say the figure of Poe not merely because. as in "Le Cygne. and affects even his conception of art. Poe is the one figure Baudelaire is able to hold onto while everything else . captives." which was at first refused publication (by the Revue contemporaine) because of its allusions . effacing virtually all traces of the former from the latter. or as a mere distraction unable to rouse the Poet from his work. 292). "henceforth inseparable from morality and utility (desormais inseparable de la morale et de l'utilite) " (p. because it enables him in effect to contradict himself: to efface all traces of his revolutionary enthusiasm by converting it ex postfacto into a penchant for pure destruction. but more particularly because it is the figure of Poe generated by Baudelaire's reading of him that changes so drastically between 1848 and 1852. more political activities. In any case. / Ne fera lever mon front de mon pupitre" 11. But here his engagement with the Revolution of 1848 and the Second Republic is clear. they figure only as an absent and irretrievable past. Baudelaire never encountered the American in person. as in " Paysage " (" L'Emeute. When they appear in the poetry at all. It is impossible to decide whether Baudelaire found lyric poetry an inadequate means of expression for the Revolution of 1848. tempetant vainement a ma vitre. unlike Duval or the Parisian crowd. By the time the verse collection was finally published in 1857. or simply found insufficient time for poetry amidst his other. under the title Les Fleurs du Mai.evidently dangerous under Second-Empire censorship . As Butor suggests.

in the very American republic which he would have eagerly proposed as a model to France a few months before." to construe it not literally but ironically. insisting the story was pure fiction.8 This discovery. occasioned by the coup d'etat of Louis-Napoleon in 1851. in 1846 or 1847. he now discovers the full extent of Poe's misery and the castigation to which he had been subject at the hands of critics and biographers in America. Democratic pacijique. As the short notice accompanying his translation makes clear.Decoding and recoding in the prose poems 183 crumbles around him in the wake of Napoleon's coup d'etat: and even this is possible only on condition that Baudelaire diametrically reverse his understanding of what Poe meant (to him) in the first place. together with his belated understanding of the irony in " Mesmeric Revelations.. not as true revelation..appeared in Liberte de penser in July of 1848. As Butor explains: It is at the very moment when his democratic hopes are collapsing that he realizes that. He is thus obliged to change his reading of "Mesmeric Revelation. The violence of Baudelaire's hatred will again be the measure of his disappointment." produces for Baudelaire a new Poe. dabbling in literature among myriad other pursuits. His own first translation . in this time of revolutionary enthusiasm and Fourierist sympathies. this Edgar Poe whom he so greatly admires was pursued by the same incomprehension as he himself was under the reign of Louis-Philippe . Baudelaire first became interested in Poe upon reading some translations published in a Fourierist journal. 7 He also learns more about the tragedy of Poe's life: whereas before he had imagined him living a full and happy life. a figure who will sanction his own withdrawal from political engagement. (p. Baudelaire takes the tale literally. but as farce (as he puts it in his Notes nouvelles sur Edgar Poe in 1859). 89) The incomparable appeal of the figure of Poe is that it allows Baudelaire's bitter disappointment not to show: he discovered . 6 Only later will Baudelaire learn that Poe explicitly abjured any relation to Swedenborgian mysticism.of "Mesmeric Revelation" . invoking the names of the mystic Swedenborg and the naturalist Saint-Hilaire in praising Poe's insight into the "mysterious unity" of the natural and the supernatural.

in the face of Second-Empire incomprehension and his loss of faith in democracy.. and another. proffered through a set of striking metaphors and similes. Baudelaire maintains a semblance of personal continuity while having in fact reversed direction and severed his former political engagement almost completely. rather conventional "communicative" reading on the surface. even .or especially .. I have never been a d u p e ! I say Long live the Revolution! as I would say Long live Destruction I Long live Expiation I Long live Punishment I Long live Deathl (Oui! Vive la Revolution!. je n'ai jamais ete dupe! je dis Vive la Revolution comme je dirais: Vive la Destruction! Vive VExpiation! Vive le Chdtiment! Vive la Mort!)" (p. 698).with respect to his own desires. "means above all: to take one's desires for realities. 92).9 What he henceforth admires most in the despised and destitute American is his cynical aloofness: "He was never a dupe!" insists Baudelaire. It will increasingly be designed to suggest one. In constructing a final major personality in relation to Poe as his third Other following the debacle of 1848-51. " T o be a dupe. build such double-reading into his own poetry. Baudelaire will. in particular to believe that the people can effectively abolish the rule of the bourgeoisie " (p. The later notebooks resound with desperate attempts to rewrite history and efface his moment of weakness. secretly wishing the same were true of himself. Baudelaire will conclude that the best defense against getting duped (again) is to (have) become a cynic. a shrewder reading of him will now enable the disillusioned poet to claim to have shared the lacerating irony Poe rains on modern democracy and progress all along.. Caveat desiderator: following the example he finds in the figure of Poe. indeed. Mais moi je ne suis pas dupe. much of .184 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis Poe well before 1851. literal reading and henceforth to factor in Poe's scathing irony. But I am no dupe." explains Butor. of revolutionary enthusiasm: "Yes! Long live the Revolution!. But he draws another lesson from his double-reading of Poe. Such duplicity is already present in "La Beaute": the poets depicted in the poem futilery waste away their days trying to fathom Beauty's inner essence.. ironized "textual" reading available only to an "aristocratic elite" of more canny readers. as well: obliged to revise an earlier.

" in order to cover his tracks. The "sado-masochistic" intensities of self-torture evident in " L'Heautontimoroumenos " — where the Poet is both "la victime et le bourreau!" ( experience the Revolution both ways! (Non seulement je serais heureux d'etre victime.Decoding and recoding in the prose poems the criticism. and it does so despite the existence of three historical Others in relation to which Baudelaire constructs his major personalities. 24) — recover their specific historical valence in relation to remarks on the revolution that are confined to the notebooks: "Not only would I be happy to be a victim. Baudelaire's claim to the effect that when 185 . the poet of the poem demonstrates the superiority of a metonymic poetics better able to appreciate the beauty of things. mais je ne halrais pas d'etre bourreau . The figure of Poe enables Baudelaire secretly to convert naive romanticism into modernist cynicism. between the cycle of spleen poems and the "Tableaux Parisiens. But the poetics of the poem belie all such attempts. More specifically: in reorganizing the "Spleen and Ideal" section for the second edition of Les Fleurs du Mai. but I would not hate being a torturer. too. has attempted to define a Baudelairean aesthetic by making sense of these figures. A romantic first stage leads the poet (and many of his contemporaries) to a second stage of revolutionary enthusiasm. culminating in the accomplished modernism of the fourth stage. . The difference between poetry and life history is thus crucial to understanding the development of Baudelairean modernism: under the aegis of Poe. he substitutes the program of evilification for that enthusiasm. Baudelaire's life history thus divides into four stages. as well. and his erstwhile enthusiasm for revolutionary engagement into the satanism appearing in the published poetry. which is then repudiated and converted retrospectively into ironic satanism in a third stage. not the three registered as cycles of recoding in the poetry alone. Baudelaire effaces from the verse collection his period of revolutionary enthusiasm and engagement.pour sentir la Revolution des deux manieres!) " (p. 698). This kind of duplicity becomes more explicit in many later poems (it was thematized in "Le Jeu"). as we saw: speaking in the guise of Beauty. and constitutes the very core of some of the most striking prose poems.

MORAL MASOCHISM Of course. des Dominations. romantic suffering is designed to elicit pity. in cycles of recoding. in cycles of decoding. the moment of revolutionary engage- . at the same time. or serves as a point of departure for historical engagement. In the romantic topos." the Poet vilified by mother and wife cries . nostalgic. des Vertus. inasmuch as it serves as a testimonial critique of the unkept promises of postrevolutionary society. Yet. 60 64 Suffering here serves as a means of election to the highest ranks of godly society.Soyez beni. and hence ultimately aims for reintegration into the social order. mon Dieu.10 Thus in the romanticreligious terms of "Benediction. The function of self-torture and evilification in this pivotal third stage is best understood in relation to the ways "masochistic" suffering in the other stages of Baudelaire's life history is either valorized as grounds on which to construct a self. qui donnez la souffrance Comme un divin remede a nos impuretes Et comme la meilleure et la plus pure essence Qui preparent les forts aux saintes voluptes! Je sais que vous gardez une place au Poete Dans les rangs bienheureux des saintes Legions. imaginative. More important. personal suffering decodes social overcoding. Baudelaire did not invent suffering or its valorization: a centuries-old tradition of suffering valorized by Christianity precedes the specifically romantic-Christian version he inherits and briefly inhabits as an educated European in the early decades of the nineteenth century.186 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis he said " Long live the Revolution " he really meant " Long live Destruction" is written into the revisions for the second edition in the complete suppression of revolution from the collection. In the second stage. emotional. Et que vous Vinvitez a Peternelle fete Des trones. it serves recoding by privileging the self in an imaginary mode: childish.

one fine day. Sartre has read this " coincidence " as existential masochism: Baudelaire desires whatever society defines as evil precisely because it is socially defined as evil. In the interpolated third stage of satanic evilification. the "masochism" that to Sartre is an example of inauthenticity is simply part of human nature.. humans are .293) It is good for all of us. Combien de philosophes a engendres le seminaire! Gombien de natures revoltees ont pris vie aupres d'un cruel et ponctuel militaire de l'Empire! Fecondante discipline. For Bersani. (P. ait eprouve la pression d'une odieuse tyrannie. un beau matin. suffering is valorized not for pity's sake. at one point in our lives. to have experienced the oppression of an odious tyranny..Decoding and recoding in the prose poems ment. reaches the point of explosion . Whereas a classic Oedipal resolution would shift alignment from the mother (focus of imaginary relations) to the figure of the father and his authority as internalized in the super-ego. the Poet flouts them. combien nous te devons de chants de liberte! La pauvre et genereuse nature. generous soul. which arises from the exact coincidence between what is desired and what is condemned as evil by the laws of the sociosymbolic order. but as a source of righteous indignation and a stimulus to action. 187 Suffering at the hands of an unjust social order targets the society responsible for it and foments revolt. How many philosophers have been bred in seminaries! How many rebellious souls have sprung from a cruel and strict officer of the Empire! How many songs of liberty we owe to fertile discipline! The poor. il apprend a la hair. As Baudelaire says (in the essay on Dupont): II est bon que chacun de nous. Suffering is valued here as a source of pure intra-psychic intensity. but for the psychic intensities it produces. fait son explosion. here the shift goes directly against the authority of the socio-symbolic order. une fois dans sa vie... it teaches us to hate it. which allows him to shirk the responsibility of choosing authentic desires of his own. Instead of obeying internalized socio-symbolic laws. intentionally engaging in proscribed activities for the sheer guiltridden charge of doing wrong and knowing it: la conscience dans le Mai. suffering is sought neither for the pity it might elicit nor for the revolutionary enthusiasm it could inspire.

He also violently rejects his commitment to the Second Republic and democratic ideals: only dupes would try to act on their suffering so as to end it. it effectively collapses desire into the law (Bersani is here following Lacan to the letter). mais il y joignit ce qu'il croyait une grace de plus. par exemple. As suggestive an insight into human nature as this may be. 93).. The obvious sadistic aspect of the super-ego perhaps hides a more profound masochism which becomes evident if we think of the super-ego as desire turned against itself" (p. [I]l se jeta tout d'abord dans la foule de ceux qui s'ecrient sans cesse: O maratre nature! et qui reprochent a la societe de leur avoir vole leur part. . for instance. mais innocent.. et pleura beaucoup sur lui-meme. about very specific. le regard courrouce et grognon du democrate. on disait orgueilleusement: j'ai faim et j'ai froid!. finds pleasure in attacking itself. by changing the society responsible for it. thereby eliminating the tension between concrete individuals and specific social formations. as reread after the cataclysm of December 1851. II se fit de lui-meme un certain personnage ideal. II singea plus d'une fois les attitudes fatales des Antony et des Didier.. de la pauvrete.. II parla de luimeme beaucoup. The figure of Poe... Hegesippe donna dans ce grand travers anti-poetique. sponsors a major restructuration of Baudelaire's relation to suffering. separated from itself.. damne. (p. 489) There was a time when it was fashionable among poets to complain ..about poverty. He now vehemently repudiates romanticism and suffering for pity's sake: only fools would suffer gladly in the vain hope of moving society to pity and thereby gaining (re)acceptance. true-to-life suffering . voue des sa naissance a des souffrances immeritees. This shift is clear from his remarks on Hegesippe Moreau: II fut un temps ou parmi les poetes il etait de mode de se plaindre. de belles et bonnes souffrances bien determinees. Explaining Baudelaire's valorization of suffering will require a definition of masochism more sensitive to the particularities of social life in post-revolutionary Europe.188 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis "sado-masochistic" in that they "masochistically" erect and submit to an internal agency that "sadistically" surveys and condemns their every desire: " in the super-ego the id.

.. ne lui cause aucune tristesse .. He made himself out to be a kind of ideal figure.. 11 As he says of Leconte de Lisle: [son] impopularite . Rather than reproach society for the unjust suffering it has meted out. II lui suffit d'etre populaire parmi ceux qui sont dignes eux-memes de lui plaire.. (P. He often copied the fateful poses of an Antony or a Didier. damned but innocent. at least as well as it does Hegesippe Moreau. 489). Suffering no longer calls for pity and ingratiation into society.Baudelaire cites Gerard de Nerval and Poe. the truly great man .. In contrast to the sniveling romantic. Hegesippe went astray in just this anti-poetic manner. no longer prompts indignation and action to change society: it ... [H]e would hurl himself first thing into the mass of those who constantly exclaim: Nature. 488): his suffering now places him outside and above society in a group whose rejection by society is the very sign and guarantee of their superior value.. and thereby reap the glory of public sympathy.. He spoke a great deal about himself. [among] that family of minds who regard everything that is not clearly superior with so calm a disdain that it does not even bother expressing itself. but then added what he considered an extra charm. the true poet "will want to dispense with pity and will recite the snap judgment of egoism: why pity those who deserve to suffer? (voudra se dispenser de la pitie et repetera le jugement precipite de l'egolsme: pourquoi plaindre ceux qui meritent de souffrir?) " (p." for example..Decoding and recoding in the prose poems 189 one proudly declared: I am cold and hungry!.. He is content to be popular among those who are themselves worthy enough to please him . the incensed and peevish expression of a democrat. 488) [his] unpopularity. condemned from the moment of birth to undeserved suffering.seeks to "discourage pity for his misfortunes (diminuer la pitie pour ses malheurs) " (p.. and cried a lot over himself.. precisely .. you cruel stepmother! and reproach society for having stolen their fair share. the poet of "Benediction.. [parmi] cette famille d'esprits qui ont pour tout ce qui n'est pas superieur un mepris si tranquille qu'il ne daigne meme pas s'exprimer. Such an indictment of course fits the earlier Baudelaire himself. causes him no distress .

that is. as we shall see. As Deleuze's psychodynamic study of Masoch's writings suggests. and then into the ironic cynicism characteristic of Second-Empire high culture (and modern culture generally).12 The epitome of this historical form of masochism is found in the works of Leopold von Sacher-Masoch himself." Although in many of Freud's texts the two violent perversions are considered mirror images. in the decades immediately following the poet's death. in the period immediately following the defeat of the 1848 revolutions: the function of soliciting and enduring punishment for the Masochian masochist was to invalidate the law of the father in the socio-symbolic order and emerge triumphant oneself. Freud explores (among other things) the relation- . freely convertible one into the other. This. Baudelaire's masochism is thus far more productive than either Sartre or Bersani allows.190 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis has become.13 HISTORICAL MASOCHISM Deleuze's study contrasts the works of Masoch with those of the Marquis de Sade in order to differentiate masochism from sadism. Partly in an attempt to account for such exceptions. for the new "aristocratic" elect. through the historic events of the Revolution of 1848. It propels him out of the romanticism he inherits. Beyond the Pleasure Principle is of special interest for an examination of masochism because Freud here addresses the question of pleasure and apparent exceptions to its status as a governing principle of psychic life. Deleuze draws on the Freud of Beyond the Pleasure Principle to derive the specificity of masochism from Masoch's own literary oeuvre. who was an exact contemporary of Baudelaire. two discrete perversions often crudely lumped together under the rubric of "sado-masochism. a silent mark of superiority placing the poet over and above society. and a very popular man of letters throughout Europe and especially in France. is the stance adopted by the narrator of the prose poems. Masochian masochism had special strategic value in midnineteenth-century Europe .

but rather its grounding in repetition and the death instinct. Instead of repeating what was initially found pleasurable. thus enabling the pleasure principle to operate and govern behavior. as we saw in Baudelaire's case. "de-sexualizing" perception and repeating something not pleasurable. Deleuze invokes Reik's 191 . The question thus becomes: how can the repetition of pain — especially one's own — be found pleasurable? As regards masochism. not only specific traumas but the myriad shocks of everyday modern urban life can bolster repetition-driven recognition in defense of the ego. by developing ex post facto the stimulus-binding recognition-function whose absence occasioned the trauma in the first place. in a hysterical extrapolation of this defense against anxiety. as in the case of perversion. even the pleasure principle becomes. Still less usually. Under conditions of generalized decoding. Usually. and serves instead as an egodefense to reduce anxiety. traumatic. at the expense of more pleasure-gratifying forms of experience. and even in the physical pain of bodily torture. pleasure is found in whatever is repeated: in the repetition of psychic pain (as in trauma). as Freud put it. repetition operates independently of the pleasure principle.Decoding and recoding in the prose poems ship between pleasure and repetition: what lies "beyond" the pleasure principle is not so much exceptions to it. But the relation of pleasure and repetition can vary: less usually. "innately conservative": repetition grounds the stimulus-binding energy that links present perception with memory-traces of past gratification. the desexualization of perception is accompanied by the resexualization of repetition itself. repetition and pleasure work hand-in-glove: we repeat what was already found pleasurable. Under the influence of the death instinct. the repetition compulsion can even totally appropriate the recognition-function. which is to say that present perception is eroticized or "sexualized" and governed "conservatively" by (memory-traces of) gratifications past. as in the case of trauma dreams. for instance. Our analysis of "Les Sept Vieillards" showed how. arresting and fixating present perception altogether. but extremely displeasurable. Here repetition is severed from drive-gratification.

A contract is under normal circumstances of course supposed to protect and further the interests of both parties: by signing over all the power and advantages to the domineering woman. secondly. (Hence the significance of Baudelaire's asexual or agenital. the masochistic hero ends up enjoying relations with the woman which the father normally forbids. stripped of any genital designs on the woman. The hero of Masoch's fiction typically arranges a mock contract whereby he willingly suffers domination and punishment at the hands of a beautiful woman. by actively soliciting punishment. thereby sanctioning its consummation. it reduces anxiety about punishment by meticulously specifying when. With the father figure repudiated and his authority denied. What the beatings suffered by the masochistic hero desexualize is genital sexuality: he emerges (Masoch's works are explicit about this) as an idealized and dephallicized being. it explicitly repudiates the father. where. "lesbian" relationship with Jeanne Duval. in nature. and how such punishment is to be carried out. But Deleuze goes on to ask. The functions of this fantasy parodycontract are several: first of all. instead. why would preliminary punishment serve the end of obtaining pleasure? Under what conditions does this masochistic narrative-kernel (punishment-before — > pleasure-after) become effective? This is where analysis of Masoch's fiction proves illuminating. the masochist parodies the concept of contract.) Not only is the father excluded and his authority denied. given the high levels of ego-defensive anxiety produced by modern urban life. blame falls on the figure meting it out.192 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis clinical study and its conclusion: accepting punishment for the desired act before it occurs effectively resolves guilt and anxiety about the act. or even anti-Oedipal. but even his position with respect to the woman is eliminated: what . the usual authority figure. Then.15 But these are relations of a very special kind: one might say they are an-Oedipal.14 We have already seen in a general way why such desperate measures for reducing anxiety might be needed. the contract invalidates the symbolic authority responsible for the suffering incurred: since the punishment is undeserved. and transfers his symbolic authority to the woman.

Polymorphous (a-genital) resexualization at the culmination of the masochistic scenario indeed produces something like a "pre-Oedipal" relation between the hero as ideal ego and the woman as phallicized oral mother. in a way Deleuze does not fully appreciate. the masochistic scenario just described is in Masoch's fiction embedded within a narrative that produces results very different from the Utopian ideal projected by the contract. sentimental relations between the sexes." on the other hand. what is fantasmatically denied in . Except that the woman in this scenario is emphatically not mother. as the Oedipal "ego ideal" is rejected in favor of the pre-Oedipal "ideal ego.17 In Masoch's stories. The woman in Masoch's fiction is not a familial but a distinctly public and even mythical figure: she most often appears as the harsh yet loving head of an agrarian commune completely devoid of masculine authority. as we have seen. The ego ideal thus provides internalized moral guidelines of a generalized "authority figure" in the service of the commanding super-ego. it supplies content for the formal operation of "conscience" (the super-ego proper) which says: you should not do that. sentimental relationship with her. in a failure of the defense Lacan calls "foreclosure" [forelusion).Decoding and recoding in the prose poems 193 the hero seeks is not Oedipally to replace the father in genital relations with the woman. The ideal outcome of the masochistic scenario is thus an image of a-phallic. set in an anti-authoritarian Utopia. predates the formation of the super-ego and even the consolidation of the "mature" or "reality" ego itself: it is derived from feelings of omnipotence and connectedness with reality stemming from relations with the mother before separation from her (in a developmental stage Freud sometimes called "primary narcissism"). It serves as the standard of comparison. but to transcend carnal desire toward an idealized. for she is not a wife: the masochistic contract is set up. saying in effect: you should be like this. One important result is that the masochist's super-ego is split into component parts. Yet. an-Oedipal." 16 The ego ideal is a precipitate of cultural norms and a condensation of social rolemodels. The "ideal ego. expressly to banish the father. the father figure supposedly excluded by the terms of the contract does indeed return.

" The conclusion of Masochian narrative thus represents not the anti-authoritarian Utopia of idealized relations with the preOedipal mother figure.. Thus at the end of Masoch's stories.and that his innumerable readers throughout late nineteenth-century Europe read .19 Social forces and social theories had matured considerably since the 1789 and 1830 revolutions. the event that propels historical masochism into borderline narcissism. Such is the story that Masoch told . with a ferocity that borders on the "sadistic. as for so many of his contemporaries. is the incredible rise to power of Napoleon III. in effect. For Baudelaire. and reached their apogee in the spring of 1848 with the proposal (spear-headed by Louis Blanc) that the revolutionary government support "ateliers sociaux"-workers' "cooperatives" that would organize production completely independent of bourgeois and government authority. this compulsion to repeat represents defensive preparation for a cataclysmic event . that has already occurred.over and over and over again: as in a trauma-dream. the supposedly an-Oedipal woman in effect becomes wife and mother. And the ex-masochist hero in Masoch's stories indeed takes his revenge. What prevailed instead was an economically unproductive but politically expedient compromise form of paternalistic "workfare" organized by the government. leaving the hero with a galling sense of having been duped and a bitter desire for revenge. that represents as it were the return of the father ruining the mother-and-son's anti-authoritarian Utopia.18 And precisely by breaking the contract herself.194 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis the symbolic returns unexpectedly in the real. but rather a vitriolic and sometimes violent cynic who now despises anyone (even or most of all himself) foolish enough to have taken his ideals and desires for reality. Masochian narrative ends on the threshold of borderline narcissism. going beyond the sentimentalized torture specified in the contract to an autonomous cruelty conducted in association with a phallic male lover/husband. which soon proved too great a drain on the treasury to survive long in an increasingly . the masochistic fantasy-scenario crumbles. the founding of the Second Empire on the ruins of the Second Republic.. as pictured in the masochistic scenario.

1848 ne fut charmant que par l'exces meme du ridicule. he will say 1848 ne fut amusant que parce que chacun y faisait des utopies comme des chateaux en Espagne. with a galling sense of having been duped and with a bitter desire for revenge. 1848 was charming only in the excess of its absurdity. Encore un Bonaparte! quelle honte! Se livrer a Satan. The closing of the inefficient "ateliers nationaux" sparked the "Journees de J u i n " (in which Baudelaire participated). Although Baudelaire fought on the barricades in February and June of 1848 and again in December 1851 in defense of the Second Republic.... Toujours le gout de la destruction.Decoding and recoding in the prose poems 195 conservative legislature. its gradual dismantling by conservative forces (in ideal symbolically inaugurated. in even sharper contrast to the Second Empire of Louis-Napoleon that followed. and December 1848) and the final cataclysmic disappearance of its ideals with Napoleon's coup d'etat in 1851 leaves Baudelaire. perhaps. Looking back. and certainly in the minds of most active participants and interested observers. Ma fureur au coup d'Etat.. (p. De quelle nature etait cette ivresse? Gout de la vengeance.Que l'homme enlace sa dupe sur le boulevard. but in contrast to the Bourgeois Monarchy of Louis-Philippe preceding it. ou perce sa proie dans des forets inconnues. the Second Republic at its best represented a longdreamt-of anti-authoritarian ideal .. Idealized romantic-socialist hopes for the Second Republic may have far outstripped its real potential from the start. 631) 1848 was amusing only because everyone made up Utopias like castles in the air. And it is revenge that prompts his characteristic naturalization of violence and destruction: Mon ivresse en 1848.. at the moment in February 1848 when the revolutionary crowd threw the royal throne out the window of the Tuileries palace. Gout legitime si tout ce qui est naturel est legitime . like Masoch's ex-masochists. .. June. qu'est-ce que c'est?.. which forced the government to play its hand with the massacre of thousands of the Parisian poor and working classes. Plaisir naturel de la demolition.

. vain hope and weary dismay is already evident. but as a narrative "with a beginning and an end" which had (before the coup d'etat) been designed to " trace the history of the spiritual agitations of modern youth. Such a defensive splitting-off of erstwhile idealism from the perspective of a disillusioned and cynical observer is registered most vividly in the Petits Poemes en prose. where it constitutes the narrative stance of the most characteristic poems. through the projects of beautification. where the split between interior and exterior. and the topographical split of the "Tableaux Parisiens" cycle is . What was the nature of that enthusiasm? A taste for vengeance. Natural pleasure of demolition .specifically the anti-authoritarian.forces him to revise and reverse his relation to ideality. desire and meaning. Whether man befriends his dupe on the street. the shattering demise of Baudelaire's ideal . Whereas Baudelaire had insisted that the Fleurs du Mai be read not as a mere album... for it culminates the development of metonymic poetics that led from the decoding of romanticism. c'est-a-dire ranimal de proie le plus parfait? (p.. What does distinguish the prose collection from the verse is that further evolution of this kind is no longer possible or necessary: the narrative stance prefigured in the "Tableaux Parisiens" cycle as a whole will appear in toto in the prose poems taken individually. A legitimate and natural penchant.. to devote oneself to Satan?.196 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis n'est-il pas 1'homme eternel. is he not eternal man. 631) My enthusiasm in 1848. to the "Tableaux Parisiens" cycle. the penchant for destruction. democratic-socialist vision of the Second Republic . As always. Another Bonaparte! what a disgrace! What does it mean. My rage at the coup d'etat. spleen intensification. bitter cynicism and haughty disdain typical of borderline narcissism.. however.. and evilification. This stance does not oppose the prose collection to the verse in any simple way. " 20 narrative in the Petits Poemes en prose is eschewed altogether. that is to say. resulting in the defensive. the most perfect animal of prey? Just as in Masochian narrative. if everything natural is legitimate . or stabs his prey in some unknown forest..

the law of signification stipulates and guarantees the parameters of permissible identification and substitution.. This unified self-image will subsequently be reinforced (and further "alienated") by passage through the Oedipus complex. BORDERLINE DECODING From the Lacanian perspective. but on a symbolic order that grants specific functions to each parent. depends in the Lacanian perspective not on biology or the nuclear family alone. an illusion arising from the mirror stage. when "partobjects" (the breast or the penis. albeit in the (" alienated") figure of an other self. historically. 146). This is part of what makes the Petits Poemes en prose the most modernist of Baudelaire's poetic works.Decoding and recoding in the prose poems 197 reinscribed within individual prose poems themselves. But we need not take this striking reversal at face value: we will instead read Baudelaire's modernist repudiation of history . The parents' role. as the speaking child adopts the unity of the first-person pronoun " I " to refer to and conceptualize itself as a unique and "whole" social being modeled on one of its parents. the vehemence with which Baudelaire rejects (his own) narrative history is legible in the violence of the description of the prose collection he dedicates to Arsene Houssaye: "Chop it into many pieces. To this end. In particular. et vous verrez que chacun peut exister a part)" (p. the ego is not a foundation but a fiction. as it has been since Baudelaire's day. we need to understand how the passage from the imaginary to the symbolic register can result in borderline narcissism when the socio-symbolic order is subject to decoding. so that in speaking as " I " the child occupies a place sanctioned by the name-of-the-father within the symbolic order. Indeed. and you will see that each one can exist on its own (Hachez-la en nombreux fragments. what had been a fragmented psyche (what Lacan calls the "corps morcele") now "sees itself" as unified. here temporal linearity will be rejected altogether. for example) are unified into whole objects (the mother or the father). in turn.. The "Tableaux Parisiens" section had already neutralized the depressing linearity of spleen time by means of its cyclical structure. .

meanwhile. Lacanian psychoanalysis insists on the split instituted in the mirror stage between the scrambled ensemble of drives (the corps morcele or Vhommelette) and the fictively unified ego. generalized splitting pervades a weakly organized ego that remains fundamentally unstable due to the predominance of unintegrated drives and . resulting in neurosis. Oedipal conflict and the dynamics of repression (sources of "transference neuroses") rarely appear. In its critique of ego-psychology. Objectrelations psychoanalysis (notably in the work of Otto Kernberg) has in fact focused its attention on so-called "borderline conditions". imaginary fixations (defining the form of symptoms) prevail. instead of a single split between the incoherent. In psychosis (for this reason sometimes considered by psychoanalysis to fall completely outside its domain). Under such conditions. Of course. in a mode of ecstatic merger or aggressive rivalry with them. where the complete "loss of reality" characteristic of psychosis does not obtain.e. more primitive defense mechanisms characteristic of fetishism and psychosis prevail. of course. Imaginary relations based on this stage. will involve the self with others perceived to be "identical" to itself. When full entry into the symbolic order falters. In this instance. such primitive splitting differs in certain ways from the single. either. instead. Object-relations psychoanalysis.198 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis This is. Although equally at odds with the notion of a unified or synthetic ego. in a preOedipal failure of the mirror stage itself. and the distinction between symbolic and imaginary itself collapses. the distinction between psychosis and neurosis is not an absolute one. Lacan suggests. bodily self (the corps morcele) and a unified specular self-image. specular split of Lacan's mirror stage.psychic formations falling on the borderline between psychosis and neurosis. i. focuses attention on the splitting of self that occurs when no unified self-image forms in the first place. involving the splitting of the psyche and the denial of the reality or emotional valence of its perceptions. for Lacan as for Freud. the name-of-the-father is refused altogether. only an abstract outline of the "normal" line of development. and yet the full-fledged ego of the Oedipus complex has not developed.

Decoding and recoding in the prose poems drive-derivatives (part-objects) from the pre-Oedipal/pre-ego state. idealizing adulation to vicious. And the attitude of the Masochian narrator toward the figure of woman. as one would expect from Lacan's characterization of imaginary relations and Kernberg's of borderline conditions. the moment it is broken. Because the borderline psyche is so weak. its characteristic defense mechanism is not repression. that which was foreclosed from the symbolic reappears in the real ("ce qui a ete forclos du symbolique reapparait dans le reel"). Baudelaire's prose 199 . but denial and splitting: one part of the psyche may see danger in some thing. another part acknowledges its reality. he returns in the real. as well as toward his former self and its relation to woman. It is such pre-Oedipal failure that results in borderline conditions. Borderline personalities thus exhibit a radical inconsistency. The repetition of Masochian narrative in Masoch's popular works serves to manage and dispel this trauma. Freud says. cynical scorn. Under conditions of primitive or generalized splitting. but not the threat it represents. 22 This is precisely what occurs in Masochian narrative. typically alternating in their attitude to a single person or object between extravagant praise (for "good" object-representations) and utter condemnation (of " b a d " object-representations). shifts radically from sentimental." where decoded memory exacerbates separation from the past instead of resolving it). ultimately unable to synthesize experience either in the short term (as suggested by "L'Horloge. as Lacan puts it. the borderline ego remains heterogeneous and incoherent. but will deny its reality. Instead of subsuming drives and drive-derivatives into its (albeit fictive) unity. as we have seen: the parody-contract is supposed to have symbolically foreclosed the authority of the father figure. and the thing abruptly (re)appears as a real threat. two (or more) attitudes can coexist for a life time." where decoded time isolates each discrete second from the next) or in the long term (as in " Le Cygne. without ever affecting one another. the previously segregated perceptions of threat and reality reconverge. 21 But when this primitive defense fails.

23 At the idealizing end of the spectrum. Let us note first of all the sudden appearance of the "real" Benedicta after the demise of the "miraculous" one: "je vis subitement une petite personne. At her grave-side suddenly appears a grotesque miniature version of Benedicta who insists that she is the "real one. the striking image of" remaining. This is a defining feature of Baudelairean modernism. Finally. to dwell on/in the trauma at its most acute. in the last line: "j'ai frappe si violemment la terre du pied que ma jambe s'est enfoncee . a la fosse de l'ideal. de la beaute." Much could be said about this short poem. by contrast." an attachment whose somewhat uncertain permanence ("pour toujours peut-etre") is considerably reinforced by the sudden switch from the past tense governing the rest of the poem to the present tense. bound to the grave of the ideal. the violence of the narrator's denial. undiminished commitment to a defunct ideal is dramatized most clearly in "Laquelle est la vraie" (38). hysterical violence. tu m'aimeras telle que je suis!" The narrator denies this so furiously that. et dont les yeux repandaient le desir de la grandeur. the prose poems instead oscillate " undecidably " between the extremes of idealization and cynicism. refuses narrative resolution at just this point. de la gloire et de tout ce qui fait croire a l'immortalite. pour toujours peut-etre. which form the predominant axes of the collection. as if he had in fact secretly suspected this "truth" all along. Rather than narrate a final passage from one state to the other." and whose very name alludes to that sonnet's strategic use of prosopopoeia: "une certaine Benedicta. la vraie Benedicta! C'est moi." Trampling on the grave with a "bizarre. he ends up knee-deep in the grave.200 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis poem collection. where he remains stuck." Then. "attache.." and the narrator buries her only a few days after meeting her. qui remplissait l'atmosphere d'ideal.." This " miraculous " woman turns out to be " too beautiful to live long. une fameuse canaille! Et pour la punition de ta folie et de ton aveuglement. The first paragraph describes a woman strongly reminiscent of "La Beaute. stamping his foot in turn. perhaps forever." she cries: "C'est moi.

violent scorn on the part of the narrator is dramatized most vividly in " Le Mauvais Vitrier " (9). the narrator tells of having invited a glazier to carry his precious merchandise up six flights of narrow stairs. rouges. in partial denial of responsibility for it. of course. pour toujours peutetre. elles ... this poem offers a stark contrast with "Laquelle est la vraie" at the idealizing end of the spectrum. crucially places the narrator at one remove from the violence he enacts.. leans out of the window.. agissent quelquefois avec une rapidite dont elles se seraient crues ellesmemes incapables. bleus. knocking him over and. In the anecdotal portion of this long poem. or more precisely to the grave of the ideal: recognition of its demise does not preclude continuing attachment on the narrator's part." The narrator is therefore at present still bound to the ideal. des vitres magiques. At the other end of the spectrum. a la fosse commune. The act itself appears as a mere illustration in the narrator's disquisition on what usually contemplative souls are capable of when pushed by mysterious forces to "execute the most absurd and often dangerous of acts ": II y a des natures purement contemplative et tout a fait impropres a Faction. Whatever else it may represent. however. et vous n'avez pas meme de vitres quifassent voir la vie en beau\" (my emphasis). vous n'avez pas de couleur? des verres roses.." or more precisely for not having any means (even obviously illusory ones) of idealizing the world. qui reste attache. Le moraliste et le medecin.. and when the glazier emerges onto the street below. sous une impulsion mysterieuse et inconnue. ne peuvent pas expliquer d'ou vient si subitement une si folle energie a ces ames paresseuses et voluptueuses.Decoding and recoding in the prose poems 201 jusqu'au genou . only to revile him for not having any " rose-colored " panes for sale: " Comment. qui pretendent tout savoir. The narrator therefore dismisses him abruptly. drops a flowerpot on him.. incapables d'accomplir les choses les plus simples et les plus necessaires. The context in which this anecdote appears. as an example of scornful violence enacted by the narrator against a figure despised and punished precisely for not having an "ideal. des vitres de paradis? Impudent que vous etes! Vous osez vous promener dans des quartiers pauvres. et que . et comment. breaking all his wares.

(my emphasis) Not only does the narrator characterize himself as in a sense " victim " as well as perpetrator of the violent act. whose role. qui nous autorisent a croire que des Demons malicieux se glissent en nous et nous font accomplir.. be read with some degree of irony on the narrator's or poet's part. he even claims authorization to attribute responsibility for it to malicious demons! This can. he establishes a certain distance from that action by refusing to take responsibility for it. This defense mechanism operates by projecting violence onto other characters or into the scenes described by the narrator. but it nonetheless suggests a keen awareness of primitive splitting as a basic psychic structure and a crucial defense mechanism. in which a prince invites a gifted comic actor condemned to death for treason to give a special private performance. For anyone familiar with Baudelaire's works. the typically post-masochist revenge motive is projected onto the husband by the use of the third person: the absent narrator is not implicated in the violence at all. Defensive splitting such as this characterizes nearly all the prose poems in which violence occurs. 126). and even there.. for instance. contains dramatic violence: a husband takes revenge for his wife's mockery of his poor marksmanship by decapitating with a single shot the doll he imagines for a moment to be her. But more important. as Bersani rightly insists. as we saw.J'ai ete plus d'une fois victime de ces crises et de ces elans.202 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis trouvent a une certaine minute un courage de luxe pour executer les actes les plus absurdes et souvent meme les plus dangereux. is to establish and maintain " a certain distance from violence in the Petits Poemes en prose" (p. of course. a notre insu. leurs plus absurdes volontes. This is already within the story only a vicarious or imaginary violence. and then has him killed just at the moment the actor's involvement in his art has made him completely oblivious to the mortal danger facing him. the description given of the prince could very well serve as a thumbnail sketch of the poet himself: . inasmuch as the doll merely represents the wife. Defensive splitting is even more central to "Une mort heroique" (27). "Le Galant Tireur" (43). "Le Mauvais Vitrier" is in fact the only poem in which the narrator himself takes unilateral violent action.

les rayons de l'Art et la gloire du Martyre") is as patent as his admiration for the prince (whom he compares to a "young Nero [possessing] abilities greater than his kingdom"). could equally well be taken as a portrait of the poet as a young revolutionary (in 1848) or rebel (in 1851): pour les personnes vouees par etat au comique. Fancioulle. The narrator's sympathy for the actor (tears come to his eyes in describing the performance which combines "dans un etrange amalgame. l'epithete de "monstre" . bien qu'il puisse paraitre bizarre que les idees de patrie et de liberte s'emparent despotiquement du cerveau d'un histrion. is mediated by a narrator who passively observes the entire scene... et. this act of violence. In staging the denial and projection of both idealization and cynicism.Decoding and recoding in the prose poems 203 Amoureux passionne des beaux-arts.. Les seigneurs en question furent arretes. Assez indifferent relativement aux hommes et a la morale.24 Just as the violence characterizing the narrator in "Le Mauvais Vitrier " is denied and projected onto the prince in this poem. il etait vraiment insatiable de voluptes. the description of the comic actor. and is in no way implicated in it. the devotion to the ideal characterizing the narrator in "Laquelle est la vraie?" is here denied and projected onto the martyred comic actor. the other set dramatizes idealized suffering with varying degrees of acceptance or denial of sympathy. les choses serieuses ont de fatales attractions. "Une mort herolque" can be located at the intersection of two sets of poems that constitute the basic structure of the collection as a whole: one set dramatizes cynical violence with varying degrees of acceptance or denial of responsibility.. However tempting it might be to identify the murderous prince with Baudelaire. de la part d'un historien severe. but the narrator's presence in the poem serves to maintain an equal and nearly absolute distance from both.25 . un jour [il] entra dans une conspiration formee de quelques gentilshommes mecontents . et voues a une mort certaine. et les efforts bizarres qu'il faisait pour fuir ou pour vaincre ce tyran du monde lui auraient certainement attire. veritable artiste lui-meme. excellent connaisseur d'ailleurs. What's more. Fancioulle. ainsi que Fancioulle. too. il ne connaissait d'ennemi dangereux que l'Ennui.

After contemplating him. Such moments of "rupture" pervade the prose poems. If and when it occurs. in connection with Masochian narrative: what has been symbolically denied or abolished returns unexpectedly in the real." he imagines he has just seen " l'image du vieil homme de lettres qui a survecu a la generation dont il fut le brillant amuseur.. du vieux poete sans amis. But in the Petits Poemes en prose. The narrator in each case tries to split off and project something identified with himself onto an other (the malicious demons or the decrepit clown). where they typically appear as rude awakenings from dreams and other forms of abrupt interruption. epitomized in "Une mort herolque. " Whereas the narrator of "Le Mauvais Vitrier" tried to deny responsibility for an act of violence he cannot help acknowledging as his own. The crucial role of the narrator." is thus to (attempt to) provide protective distance ." and when he then tries to " analyze [his] sudden grief.." Here. degrade par sa misere et par l'ingratitude publique. the narrator suddenly "feels his throat wrung by the terrible hand of hysteria.204 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis The most striking poem in this latter set is "Le Vieux Saltimbanque" (14). the narrator comes across an aged carnival clown. sans famille." for instance. sans enfants. despite the willed distantiation. and not demons and glass-peddlers." it was clearly the Poet himself. spurned and neglected by the joyous throngs surrounding him. this is precisely the dynamic characterized above as a failure of borderline defensive splitting. primitive splitting has pushed distantiation to the point of implicating others in place of the self.26 Certain forms of distantiation had already occurred in Les Fleurs du Mai: in "Le Jeu. the observing Poet withdrew even from the envy he feels watching the gamblers and courtesans still passionate enough to "prefer misery to death and hell to nothingness. without ever quite succeeding: the insistent identification reappears. here the narrator tries to deny identifying with a mode of suffering he cannot help recognizing as his own. which forms a pendant to "Le Mauvais Vitrier. implicated in the "self-torture" named by the title. self-recognition under these (borderline) conditions comes as quite a shock." And in "L'Heautontimoroumenos.

. remains a spectator. he never identifies with the perpetrator of violence. 133) is found in the prose poems. Nor does the notion of " a fully organized cognitive self" apply to the narrator of "Le conjiteor de Fartiste . and furthermore that the narrative point of view provided in the prose poems is that of the super-ego (pp." for instance. As Bersani puts it: "The world is appropriated as a theater for the poet's obsessions. or to the narrator of "Les Tentations" (2). that the prose poem narrator occupies "the position of a fully organized cognitive and moral self" (p. 134. the self is soon lost!) ".... whose (borderline) narrator is severely rfworganized and ruthlessly insouciant in his amorality. But this can hardly be said of "Le Mauvais Vitrier. (His subsequent clarification is salutary: " I don't mean that Baudelaire was psychotic when he wrote these poems. present only as an ironic consciousness" (p.. as we have seen. 133). seem to have represented in them a psychotic relation to the world" [p. who .Decoding and recoding in the prose poems 205 from the disturbing scenes of suffering and violence left unintegrated and unmanaged by Baudelaire's modernist refusal of Masoch's relatively comfortable narrative resolution (which simply ends the former by recourse to the latter). however. and so ends up praying to God to make the devil keep his word! Bersani is quite right that some kind of " unifying form " (p. In this connection it is important to note an asymmetry in the two sets of poems we have just surveyed: whereas sympathy with and even enthusiasm for lofty ideals are often directly expressed by the narrator in his own name. but it is certainly not that of a "fully organized cognitive and moral self. who valiantly refuses the devil's temptations in a dream. but the poet nonetheless . 144. he does. whose self thinks through things when they are not thinking through it " (for in the expanse of dreams. (3). 150). whereas the narrator often identifies with the ideal ego. 128]. In other words.) Bersani then goes on to suggest. then wakes to regret his moral fortitude." Nor is it provided by the perspective of the super-ego. 126). or to the narrator of "Le Joueur genereux" (29). violence is always projected by him onto another character or performed in an other's name.. who strikes a good bargain for his soul with a very generous devil but soon doubts his sincerity. however.

Such is indeed the characteristic outcome of the borderline personality's negotiation of the symbolic order: the "bad.surmised by the narrator to be jealousy. The violence of the split-off or repudiated super-ego function thus appears totally gratuitous (or "demonic. "Le Mauvais Vitrier" is the only poem in which the narrator himself enacts unilateral violence on another. Like "Laquelle est la vraie. never a super-ego. "la souveraine des reves" with eyes ("mirettes") that "attirent. rancor.27 As noted above. It is thus no accident that. l'idole. " and who reigns in an " eternite de delices." the shattering moment of recognition that interrupts the actor in the middle of his perfect performance and kills him is projected onto Fancioulle. and wounded pride . it would have to be a super-ego totally devoid of content..206 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis could thereby be considered the re-externalized expression of a punishing conscience or super-ego. So the highly charged moments of ^//^-recognition on the part of the narrator involve only the ideal ego. subjuguent." punishing function of the super-ego (the formal operation of "conscience": thou shalt not do this) is split off from the "ego ideal" which would provide it with content and justification. inexplicable. which Bersani cites mistakenly as an illustration of " self-recognition " (p. in "Une mort herolque. toute cette magie a disparu au coup brutal frappe par le Spectre. The moral vacuity of the borderline super-ego function appears most clearly in "La Chambre double" (5)." But this ." Suddenly. devorent le regard de Pimprudent qui les contemple. the motives of the perpetrator (the prince). la souveraine des reves." the poem starts by invoking the ideal: an exquisitely decorated room complete with a beautiful idol (again reminiscent of "La Beaute").. not experienced by the narrator. and ultimately attributed to "malicious demons. 131). a loud knock on the door: the dream shatters." as Baudelaire puts it). and here the violent act is absolutely gratuitous. for the narrator clearly has no defensible reason for abusing the poor glasspeddler the way he does." If this were a symbolic " punishment" meted out by a super-ego incognito. "La chambre paradisiaque. meanwhile .do not carry the moral authority of a super-ego at all.

sont aussi innombrables peutetre que les rapports des hommes entre eux.Decoding and re coding in the prose poems is not a moment of self-recognition: the specter that enters is not an internalized demon of the narrator's (as in "Le Mauvais Vitrier"). merely "un huissier qui vient me torturer au nom de la loi. what (re) turns against the ideal is social reality itself. his horror and shame when in explaining the tragedy he sees the nail and rope still hanging from the side of the armoire where the boy hanged himself. but by his interlocutor! . to the artist's surprise. moitie de surprise agreable devant la nouveaute. then. This dynamic is in fact explicitly thematized — that is. In the highly charged moments of rupture typical of the prose poems. . une infame concubine qui vient crier misere et ajouter les trivialites de sa vie aux douleurs de la mienne. . The next day. devant le fait reel. who commits suicide after the artist catches him stealing and threatens to send him back to live with his destitute parents. ou bien le saute-ruisseau d'un directeur de journal qui reclame la suite du manuscrit. Et quand l'illusion disparait. which begins as follows: Les illusions. even the rope that killed him. On the contrary. ou des hommes avec les choses. The narrator's artist-friend goes on to recount a story that disabused him of his illusions about maternal love. nous eprouvons un bizarre sentiment. instead! The artist decides that in her grief. complique moitie de regret pour le fantome disparu." It is thus not the "La Corde" (30).me disait mon ami. his astonishment when she stops him from throwing them out the window and asks to keep them herself. but reality itself— and particularly the realities of a morally bankrupt market society — that here brutally reappear in the real. requests start 207 . And it cannot personify the super-ego: the specter that enters is in fact identified as no one in particular. the specter is most emphatically external. and in this case not even by the narrator. considered from a comfortable distance. It involves a poor little boy. the mother must have wanted to keep whatever relics she could find of her son. c'est-a-dire quand nous voyons Petre ou le fait tel qu'il existe en dehors de nous. serving as the artist's model and errand-boy. Imagine the agony of the artist having to break the news to the mother and then show her the body.

" the "ego . as we have the cost. " as it were — and is shocked and dismayed when reality says it for or to him. thereby canceling the operations of conscience in the psyche. in the life of Baudelaire himself. The complete lack of super-ego function under borderline conditions testifies to the decoding of the modern socio-symbolic order. conversely. Note that the commercial motive itself (given the family's abject poverty) is not morally condemned by the narrator or by his interlocutor: it is simply acknowledged as one of the realities of market society . One result is the coexistence of disparate drive-derivatives and the lack of impulse-control typical of borderline personalities. In the absence of regulative and punitive "conscience.208 Baudelaire and schizo analysis pouring in from around the neighborhood for pieces of the rope. of one more suddenly lost illusion. so that now "anything goes. But the poem revolves around a shock that has little to do with this exercise: the return of the real involves the unexpected appearance of the profit motive in the place of maternal grief and affection. illustrated vividly in "Le Mauvais Vitrier" and profusely throughout the prose poem collection and illustrated as well. but unlike the true psychotic. in a characteristic shock of recognition. negotiates entry into the symbolic order anyway. only then." Buried deep within the poem. et je compris pourquoi la mere tenait tant a m'arracher la ficelle et par quel commerce elle entendait se consoler. The borderline personality lacks a coherent imaginary self-image due to failure of mirror-stage identification. soudainement. stripping punitive figures of authority is a principal aim of the masochistic scenario. does he suddenly realize that the mother really wanted the rope because she could turn a tidy profit on it: " Et alors. une lueur se fit dans mon cerveau. and threatens to punish him by returning him to dire poverty with his family." The borderline personality cannot itself say " n o . It does so by thoroughly repudiating moral authority. if his own writings and friends' testimony are any indication. which because of the end it served is in great demand. the normal exercise of an integrated super-ego: the narrator's artist-friend scolds the boy for petty larceny. says the narrator's friend.

" Baudelaire finally found a permanent ego-ideal role-model perfectly suited to his own ideal ego: Edgar Allan Poe. these rolemodels are transient. just as Baudelaire had been in SecondEmpire France. that marks Poe and Baudelaire as members of the elect: in contrast to the romantic hope for reconciliation and social reintegration (a la Hegesippe Moreau). and which must .28 For what Baudelaire belatedly learns about Poe is not only that he meant the tale "Mesmeric Revelations" ironically. but not moral rules or prohibitions. The example of Poe not only enables him to detach himself from his idealist revolutionary enthusiasm of 1848. as Butor has shown. whose lasting devotion to her son-in-law's literary career Baudelaire cites in his notices. It is precisely such suffering. their suffering places them outside and above a hopelessly corrupt and compromised society. newly dominant impulses. providing role-models as a standard of comparison for the borderline ego ("be like this").Decoding and recoding in the prose poems 209 ideal" prevails in place of a super-ego. then brutally devalued to be replaced by another more favorable to other. He even goes so far as to claim as a kind of spiritual mother figure the real-life mother-in-law of Poe. and even in the effective absence of a "conscience. Usually. as we have seen. Hence the oscillation between adulation and scorn characteristic of imaginary relations and borderline conditions. as they appear throughout the prose poems. given the instability of the personality they are supposed to model: one ego ideal is first (over-) idealized in the service of certain momentarily dominant impulses. Baudelaire's masochist ideal ego reflects and reinforces itself in the ego ideal of the great writer. Edgar Allan Poe. NARCISSISTIC REGODING But under extraordinary circumstances. but also that he was unjustly neglected and reduced to misery by a worthless commercial society of philistines in America. In this way. it also enables him to integrate his lifelong martyrdom to market society into his model of the great poet. the borderline psyche erects a narcissistic "grandiose self" over and against the society that oppresses it (and which thereby forfeits all moral authority over it).

" "Assommons les pauvres" (49). Henceforth. here the narrator is supremely proud of it. for the violence and suffering projected equally onto the two characters observed at a safe distance in "Une mort" are here reappropriated and belong clearly to the narrator himself. Puissent ces lignes.. equality.. It is here that Baudelaire's most accomplished modernism emerges. Baudelaire is able both to repudiate and to redeem his miserable existence and defunct ideals in writing through the elaboration of the narcissistic prose narrator.." while at the same time cc Baudelaire-the-published-translator/critic " is personally championing Poe's cause in France and Europe. Baudelaire's own martyred ideal ego is reflected in the ego ideal provided by the figure of Poe: Poe represents the personal savior of ''Baudelaire-the-former-revolutionary-idealist. Only the reflection of the one in the Other could enable Baudelaire to write the pendant to "Une mort heroIque. unlike "Le Mauvais Vitrier" (the only other prose poem in which a firstperson narrator himself enacts violence against another)..210 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis have contrasted sharply with the devastating betrayal he felt at the hands of his own mother in alliance with his stepfather: Comme cette pauvre creature se preoccupe de la reputation de son fils! Que c'est beau! que c'est grand! Admirable creature . please your maternal eyes! Your nearly divine image will hover unceasingly over the martyrology of literature! Given the extraordinary example of Poe. les larmes de tous ceux qui. [pjuissent nos larmes traverser POcean. Indeed. who are unfortunate . May these lines. and liberty. and furnishes a solution to the problems of poverty. empreintes de la plus sincere et de la plus respectueuse admiration. stamped with the most sincere and respectful admiration. sont malheureux . . for it proves him superior to the romantic political theorists of 1848. like your poor Eddie. where the narrator partly repudiates his "demonic" action.. all in one succinct lesson. comme ton pauvre Eddie. plaire a tes yeux maternels! ton image quasi divine voltigera incessamment au-dessus du martyrologe de la litterature!29 How that poor woman cared for her son's reputation! How beautiful! How noble! Admirable creature .. may our tears cross the Ocean... the tears of all those.

whose pitiful looks and naive theories have about as much chance of overthrowing real tyranny (Louis-Philippe. si l'esprit remuait la matiere. Baudelaire can henceforth do the same for others: taking his leave. The narrator then stops the fight. is an introjection of Poe: his example has restored a defeated idealist Baudelaire to life. meanwhile." explains the narrator." Having (finally) understood the demonic lesson. As ideal ego." The poem thus undertakes . having locked himself in his room for two weeks and read himself sick of Utopian tracts from 1848 about how to make everyone happy and rich. only to witness — "6 miracle! 6 jouissance du philosophe qui verifie l'excellence de sa theorie!" . only to run into a beggar who importunes him with "un de ces regards inoubliables qui culbuteraient les trones. So he goes out for a walk and some refreshment. and now cured of his idealism. martyred ideal ego of 1848. or Napoleon Bonaparte) as spirit has of moving matter or a hypnotist of ripening grapes. qui sait la conquerir. but an affirmative one ("un grand affirmateur") —advising him that "Celui-la seul est l'egal d'un autre. and shares his purse with him. reminding the erstwhile beggar to administer the same treatment to whoever should ask him for charity. the former beggar swears "qu'il avait compris ma salvage some dignity from the wreckage of real life by dismissing ideals as illusory before reality does.Decoding and recoding in the prose poems 211 The narrator explains that. "je lui avais done rendu l'orgueil et la vie. The beggar is a projection of the poor.the old man jump to his feet and start beating him in turn. his demon prompts him to action — for his is not an inhibiting or censorious demon like Socrates'.as a classic trauma defense ." Suddenly (as in "Le Mauvais Vitrier")." So the narrator immediately attacks the beggar and beats him mercilessly. he felt he was on the verge of a better idea for social reform. declares the old man his equal (" Monsieur. identified with the poor . et si l'oeil d'un magnetiseur faisait murir des raisins. The " name-of-the-demon " who never says no. qui le prouve. thereby condemning them and their proponents to idiocy. but could not quite put his finger on it. et celui-la seul est digne de la liberte. et qu'il obeirait a mes conseils. enabling him to fight back and regain his pride: "Par mon energetique medication. vous etes mon e'gall").

or. "Qu'importe ce que peut etre la realite placee hors de moi. Si c'eut ete un pauvre homme. et quelquefois je me la raconte a moi-meme en pleurant. Indeed. the narrator answers. Baudelaire sides with the narrator. si elle m'a aide a vivre. ou plutot sa legende. a sentir que je suis et ce que je suis?" In a passage that recalls the dynamic of self-recognition in "Le Vieux Saltimbanque. avec son vetement. identified with Poe." the narrator recounts how avec son visage. responding to a challenge regarding the veracity of the stories he makes up. which begins with the curious but revealing assertion that "Celui qui regarde du dehors a travers une fenetre ouverte. It is thus the perspective of borderline narcissism that gives "unifying form" to the prose poems. and he is more fascinated by their reflection in it than concerned with seeing the real world through his orgy of philosophical self-congratulation. The narrator as borderline narcissist is so keenly interested in the real world because it reflects back to him versions or parts of himself that have been split off and symbolically repudiated: he is then (and only then) able to recognize and reappropriate them .212 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis crowds of 1848. and the "obsessive self-reference" from which such narcissism derives its name is clearly illustrated in "Les Fenetres" (35)." The window-pane has become a mirror for the poet's obsessions. ne voit jamais autant de choses que celui qui regarde une fenetre fermee.walking off to reproduce himself by repeating the salutary lesson "of" Poe on other poor beggars ad infinitum. avec presque rien. having mastered his own fate by finally understanding Poe's and observes . j'ai refait l'histoire de cette [pauvre] femme. not that of the super-ego: the narcissist-narrator in fact shares with the super-ego only the function of self-observation. j'aurais refait la sienne tout aussi aisement. This narcissistic narrative stance appears throughout the prose poems. This extraordinary mirror reflection thus compensates the writer subject to decoding with a narcissistic narrative stance: it is different facets of Baudelaire's own life that the narrator at once embodies . preferably. to contemplate them from a safe distance. avec son geste. Baudelaire sides with the beggar. as ego ideal. no prohibitions and no moral .

he imagines the fun he will have if some scribbler picks it up and dares to put it on: "Faire un heureux. The borderline narcissist asserts or confirms his sense of superiority by separating off. no doubt. comme les simples mortels. et me livrer a la crapule. in the prose poem highlighted by Benjamin. we also see him puffing up his own sense of self and snidely belittling his interlocutor (who resembles X and Z inasmuch as he still values the halo enough to expect the poet to try to reclaim it). he decided it would be better to lose his insignia than to break his neck. and he is now enjoying himself. casually indulging in debauchery while mocking others who would still take his former status of poet seriously. Notice. inferior others. "Perte d'aureole" (46). but the poet will have none of it: dignity bores him. that this story-teller is narrating at one remove (again as in " La Corde"): he is explaining himself to an acquaintance. and did not have the courage to retrieve it. where the decoding of romanticism already legible in the poetics of the beauty cycle of Les Fleurs du Mai has become an explicit theme." The poet immediately launches into an anecdote to explain why he is there: while dodging on-coming traffic on his way across the boulevard.Decoding and recoding in the prose poems judgments are involved. faire des actions basses." The acquaintance expects him to advertise to get his halo back. His first 213 . And although the story-teller's derision is most obviously directed at X and Z. Moreover. This narrative stance is most clearly illustrated. Then. not directly addressing the reader. like the one in "La Corde. o u a Z ! Hein! comme ce sera drole!" It should be clear that this story-teller. quelle jouissance! et surtout un heureux qui me fera rire! Pensez a X. he realized he could now " [se] promener incognito. too. the main character runs into an acquaintance who expresses surprise at finding the illustrious poet in such a "mauvais lieu. looking on the bright side. and often denigrating." is no moralizing judge: he is here a disdainful cynic. In a brothel. The severe splitting characteristic of borderline conditions is thus taken over and adapted for use in the effort to master or manage others and/or other partial or former selves. who are actually projected partial selves of his own. he dropped his halo in the mud.

comme les simples mortels." into which category he then places his interlocutor: "Je puis maintenant me promener incognito. by contrast. mais cette idee malheureuse se glissa un instant apres dans mon esprit. all of whom continue to value the outmoded ideal. tout semblable a vous. the once-illustrious Poet is quite happy to do without it. would be precisely the one awarded the romantic Poet of "Benediction" for his suffering at the beginning of Les Fleurs du Mai. and the interlocutor. and clearly still values it enough to consider even its momentary loss a bad omen. In the published prose poem. faire des actions basses. elle ne m'a laisse aucun repos de toute la journee. the loss of the halo is now not merely the subject of a story: it is an event recounted by a narrator to a listener within the poem. the narrator does recover the halo. the halo lost in the prose poem. In the published version. et me livrer a la crapule. mon aureole s'est detachee et est tombee dans la boue du macadam. it is true. Moreover.") In order to make the best of this unfortunate situation. comme vous voyez!" The narcissist's sense of self-worth depends in large part on such devaluation of others. Et me voici. But the anecdote from Baudelaire's journal on which the poem is based reads quite differently: Gomme je traversais le boulevard. and has been projected onto X. this idealistic self has completely disappeared beneath the poet's cynical stance." which he immediately transmutes into a conscious decision not to risk his life for the halo ("Je n'ai pas eu le courage de le ramasser. J'ai juge moins desagreable de perdre mes insignes que de me faire rompre les os. Z. J'eus heureusement le temps de la ramasser. and takes his mocking distance from anyone foolish enough to want to retrieve it. in Baudelaire's case.particularly.214 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis reaction to the accident reveals a certain "lack of courage. formerly idealistic selves whose illusions have been shattered by reality. it has become an occasion for the narrator to exercise an invidious . he stoops to indulge in the vulgarity of "ordinary mortals. que c'etait un mauvais presage.30 But it can also involve the devaluation of one's own former selves . then.31 Here. et comme je mettais un peu de precipitation a eviter les voitures. et des lors Pidee n'a plus voulu me lacher.

And he is now at one remove from the initial experience: Baudelaire has transmuted the original account and the uneasy feeling it provoked into the snide banter of a world-weary and slightly sullied roue." Still higher on this scale appears "Les Projets" (24). First he imagines her "dans 215 .Decoding and recoding in the prose poems superiority over his fictional audience. as it were: a vertical axis measuring the degree of composure attained by the narcissistic narrator in the face of such splitting. The initial version of the poem features a first-person narrator ruminating aloud to his lover as to what kind of romantic setting would best suit his desire for her.32 While most of the prose poems involve the conflict of political or cultural values. This degree of comfort suggests that the defensive function of narcissism — to manage borderline splitting so that it does not disrupt the fragile composure of the self— is working rather smoothly here. The writer thus appears in the prose poem far more comfortable with his modernism than the individual in the journal did with the modernity he found careening down the street at him in Haussmann's new Paris (even if the grandiose narrator arises partly in compensation for the sacrifice of the ideal self to modern social realities). The distance from tragic or exultant suffering and violence attained by the narrators of "Une mort heroique" and "Assommons les pauvres" places them somewhat higher on such a scale than "Le Vieux Saltimbanque" and "Le Mauvais Vitrier." Thus. where cynical violence and idealized suffering are split off and projected onto partial selves. which resembles "Perte d'aureole" in that its superior anxietymanagement is especially visible in the revisions Baudelaire made for the final version of the poem. the prose poem collection also contains a third dimension. in addition to the two basic axes we have already mentioned. "Les Projets" (like "Le Vieux Saltimbanque" and even "A une mendiante rousse") stages the disparity between ideal and real in explicitly commercial terms: it manages the recurring disappointment suffered by the consumer whose real means do not match his imaginary desires. especially when compared with the rough-edged "hysteria" (Baudelaire's term) of "Le Vieux Saltimbanque" and "Le Mauvais Vitrier.

trois domiciles ou j'ai eprouve un egal plaisir. and they would not feel at home there. . The exact opposite attitude toward dreaming appears in the final version: theflaneursays to himself. Pourquoi contraindre mon corps a changer de place.Elle couterait beaucoup d'or. puisque le projet est en lui-meme une jouissance suffisante? No longer morally offended by his penchant for dreaming.. Oil done trouver une coupe assez profonde et un poison assez epais pour noyer la Bete! The narrator here bemoans his lack of action and his penchant for dreaming his life away. descendant a travers l'atmosphere d'un beau soir. mais qui la nourrit. he pictures a seaside cabin in some exotic land. ultimately hoping to find some way to kill the beast.. un souper passable.. les degres de marbre d'un palais .216 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis un costume de cour complique et fastueux.Les reves soulagent un moment la bete devorante qui s'agite en nous. without any intimate nooks or a place to hang a portrait of her. dans le premier auberge venu"?-which he then imagines complete with "un grand feu. This is the stance of someone for whom (as Benjamin might put it) the experience of window-shopping . et partout un parfum indescriptible de muse" . with an agonizing prise de conscience: . puisque mon ame voyage si lestement? Et a quoi bon executer des projets. C'est un poison qui la soulage. upon returning home " a cette heure oil les conseils de la Sagesse ne sont plus etouffes par les bourdonnements de la vie exterieure": J'ai eu aujourd'hui. Le reve! le reve! toujours le reve maudit! . Finally.but then decides against such a beautiful setting: he hates kings and their palaces.II tue Faction et mange le temps! . en reve. he thinks: why go to so much trouble when pleasure lies just around the corner. et l'or ne danse que dans la poche des imbeciles qui ne comprennent pas le Beau"). Next.. " But the reveries stop abruptly there. the flaneur here takes comfort and even pride in his ability to derive pleasure from the dreams themselves.. beaucoup de v i n . without ever having to realize them. " a deux pas." . des faiences voyantes sur les murs. ..but then decides this would cost too much ("Pourquoi cette vaste mise-en-scene? . with "une odeur flottante d'huile de coco.

the characteristic omniscient narrator recounts the reveries and ruminations of a third-person character. finally past a local inn (where he glimpses two smiling faces leaning out of a window). even to the point of being at their mercy. and appears even then only indirectly. a measure of selfcontent and even self-satisfaction arises from theflaneur'sability to dispense entirely with the business of making "his" dreams a reality. utter susceptibility to the fascination of things.33 This is because both the decoded openness and the recoded self-containment of the character of the flaneur are presented from the vantage-point of a narrator who has . Significantly. Gone. the flaneur now rejects each preceding scene only after having caught sight of the next: a certain degree of ratiocination and the penchant for autonomous dreaming it accompanied in the initial version have both given way to pure impressionability. Yet this openness to impressions typical of decoded experience and the loss of ego-integrity and autonomy it entails do not provoke censure: rather. Gone. inasmuch as they (in) form his very thoughts and wishes. is the first-person character directly addressing his love: here. too. The final version of" Les Projets " thus displays a pronounced openness to the world: theflaneuris entranced by the suggestive beauty of the things he encounters around town. is the reference to his hatred of kings and palaces in the first fantasy. finally. instead. and in the same order. Gone are the embarrassingly vulgar reference to the prohibitive expense of the second fantasy (the seaside resort) and the overly resentful castigation of those rich enough to afford it as moronic philistines. it is a significant one: for it is the narrator who identifies the flaneur's moment of return chez lui as the hour when wisdom's gentle advice is finally audible above the din of the city outside. but the switch from one to the next is here not motivated or reasoned out at all: it simply matches the sequence of scenes and images encountered in a stroll around town — first through a well-kept park (reminiscent of royal gardens). then into a print-shop (where he admires an etching of a tropical landscape).Decoding and recoding in the prose poems 217 without buying has become a norm. The same three fantasies appear. the narrator is now above all that. Although this narrator makes only one appearance.

" "Le Galant Tireur").218 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis completely withdrawn from the scene to sanction only obliquely the resigned wisdom voiced in the story by theflaneurhimself. It is here that the historical events of 1848-51 register with such great intensity: the urgency of repudiating his former idealism and revolutionary engage- . respectively." Whereas the cycles of decoding in the beauty poems and the "Tableaux Parisiens" foregrounded the psychodynamics of part-objects and the meaningless real. takes a quite different form in the prose: the separation of narrative perspective from the emotions and actions of characters. as a result of the passage from masochism to borderline narcissism. Above and even sometimes out of reach of these extremes lies the narcissistic narrative perspective whose function is to manage such emotions from a comfortable distance. The marked divergence of communicative and textual functions in the rhetoric of the verse poetry. at the other end of the spectrum ("Le Mauvais Vi trier. to a more or less violent rage against the real world responsible for that loss. in contrast with the meaningless agony and defensive cynicism of the "Tableaux Parisiens. The borderline emotions typical of the collection range from a more or less agonizing loss of ideals. Distance has been achieved and wisdom imparted from the perspective of a narrator so far above the events recounted that he barely needs to appear in the text at all. the narcissist-narrator in some of the prose poems manages to attain a measure of resignation and even equanimity. meanwhile. Primitive borderline splitting pressed into the service of narcissistic mastery thus provides the "unifying form" enabling the prose poems to depict and convey a broad range of emotions without compromising or betraying the superior position and unbreachable reserve of the narrator." "Le Vieux Saltimbanque"). Under the aegis of Poe as ego-ideal Other. the prose collection features primitive splitting as the final cycle of decoding in Baudelaire. The pervasive mediation of the narrator in the prose poems supports Benjamin's claim that the conditions under which Baudelaire wrote were no longer conducive to lyric poetry. at one end of the spectrum ("Laquelle est la vraie.

Such simultaneous repudiation and redemption of the former partial selves under observation is made possible in this final cycle of recoding by the figure of Edgar Allan Poe. commercial society (to which they both were sacrificed). moreover. whose greatness represents for Baudelaire the ultimate condemnation of modern. As a composite diagnostic term.. which in the stance of the prose narrator takes the form of borderline narcissism. centralisation du Moi. borderline narcissism has the distinct advantage of being a composite term. in which incompatible facets of personality are split off and segregated from one another. just as permeable to impressions from within or without as the Poet of beautification. Whatever the disadvantages of borrowing a psychological term for literary-historical analysis..Not he! Far from staging an embattled Poet's desperate struggle to salvage something from rapidly disintegrating modern experience for lyric verse. 34 For our purposes. " 36 It remains to be seen how decoding and recoding figure in the historical contexts in which those works were written and have since become justly famous and . and which he himself once described in terms of the "vaporisation et . borderline narcissism thus registers (even as it recontains as "psychological") the dual psychohistorical dynamic of decoding and recoding whose peripeties we have traced through the major works of Baudelaire. the grandiose (yet fragile) "narcissistic" self-image is constructed via recoding on the figure of an ego ideal rather than a superego authority. but now separated off and viewed with unbreachable reserve and from an unbridgeable distance. and whose irony represents the ultimate model for his own practice as a writer. the effect of reading Kernberg's works together with Baudelaire's prose poems is as compelling as it is uncanny.35 The "narcissistic" component serves as a defense-reaction against the "borderline" disintegration of the ego resulting from decoding. in order to mask and compensate for this underlying incompatibility and resulting instability.Decoding and recoding in the prose poems 219 ment propels Baudelaire beyond the part-object lyricism of Les Fleurs du Mai into the full-fledged splitting characteristic of Les Petits Poemes en prose: the great Baudelaire a dupe ? . the prose poems depict disintegrated partial selves.

220 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis canonical. . The prose poem narrator clearly fits the diagnostic description of borderline narcissism. the next chapter resituates the psychoanalytic explanation of this phenomenon in the contexts of mid nineteenth-century France and modern market society.

Our childhood memories show us our earliest years not as they were but as they appeared at the later periods when the memories were aroused. Indeed. by contrast. or "deferred action. In these periods of arousal. whereby childhood experience determines later psychological disturbance (as when severe frustration during childhood. for example. with no concern for historical accuracy. according to the Freud of "Infantile Sexuality"). psychic causality is not linear. And a number of motives. the childhood memories did not. despite their common debt to the work of Melanie Klein. for the meaning(s) later attributed to earlier events count for more than the "events themselves" (which may turn out to be fictitious anyway.1 221 .CHAPTER 7 The prose poem narrator HISTORIGIZING BORDERLINE NARCISSISM One of the most important differences between Lacanian and object-relations psychoanalysis. from his very earliest work on hysteria. as people are accustomed to say emerge) they were formed at that time. involves Freud's notion of Nachtraglichkeit. In the Lacanian view. later causes borderline narcissism in the adult). as he put it in an essay entitled "Screen Memories": It may indeed be questioned whether we have any memories at dllfrom our childhood: memories relating to our childhood may be all that we possess. had a part in forming them. as well as in the selection of memories themselves. Freud suggested that childhood events may become meaningful and psychologically effective only long after they occurred." Kernberg and other objectrelations psychoanalysts tend to conceive of psychic causality as a linear determinism.

according to the Lacanian linguistic model of the psyche. Unfortunately. that the determinations of borderline narcissism attributed by object-relations psychoanalysis to the family . The tendency of most psychoanalysis as a whole is to use infantile determinism in this way to screen out actual social factors by rewriting them as the familiar. actual social factors always play the determining role in psychological phenomena. one causal factor in borderline narcissism is that a super-ego which has remained primitive and overpunitive has not been successfully integrated into the borderline psychic structure. socio-historical determinations of psychic life. Deleuze and Guattari take this important Freudian insight one crucial step further than Lacan: given the temporal dynamics of Nachtrdglichkeit.222 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis Just as words appearing early in a sentence only take on meaning when read "retroactively" in the context of the completed sentence (or the entire discourse). to the contrary. so events occurring early in childhood only become effective apres coup. psychoanalysis (Freud and Lacan excepted." . thus skewing psychoanalytic explanation (not to mention methods of treatment) away from the actual. familial ones." In the Anti-Oedipus. when later experience endows them with meaning and traumatic impact "after the fact. perhaps) has generally mistaken these "screen memories" for the true determinants of psychic life. not childhood experience or "family super-ego failure stemming from bad fathering and ego disintegration blamed on bad motheringare in fact characteristic of the socio-historical context in which Baudelaire wrote and his readers continue to live. thus allowing the ego and egoideal to fuse in the form of the narcissistic "grandiose self. This chapter will demonstrate. apres coup) serve at most as a screen onto which strictly contemporary concerns are projected and then worked through." Memories of infantile experience (always constructed after the fact. SUPER-EGO FAILURE According to Kernberg.

3 Masochian masochism thus fits Baudelaire's life-experience on a number of levels — which is to say that his recourse to masochistic strategies is overdetermined by a number of factors operating in quite diverse domains. But in Baudelaire's case. followed by the imposition of the conseil judiciaire when he was twenty-three. Among the most striking . there is no reason to believe that Caroline's remarriage when Charles was five.2 On the contrary. As for Aupick's role as authority figure. there is little biographical evidence that he suffered mistreatment as a child from either his aging father or his stepfather." Baudelaire is reported to have cried). not his stepfather: as in Masochian narrative. aggravated those tensions to the breaking point.). But these truly influential events all occurred well after the (supposedly) formative period of childhood. all the evidence suggests that Baudelaire enjoyed warm relations with both parents (and both fathers. his efficient repression of the Lyon workers' insurrection of 1834 (when Charles was thirteen) will only make sense and enrage Baudelaire much later (apres coup). in turn) throughout his childhood and well into his late teens. when the republican-socialist poet joins in the Revolution of 1848 and exhorts his comrades-in-arms on the barricades to go after the General ("We must go execute General Aupick! Down with Aupick! [II faut aller fusilier le General Aupick! A bas Aupick!]. it is she that has betrayed his ideal ego by capitulating to her new husband's plans for the conseil judiciaire. the trip to the South Seas arranged by Aupick soon after Baudelaire reached majority and began spending his inheritance (from Baudelaire Sr. would have had any lasting effect on the future poet without the subsequent intervention of the stepfather into Baudelaire's affairs as a young man. for example. Baudelaire's anger and disappointment register primarily with his mother. And even here. To be sure. his devotion to poetry instead of the career in law or government envisaged by his parents generated tensions within the Baudelaire-Aupick family when Baudelaire was a young man.The prose poem narrator 223 Object-relations psychoanalysis attributes such super-ego failure and subsequent ego/ego-ideal fusion to the childhood experience of excessively harsh treatment at the hands of an authoritarian father.

not any childhood experience in and of itself. thereby invalidating paternal authority and allowing the masochist to achieve satisfaction. is that its aim is not sexual pleasure as such but rather the reduction or elimination of anxiety: this. apres coup. especially the rhythms and tensions of modern city life in general. by means of contractually stipulated (i. Some of the social conditions conducive to the predominance of ego-defensive anxiety reduction over pleasure-seeking drive gratification are delineated by Benjamin in his analysis of the shock-defense as Baudelaire's characteristic reaction to urban modernity. It is in his late teens or early twenties. as well. which only becomes meaningful (or "traumatic") after the fact. as we have seen. Masochism responds to other social factors. sentimental relations with the woman. the coup d'etat of Napoleon in 1851) that trigger Baudelaire's masochism.224 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis are the return of the (step-) father after the father's death. when Baudelaire was five. But it is the later events (revolutionary engagement in 1848. when Baudelaire was thirty. rather than bodily pleasure." where the stimulus-binding process of the repetition compulsion strives merely to ward off anxiety rather than procure pleasure. is what the masochist achieves. and in response to preeminently social and political rather than strictly familial concerns.e. Among the most important for Benjamin is the urban crowd. Part of what is "perverse" about Masochian masochism. whose multiple intersecting paths appear crucial . in other words. As we have seen. and the return of the authoritarian Empire after the demise of the Second Republic. that the masochistic splitting-off and repudiation of the super-ego crucial to the development of borderline narcissism occurs in Baudelaire. the masochist's contract does not just aim to exclude the father by transferring his authority to the woman: it does so specifically in order to allay anxiety by stipulating punishment by her hand. I say achieve satisfaction and not experience pleasure because of the peculiarly a-genital and almost non-sexual kind of gratification the masochist enjoys in his idealized. This aim is consistent with the psychodynamics of Baudelaire's spleen poetry and many of the "Tableaux Parisiens. foreseen rather than traumatic) punishment. in other words.

aux soubresauts de la conscience? C'est surtout de la frequentation des villes enormes. simply presented isolated items . modern practices evolve in a similar direction.assez souple et assez heurtee pour s'adapter aux mouvements lyriques de Tame. At the same time that modern urban experience becomes increasingly jarring and instantaneous. c'est du croisement de leurs innombrables rapports que nait cet ideal obsedant. musical yet without rhythm and without rhyme. on his more ambitious days. He also mentions (in connection with "Perte d'aureole") the increasing rapidity of urban traffic along Haussmann's newly widened boulevards. aux ondulations de la reverie. dans ses jours d'ambition. which required a new defensive hyperconscious awareness of carriages and horses on the part of modern Parisians. reve le miracle d'une prose poetique. the flow of revery.4 Who among us has not dreamt. according to Benjamin. and render modern individuals less able or inclined to synthesize such experience into a larger framework. 154). of the miracle of a poetical prose. Most important for Benjamin is the evolution of the mass-circulation newspaper. Benjamin suggests that the sudden encounters and fleeting contacts in urban crowds were for Baudelaire a "decisive. inasmuch as they produce or reproduce immediate effects with a single. which instead of embedding news events in a larger world view shared by writer and readers alike. The invention of matches and photography in the mid-nineteenth century also contribute to the development of shock-defensiveness. abrupt gesture. unique experience" (p. musicale sans rythme et sansrime. as the older subscription newspapers were bound to do. Citing "A une passante" and "Le Soleil" as striking examples. the jolts of consciousness ? The obsession with such an ideal arises above all from familiarity with the intersection of innumerable relations that takes place in enormous modern cities. versatile and abrupt enough to fit the lyric movements of the soul.The prose poem narrator 225 to Baudelaire in his dedication of the prose poem collection to Arsene Houssaye: Quel est celui de nous qui n'a pas.

The principles of journalistic information (freshness of the news. and it is achieved: to isolate what happens from the realm in which it could affect the experience of the reader. and uses the halo's loss to belittle others and aggrandize himself. according to Benjamin. brevity. But Benjamin overlooks the role of the narrator throughout the prose poem collection. The high-anxiety hyperconsciousness of the shock defense certainly may have contributed to Baudelairean masochism and its perverse aim of anxiety reduction. . If it were the intention of the press to have the reader assimilate the information it supplies as part of his [sic] own experience.226 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis discretely and "objectively. both in its repudiation of the romantic poet of the early verse poetry and in its relation to the modern urban realities which prompted that repudiation. as well as the stance of the raconteur in "Perte d'aureole" itself: the way he distances himself from the shocking experience he is recounting. Benjamin was the first to explain the significance of "Perte d'aureole" for the prose collection. and. where "every second finds consciousness ready to intercept its shock" (p. But its intention is just the opposite. above all. that structure experience and egodefensive reactions to it in the ways that Baudelaire's readers so readily recognize." with no relations to other events or to any political interpretation or encompassing world view: [The modern individual] is increasingly unable to assimilate the data of the world around him [sic] by way of experience. but the prose poet's defenses have evolved beyond the part-object intensification of spleen. These are some of the features of modern life. Newspapers constitute one of the many evidences of such an inability.5 The isolation of discrete happenings from synthetic experience found in newspaper reporting and reading is reinforced by such practices as gambling (which became widespread among the middle and lower classes during Baudelaire's lifetime) and the drill training associated with organized mass-manufacturing and (eventually) assembly-line production (as opposed to the apprenticeship and practice associated with artisanal and craft production). comprehensibility. lack of connection between the individual news items) contribute as much to this as does the make-up of the pages and the paper's style. it would not achieve its purpose.

la grande gloire de Napoleon III aura ete de prouver que le premier venu peut. The analysis of Louis-Napoleon's rapid rise to power by Marx confirms and echoes the scandalized reaction of Baudelaire. gouverner une grande nation. to the primitive splitting and grandiose self characteristic of the borderline narcissist narrator. '"the bourgeoisie. social democracy of Louis Blanc's workers' cooperatives is scuttled in favor of state-run workfare. but fails in reality: the father returns in the figure of Napoleon III. As Benjamin puts it (citing Marx). through the brutal abuse of [its] own press.the bourgeoisie would have to forfeit explicit political rule and curtail free cultural expression in order to maintain its economic rule intact behind the scenes. represents the primitive. their politicians and literati.6 in the eyes of history and the French people. The passage from masochism to borderline narcissism in Baudelaire revolves around his experience of the calamities of June 1848 (the massacre of Parisian workers) through December 1851 (the coup (Fetat of Louis-Napoleon). Masochism stages the repudiation of the father in phantasy (in an a-genital. en s'emparant du telegraphe et de rimprimerie nationale. felt the . "lesbian" relation with the anti-Oedipal lover). so that they might confidently pursue their private affairs under the protection of a strong and untrammelled government'" (p. punitive super-ego that is not successfully integrated into the Baudelairean psyche. which is in turn promptly eliminated altogether . 106). Baudelaire himself. the great glory of Napoleon III will have been to prove that whoever seizes control of the telegraph and the State printing-office can govern a great nation. who bitterly concluded that devant l'histoire et devant le peuple frangais.The prose poem narrator 227 143). This figure. that under the democratic conditions of the Second Republic — even after the direct.' called upon Napoleon c to destroy their speaking and writing segment... of course. What Marx shows is that the reign of Napoleon III and the "era of high capitalism" he inaugurated spelled the eclipse of bourgeois social authority. not Baudelaire's father or stepfather.

compare au financier qui n'immole les populations qu'a son interet propre. victimes qui veulent mourir." Baudelaire's condemnation is definitive: [L]e pretre qui offre au cruel extorqueur d'hosties humaines des victimes qui meurent honorablement.. seems to me altogether lenient and humane compared to the financier who immolates entire populations for his private self-interest alone ... .. such is the dynamic allegorized in " Laquelle est la vraie?"." he says in explaining his refusal to vote in legislative elections just three months after the event. Indeed. Baudelaire had recoiled in disgust from Second Empire politics: "[the coup d'etat of] December 2 [1851]. is hardly fit for poets.. In "Notes nouvelles sur Edgar Poe. it is the specter of commerce that appears more often in the poetry itself. Such a milieu . The splitting-off of a super-ego that is too primitive enables Baudelaire to fuse his self-image with the martyred ideal image of Poe . even while Napoleon III represents the figure-of-the-despot of the socio-symbolic order of Second-Empire France. Not that the notebooks and essays do not themselves resound with vehement denunciations of commercial culture. me parait un etre tout a fait doux et humain.." 7 This utter contempt for the socio-symbolic order of the Second Empire in effect invalidates the tyrannical super-ego figure of Napoleon III. victims who want to die. But long before his censorship trial in 1857. too authoritarian for the socialdemocratic ideals Baudelaire once cherished and now must admit are defunct..which only further invalidates the socio-symbolic order of this "era of high capitalism.. and is duly targeted as such in letters and notebook entries." inasmuch as Poe (and hence by mirror-implication Baudelaire himself) was sacrificed to a commercial society increasingly dominated by the market.8 [T]he priest who offers the cruel extortioner victims who die honorably. n'est guere fait pour les poetes. Un pareil milieu . "had the effect of physically depoliticizing m e " . he later castigates Napoleon's seizure of power as a "disgrace.228 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis lash of imperial censorship in the condemnation of several poems in the original Fleurs du Mai which led to the publication of the second edition (in 1861).

The mode of denunciation of commercial culture in the prose poetry is. a kept woman. of course. les uns et les autres egalement joyeux. et la plus basse et la plus vile)". les autres gagnaient. In " Le Vieux Saltimbanque." the dynamic of "projective identification" linking the narrator with the old carnival clown in effect places the poet at the mercy of market forces.. poussiere. In sharp contrast to the immobile squalor of the poor old clown. cris. what returns in the real at the moment when defensive splitting and denial fail is neither the father nor a despot. but the realities of the market: in "La Corde. The contrast between wealth and poverty appears in many of the prose poems (including "Le Joujou du pauvre" [19] and "Les Yeux des pauvres" [26]). in " La Chambre double.9 There can be little doubt that. tumulte: les uns depensaient. far more complex.. Ici la misere absolue . for Baudelaire. partout la certitude du pain pour le lendemain. profligacy. the narrator's identification with the clown situates the poet squarely in a market . partout P explosion de la vitalite.The prose poem narrator 229 One brief entry in the journals castigates commerce as "the lowest and vilest form of egoism (une des formes de l'egolsme.. with the primitive super-ego effectively out of play. the carnival around him teems with "pleasure.." it is the demands of a creditor. In one mode that we have already examined. a longer one on the "end of the world" pictures a horrendous society in which "anything that is not motivated by monetary gain will be considered totally ridiculous (tout ce qui ne sera pas l'ardeur vers Plutus sera repute un immense ridicule) " . market society was just as devoid of social authority as the tyrannical reign of Napoleon III that so whole-heartedly endorsed and promoted it. joie. profit. Here. or an editor which disrupt and dispel the narrator's reveries." it is the profit motive which shockingly appears in place of maternal love.only to suggest some lines later that precisely that situation may already have arrived without our having realized it." and especially the euphoria of money being spent and money being made: Tout n'etait que lumiere.

rumors had circulated that the conspirators were to be pardoned. crucially shifts responsibility for the demise of the performing artist from the authority figure to an anonymous public. EGO DISINTEGRATION The second explanation of borderline narcissism involves the disintegration not of the super-ego. but of the ego itself. But it is crucial to the intrigue of "Une mort herolque" that the prince does not himself execute nor murder Fancioulle: the actor dies when a cat-call from somewhere in the audience (instigated. by the prince) interrupts his command performance. or was testing the degree of resolve and idealism in an actor playing what might be his last role. Even when granted (perhaps only temporary) immunity from direct condemnation by the authorities. In any case." where it appears that the idealist actor confronts a super-ego figure in the character of the prince who has condemned the conspirators to death for treason." published (in 1863) shortly after Napoleon's first liberalization measures were instituted (in i860). which induces extreme frustration in ." This identification with the carnival clown resembles the narrator's empathy with Fancioulle in "Une mort herolque. the impecunious poet in commercial culture is nevertheless always mortally susceptible to the hazards of the market and " the public's ingratitude. where he is "degraded (degrade) by misery and the public's ingratitude.230 Baudelaire and schizo analysis context. Objectrelations psychoanalysis attributes the weak ego-structure and primitive splitting of the borderline psyche to ambivalent and inconsistent mothering. Though the prince's motives for requesting Fancioulle's performance remain unknown." The complex dynamics of "Une mort herolque" thus suggest that the borderline narcissism of the prose poem narrator combines the vehement repudiation of Napoleon III with an equally vehement condemnation of a degraded and degrading commercial culture. the narrator thus wonders whether the prince clearly foresaw the mortal effect of the cat-call. the logic of "Une mort herolque. it is true.

When the mother's attitude toward the child alternates between extremes of effusive overindulgence and callous indifference. Of Baudelaire's political frustrations we have already said a great deal. and these actual. resulting in the weak and unstable ego-structure of the borderline psyche. particularly after the death of her aging first husband. The July Revolution of . then. embodied in the original Paris Commune and the short-lived First Republic. characterizes failure of what Melanie Klein calls the "depressive" stage: under the sway of raw instinct (Eros and Thanatos). is followed by the Napoleonic Empire and then the reactionary Bourbon Restoration.and self-representations from one another. extreme frustration in childhood prevents erotic and destructive impulses from merging. by contrast. one could surmise that the ensuing remarriage to the dashing and (comparatively) young Aupick may have been frustrating for the young Charles. Early modern French history presents a number of cycles of great expectation and severe disappointment: the unexpected promise of democracy after the Revolution of 1789. when a unified image of the mother as whole object fails to develop. as it were. In Baudelaire's case. the child's hated ("bad") and loved ("good") part-object representations of her remain unsynthesized and split apart from one another. In the psychoanalytic view. According to the logic of the mirror stage. the argument has been made that his mother may have pampered him. instead of occupying a middle-ground position enabling the child to synthesize feelings of love and hatred toward her into a whole object.The prose poem narrator 231 the child. Such splitting. the child fails to synthesize loved and hated representations into a whole mother image. as we have seen. the successful military officer was himself often obliged to leave his new wife alone with her son for considerable periods of time while on assignment. of the real frustrations befalling Baudelaire throughout his adult life. which permanently splits good and bad object. in fact. But little evidence exists to support this. Massive evidence exists. then the child's self-image (the basis for subsequent ego-identifications) also fails. social factors must be taken into account. to acknowledge the bad with the good.

primitive splitting prevails over egosyntonic anxiety-defense. As a producer of culture. Equally intense frustrations arise from modern commercial culture. the poet is on the barricades during the June Days' massacre. Anti-authoritarian direct democracy and autonomous workers' cooperatives are placed on the agenda: in the notebooks. Baudelaire specifically mentions the 15th of May (1848). answers with the infamous cry: "Enrichissez-vous!" The Revolution of 1848 again raises hopes and expectations. and he takes up arms again on the 2nd of December 1851 as part of sporadic resistance to Louis-Napoleon. As for so many other writers and artists at the time. to a position of real social power in mid-century France. The frustration is great enough to shake Baudelaire's psychic structure to its foundations : at this point. Louis-Philippe's minister. But the coup cTetat disillusions him to the core. but then electoral requirements restrict voting and officeholding to the well-to-do. Second-Empire France will henceforth appear to Baudelaire totally devoid of social value and moral authority.10 Instead of lowering eligibility levels in response to demands for wider democratic participation. the poet must .232 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis 1830 installs a constitutional monarchy and revives hope among romantic socialists and republicans for a return to democracy. that has such profound and lasting effects on the Baudelairean psyche and the texts Baudelaire produced. with the transformation of masochism into borderline narcissism. but the return of this despot. of which two aspects are particularly important. including Baudelaire's own. But the political potential contrasted with the actual disasters of 1848-51 is by no means the only real source of social frustration for Baudelaire. thoroughly devoid of moral authority. Guizot. It is not his mother's (re-) marriage to General Aupick. splitting off the primitive authority figure of Napoleon III and repudiating him as figure-of-thedespot in the post-revolutionary socio-symbolic order. and he is obliged to take strong measures to stifle his rage and the broken ideals that fuel it. the last (and unsuccessful) attempt by socialist revolutionaries (led by Blanqui) to regain control of the Republic from an increasingly conservative legislature.

comparatively indirect obligation: the poet of modernity comes to depend instead on the anonymous public of the marketplace. for example. the poet is staring out of the window contemplating the passing clouds. conspicuous consumption in modernity is supposedly the right of everyone. and in the figure of Poe strongly identifies with. who is asking when the "damned cloud-merchant" is going to eat his soup. in "Une mort herolque. modernity has for the most part done away with the patronage-systems of the ancien regime and middle ages: the writer no longer owes fealty to religious. Such frustration afflicted Baudelaire with exceptional severity: after two years of luxury and leisure afforded by his inheritance. whose beauty he mentally compares to the eyes of his beloved. of course. the imposition of the conseil judiciaire throws him into dire poverty ." later in department stores) whose effects we saw in "Les Projets. in the prose poem "La Soupe et les nuages" (44): at a dinner prepared by his mistress. or monarchic patrons." No longer restricted to an aristocratic elite. with the characteristic shock of banal reality puncturing the poetic ideal." By the mid-nineteenth century in France. Such frustration appears. The poet's frustrations as producer of fine poetry for a degraded commercial culture are compounded by the frustrations of the consumer in the marketplace. The poet is frustrated by his audience's philistine lack of sensitivity and indifference to beauty. Baudelaire's generation witnesses the development of newspaper and poster advertising and of store-window displays (first in the "arcades. exercised only by those who can afford it and conspicuously denied to the innumerable poor. Despite the marked growth of the literate public during this period — which fuels the explosion of daily newspapers and expands the marketability of prosefiction— Baudelaire feels keenly himself. But this "freedom" from direct obligation entails another. although it is in fact. aristocratic. Along with the growth of the mass-circulation press. Suddenly. the frustrations of the talented poet facing a materialistic and uncomprehending public. a violent slap on the back: his revery is interrupted by the voice of his mistress.The prose poem narrator 233 face the hazards of the market — those allegorized.

in Hegel's terms. The major source of anxiety for Baudelaire is thus the problem of money. the French Revolution at the end of the eighteenth century had placed on the cultural agenda. but it is nonetheless emblematic of the situation of many young Frenchmen who swarm to Paris to complete their education and make a name and a life for themselves in the capital . inasmuch as the comparatively broad-based educational system Napoleon I instituted to foster such talent turns out many more educated young Frenchmen than nascent French capitalism and the narrowly based constitutional monarchy can offer positions that would match their abilities and — especially — their expectations.only to discover that their numbers greatly exceed the supply of career openings. But Baudelaire's is the special case that proves the rule: consumer frustration becomes widespread in this " era of high capitalism" in France. Extreme differences between wealth and poverty may be common to many social orders. the flowering of "free subjectivity" for all: the development of individual faculties and abilities for their own sake. the inexorable laws of the market stemming from the career choice of poet in a commercial culture rapidly abandoning patronage of church.. the . deprived of fine clothes. but can never allow anyone enough satisfaction .11 More generally. but in a democratic culture (unlike blatant caste systems) the unequal distribution of the pleasures of consumption becomes all the more frustrating inasmuch as everyone is supposed to be able to enjoy them. In this light. of time free of financial pressure to write. Baudelaire dies at forty-six with roughly half of his inheritance still untouched. Capitalism and advertising then push such frustration to the limit. The Napoleonic promise of "careers open to talent" soon goes sour and becomes yet another source of frustration during the mid-nineteenth century. nobles.. and king.234 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis for the rest of his life. finally of desperately needed medical care. The status of the lyric poet in an age of utilitarianism is perhaps an extreme case. by making true satisfaction ultimately impossible: consumer society promises everyone everything. of the leisure to enjoy life and cultivate his sensibilities. to stop consuming. without regard for class or station in life. but in fact cannot.

The frustrations occasioned in mid-nineteenth-century French youth by these particular historical circumstances and expectations only aggravate and highlight the widespread anxiety inherent in capitalism itself. with the number of French immigrants to Paris far exceeding the career opportunities available to them. and die. This space is inhabited by students. prostitutes. Separation from the means of life is one component of the process of "primitive accumulation. To their great frustration.The prose poem narrator 235 realities of post-revolutionary France proved profoundly disappointing. a certain not-quite institutionalized but nonetheless recognized social space emerges . the other component of primitive accumulation — a supply of liquid wealth seeking gainful investment in means of production — is not yet available in an economy still dominated by conservative elements of the landed aristocracy and the long-established monarchical or imperial bourgeoisie. petty thieves. the capitalist economy forcibly separates adults from the means of life (means of production and means of consumption) and subjects all material need to the defiles of the market. carnival performers. Unlike feudal society. The French christened it "Bohemia"." which in modern France sends thousands of young people from the provinces to the capital in search of gainful employment. there. fame and fortune. for example. a dazzling career." a steady job or career to come. It is not until the influx of Australian and Californian gold following 1849 and the founding of statesponsored investment banks by Napoleon III that an adequate supply of liquid capital will become available and the French economy experience its capitalist "take-off" during the Second Empire. But in the preceding decades.a kind of holding cell for the (more or less involuntarily) extended adolescence falling between the comforts of family life left behind and the (eventual) security of" real life. would-be writers and artists — by the innumerable under. beggars. Baudelaire would spend his entire life. . street musicians. which forcibly attaches serfs to the land they live from. scavengers.and unemployed of a nascent market economy.

Bohemia is "less a genuine departure from the ground of bourgeois experience than an accentuation of certain of its features. Far from comprising a coherent "ideology" or prise de position in opposition to bourgeois society. Bohemian attitudes are profoundly ambivalent. utilitarian society. The reasons for occupying Bohemia are various: they range from mere whim to bare necessity. In part because of the diversity of its residents. the direct casualties of market society.236 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis BOHEMIA AT THE HEART OF BOURGEOIS SOCIETY Bohemia must therefore be understood not simply in opposition to but as a product and reflection of bourgeois society. Yet for others. refusing to sacrifice personal integrity to the demeaning constraints of the job market.or market-defined function in the new political economy. internal exile in Bohemia was strictly involuntary and often fatal: these were the chronically underemployed and impoverished. Still others took up residence in Bohemia as an act of defiance against the moral bankruptcy of a crass. Bohemia is a refuge from the distracting frivolity and opulence of Paris. and in fact reflect conflicts inherent in bourgeois life itself. a place to concentrate on making an earnest living free from temptation. For some.12 Its denizens have left the families in which they grew up. Bohemian attitudes cannot be construed simply as wholesale opposition to bourgeois values. a Bohemian life of free-wheeling self-indulgence represents a protest against the petty strictures and scrimpy materialism of bourgeois life. typically those from upperbourgeois families who are only temporarily slumming in Bohemia.they have not adopted some state. For some. typically those from a petty-bourgeois milieu (and who thus cannot afford a life of self-indulgence). the sojourn in Bohemia was strictly voluntary: temporary Bohemians were merely passing through to sow wild oats on the way to successful careers in business or government. and include most imaginable compromises and compensations in between. but have not found or have refused a proper position in the sociosymbolic order of market society . As Jerrold Seigel puts it. At the opposite extreme. the tension between work .

The prose poem narrator 237 and indulgence. Yet much Bohemian decoding aimed at more central bourgeois values than mere propriety. love resembled "torture or a surgical operation. which was an unmitigated evil: for him. the painter Pelletier walked his pet jackal. romantic love had come to serve instead as mere compensation in the bourgeois domestic sphere for the unbridled competition increasingly predominant in the capitalist marketplace. femmes . Bohemia mirrors and illuminates the quandaries of bourgeois existence taken to extremes. for some." 13 One alternative to love and marriage familiar to Baudelaire was prostitution. then. secret societies allegedly ate wild boar or assiduously practiced whole repertoires of obscene songs: whatever behavior might disturb the bourgeois peace Bohemians would gladly try.Bohemia became a privileged locus of decoding directed at various aspects of the prevailing socio-symbolic order. testing its limits and experimenting with what it proscribed. Gautier stunned the audience at the premiere of Hernani with his red waistcoat. In word and deed. [is just as much a] part of bourgeois life" as of Bohemia (p. from hopeless dejection to haughty disdain . travail and jouissance. Such decoding appears in the typically Bohemian gestures that flout social convention with outrageous pranks and styles of dress. Baudelaire's attitudes were typical of Bohemia. In this regard. the aim of Bohemianism was simply to epater le bourgeois. In its very incoherence. Bohemia actively challenged the norms of bourgeois culture. Nerval would take long strolls with a pet lobster on a leash. One target was romantic notions of emotional purity and love: rather than serving as a general antidote to combat the corrosive egotism of market society. which was commonplace in Bohemia not simply because grisettes." he considered bourgeois marriage to be a "disinfectant" invented in the last resort by the Church to diminish the dangers of real love. if rather extreme: rather than a "haven in a heartless world. Even if for a wide variety of very different reasons — ranging from bitter resentment to playful insouciance. 123)." and its " sole and greatest pleasure [lay] in the certainty of doing wrong (la volupte unique et supreme de l'amour git dans la certitude de faire le ma/).

" he writes on another occasion. Ce sont des personnes sans personnalite.15 . for what are called the professions.238 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis entretenues. c'est-a-dire pour la domesticite publique. un directeur de theatre ou de journal. tuer et creer. and to create. that is to say for public service. One among many. un ministre. faits pour l'ecurie c'est-a-dire pour exercer ce qu'on appelle des A given functionary. or at least work of the kind typically required (though offered in insufficient supply) by the new bourgeois regime. reflects on "what is so vile about any job whatsoever (ce qu'il y a de vil dans une fonction quelconque)" and baldly declares at one point that "being someone useful has always seemed quite hideous to me (etre un homme utile m'a paru toujours quelque chose de bien hideux). but will never be divine. minister. to kill. but also because Bohemia held such a dim view of bourgeois marriage and the bourgeois household. 14 The problem with modern work is that the accelerating division of labor generates meaningless jobs for narrow specialists: fulfilling a function in the new socio-symbolic order means denying one's personality and originality. professions. peuvent etre quelquefois des etres estimables. the warrior. Les autres hommes sont taillables et corveables. A second target of Bohemian decoding is work. n'est-ce pas le sel qui conserve les ames momies?)". "the salt that preserves mummified souls? (Le travail. II n'existe que trois etres respectables: le pretre. and insoumises comprised a considerable proportion of the Bohemian population (and indeed the majority of the female population). or newspaper publisher might sometimes be a respectable person. Baudelaire writes: Un fonctionnaire quelconque. nes pour la fonction. le poete." "Isn't work. the poet. To know. are fit for the stables . beings without originality. They are people without personality. mais ils ne sont jamais divins. des etres sans originalite. theater producer.that is. le guerrier. 23). Baudelaire decries the reign of "the god of Utility" ("J'aime le souvenir des epoques nues" [v] 1. born for duty. in effect sacrificing the "free subjectivity" supposedly promised to everyone as a result of the Revolution of 1789. so easily tamed and indentured. There are only three truly estimable beings: the priest. All other men. Savoir.

. To be rich and like working. grandi. it is because he likes to. or of the job market at least: he is emphatically not a specialist. not his real status.. en partie. Of course. in terms of sensitivity. a la meditation.The prose poem narrator 239 In direct contrast to the specialist functionary. He is a man of leisure and universal education.... know-nothing grinds. when he does work. les avanies resultant des dettes. A Dandy does nothing. car le loisir.. the dandy scrupulously masters the rules of conspicuous consumption in commercial democratic culture . et a la faculte du dandysme.. Here .17 It is in part through leisure time that I have developed.. What is a Dandy? . A mon grand detriment. the dandy represents Baudelaire's ideal aspirations. pour la plupart. des vils piochers tres-ignorants.. Les autres hommes de lettres sont.. not because he must. Qu'est-ce que le Dandy?. Baudelaire invokes the figure of the dandy: Qu'est-ce que l'homme superieur? Ce n'est pas le specialiste.and plays to win. The dandy of letters' leisurely cultivation of intellect confers invidious distinction in the domain of high culture just as the dandy of fashion's cultivation of personal appearance and meticulous attention to style make him stand out as superior to the crowd. Eternal superiority of the Dandy. Having casually escaped the law of productivity entirely. but a man of wealth and leisure: he does nothing. sans fortune. To my great detriment.16 What is a superior man? It is not the specialist. reflection. for the most part.. and the capacity for dandyism . Mais a mon grand profit. C'est 1'homme de loisir et d'education generate. augmente les dettes. insofar as leisure time without a fortune increases one's debts and the humiliations arising from debts. Eternelle superiority du Dandy. relativement a la sensibilite. But also to my great advantage. The ideal dandy defies the law of the market. Etre riche et aimer le travail... Other men of letters are lowly.. he is therefore all the more acutely aware that only freedom from constant market pressures to produce in order to make a living would allow full development of the dandy's exquisite sensibilities: C'est par le loisir que j'ai.

Having experienced "the daily shocks and conflicts of civilization" (which Baudelaire considers far greater than "the dangers of the forest and the plains").and their leader and spokesman. too. Baudelaire declares that he "prefer[s] the poet who remains in constant communication with the people of his time. Some of the implications of Baudelaire's aspirations to the status of dandy emerge from comparing his relation to the crowd with that of his arch-romantic predecessor. as it were . as a citizen among citizens . Not just a figure appearing in times of transition. Victor Hugo. enables Baudelaire to reverse and then efface his former enthusiasm: "As for me. In his preface to Lucrezia Borgia. of course. an idealized figure of triumph over market society: someone who is able to buy the best on the retail market without ever having to stoop to selling himself on the job market. in his period of revolutionary enthusiasm around 1848. one should realize that the theater is a tribune. I have never been dupe!" 20 The ideal of the dandy therefore includes the idea of " a vengeful callousness" ("l'idee d'une insensibilite vengeresse") :21 the peculiar turn of phrase reveals that the shocking imperturbability of the dandy is erected precisely as revenge for having been himself shocked and dismayed in an earlier incarnation. the dramatist sings the praises of the Parisian crowd: When one sees this enlightened populace which has turned Paris into the key city of progress and which fills the theater every night. thought the poet should be a man of the crowd just as much as Hugo did: in the essay on Pierre Dupont. As Benjamin has remarked.240 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis too. Baudelaire was actually so poor that it became increasingly difficult and eventually simply impossible for him to dress as fastidiously as true dandyism would have required. the dandy enters the crowd already on the defensive. the modernist poet thrives in the crowd without being part of it in the way Hugo saw himself. the theater is a pulpit." 19 But the figure of Poe. exchanging thoughts and feelings with them.ready to parry the . as we have seen. I am not a dupe.18 What Benjamin does not mention is that Baudelaire. the Baudelairean dandy is in effect a creature of nascent capitalism.

Such a stance represents one axis of Baudelaire's relation to the modern crowd. 55-58). yet he also knows he is absolutely dependent on it: it represents his public..The prose poem narrator 241 shocks or. the crowd of clients — the masses of his readers and his voters" (p. A Dandy does nothing. who can buy without selling. to whom (as Benjamin puts it) "the crowd meant. But Baudelaire's real relation to the crowd is more complicated than this. prostitution: "What is art? Prostitution. Of the rights of man. even better (inasmuch as the best defense is a good offense). / Can you picture a Dandy addressing the people.. / What is so vile about any job whatsoever. Baudelaire in actuality occupies very nearly the opposite position: producing poetry for a commercial culture. the most perfect animal of prey ? " 22 The dandy as former dupe becomes the perfect animal of prey: we are here very far from the romanticism of Hugo. / Ce qu'il y a de vil dans une fonction quelconque. that is to say. This is one reason that he identifies himself and his art with . he must sell himself in order to buy. In a single journal entry.. to appear shocking himself: "Whether man befriends his dupe on the street. excepte pour le bafouer?) " 23 Unlike the demagogue." 25 . / Vous figurez-vous un Dandy parlant au peuple. his feelings ambivalent. Baudelaire writes: "What I think of voting and the right to elections.24 As Benjamin puts it. or stabs his prey in some unknown forest. As much as he may aspire to the ideal market status of the dandy. Des droits de l'homme. except to scoff at them? (Ce que je pense du vote et du droit d'elections. isn't he eternal man. / Un Dandy ne fait rien. 66). the dandy enters the crowd armed with a nearly invincible sense of superiority and ready to do battle with a glance at a moment's notice. The modernist poet's sense of disdain for the crowd is accompanied by considerable resentment: he may feel absolutely superior to it. Baudelaire faces the crowd in the position of the commodity seeking customers (pp..

destabilizing even the hierarchies of law and order.. prostitution serves as the general model for all social relations in bourgeois society. At the end of Splendeurs. but the law of the market. mechanism of perpetual exploitation. As Charles Bernheimer concludes. female sexuality in submission to paternal Law" (p. the epitome of market corruption becomes a mainstay of the modern state: Vautrin the arch-criminal master-capitalist becomes chief of the Parisian secret police. Given Balzac's political views. the triumph of the market is bemoaned as a debilitating attack on legitimate (viz.242 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis MODERNITY AS PROSTITUTION Like the crowd. By resituating the romantic reformed-prostitute story in the larger context of the Lucien-Vautrin narrative. guarantor of moral order (as in the romantic story-line).27 The logic of the Vautrin narrative nevertheless shows how the market has decoded the socio-symbolic order in early modern he does in Splendeurs et miseres des courtisanes.. the figure of the reformed prostitute is plotted to support a conservative patriarchal ideology.26 The romantics tell stories of the once degraded prostitute miraculously transformed by the power of her true love for a man morally and socially superior to her. "in the Romantic literary tradition..Balzac sets that sub-plot in a larger narrative context which changes its ideological valence dramatically. 52). " I .. The loving prostitute exemplifies the renunciation of. Already in Illusions perdues (of which Splendeurs is the sequel). Prostitution in Balzac is very different. Even when he resorts to the romantic reformed-prostitute story . for Vautrin turns out to represent not the law of the father. and no doubt beyond. Already in Balzac there appears a strikingly modern treatment of prostitution that contrasts sharply with the romantic view stretching from Rousseau through Hugo to Eugene Sue. Splendeurs demonstrates the subversion of patriarchal ideology by the power of money even more thoroughly than Le Pere Goriot. written in direct competition with Sue and Les Mysteres de Paris . the figure of prostitution has evolved significantly since the early romanticism of Hugo.. Legitimist) social authority and on stable signification in general..

the poet is touched by their avidity and feels somewhat ashamed of the plentiful luxury he has been enjoying . Baudelaire explores the internal tensions of market-bound existence in the heart of Bohemia. in the figures of the dandy and the prostitute. Scenes of confrontation between rich and poor abound in the prose poem collection (e. Balzac had exposed the mechanisms of the market at the heart of modern French society.The prose poem narrator 243 have no other ambition. liberal-democratic police state he so despised. None is more poignant than "Les Yeux des pauvres" (26): faced with the hungry stares of a poor family on the sidewalk outside while dining with his mistress in a swank new cafe. "than to be an instrument of order and repression.g. instead of being corruption itself (Je n'ai pas d'autre ambition que d'etre un element d'ordre et de repression. The situation of Bohemia in the midst of the opulent commercial culture of Paris brings to the fore sharp contrasts between wealth and poverty. This is a feature of market society Baudelaire came to understand very well: reflecting Vautrin's fate in light of his own experience after 1848." So side by side with aspirations to the status of dandy in Baudelaire exists the recognition of the status of the modern poet as prostitute." 28 In the decoding process of the market. In Vautrin. the law of hierarchy and the hierarchy of the law itself are thoroughly subverted. au lieu d'etre la corruption meme). for whereas Balzac closes his long narrative with a pessimistic forecast of Vautrin's fifteen years of dedicated service to the modern. largely undecided: " I t would perhaps be nice to alternate being victim and tormentor (II serait peut-etre doux d'etre alternativement victime et bourreau). dupe and animal of prey. and instead leaves the opposition between prostitute and mastermind. Baudelaire characteristically refuses the comforts of narrative resolution." 29 The very next line of the journal entry. the poet will write: " I can understand why one would desert one cause in order to know what it feels like to serve another (Je comprends qu'on deserte une cause pour savoir ce qu'on eprouve a en servir une autre)." Vautrin declares. however. "Le Joujou du pauvre" [19]). is even more indicative of full-fledged Baudelairean modernism.

Whereas in "Le Mauvais Vitrier" the narrator identifies with the cruel dandy figure.244 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis on his side of the window.30 he also claims the right of selfcontradiction (here playing the role of supremely self-conscious borderline personality to the hilt). which had indeed appeared the day before. buyer and seller. But when he turns back to his mistress. While Baudelaire on another occasion directly contrasts the cultivated artifice of the dandy with the abominable naturalness of woman. The dream Butor analyzes so thoroughly revolves around the fact that Baudelaire has finally succeeded in publishing his first book (on Poe). What Baudelaire elsewhere refers to as the "reflection of the joy of the rich in the eye of the poor (ce reflet de la joie du riche au fond de l'oeil du pauvre)" ("Les Veuves" [13]) is a familiar and telling experience in modern Paris. the poet is thus able to buy a prostitute rather than be .32 The prose poems are not the only texts that register the conflicts of rich and poor. conspicuous consumption and equally conspicuous destitution daily confront each other face to face. that in the urban milieu of a (juridically) caste-free democratic society composed of (legal) equals. expecting her to share his sympathy for the poor.31 It would thus be a mistake to allocate "good" and " b a d " qualities such as artifice and nature to the binary opposition of gender difference. and the poet's ambivalent identifications. In his dream trip to the brothel. and finds the attitude of the dandy voiced by the woman absolutely scandalous. This poem suggests for one thing. he is immediately disillusioned: she cannot stand the gawking faces and wants the owner to shoo them away from the window. But this poem also reveals that gender distinctions in Baudelaire have been thoroughly decoded: the dandy's callous indifference here belongs to the woman. the narrator here identifies instead with the poor. separated only by "chance" and a restaurant or retail display window. which like so many other oppositions has been effectively decoded: the dizzying loss of fixed identity in self-prostitution is for Baudelaire associated just as much with the experience of the poet himself as with the figure of woman — if not more. and elsewhere praises woman precisely for her mastery of guile and artifice.

the book on Poe was not the turning point in his writing career that Baudelaire may have hoped and did.. people become less and less aware of the conditions of their production . pp. who is more or less expert when he gives an order to an artisan. Its value to the manufacturer is [as] a fresh stimulus to consumption which in some cases is satisfied at the expense of other requirements of consumption the manufacturer would find more costly to meet.. which places consumers of mere exchange-value at the mercy of cost-conscious business interests. The consumer." Benjamin explains. taste arises from the decoding of true " artisanal" appreciation of the use-value of goods. dream it would be: he remained destitute and had great difficulty placing his writing in the Parisian press. For what the mass-produced commodity loses of real quality through decoding is more than compensated for by the invidious distinction and sense of self-worth conferred on buyers through recoding. his work has finally paid off. the importance of his taste increases . even if they do not go far enough. in fact. "Taste develops. a form of imaginary revenge enacted by a consummate consumer for the humiliation of having to sell himself as producer on the open market. he can now become a buyer instead of a seller.. From the perspective of his actual market self-prostitution. What this account overlooks is the importance of the emotional investment that buying even pure exchange-values represents for the Baudelairean dandy and the modern consumer. the poet's aspirations to the status of dandy are thus largely compensatory... In actuality. 104-05) For Benjamin. In the same measure as the expertness of a customer declines. As a consequence of the manufacture of products as commodities for the market..both for him and for the manufacturer. that is to say through the selection of a . (Charles Baudelaire. with the definite preponderance of commodity production over any other kind of production. For the consumer it has the value of a more or less elaborate masking of his lack of expertness.The prose poem narrator 245 one himself: having successfully sold a manuscript. is not usually knowledgeable when he appears as a buyer [of commodities on the open market] . Benjamin's remarks on the role of consumer taste in a market setting are suggestive in this connection.

comme une belle conscience. It is no doubt this aesthetics of compensation that Baudelaire has in mind when he describes the ideal destination of the prose "Invitation au voyage" (18) as a place where tout est riche. comme une bijouterie bariolee! Les tresors du monde y affluent. some of the poetry of Baudelaire himself was put to music shortly after his death and sung to well-heeled lawyers and accountants who flocked in their leisure time to Montmartre seeking relief from the dreary boredom of their self-effacing jobs in the thrills and pleasures of Bohemian nightlife. to establish a sense of identity and self-worth. propre et luisant. The aesthetics of the bourgeois interior during the Second Empire confirms the importance of the domestic sphere as a locus of compensatory recoding in market society. The fate of the producer-prostitute is to sell. to sacrifice the self on the specialized job market in the pursuit of mere exchange-value. in accordance with and indeed as the actual realization of their "personal" taste.246 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis certain constellation of commodities rather than innumerable others for purchase on the open market. . presented simply as the well-deserved reward of the working man. The mythical land of plenty is here compared to the splendors of domestic consumption and tranquility. But compensatory personal recoding through consumption is not limited to the household itself: avant-garde cafes and nightclubs did a lucrative business during the Second Empire and early Third Republic. comme dans la maison d'un homme laborieux qui a bien merite du monde entier. The dandy and prostitute in Baudelaire's works thus appear in this broader context as larger-than-life figures for modern consumers and producers and their conflicted relations to the market. Indeed. catering to stolid bourgeois more than to the impecunious Bohemians that staffed them. comme une splendide orfevrerie. the vain hope of the consumer-dandy is to be able to buy enough to avenge and compensate for that sacrifice.33 The bourgeois household is stuffed to overflowing with every knickknack and gewgaw imaginable. comme une magnifique batterie de cuisine.

The primitive splitting that results from failure of the mirror stage to integrate disparate drive-derivatives is thus not Oedipally resolved but further compounded upon entry into a market-based socio-symbolic order riven by the tensions of productivism and consumerism and so unable to provide integral "positions" for its members. separated by the gulf of the market which becomes increasingly difficult to bridge. without any intrinsic relations between them. and domestic consumption becomes the compensation and reward in one realm for the oppressive " productivism" of the other. market society breeds individuals whose primitive and mostly unsublimated ideal egos fuse an-Oedipally with the ego ideals provided by advertising. and imposes administered commodity-based identity-formation in consumerism. as the continuing self-expansion of capital aggravates the division and specialization of labor in production. as consumerism reinforces oral relationships to a pre-Oedipal "mother figure": the retail market as provider of goods but also source of endless frustration. the modernist poet of Bohemia dramatizes a value-conflict between " b a d " production and "good" consumption that is central to life in market society. haven in a heartless world. becomes increasingly distinct from the jungle of capitalist competition. the disparities between public and private life are exacerbated :34 the good realm of domesticity.The prose poem narrator 247 In this way. Devoid of the overarching authority of a social "father figure" as the "constant revolution of the means of production" tends in Marx's phrase to "strip the halo" from all previous forms of social intercourse. The splitting of good and bad self-images which object-relations psychoanalysis projects onto family relations (in the form of inconsistent mothering) is in fact a basic feature of the capitalist economy. Consumers bent on redeeming their nine-to-five of toil or drudgery take "Living well is the best revenge" as their slogan. Positive though commodified leisure time and exploited work time exist side by side. With these underpinnings in tensions generated by the market. Production and consumption are torn asunder by the body of capital and get conjoined only across ever greater distances by the mechanisms of the market. Such are the social .

et que j'ai peut-etre pousse trop loin la mauvaise humeur contre de pauvres philistins. it is important for our purposes to recall that for most of his adult life. Recriminer. Baudelaire did not fuse his ex-masochist ideal ego with just any ego ideal provided by modern commercial culture. which he now observes with haughty disdain. fostered not by family conditions alone. but by the basic structure and dynamic of market society under capitalism. in the " aristocracy of taste" of writers like Poe. Baudelaire himself was hard pressed to buy much of anything on the retail market. faire de l'opposition. and Leconte de Lisle who serve as models for the stance of the prose poem narrator. THE PROSE POEM NARRATOR AS BORDERLINE NARCISSIST As central to life under capitalism as the psychodynamics of selfprostitution and conspicuous consumption are.248 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis determinations of the borderline personality. et meme reclamer la justice. "too far above the intellectual Edgar Allan Poe. since he did not command a very high price on the market for poetry and criticism. In the essay on Theophile Gautier. and enjoys the solitude that true superiority both requires and confers. Although the splitting-off of a primitive super-ego and the borderline disintegration of the ego are crucial for understanding his works. J'avouerai franchement que je ne suis pas de ceux qui voient la un mal bien regrettable. The dandy of letters has withdrawn completely from the arena of social conflict.35 Under the aegis of Poe as ego ideal. but specifically with the figure of a writer whose " bitter fate " was to have been himself martyred to such a culture because his writing was. Baudelaire's clearly failed social dandyism is reinscribed in writing itself. Baudelaire writes: level of the average reader for him to be paid well {dans un style trop audessus du niveau intellectuel commun pour qu'on put le payer cher)": L'aristocratie nous isole. as Baudelaire insists (his emphasis). Gautier. n'est-ce pas s'emphilistiner quelque peu? .

It is an openness to decoded experience . avec tout le respect et 1'enthousiasme qu'elle merite.36 Being aristocratic isolates us. The elect accept their inevitable suffering at the hands of the philistine public as a perverse form of justice: the conditions of modernity are such that modernism must elaborate itself in irremediable opposition to it." he concludes. "consists in remaining singular. hallucinogenic . au contraire.pursued by means of exotic sex. (La gloire. cette aristocratie qui fait solitude autour d'elle. Doesn't recriminating. and that I may have taken my ill will against unfortunate philistines too far. our aristocracy for surrounding itself with solitude. even demanding justice entail becoming a bit of & philistine oneself? It is easy to forget that insulting a crowd means lowering oneself to their level. [who] wants to remain singular (Phomme de genie veut etre uri). But neither can the narrator be identified with the figure of the prostitute. into a pure and supreme indifference. Places tres-haut. Saluons done. with all the respect and enthusiasm it deserves. c'est rester un. and yet transfigure that opposition. From our lofty position. any fate appears just. the dandy is instead contaminated by it. making appeals." Baudelaire distinguishes the "man of genius." "Glory. and the prose narrator thus withdraws his investment. at the other extreme of market existence: in discussing the "invincible taste for prostitution (gout invincible de la prostitution) " in the common man who "seeks oblivion for his self in the flesh of another (le besoin d'oublier son moi dans la chair exterieure) " and therefore "wants to be double (veut etre deux). et se prostituer d'une maniere particuliere. In engaging in social struggle by seeking always to demonstrate his superiority to the philistine crowd. and prostituting oneself in a certain way. in which the poet sells himself on the open market. in order to salvage self-respect. c'est s'encanailler soi-meme. Therefore let us rather praise. toute fatalite nous apparait comme justice. I frankly admit that I am not one of those who consider that a truly deplorable evil.The prose poem narrator 249 On oublie a chaque instant qu'injurier une foule.) " 37 The special kind of prostitution peculiar to the man of genius is related to but not identical with the selfprostitution we have already examined.

in a context where capitalist "rationalization" and prosaic bourgeois culture have not only sterilized lived existence for lyric poetry (as Benjamin argues). the artist is. but only in figures of alienated partial selves now observed from a safe distance. It is precisely in subjecting himself irrevocably to the shocks of decoded experience that Baudelaire hones his poetic sensibilities and develops a virulent modernism so well suited to compensate in his writing for the meaningless banality of bourgeois existence.. with the figure of Poe as ego .. deviennent bientot trop intenses. ces pensees. ou je pense par elles [car dans la grandeur de la reverie. L'energie dans la volupte cree un malaise et une souffrance positive. the self is soon lost!) (toutes ces choses pensent par moi. the personal cost too high even for Baudelaire. The pursuit of decoded experience in which. in effect "'sacrificing' himself-or more exactly.. By prostituting himself in this special way. "all things think through me or I think by them (. in the grandeur of such revery. But ultimately. The decoding characteristic of the embattled borderline idealego survives the transition from verse to prose. as he says in "Le confiteor de l'artiste" (3). as we have seen. The registration and transmission of decoding is. Mes nerfs tendus ne donnent plus que des vibrations criardes et douleureuses . as Bersani suggests. sacrificing a certain wholeness or integrity for the sake of those pleasurable shocks which accompany the release of desiring energies by scenes from external life" (p. from the partobject intensification of beauty and spleen through the "Tableaux Parisiens " to the endless voyage (" Le Voyage ") added as the concluding poem to the second edition of the collection. L'etude du beau est un duel ou l'artiste crie de frayeur avant d'etre vaincu.250 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis drugs.. le moi se perd vite!]) " has in effect dissolved the self too much: Toutefois. but also deprived most people's experience of any real interest or excitement whatsoever. the sacrifice proves too much. 11). or what have you — as a way of procuring marketable poetic experience in the first place. recoding has supervened. the crux of much of Baudelaire's best verse poetry. the disillusionment too bitter. qu'elles viennent de moi ou s'elancent des choses. self-conscious evil.

M ' : money is invested in the production of commodities only so that they may be sold at a profit (M J ). In this context. In addition to the inferior quality of mass-produced goods (against which Baudelaire had railed a century before in "L'Ideal" (xvm).The prose poem narrator 251 ideal sanctioning both the martyrdom of the ideal ego and the ironic stance of the narcissistic prose narrator. 105). capitalism's perennial crises of overproduction make the programmer's continual recoding of taste to stimulate commodity consumption absolutely central to the on-going process of capital accumulation and expansion. the function of the ." music is manufactured as a commodity for the market. Attali identifies a stage at which technical developments in the means of reproduction enable sound recordings to be mass-produced. In recoil from both the miserable prostitute and the unsuccessful dandy." 39 In his social and economic history of music. requiring the creation and management of personal taste to give some sense of distinction to otherwise indistinguishable. for he only "realizes" profit when he converts them back into liquid capital (cash) by selling them on the retail market. Commodities themselves are always of secondary importance to the capitalist. Baudelairean modernism continues to develop. the modernist poet in Baudelaire comes to occupy the position Jacques Attali calls the "programmer. the poem immediately following "La Beaute" in the verse collection). capital's market transaction is M . with the prose narrator perpetually moving away from its former split positions and partial selves. as it is for workers/consumers who sell their laborpower as a commodity in exchange for a money-wage in order to buy back as means of life the commodities they have produced. The market transaction epitomizing capital is not C—M—C. mass-produced goods as a "stimulus to consumption" (in Benjamin's phrase. p.38 THE PROSE POEM NARRATOR AS PROGRAMMER In withdrawing investment from the market antinomies of buying and selling figured in the dandy and prostitute.C . In this regime of "repetition.

that it ends up in crumbs on the ground: ils s'arreterent par impossibility de continuer [puisque] il n'y avait plus. as we saw. This is precisely the lesson of "Le Gateau": two almost-twin brothers fight so long and hard over a piece of bread charitably offered by the narrator. according to Attali. The problem is. having promised to repeat the beating and the lesson about equality he has just received on any beggars he may encounter. of course.252 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis programmer is to endow commodities with semiotic surplusvalue in the eyes of consumers so as to promote their purchase on the retail market and thereby assure the realization of economic surplus-value in the coffers of capitalists. Beauty fascinates with pure-mirror eyes that " make all things more beautiful." Nowhere is Baudelaire's awareness of the complicity between programming and poetry clearer than in "Le Gateau" (15). that the money will run out long before the beatings do. et il etait eparpille en miettes semblables aux grains de sable auxquels il etait mele. of course. the largely neglected pendant to the oft-commented " Assommons les pauvres. the prime function of advertising. which represents market recoding in its most blatant form." But endowing worthless commodities with specious semiotic value to promote consumption is. Baudelaire recognized the importance of programming — and soon realized the extent to which the project of beautification in "Spleen and Ideal" operated according to the same dynamic: the figure of Beauty as "programmer" fixes the unintegrated drive-derivatives of the consumer's ideal ego on part-object commodities simply by affirming the former in the intensifying reflection of the latter. a vrai dire. . At the very emergence of modern market culture. the song-writer or pop star serves this function by endowing otherwise indistinguishable formula-music with the specious and temporary distinction of being a "hit. with the former beggar setting out with half the narrator's purse. and so on until mendicancy disappears and all men are equal. aucun sujet de bataille. who will in turn take an equal share of the purse and repeat the process with the beggars they encounter. as ego ideal.40 With the invention of means of recording music." The latter ends. le morceau de pain avait disparu.

This figure of speech involves substituting for bread a term that functions as its equivalent while at the same time exaggerating its value. inflating his experience of a countryside that appears spectacular only because it is unfamiliar (rare) to him as a tourist. But equally important are the poetics at play in the poem and the frame in which the anecdotal battle over the piece of bread is set.The prose poem narrator 253 The narrator ends up bemoaning the "perfectly fratricidal war" occasioned by rivalry between equals over a mere piece of bread." Yet the narrator cannot help laughing when he first hears this term applied to his plain bread by the creatures he encounters on a trip to the country." It is scarcity. with the nearly identical twin creatures figuring as mock-proletarians reduced to fighting between themselves for the meager offerings doled out by the charitable bourgeois narrator. on a visit to a region of " irresistible grandeur and nobility. Much could be said about this poem as an allegory of market capitalism. friandise si rare qu'elle sufHt pour engendrer une guerre parfaitement fratricide). the piece of bread in question is called " the cake. and he reflects ruefully at the end on what he has seen in a place where "bread is so scarce that it is called cake and is enough to cause a perfectly fratricidal war (oil le pain s'appelle gateau." indulges in numerous flights of hyperbole ("Mes pensees voltigeaient avec une legerete egale a celle de Patmosp h e r e . The narrator at the beginning of the poem. when fatigue and hunger bring the narrator back down to earth: he abandons the exalted language .and in direct reference to one of the issues raised by "Assommons les pauvres" . however. however.the narrator even muses that the daily papers might be right in claiming that man was innately good. . in a word. in a characteristically abrupt reversal. . it is comprised of metaphor plus hyperbole —precisely the rhetorical formula for surplus value}1 The use of the term "cake" as metaphor-plus-hyperbole in a situation of scarcity is not the only instance of inflationary discourse in the poem. Under the influence of the romantic scenery . " ) . that is to say. In the poem's title. that generates the inflationary figure of speech that substitutes "cake" for bread. These idealizing flights of fancy are cut short.

" Here the generation of semiotic surplus value in a situation of false or at least selective scarcity functions blatantly as a "stimulus to consumption" in the service of economic gain. were devouring the piece of bread (un petit etre deguenille. than another creature appears "so perfectly resembling the first as to be taken for its twin brother (si parfaitement semblable au premier qu'on aurait pu le prendre pour son frere jumeau). dont les yeux creux. ebouriffe.. whose sunken eyes . of course." and the fight is if mixing it with "regular" water instead would make any difference! Melted snow is clearly equivalent to water. the other a "usurper. It is at this point in the account." No sooner does he share his bread. the narrator succumbs again. In his moments of reflection.. in contrast with the idealizing poet. so does the narrator's diction: the first creature becomes a "legitimate owner (proprietaire legitime)". Having succumbed once to the metaphor-plus-hyperbole appeal of the snow-water elixir.. the creature responds with his own metaphor equating the bread with cake." Under conditions of scarcity and fratricidal rivalry. the narrator remains . that the first creature appears: " a tattered little thing. yet is presented by hyperbole as something superior: the local residents. dark and dishevelled. As the battle heats up. as the narrator is cutting his bread.until finally the narrator himself ends up calling it "le gateau." Immediately following the narrator's metaphor equating hungry eyes with the process of ingestion they envision. noir. to the appeal for "bread-become-cake. are thoroughly familiar with the countryside and all the more perfectly familiar with its impact on unsuspecting tourists. however. and reaches for his piece of bread and a flask containing " a special elixir sold to tourists by pharmacists in those days to be mixed when available with snow-water (un certain elixir que les pharmaciens vendaient dans ce temps-la aux touristes pour le meler dans l'occasion avec de l'eau-deneige)" . to whom they peddle their "special elixir. poetic inflation and the appeal of semiotic surplus-value seem universally irresistible.254 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis of simile and hyperbole." the plain piece of bread becomes "precious prey (la precieuse proie) " .. devoraient le morceau de pain).

" (p. 109). Will power and the ability to concentrate are not their strong points.that the poetics of idealizing romantic exaltation so closely resemble that of advertising hype and puffery .as in "to split the profits" {partager le gateau). What the narrator does not announce . who announces in conclusion that scarcity leads to poetic inflation and fratricidal war.remains outside the scope of his awareness. Yet it is in this light that the textual function of the poem's title is so telling: Baudelaire chose the title "Le Gateau" rather than "Le Pain" (or "La Fraternite"). and never appears at the communicative level of the poem at all. which is precisely what the creatures refuse to do. and so end up with nothing. the function of poetics in the process of endowing everyday. If the title and poetics of "Le Gateau" are an indication. or at least very difficult to discern. makes such a focus clear: Baudelaire has a specific audience of customers in view. the collection of lyric poetry was thus " a book which from the beginning had little prospect of becoming an immediate popular success" (p. as well. after all. and a specific marketing strategy to address them. or even imaginary things and experiences with marketable semiotic surplus-value...The prose poem narrator 255 perfectly well aware of the difference between bread and "cake. the allusion to hyperbole as sales gimmick. about the use of the term "cake" as a poetic instance or index of surplus-value: in colloquial French. the term in fact means "profit" . but about the use and abuse of metaphorical equivalence. The dedication of the Petits Poemes en prose. it is the narrator. the role of the nearly identical twins themselves. It was Benjamin who first imagined that already in Les Fleurs. but there the focus on marketing is absent. by contrast. Something similar might be said of the project of beautification in Les Fleurs du Mai. Baudelaire may have "envisaged readers to whom the reading of lyric poetry would present difficulties .. the prose poem collection explores (among other things) the role of poet as programmer. Considered along with the careful modulations from poetic to prosaic language and back again. unusual. that choice of title suggests that the poem is finally not about the piece of bread at all." and of the role that scarcity plays in motivating the substitution of one for the other. The .. 109).

car je ne suspends pas la volonte retive de celui-ci au fil interminable d'une intrigue superflue. vous le manuscrit. for I am not one to tax recalcitrant readers' will-power by stringing them along with a superfluous plot. my revery. Chop it into many pieces. "Creating a cliche. the manuscript. We can stop wherever we please: me. Enlevez une vertebre. and you will see that each one can exist on its own. his reading. moi ma reverie. c'est le genie. Remove a vertebra. le lecteur sa lecture. et vous verrez que chacun peut exister a part. drawn-out plots of the serialized novel . without beginning or end. I must create a cliche (Creer un poncif. The idea is to create a genre so easy of access that even the recalcitrant of will can appreciate it.a public therefore likely to appreciate the immediate gratifications of a random assortment of purposely short prose poems. Nous pouvons couper ou nous voulons. je vous prie. delineating the modern "structure of experience" (to recall Benjamin's phrase) under capitalism: the conflicted dynamics of self-prostitution in specialized production and self-cultivation . the reader. Baudelaire writes: Considerez. quelles admirables commodites cette combinaison nous offre a tous.42 Please consider the distinct advantages this plan offers everyone you. but also in its explicit appeal to a public of customers with as little patience for the intricacies of lyric poetry as staying-power for the long. the reader. now that's genius. you. The Petits Poemes en prose thus register the antinomies of market existence. mapping the contours of bourgeois subjectivity. as Baudelaire writes in his journal. and the two ends of this meandering fantasy will reconnect without difficulty. / Je dois creer un poncif).256 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis nature of the prose collection would change all that: made up of totally discrete items in no particular order. editor of La Presse). a vous et a moi et au lecteur. petits poemes en prose. me. Hachez-la en nombreux fragments." as we have already suggested." 43 The prose collection thus differs from the verse collection not just in its refusal to narrate "the spiritual history of modern youth. to the prospective publisher (Arsene Houssaye. this book would be an easy one for all concerned. et les deux morceaux de cette tortueuse fantaisie se rejoindront sans peine.

but preventing definitive identification with either one of them. in the prose poem genre Baudelaire writes to encapsulate poetically and valorize semiotically the crux of modern market existence itself. always keeping both figures in play. The historic trajectory through Second-Empire French culture and society.The prose poem narrator 257 in conspicuous consumption. The poetic trajectory launched in Les Fleurs du Mai thus continues in Les Petits Poemes en prose in the stance of a narrator perpetually moving away from identification with the partial figures of himself under observation. meanwhile. As the quintessential Bohemian. . projecting its extremes onto the figures of the dandy and the prostitute. which constitute the social and historical determinations of borderline narcissism. catapults Baudelaire beyond the buyer-seller dialectic into the role of programmer. Baudelaire lived this structure of conflict at its most intense. No longer sacrificing to develop poetic sensibilities nor hoping to gain distinction through public display. whose market function is to bestow value. both semiotic and economic. Yet the discovery of Poe as ego ideal enables Baudelaire to develop a medium of registration for these projections in which narrative perspective keeps them at a distance.

desire is not formed once and for all "inside" the nuclear family and then sent forth to negotiate the "outside" world as best it can: desire knows no "inside" or "outside". psychoanalysis completely excludes social determinations from consideration. deformed. it projects those determinations onto "family romance" and thereby obscures their historical origins and political implications. Taking the Freudian notion of "deferred action" elaborated by Lacan to its radical conclusion. it is not overly severe fathering but the authoritarian regime of Napoleon III that invalidates the super-ego. it is continually formed. At its worst. it invests the entire social formation (including. For schizoanalysis. local family structures).CHAPTER 8 Conclusion Schizoanalysis insists against the grain of orthodox psychoanalysis on the role of actual social factors in shaping psychic life. of course. Deleuze and Guattari assert that actual engagement with social life shapes the psyche by determining which early memory-traces are endowed " after the fact" with psychic effectivity and "meaning" for the adult. and reformed in and through contact with the social milieu.1 To insist that social determinations such as the take-off of French capitalism and the demise of the Second Republic are 258 . In the case of Baudelaire. not inconsistent mothering but the quandaries of the impoverished urban poet in nascent consumer society that induce psychic splitting and generate the key figures of prostitute and dandy appearing in the mature poetry. at best. not memories of an indulgent Frangois-Joseph Baudelaire but discovery of the martyrdom of Edgar Allan Poe that furnishes an ego-ideal role model for Baudelaire the writer.

More precisely. reflection. From this perspective. the schizoanalytic view of psychic determination enables us to conclude in retrospect that it is precisely Baudelaire's "personal" experience as a child and young man that makes his poetry a prime "registering apparatus" for effects of market decoding. that his specific family circumstances are completely irrelevant. or "fit" between text and context.whereas the squiggles that do appear there contribute more to precise knowledge about plate tectonics than the more dramatic effects do.. the concept of registration construes the relation between text and context as a function: the actively receptive operation of an instrument through which the effects of social processes are detectable and analyzable.Conclusion 259 the decisive factors shaping Baudelaire's psychic life does not mean. which presuppose metaphoric relations of fundamental similarity. Only when the . fires and tidal waves often resulting from earthquakes do not appear on the recording page at all .2 Unlike notions of expression. an instrument that translates processes operating over considerable distances and whose impact is complex and widespread into squiggles on a piece of paper—just as Baudelaire's writing does. homology. between a medium or apparatus of registration and historical developments.. Those squiggles are not "like" continental drift: they register its effects. they register certain of its effects: the death and destruction. On the contrary. The importance of the concept of " registering " for cultural and literary studies is that it entails a metonymic rather than a metaphoric relation between text and context. however. An apt illustration of the process of registration is provided by the seismograph. only someone who had lived a care-free life of leisure and luxury but was then subjected by his stepfather to financial tutelage and forced to eke out a meager existence peddling his work to profiteers and philistines could register as intensely as Baudelaire the antinomies of buying and selling in market society . and representation. only someone whose doting mother had remarried an ambitious military officer could register as intensely as Baudelaire the fall of the Second Republic to the authoritarian Napoleon I I I . harmony.

260 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis specificity of the means of registration . for example.the works of Flaubert and Balzac. Our analysis located Baudelaire in the heart of Bohemia at mid- . one medium of registration among others. Some are more enduring and amenable to analysis than others: the poetry compared to the political action. political action. All of them taken together comprise the cultural event named Baudelaire. The poetry thus does not represent Baudelaire's trajectory through mid nineteenthcentury France: it is part of it. not (necessary. And just as crucial as its functioning is the instrument's location with respect to the process and events being registered and to other apparatuses of registration.its specific functioning is taken into account can the apparatus be understood to illuminate the process whose effects it registers. even projected book titles. "Baudelaire" is ultimately nothing but the ensemble or aggregate (not to say "sum") of registrations available in any and all media. metaphoric) identity or resemblance to one another — as crucial as the relations between them may be for explaining the emergence of modernism in Baudelaire. The squiggles registered on any given seismograph become significant for the study of continental drift only in the context of a temporally and spatially dispersed matrix of registrations occurring at other times on the same instrument. at the same time on other instruments. as are notebook entries. As an object of cultural study. letters. In the case of Baudelaire. but it is not the only one: as we have seen. and at other times on other instruments. metonymic) contiguity. yet without collapsing one into another. Just as important as the different functions of diverse modes of registration are within the corpus "Baudelaire" is his location in the social formation and in relation to other apparatuses of registration . genres such as art criticism and the tableau de Paris are important modes of registration. But all (available) media of registration need to be taken into account. as well. The series of poetic Others registered in the poetry does not reflect the series of historical Others registered in the letters and book titles: they are two different series in different media that bear a relation of (contingent. poetry may be the privileged apparatus of registration. for example.

In addition to determinate (generic) function and specific (socio-geographic) location. living the antinomies of bourgeois society at peak intensity in Bohemia.Conclusion 261 century. Under a decoded socio-symbolic order. however. For one thing.5 Experience in one sphere no longer corresponds with experience in another: not only is the "private" sphere increasingly distinct from the "public sphere. Baudelaire. 4 Difference of milieu thus also contributes to the varying forms and intensity of registration of the cataclysm itself even among strictly contemporary modernists. artistic endeavor with commercial journalism. by contrast. but comprise a heterogeneous ensemble of multiple structures and practices increasingly disparate from one another. and was himself swept up in the Revolution of 1848 and resistance to Napoleon III. Yet the effects of the cataclysm itself register far more intensely in Baudelaire than in Flaubert. Even more important than genre for differentiating Baudelaire from Flaubert. He thus registers the same process of generalized prostitution that Balzac had detected at an earlier moment of its development." lyric poetry. Baudelaire and Flaubert are situated historically on the same side of this divide. whereas Flaubert writes novels which he tries to make as "impersonal" as possible. remained in the thick of it. at the cataclysmic moment of 1848-51. Unlike Balzac. Flaubert withdrew from the bourgeois society he despised to take refuge at Choiseul. Baudelaire's point of departure is the epitome of "personal expression. chance plays an important role in the metonymic registration of historical process. various social (and linguistic) practices no longer fall under the governance of a single mastercode." but family life becomes incompatible with student life. student life with professional life. except that Baudelaire registers the process as a modernist rather than a Legitimist-realist like Balzac. is location: early in his career. .3 What has intervened between Balzac and Baudelaire is the continental divide of the nineteenth century separating early-modern from modern France: the Revolution of 1848 and the Second Empire of Napoleon III. and therefore valorizes prostitution aesthetically instead of condemning it ethically and politically.

What matters is the registration of historical process. rather than just one or the other. writing constitutes a response to that process at the same time: the effects of decoding register only and always in response to decoding. But if by chance experiences in diverse spheres do happen to align or "resonate" with one another instead. and questions as to the degree of consciousness or unconsciousness of an author simply do not arise. Similarly. History provokes response in writing. The relation between the "return-of-the-father" (General Aupick) and the "return-ofthe-despot" (Napoleon III) is not an abstract homology. but a real connection between distinct domains made under contingent circumstances by the singular figure of Charles Baudelaire. Under conditions such as these. History is thus always related metonymically to a text in two different ways: both as its context (producing effects) and as its referent (produced in response). with determinate specifications of its own. Unlike any merely mechanical device. In this respect. the metonymical concept of registration in schizoanalysis follows directly from the metonymical poetics of reference in Baudelaire's poetry itself." In this light. however.262 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis and so forth. It is because of this "world-historical" coincidence that Baudelaire's modernism registers the emergence of market society in France so vividly. that individual may become a registering apparatus for social processes at large: such is the case with Baudelaire. poetry not only registers effects 0/history. or at best simply "undecidable. Thus the dispute that has vexed some psychoanalytic criticism over the degree to which text features are to be attributed to writers' conscious intentions or to unconscious compulsions is for schizoanalysis totally irrelevant. it in turn . As a medium of registration. whether Baudelaire was "himself" psychotic or merely an acute observer of psychosis in others (or in himself) is beside the point. an individual's diverse experiences and practices never "add u p " to compose a coherent whole. like a seismograph. writing registers effects of history: they are recto and verso of the same process of registration. it registers effects. Baudelaire's writing neither reflects nor represents the historical process of market decoding. they may even cancel one another out.

and so on. or the process of "modernization"). The decoding characteristic of the capitalist economy does not exist except as registered in the experience and practices of a Baudelaire (and countless others). Despite the recourse. as well. The question of how to "get from" one "level" of decoding to another." and "the textual" are analytic and heuristic only. the personal to the textual. From this perspective. modern society in turn registers the impact of Baudelaire's poetry by canonizing it as the epitome of modernism. only appearing in different registers. Baudelaire's poetry is (part of) . in its own way and sphere of a false problem: it is in fact the same process of decoding. which registers effects of the first set. of how to "relate" the social to the personal. Baudelaire's poetry thus does not "reflect" or "express" the penetration and transformation of French society by the capitalist market as something happening "out there" which is then somehow represented " i n " the poetry." "the psychological. while at the same time practicing the generation of semiotic surplus-value so crucial to the perpetuation of the capitalist economy itself. it should be clear that distinctions among "the social. The figure of the prose poem narrator in Baudelaire programs people to take up distinctive stances toward the basic roles (buying and selling) assigned by the market under authoritarian-consumer society. nor does "the market" exist as a single agency: the impact of "the market" on "society" can be known only through effects.Conclusion 263 produces effects on history. the decoding characteristic of modern personality is not legible except in traces left in writing (and other media) by a Baudelaire (and by others). in what Attali calls the regime of repetition. Baudelaire's poetry registers the impact of widespread market decoding in the context of modern France. "society" does not exist as a stable entity. Rather than one entity expressing or causing another. to treating the three levels or spheres of decoding separately in the course of this study. made for expository purposes. in turn. and so on . It would be more accurate to say that. one set or series of differences (the evolution of Baudelaire's poetry) registers effects of another process or series of differences (the evolution of French capitalism.

that this process exists only in and through the effects registered in an apparatus (with determinate specifications) such as Baudelaire's poetry and innumerable others like it (but with their own determinate specifications). secondly. In an analogous way. Baudelaire's life is clearly not representative of the "norms" of French society. but that likeness is distorted according to a particular specification or function. any more than the characters in his poetry are representative of "normal" bourgeois life. yet without strictly speaking being "representative" of it. Baudelaire lived the buying and selling that are the heart of market society in an extreme form associated with Bohemia. of buying and selling on the capitalist market. the specifications of the prose poetry in particular make it impossible to identify ourselves or Baudelaire with either figure: the narrative function is itself in flight. As we have seen. the basic market positions register in the figures of the dandy and the prostitute. From a strictly sociological perspective. Baudelaire and his poetry are "representative" of his milieu-in much the same way a caricature "represents" the face or personality it mocks. of course. depends on a certain likeness. finally. or. the statistical norms of existence in market society . Caricature. Yet even here. registers those market antinomies according to its own specifications in the figures of dandy and prostitute — caricatures. Yet from another perspective. in the poetry. another sense in which Baudelairean modernism must be considered part of (even dependent on) the mid nineteenth-century French milieu. Baudelaire's poetry.are first of all intensified by the peculiarities of Baudelaire's life-experience.the pervasive necessity of buying and selling oneself.264 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis the process of market penetration of French society. But as we have seen. which exaggerates so as to make the figure look funny. the trajectory of a prose poem narrator who endows quotidian events with semiotic value runs the risk of . always keeping distance between the scenes it stages and valorizes and the perspective of the reader/writer it distinguishes and defers. as it were. better still. There is. notably the coming into and subsequent loss of his inheritance which together define his trajectory through Bohemia.

whereas lyric poetry is more narrowly concerned with strictly personal experience. Baudelaire vividly illustrates the process of decoding in three basic registers: the linguistic. the split structure of social life in modernity. we know that even some of the most innovative techniques of high modernism (and of the avantgarde as well) have been recuperated as mere advertising gimmicks in advanced consumer society. the emergence and dispersion of the imaginary." For Baudelaire not only lived the early stages of the generalized breakdown of the socio-symbolic order. whose single greatest advance over psychoanalysis is to have restored the social and historical dimensions to even the most apparently private of concerns heretofore relegated to the domestic sphere of "family romance. The claim that an individual oeuvre registers key features of capitalist development could in one sense be considered a difficult one to sustain with respect to a lyric poet such as Baudelaire: the penetration of society as a whole by the market is an extremely large-scale process. In retrospect. who serves the realization of profit by bestowing semiotic value in promotion of the economic value of commodities. Baudelaire represents almost a perfect test-case for sehizoanalysis. and explored its implications in and for lyric poetry as a modernist. Finally. it is by considering. . however.Conclusion 265 recuperation via axiomatization by capitalism in the figure of the programmer. the psychological. but rather the evolution of Baudelaire's poetics through the three editions of his two major collections that we have demonstrated how the canonical poet of modernity named Baudelaire registers crucial effects of capitalist development on cultural psychodynamics. and the social. Thus as "the lyric poet of Bohemia in the era of high capitalism" (to paraphrase Benjamin). he also experienced the full brunt of decoding in Bohemia. Baudelaire's evolving poetics thus never escapes implication in its social milieu. not isolated poems or pairs of poems. These effects can be reviewed under three rubrics: the metonymy of real reference and desire. In another sense. even while remaining singularly different from it.

the free-form metonymy of desire no longer constrained in recognizing objects by the coded laws of substitution of the socio-symbolic order. however. metaphoricity is no longer grounded in a stable socio-symbolic code. In modernity. fostering para-personal part-object contact with the real against the grain of social codes. thereby deconstructing the binary hierarchies of the socio-symbolic order. to secure identity to stable positions within the social order but decoding undermines all of this. it has to be constructed — and that is precisely the function of recoding: to reanchor the socially decoded metaphoric axis in the personal imaginary register. It was precisely the function of the socio-symbolic code to constrain desire by the authority vested in the Other. The loss of social authority in a decoded socio-symbolic order in turn weakens the prohibitive function of the super-ego in favor of the role-modeling function of multiple ego ideals. a withdrawal from raw contact with the real and a consolidation of personal identity and objectives supervene in reversion to the comforts and constraints of metaphoricity. When the decoded reference and desire of schizophrenia become too traumatically intense.266 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis THE METONYMY OF REAL REFERENCE AND DESIRE Decoding undermines the stability of the paradigmatic axis governing permissible substitutions of equivalence and opposition. the correlative of pure metonymic reference would be "schizophrenia" . Ultimately.takes the form in Baudelaire of contact with the explicitly historical present: the modernist registration of modernity. . to fix its legitimate objects and objectives. Destabilization of the socio-symbolic Other also weakens the structure of the ego itself.particularly in "Hymne a la Beaute" and the poems of the "Tableaux Parisiens " section . Yet metonymic reference to the real .

to mention just a few. Baudelairean modernism takes to be a completely unnatural invention. Operating its own decoding of "classical" ancien regime culture. the program of correspondences attempts a mystical recuperation of the socially destabilized self in nature. But romanticism had not only envisioned the discovery of the true self outside the bounds of society: it also promoted a commitment to nature outside the . It both lays claim to the flowering of and also bemoans the persistent constraints on the modern "free subjectivity" supposedly fostered by the revolutionary overthrow of a fixed sociosymbolic order. as Benjamin's study first suggested. of course. through nostalgic reunification of past and present. rather than nature alone. and Montaigne. What appeared in romanticism as a "discovery" of the natural self. but also disseminates the harmonious natural self in recognizing random beautification as the contingent effect of decoded desire. The urban poet's program of beautification not only enhances the beauty of any thing. This does not mean. romanticism envisions the discovery of a true self living in harmony with nature outside of all social codes and positions. an artificial construction. The early romantic cycle of Les Fleurs du Mai documents the constitution of the imaginary in precisely this form: with the metaphoric axis of social coding on the wane. Descartes. personal recoding in the imaginary register has replaced social coding as the force of alignment on the metaphoric axis. that Baudelaire by himself somehow invented the imaginary all at once: a history of French precursors would include the names of Rousseau. But his early lyric poetry does register the historical emergence of the imaginary from private life to become a major cultural force accompanying and contributing to the general breakdown of the socio-symbolic order. Yet Baudelaire himself goes on to demystify the romantic pretension to found personal identity on a natural self.Conclusion 267 THE HISTORICAL EMERGENCE AND DISPERSION OF THE IMAGINARY Romanticism constitutes a crucial though ambivalent moment of transition in the development of full-fledged modernity.

This denigration of nature in favor of artifice becomes a defining feature of his modernism. Baudelaire reverses this valorization of the natural. modernism effects a kind of epistemological break between recognition based on Eros . and of modernism to follow. are familiar themes of Lacanian . The absolute loss of connection between instinctual drives and both social and personal meaning. exempt both from social coding in the symbolic register and from personal recoding in the imaginary register. Such are the psychodynamics of Baudelairean modernism at the zenith of decoding.pleasure-seeking for the gratification of drives in reality — and recognition based on Thanatos — defending the ego from traumatic excess-stimulation by the real. by the historical present of Second-Empire Paris. The imaginary register is thereby most desperately needed at precisely the moment it is stripped of content: at the limit of high-anxiety ego defense. In completely screening nature out of history. in the poetic mode we identified as "ironic allegory. The rejection of even an allegorical meaning tentatively attributed to the real ultimately leaves the meaningless vehicle as a vacant gesture of "zero-degree" reference. informing recognition with need and pleasure. stimulusbinding that had in principle linked present perception with memories of gratification past." where the consoling harmonies of nature are completely replaced by the realities of the city.268 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis universalizing codes of classicism. mobilizing high-anxiety recognition solely in order to protect it from external trauma. In his vehement repudiation of romanticism. now gives way to a stimulus-binding bent to the service of the ego. Under the impact of increasingly decoded experience. as well as the rigorous distinction between the social (symbolic) and personal (imaginary) registers of meaning. This is what happens as the program of correspondences develops through the project of beautification into spleen intensification." empty reference to the now meaningless real implies the complete elimination of a subject of desire capable of integrating memory and drives. particularly in the decoded and impersonal registering apparatus of the "Tableaux Parisiens.

and specifically in invoking "drive-gratification" as a function of the pleasure principle distinct from and somehow prior to ego-defensive anxiety. The modernism that registers the prevalence of anxiety over gratification is a function of market existence. imaginary recoding in the privatized individual was here opposed to integration into the social symbolic. explains the prevalence of ego-defensive anxiety (and meaning-recognition) over drive-gratification (and object-recognition) historically. but it was distinguished from schizophrenic en- . however.6 Furthermore. The anxiety over separation made much of by psychoanalysis — and particularly by Lacanian psychoanalysis — turns out to be a structural feature of the capitalist economy.from means of consumption as well as from means of production which would enable one to produce one's own means of consumption . the rapid pace of change and the predominance of exchange-value in market society decode what Benjamin calls the "handles of experience" protecting the psyche. the crucial historical difference identified by schizoanalysis distinguishes market society characterized by decoding from societies based on coding (of various kinds).Conclusion 269 psychoanalysis.7 Nothing is more damaging to the claim to respect difference than the refusal to acknowledge and explore differences in history. Following Lacanian usage. Schizoanalysis. in terms of the primacy of exchange-value and the separation from means of life. The condition of being separated by the market from the means of life .but neither are all societies equally anxiety-provoking. we may have conveyed the false impression that society "before modernity" was somehow more "natural" because ego-defensive recoding did not stand in the way of the gratification of ("true" organic or biological) drives. not merely of the weaning process. In provisionally adopting a binary opposition of originally psychological terms for this distinction.creates anxiety by threatening life with the risk of not having or being able to earn the money required by market exchange for survival. thereby increasing its susceptibility to traumatic shocks and generating additional anxiety in its defense. which together constitute the defining features of market existence. Of course no human society is natural .

" but rather in relation to the . individual repression. In this context. symbolic order appears a-historical. Objects would then be defined not by their " meaning. the split subject is relegated to personal and social registers of meaning completely divorced from the body and from history. Drawing on Nietzsche (in place of Lacan's Heidegger). and egodefensive anxiety in varying proportions determine the functioning and real outcomes of the pleasure principle. Since the institution of language (langue) is found in all human societies. which ponders questions like "what is the meaning of life?" instead of exercising will-to-power." nor in the terms of some anthropology of strictly biological "need.8 Such a "natural history" is the scene of the schizoanalytic real. and to distinguish among various "libidinal modes of production" without invoking any absolute standard of comparison. by contrast. schizoanalysis understands the ego-defensive substitution of meaningrecognition for drive-gratifying 06/^-recognition to be a feature of modern nihilism. to adopt Marx's oxymoron. imaginary recoding fueled by anxiety appears as an escape from history . And the effect of inhabiting a symbolic universe of meaning is to "alienate" the speaking being irrevocably from the body and its organic "needs" and drives. as well. on this view. An exclusive emphasis on language in psychoanalysis.with history construed as the scene where drivegratification.270 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis gagement with the historical real. would require bracketing questions as to the meaning of life and meaningrecognition in general in order to restore object-recognition to the operations of will-to-power. To go beyond the nihilism of modernism. Schizoanalysis enables and encourages us to understand varying degrees of anxiety and gratification as a function of what might be called. would evacuate from the real any natural and historical determinations whatsoever. social oppression. Baudelaire and schizoanalysis enable us to diagnose such a perspective as a symptom of modernity. the "natural history" of the human species. construed as the prereflective relation of human bodies to the natural environment as mediated historically by social modes of production and coding.

Granted.Conclusion 271 libidinal and material production of the human species in and through history. It is in this vein that schizoanalysis deconstructs the opposition between symbolic and imaginary by insisting that before and beneath the metaphoric alienations of both registers. in the figure of the modern dandy. Baudelaire was among the first to define and inhabit it publicly. Moreover. locus of the decoding of the socio-symbolic by the processes of axiomatization. its foundation in the mirror-image makes the ego as imaginary anchor for metaphoric self-identifications an "alienated" construct: but that leaves out of consideration the part-object relations that precede and/or escape mirror-fixation altogether. in effect remaining prisoner to a kind of after-image of the very ego he is at such pains to denounce. inasmuch as the relations of ecstatic merger and murderous rivalry that Lacan attributes to the imaginary register themselves derive from the unsynthesized life and death instincts.separate from the "public" sphere of capitalist production." as Kernberg's analysis of borderline conditions confirms. The market also establishes modern individuality as a distinct "personal" space of imaginary recoding characterized by the invention of "self" through consumption. Lacan appears to reinforce rather than challenge the limits of modernism. From the perspective of schizoanalysis. part-object relations of the "corps morcele. desire remains always in metonymic contact with the real of nature and history.9 Moreover. in its commitment to the centrality of the symbolic Oedipus complex. they are equally characteristic of the pre-mirror-stage. then. Freud's "family romance") . much of Lacanian psychoanalysis indiscriminately lumps together whatever is an-Oedipal under the ego-oriented rubric "imaginary. Thus. the distinction between registers itself thereby appears as a historical product: the penetration of premodern society by the market establishes the nuclear family in a distinct "domestic" sphere of reproduction as the basis of imaginary recoding (Lacan's "no/name-of-the-father"." whereas schizoanalysis insists on distinguishing the ego-centered investments of the imaginary from the metonymy of part-object desire .

corresponding to drivederivatives fueled by the life and death instincts. revising the "Spleen and Ideal" section for the second edition of Les Fleurs du Mai to end with spleen and evil. Haussmann's Paris itself will bear the stigma of failed revolution.precisely what Baudelairean modernism suppresses via masochism in the bitterly disillusioned rejection of romanticism and revolution following the coup d'etat of 1851. schizophrenic engagement with nature and history thus appears as the real alternative to the alienations of the privatized imaginary and reified symbolic registers alike . Especially in the decoded socio-symbolic order of capitalism. Divorce from nature is. The moment of real engagement fueled by Thanatos takes social form in the rivalry of class struggle over true democracy — whence the importance of Baudelaire's participation in the Revolution of 1848 and the intensity of his reactions to its demise at the hands of Napoleon III. nature. the "Tableaux Parisiens" stage yet another metonymic encounter with the real. schizophrenic engagement with the real takes two basic social forms. in a subsequent cycle of decoding. When. The return of the repudiated super-ego in Masochian narrative abruptly terminates the romantic-idealizing relation to woman. 10 The moment of schizophrenic real engagement fueled by Eros. takes the social form of association with nature and the human species ("the people") . and in revenge rewrites his former enthusiasm for revolution as a cynical predilection for pure death and destruction. as we saw in "Le Cygne. non-ego-centered. the revolutionary crowd of 1848 .272 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis and real reference characteristic of schizophrenia. In recoil from such ideal-shattering disappointment. of course.whence the alternating rhythms of decoding and recoding that comprise modern life.transforming it into vengeful rage at the loss of the ideal and the natural. a universal fate imposed by the regime of exchange- . as epitomized in the case of Baudelaire. This schizoanalytic study of Baudelaire suggests that in modernity. meanwhile." Masochism is thus a crucial moment of Baudelaire's trajectory from romanticism into modernity. Baudelaire withdraws from real engagement into the ironic recoding of evilification.

. Baudelairean modernism stages and occupies the rift between defunct ideals and an utterly bankrupt reality with uncompromising intensity.but it is the law of his poetry" (p. This enables Baudelaire to retain the contradictory positions resolved by Masochian narrative: to keep both idealism and cynicism in play. spleen represents the moment of high anxiety. He paid dearly for consenting to this disintegration . If. failure of the masochistic repudiation of the super-ego produces a further and absolutely singular result: not the incoherent oscillations between adulation and scorn under the sway of temporary ego ideals typical of ordinary borderline narcissism. Benjamin's modernist reading of Baudelaire stops with the forlorn poetics of high modernism: in recoil from the victory of bourgeois commerce. as we have said. modernism suffers the brunt of decoding in high anxiety and registers it in a tragic mode. propels him beyond modernism into a certain postmodernism in the figure of the programmer: it enables him to register with . to the blandishments of "mass culture." to the rampant nationalism characteristic of mid-tolate nineteenth-century France and beyond).Conclusion 273 value under capitalism.. the "Tableaux Parisiens" represent quintessential Baudelairean high modernism. Benjamin concludes. In neglecting the role of the narrator. "Baudelaire battled the crowd — with the impotent rage of someone fighting the rain or the wind . romantic ideal ego with the stable ego ideal provided by the figure of Edgar Allan Poe. but at the same time keep both at a distance carefully maintained by the functioning of the prose poem narrator. 154). but rather solid fusion of his martyred. He indicated the price for which the sensation of the modern age may be had: the disintegration of the aura in the experience of shock. Baudelaire's adoption of Poe as ego ideal. however. Yet for Baudelaire. in their tragic depiction of an urban Poet hopelessly lost in the familiar surroundings of his own home town. but whereas the general public takes refuge in recoding of one form or another (ranging from the overstuffed domestic interior. when under the sway of the repetition compulsion ego-defense finally prevails over drive-gratification. Unlike the comparatively comforting resolution of Masochian narrative.

yet illuminate them poetically with some equanimity and aplomb. This is the human reality of modern capitalism which the postmodern Baudelaire insists that we confront in so many of . THE SPLIT STRUCTURE OF SOCIAL LIFE IN MODERNITY The perpetual self-invention of "free subjectivity" defining modernity is played out in the form of alternating cycles of decoding and recoding. wherein narcissistic defensive splitting has become so hardened as to allow well-heeled yuppies to enjoy for their own sake the glitzy surfaces of new urban facades without bothering to look behind them and around the corner to witness the homeless poor huddling in doorways and eating from other people's garbage cans. as we have seen. henceforth appearing in modernism as the static and irremediable split between prostitute and dandy.11 Baudelaire's relations to modernity are thus ultimately ambivalent: even while his modernism eschews any relation to nature. In Baudelairean postmodernism. Baudelaire's postmodernism is thus unlike the "postmodernism" of today's affect-free hedonism. his investment in the promise and disappointments of history remains legible throughout the prose poems — for the defensive splitting of the narcissistic narrator never completely dispels the attraction to and sympathy for the figures of defeat. and so on. such cyclical evolution is arrested and completely transformed by the cataclysmic defeat of the ideal by the real. who detaches himself and stands back from the modernist tragedy of modern existence to contemplate his former selves and endow their spectacle with poetic value. followed by renewed innovation. When history apparently grinds to a halt with the founding of the Second Empire in France. of daring innovation followed by hyperanxious self-consolidation. between selling and buying as basic roles on the capitalist market.274 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis acute sensitivity the antinomies of modern market existence as lived in Bohemia. the borderline splitting suffered in nominally democratic but actually authoritarian market society is transformed via the ego-ideal role-model of Poe into the narcissistic defense of the programmer.

transformed by the shocks of 1848-51 and the triumph of bourgeois commerce into borderline splitting between "good" and " b a d " : between the ideal and the real and between buying and selling . Decoding . in the figure or function of the narcissistic prose narrator. whose defensive splitting always maintains a certain distance from the scenes of violence and suffering under observation. Recoding supervenes. meanwhile. in which recoding accompanies decoding sur place ("on the spot" or "in place"). who continue to register in vivid caricature the antinomies of market existence.12 Decoding and recoding are the semiotic moments of the fundamentally asemiotic process of axiomatization that conjoins abstract "factors" of production and consumption to produce and realize surplus-value. sale. For schizoanalysis. At this last stage of his evolution. Viewed in the context of this on-going process. recoding designates the moment at which the existing and privately owned instruments of production and consumption are held fixed for a . that the prose narrator refuses to shoo away from the opulent cafe window ("Les Yeux des pauvres").the face of poverty. Even from above or beyond the antinomies of buying and selling.Conclusion 275 the prose poems . as Deleuze and Guattari put it. without ever losing contact with them. Baudelaire refuses to forsake investment in history entirely. as it were. in the position of the prose poem narrator as programmer. delineated by Marx in Volume III of Capital. decoding designates the operations by which existing instruments of production and consumption are revolutionized by fresh investment for the sake of increased productivity and invigorated consumerism. thereby perpetuating the process of capital accumulation on an ever-expanding scale. and consumption in the pursuit of further surplus. the ultimate determinations of decoding and recoding lie in the rhythms of capitalist appears in the figures of prostitute and dandy. the moments of decoding and recoding comprising distinct cycles in the verse collection are condensed in the individual prose poems into a single moment. The private appropriation of surplus-value as liquid profit then instigates another round of investment. production.

thereby blocking further innovation in production and consumption alike. Yet in Baudelaire's day. Instead. of course. the recurrent failures of the democratic ideal promised by modern society to prevail over the continually resurgent authoritarianism spawned by capitalist recoding in defense of the private appropriation of surplusvalue produce ego-shattering disillusionment and foster narcissistic repudiation of historical engagement. relations among these various domains are complex and historically contingent. But his is the special case that proves the rule: throughout modernity. or media of registration (Deleuze and Guattari) intervene "between" the economic dynamic outlined above and the dynamics of decoding and recoding in other domains. modernism sets itself above and apart from a culture based largely on recoding and pursues decoding in ever purer and more abstract forms. it is this dynamic that constitutes the "motor of history" of advanced capitalist development. Flaubert. bringing the entire first generation of French modernists — Baudelaire. propelling him through masochism into borderline narcissism. the ensuing disillusionment affects Baudelaire particularly severely. For schizoanalysis. and eventually Courbet . In the face of this contradiction. So while the dynamic of capital accumulation generates the basic rhythms of decoding and recoding in market society. Given his peculiar family history.276 Baudelaire and schizoanalysis time in order to realize maximum profit on the investment already made in them.13 The moments of decoding and recoding in Baudelaire's life and poetry do not. the exhilaration and promise of decoding in the cultural sphere (especially in Bohemia) is accompanied and confounded by the scandal of patently authoritarian recoding in the political sphere. discursive and institutional "practices" (Foucault). an ensemble of what are variously called "mediations" (Hegel). borderline splitting derives from the gulf between production . "instances" (Althusser). correspond to the moments of this dynamic directly. the take-off of French market capitalism coincides with the founding of the Second trial for cultural and/or political Use majeste. the Second Empire strikes back with emblematic vehemence.

the mirror-image.Conclusion 277 and consumption that is opened by the market and continually enlarged and exacerbated by the expansion of capital. of our very selves. It was Benjamin who first explained Baudelaire's growing acclaim in terms of the "structure of experience" his work would share with its readers. They epitomize the antinomies of modern market existence that make Baudelaire our exact contemporary. Social life in modernity is split by the well-nigh universally necessary practices of buying and selling oneself on the market. . self-satisfied readers. and registered in the quintessentially Baudelairean figures of the dandy and the prostitute. 109). but its emergence and ubiquity as a therapeutic tool and cultural diagnosis derive from the libidinal-economic structure of modern capitalism itself. under late capitalism. To designate that structure. I borrowed the category of "borderline narcissism" from psychoanalysis. our twin brother . lived by Baudelaire at peak intensity in Bohemia. and a particular "structure of experience" has indeed enabled Baudelaire's work to "find the reader at whom [it] was aimed" (p.

s e e a ^ so hi s Studies in European Realism. 6 While this book was being written. Illuminations.257-58. 4 On "historical transference" of this kind." in Writer and Critic and Other Essays. and LaCapra. esp. also appeared while this book was being written. p.Notes PREFACE 1 Thesis ix of "Theses on the Philosophy of History. see de Certeau. 263. 110-49. Section 1. but since it is primarily thematic in orientation. pp." in History and Class Consciousness. 15 (Oeuvres completes. 2 The key essays for Lukacs's view of modernism and market culture are "Reification and the Consciousness of the Proletariat." Illuminations. 2 "Fusees" no. 630 [hereafter OC]). Baudelaire's Prose Poems. Soundings in Critical Theory. translation modified. Charles Baudelaire: A Lyric Poet in the Era of High Capitalism. (Edward Kaplan's study. 170. 255." Illuminations. 3 A similar objection is raised by Adorno: that Benjamin too quickly identifies "cultural traits" with "corresponding [Adorno's term] 278 . it bears little on the reading of the prose poem collection offered here. 5 Thesis xvm of " Theses on the Philosophy of History. p. 1 INTRODUCTION 1 Walter Benjamin. The Writing of History. and Karl Kroeber's Retelling/Rereading on narrative. and "Narrate or Describe. page references henceforth follow quotations in the text. three studies appeared confirming my sense that misogyny and an anti-narrative stance are crucial components of modernism: Charles Bernheimer's Figures of III Repute and Robert Scholes' " I n the Brothel of Modernism: Picasso and Joyce" on misogyny. 3 Thesis vi on the Philosophy of History.) 7 Histoire Extraordinaire. p. p. " The Phenomenon of Reification". PP.

128-29. P. and " O n the Materialist Dialectic. and M. Painter of the Abstract." Australian Journal of French Studies 8 (1971): 269-96. p. pp. in the same vein. 1941): 221-330. Barbey insists " il y a ici une architecture secrete. 1 o The only study focused solely on the revisions Baudelaire made for the second edition of Les Fleurs du Mai is C. 393-402.Notes to pages y-g 279 4 5 6 7 features of the infrastructure"." in Studies by Members of the French Department of Tale University (New Haven: Yale University Press. Ruff. pp. pp. 9 See esp. no. On the "secret architecture" of Les Fleurs du Mai. (The only praise I seek for this book is the recognition that it is not a mere album and that it has a beginning and an end. See De Man.) " (Letter of 12 or 13 December 1861 to Alfred de Vigny. 236-39. esp. 193-216. 9. also "Literary History and Literary Modernity. pp. un plan calcule par le poete. p. for Adorno. 247). 8 In a letter to Vigny. Benedetto. and prevents identity. esp." in Lenin and Philosophy." in For Marx. in Correspondance generate (henceforth CG). "Sur l'Architecture des Fleurs du Mai. pp. Baudelaire says: " Le seul eloge que je sollicite pour ce livre est qu'on reconnaisse qu'il n'est pas un pur album et qu'il a un commencement et une fin. and quotations will include line numbers." in ^eitschrift fur franzosische Sprache und Literatur 39 (1912): 18-70. "Anthropomorphism and Trope in Lyric. Burns. pp. "L'Architecture des Fleurs du Mai. Johnson. For readers' convenience." Revue de Vhistoire litteraire de la France 37 (1930): 51-69. Feuillerat. . "[Benjamin's] dialectic lacks one thing: mediation" — precisely the thing in his negative dialectics that defers. I* is> however. In an article of 24 July 1857 in Le Pays. 254 and 262." Nottingham French Studies 5-6 (1966): 67-79. " Cremonini. See Adorno's letters to Benjamin (particularly that of 1 o November 1938) in Aesthetics and Politics. esp. purely thematic in orientation. 685. 4. " ' Architecture Secrete': Notes on the Second Edition of Les Fleurs du Mai. individual verse poems will be cited on their first mention in the text by roman numeral referring to their position in the second edition (1861) of Les Fleurs du Mai. "The Structure of Les Fleurs du Mai: Another Suggestion." On the concept of the " absent cause. 163-218. disseminates. see L." see Althusser. A. meditatif et volontaire" (cited in the Crepet/Blin's critical edition. Defigurations du langage poetique." esp. prose poems will be identified by arabic numeral designating their position in Petits Poemes en prose. "L'Archi- tecture des Fleurs du Mai. and Chapter 9 of his Baudelaire. Vol. 229-42. Hambly.

all new-formed ones become antiquated before they can ossify. 3. For more on the relations between decoding and deterritorialization and the evolution from the former to the latter in Deleuze and Guattari's work. esp. see Holland. 222-61). the priest. or the post-Lacanian Historical Contextualization of Psychoanalysis" and "Commentary on Minor Literature." esp. This process involves the disconnecting (and reconnecting) of labor-power from its material objects of investment. Marx and Engels: Basic Writings on Politics and Philosophy. the 1830 upheaval was known to some as "the bankers' revolution".. and with them the whole relations of society. " The Anti-Oedipus: Postmodernism in Theory." As noted in passing by Benjamin [Baudelaire. Chapters 3. the man of science into its paid wage laborers . with their train of ancient and venerable prejudices and opinions. and thereby the relation of production. 123-28. everlasting uncertainty and agitation distinguish the bourgeois epoch from all earlier ones. "Parmi les droits dont on a parle dans ces derniers temps. himself a wealthy banker. whereas decoding and recoding involve the investment of libido in symbolic representations rather than objects themselves. 153. 14. All fixed. It has converted the physician. le droit de se contredire. Vol.. 2. ed. France in Modern Times. parallel process of deterritorialization (and reterritorialization). Page references will be given to both the French and English editions of this text (French [English]). 113). (p. see their Anti-Oedipus.. pp. Wright. 1. pp. 10-11. the lawyer. see his Economy and Society." Louis-Philippe's first prime minister. Vol. 10). fast-frozen relations. See Jameson. On "rationalization" in Weber... 40-43. p. The bourgeoisie cannot exist without constantly revolutionizing the instruments of production. (Among the rights . p.280 Notes to pages g-16 11 On decoding. "Beyond the Cave: Demystifying the Ideology of Modernism. All that is solid melts into air. 13 14 15 16 17 See Feuer.. axiomatization also sponsors an equally important. are swept away. 6-41. uninterrupted disturbance of all social condition. 263-312 (33-35. Chapters 1-4. Vol. esp. Vol.. Chapter 2 on "Newspaper Culture. pp. il y en a un qu'on a oublie . 12 Marx and Engels' description in the "Communist Manifesto" of what I am calling "social decoding" reads as follows: The bourgeoisie has stripped of its halo every occupation hitherto honored and looked up to with reverent awe. cf.. i of Capitalism and Schizophrenia. Chapters 7-8. Constant revolutionizing of production. esp. and developed by Terdiman in Discourse/Counter-Discourse. Jacques Lafitte. In addition to decoding (and recoding).

Bersani. Chapter 4). and The Psychoanalytic Theory of Neurosis. 26 On the importance of naming in Lacan. 36-39. Madame Bovary on Trial. Contributions and "Notes on Some Schizoid Mechanisms". 30 The best narrative study of Sacher-Masoch is Deleuze's Presentation de Sacher-Masoch. 23 Although the term "figures-of-the-despot" is mine. Partm. "Fonction et champ de la parole et du langage en psychanalyse. " Ego-Disturbances and Their Treatment. "Within the Microcosm of'The Talking Cure'. 25 See Fenichel. Schizophrenia." esp." OC. esp. 109-28. see the remarks throughout Zizek. Baudelaire and Freud'. "Baudelaire as Modernist and Postmodernist: the Dissolution of the Referent and the Artificial Sublime. Sartre. and Lacan. p. pp. 31 I derive the term from Kernberg (although he does not use it extensively himself). 42. 24 Of course. see Kristeva. 18 See Wing. 20 See Foucault. 186-87.)" Cf. 227-62 (192-222)." esp. and LaCapra. 168-77. one has been forgotten ." esp. Histoire Extraordinaire. The Limits of Narrative. pp. pp. Kernberg. and in connection with borderline conditions. to resituate psychodynamics in history. Vol. The thrust of schizoanalysis is in the opposite direction. esp. Kernberg's analysis shows that nearly all narcissists are borderline. 291. see de Waelhens. but borderline patients are not necess- . Le Sadisme de Baudelaire. pp. Borderline Conditions and Pathological Narcissism. The Sublime Object of Ideology (esp. esp.. the right to contradict oneself. p. Chapter 6. 252. effectively translating revolution into psychosis. it derives from Deleuze and Guattari's analysis of despotism as a type of social formation. 24-34. and Blin. 28 See Klein. see the Anti-Oedipus.Notes to pages 16-26 281 people have made so much of recently. but he thereby completely abstracts his logico-linguistic account from real historical situations. 19 See Jameson. 173-75.. "Le Stade du miroir". "What is Enlightenment?" 21 For another critique of Lacan's excessively " linguistico-logical" conception of discourse and the unconscious. a n d "Subversion du sujet et dialectique du desir. real fathers' laws and interdictions may not be what Lacan means by the "nom/non-du-pere" at all. 22 Although a complete archaeology of the notion of "symbolic order" in Lacan has not been done. The Defeat of Baudelaire'. 29 See Laforgue. 125-30. 2 (1954) pp. 2 7 See Butor. pp. p." Collected Papers." esp. "Sur l'Album de Philoxene Boyer. Baudelaire'.

and de Saussure. esp. esp. see Bernheimer. The sentence " it rains " cannot be produced unless the utterer sees that it is actually raining. pp. The metonymic axis. in other words.s s I I 1 I I I . he says. The Prison-House of Language. For a discussion of how Lacanian psychoanalysis draws on this referential aspect of the metonymic axis. See Derrida. esp. 106-09. l *8—19. which makes "programming" the best choice.282 Notes to pages 26-32 32 33 34 35 36 arily narcissistic. for one theoretical formulation of how historically contingent social codes beyond langue shape discourse. Despite the invocation of Peirce. my emphasis). See Attali. The Archaeology of Knowledge. See Jakobson. page references henceforth follow quotations in the text. pp. Both involve splitting as a crucial feature and/or basic defense-mechanism. Part 1." The remainder of the essay makes it clear. 129-31." For the fashion industry. borderline conditions are thus broader than. 78. that the metonymic axis includes extra-linguistic contexts as well: aphasics suffering from "similarity disorder" (in whose discourse the metonymic axis therefore predominates). pp. 22-39. not things. but Attali's direct objects are usually people. feel unable to utter a sentence which responds neither to the cues of [their] interlocutor nor to the actual situation. in "Two Aspects. narcissistic disorders. supports and depends on what Jakobson elsewhere calls the "referential" function of language. 37 Distributed in a Greimasian rectangle. Chapter 2. The deeper the utterance is embedded in the verbal or non-verbal context. Flaubert and Kafka. Course in General Linguistics. this translation has "molder" and "molding" instead of "programmer" and "programming. the higher are the chances of its successful performance by this class of patients (p. "Two Aspects of Language and Two Types of Aphasic Disturbance". Noise. esp. "designer" and "designing" are the appropriate English equivalents.s tautology < > non-sense . however. Jakobson seems at first to limit "reference to context" to other linguistic signs. Chapter 1. the semantic relations implied in Jakobsonian discourse analysis would look like this: sense 1 < > reference I I I s . 27-73. Of Grammatology. and include. See Jameson. see Foucault.

Philosophical Investigations. pp. Metahistory and Tropics of Discourse.. is unshakable." esp. no. It never occurs to us to take them off" {Philosophical Investigations. 251-67.. 89-92. 522. see Wittgenstein. 40 On methods of projection in representation.. see "L 5 Instance de la lettre dans l'inconscient. and The Archaeology of Knowledge. The quotation is from the Crepet/Blin critical edition. 55-74. 39 See Merleau-Ponty. for Lacan's statement to the effect that the real is that which "resists symbolization" see Le Seminaire.. p." see A Thousand Plateaus.. for Deleuze and Guattari's discussion of " interpellation. pp. esp. 216 and passim. pp. Rational thought is interpretation according to a scheme we cannot throw off" (The Will to Power. . "Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses: Notes Toward an Investigation. Wittgenstein: "We misunderstand the role of the ideal in our language. In Foucault.. 297). they insist that the doctrine of synaesthesia expressed in "Correspondances" is "one of the major postulates governing his work .. nos.Notes to pages 32-43 283 38 Wittgenstein's famous remark occurs at the very end of the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. See Lacan." See White. Nietzsche: "We think only in the form of language . p. p. pp. as we think of it. you must always turn back. 80 and passim. See Culler. 139-42. 170-82. Discipline and Punish. "L'Instance de la lettre dans l'inconscient. You can never get outside it. The ideal. See Althusser. The Critical Difference and Dejigurations du langage poetique. for an 41 42 43 44 45 analogous discussion in Lacan. p. 2 C O R R E S P O N D E N C E S VERSUS BEAUTY 1 The centrality of " Correspondances" to our understanding of Baudelaire's poetry is attested to by the frequency of its anthologization and the disproportionate quantity of annotation it receives in critical editions. 57-65. see also nos. nos. 295. It is like a pair of glasses on our nose through which we see whatever we look at. esp. 101-03). esp. " O n the Phenomenology of Language. We cease to think when we refuse to do so under the constraint of language. pp. 130.. Book 3. pp. 84-98. and is explicitly argued as well in fullblown interpretive studies such as Pommier's often cited La Mystique de Baudelaire." in Lenin and Philosophy and Other Essays." in Signs. 46 See Johnson.. see especially The Birth of the Clinic.. from a technical as well as theoretical point of view" (p. Structuralist Poetics. Livre I.and thus believe in the ' eternal truth' of' reason'. pp. 551 and 562). 127-86.

and Wing. 249.284 Notes to pages 43-58 2 "Au lecteur" opens the entire collection. 638). The debate is reviewed by Heck in "La Beaute: Enigma of Irony." and its rhetoric is very different from that of the section's first sixteen poems. pp. 626). Pung-Gu. pp. and K. and in general." see Crepet/Blin. see Ruff. culte de la sensation multiplied (wanderlust and what might be called Bohemianism. his Story and Situation. on the worship of images. The Limits of Narrative. 237-38. pp. p. Frangois." Revue de Coree 10 (1979): 33-85. Hambly. and F. 1 o For a distinction similar to the one I am proposing here between . often citing the Salon of 1859 in support. 11-14. see A. 277 and passsim. "Le Sonnet sur 'La Beaute' des Fleurs du Mai. " L'Architecture des Fleurs du Mai" pp. 7 On the importance of the difference between the communicative and textual levels for French modernism. in order to make a crucial distinction parallel to the one between "author" and "narrator" in prose fiction. 74-80." p. Melancolie et opposition. 11 (OC." 6 Heck (ibid. and use "poet" when referring to Baudelaire (or some other writer of poetry). in the same vein. "poetic" to a property of the text. but flatly denies the importance of the last two lines and the poetics of the tercets as prefigurations of a very different aesthetic stance (p. 53 (OC. see "Mon coeur mis a n u " no. Others link the statuary imagery with modern rather than classical sculpture. Mathias." Nineteenth-Century French Studies 10 (1982): 85-95.) following Hubert (U Esthetique des "Fleurs du Mai") notes the irony of these self-defeating images and the dual image of the Poet produced by this irony (Baudelaire ironizing his own defeat as a Romantic poet). a cult of multiple sensations). see "Fusees" no." 9 An insistence on the contextual determinants of meaning distinguishes this approach from recent readings of the same poem by Maclnnes. see Feuillerat. "'La Beaute': Enigma of Irony. On the beauty cycle as a whole. which goes on to glorify "le vagabondage et ce qu'on peut appeler le Bohemianisme." Mercure de France (1954): 259-66. 3 For reasons that will become clear. 5 For a Parnassian interpretation of the sonnet. "La Beaute" dans "Les Fleurs du Mai". p. Baudelaire. 4 On "La Beaute. 8 On inspiration. I capitalize "Poet" throughout when referring to the figure generated by a poetic text. "Les Fleurs du Mai: le cycle de la beaute feminine. Heck. "The Structure of Les Fleurs du Mai: another suggestion. 61-62. The Comical as Textual Practice in "Les Fleurs du Mai". but is not part of the section entitled " Spleen et Ideal. 92). "Poetic" refers to the figure of the Poet. see Chambers. p.

. Baudelaire. I. pp. 35-45. 167. the shifting aesthetics of " Correspondances" have received some critical attention: in addition to De Man. See Johnson. that I will swear to all the gods that it is a book of pure art. see Deleuze and Guattari. 245-5 0 Though never disruptive enough to prevent the poem from being read as doctrine. the quotation is from p. see Culler.23). The importance of fantasy and its potential for disrupting stable self-identity are confirmed by Bersani's discussion of the poem in his study of Baudelaire and Freud. 23-48. Baudelaire says: " Is it necessary to tell you . " Deterritorializing ' Deterritorialization. 11-22 (5-16). see Holland. toute ma . "Anthropomorphism and Trope in Lyric. 31-55. "Deux qualites litteraires fondamentales: surnaturalisme et ironie" ("Fusees" no. pp. 31-43. but also "L'Amour du mensonge" (XCVIII. The Critical Difference. 626]). pp. q u e dans ce livre atroce. "Anthropomorphism and Trope in Lyric. on how it differs from Derridean deconstruction.. pp." pp. the Anti-Oedipus. In his "Richard Wagner et Tannhduser a Paris" (OC. 3 In the famous letter to Ancelle (of 18 February 1866). of monkeyshines. Baudelaire and Freud." see Bersani. Notably the ending poem "Le Voyage" (cxxvi.'" esp. that I have put all my heart. 2 See Chapter 1. p. p. and I will be lying like a tooth-puller (Faut-il vous d i r c . see Lang.Notes to pages 59-81 285 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 metaphoric and metonymic irony. 143). pp. The Uses of Uncertainty. note 7. and for a similar treatment of the verse and prose " L'Invitation au voyage. 186-98. pp. See De Man. esp. 55-56. esp. p. The fact that Baudelaire cites only the quatrains suggests a possible awareness on his part that the tercets do not remain faithful to that aesthetic. and for Flaubert. both added to the second edition. 160-67. all my tenderness. all my hatred into this atrocious book? It is true that I will write the opposite. Baudelaire's Tragic Hero." see Johnson. pp. 175-78. 107-08 and 200-02. Defigurations du langage poetique. j'ai mis tout mon coeur. On schizoanalytic " deconstruction " of binary logic. 1. 11 [OC. 3 SPLEEN AND EVIL 1 See Mossop. Irony/Humor: Critical Paradigms'. all my religion (disguised). of juggling-tricks. pp. and (from a quite different perspective) Blin. 513). 42. pp.

their death and their infinity. LXXV). 3." Tel Quel 29 (1967): 12-24... 248-50. de jonglerie'. Vol.286 Notes to pages 81-103 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 tendresse. see also Deguy. de singerie. p. 446. Vol. que je jurerai mes grands dieux que c'est un livre a"art pur. Bersani makes a similar distinction in Baudelaire and Freud. See L. " Correspondances " was not in fact taken as the key poem in the collection by any of Baudelaire's contemporaries. mais toujours d'un mouvement elastique et ondule. no. in the nature of true poetry to have a steadyflow. p. es P." esp. esp. For the essay on Theophile Gautier. 11 See for instance Jenny. pp. no.." p. see Chapter 1. pp. 271). note 8. but always with a smooth. pp. 5.flowingmotion. in CG. (pp. 265). "Le poetique et le narratif. 163 and 165. Nothing brusque or choppy befits it.2 95On the diverse valences of "comme. he insists that the new poems "were all made to fit the framework [of the first edition] (ils etaient tous faits pour le cadre) " (CG. 12 See Jenny. Vol. "Lyrisme et depersonnalisation: l'exemple de Baudelaire (Spleen..P3315 "Mon coeur mis a n u " no.. Tout ce qui est brusque et casse lui deplait." Romantisme 6 (1973): 29-37. Lyric poetry does soar. leur mort et leur infini. 458-69.. .. pp. P. those great rivers approaching the sea. andjakobson. 13 For a similar romantic treatment of the "seasons" of a human life span." see De Man. 53 (OC. 638). "Anthropomorphism and Trope in Lyric. p. 421 and 430. apparently replying to her renewed complaints following the appearance of the second edition. comme les grands fleuves qui s'approchent de la mer. et je mentirai comme un arracheur de dents)" (CG." Poetique 25-28 (1976): 440-49. le caractere de la vraie poesie d'avoir le flot regulier. 636. see OC. Jenny. and never to appear hurried and abrupt. " Le Poetique et le narratif. p. " Le Poetique et le narratif". Toward an Aesthetic of Reception.. see Lamartine's "Automne" (1819). 14 See V. toute ma haine? II est vrai que j'ecrirai le contraire. In the letter of 1 April 1861. see Crepet/Blin. 4. La poesie lyrique s'elance. 685. Brombert." esp. Letter of 12 or 13 December 1861 to Alfred Vigny. no. "Une Microscopie du dernier Spleen dans Les Fleurs du Mai. the passage reads as follows: C'est. esp. p. 9. 19. p. 467-68) It is . et d'eviter la precipitation et la saccade. 990. toute ma religion (travestie). "La Poesie en question. Jauss.

page references henceforth follow quotations in the text. see Benjamin. from which it nevertheless derives its force. followed by volume number or volume: page number(s). " ' Perte d'aureole': the Emergence of the Dandy." p. 391-424). 6 This is what Fried finds perplexing in "Painting Memories": " . 8 See Fried.. Baudelaire. 9 On the role of this uncoded element in the instauration of the unconscious. Beyond the Pleasure Principle. see Lacan. for an even richer treatment of the poem in historical context. and on its implications for therapy. this quotation is from p.. 521 and passim.. 107-54. 12 For schizoanalysis. this quotation is from p. 83-109. 224-28. part-object relations productive of the real always "precede" and underlie imaginary and symbolic relations which only approach it asymptotically. 2 In addition to his Baudelaire study. pp.204-24). is already part of our store of memories?" (p. On the primal signifier. References to the standard edition will henceforth be abbreviated as SE. and Godzich. Le Seminaire: Livre XI. see the Anti-Oedipus. 18. "Painting Memories. pp. 3 See Freud. "The Storyteller: Reflections on the Work of Nikolai Leskov. pp. see Lacan's discussion of the "fort-da" game in Le Seminaire: Livre XI. page references henceforth follow quotations in the text. Vol. pp. 152—54. pp. 7 See the Salon 0/1845 (^C> PP." in Illuminations. especially in Plateau 6. "Introduction" to Chambers. Story and Situation. 244.. 60—61 and passim. standard edition. . pp. pp. they appear more sensitive to it in A Thousand Plateaus.what are we to make of the statement that a painting just this instant seen for the first time. 400. 34-35 (26-27) and passim. 188-200. see Wohlfarth. 227-61).Notes to pages 112-135 4 287 R O M A N T I C T E M P E R A M E N T AND " S P L E E N AND I D E A L " 1 See Benjamin. 10 Rather the trauma operative in any manifest disturbance attributes ex post facto its particular meaning to the primal signifier." 5 See the Salon of 1846 (OC. 11 See the Salon 0/1859 (OC. page references henceforth follow quotations in the text." pp. 13 This is an irony more or less completely absent from Deleuze and Guattari's perspective in the Anti-Oedipus'. pp. 514). 4 See his brief discussion of "Perte d'aureole" (Petits Poemes en prose [46]) at the end of "Some Motifs.

For according to Freud.the fantastical real of life appears exceedingly dull)" (p. 7 " Pour la plupart d'entre nous. 395. Freud himself may be said to have contributed to such a historical appreciation of the fate of the pleasure-principle." ." 9 See Stierle. 554).. "Baudelaire and the Tradition of the Tableau de Paris. borrowed classical ideas" on all his subjects with Guys' fidelity to first impressions of the real. 552. 551). 5 M O D E R N I S T I M A G I N A T I O N AND T H E "TABLEAUX PARISIENS" 1 See Chambers. entitled "Paysage" (pp. page references henceforth follow quotations in the text." 2 See the Salon 0/1859 (^^? PP. " I have made it a rule to seek Imagination throughout the Salon (Je m'etais impose de chercher Tlmagination a travers le Salon)" (p. si ce n'est dans ses rapports d'utilite avec leurs affaires. p. the aim of merely reducing tension by binding sensory input so as to prevent trauma overrides the aim of actually gratifying drives. as anxiety resident in the ego increases (due to increases in repression concomitant with the "progress" of civilization).288 Notes to pages 135-48 " Comment se faire un corps sans organes?" ("How do You Make Yourself a Body Without Organs?"). in whose eyes nature does not exist. 414-18). le fantastique reel de la vie est singulierement emousse.. 14 In Civilization and Its Discontents (SE Vol. [au] fantastique reel de la vie" (p. 554). his "obeissance a l'impression. c'est un tableau!) ecrit par la plus puissante plume de cette epoque. 6 Baudelaire uses the two . "Trois paysages urbains... and insists at one point for example that Poe's short story is actually a tableau: " Vous souvenez-vous d'un tableau (en verite. aux yeux de qui la nature n'existe pas.4 2 4) \ this quotation is from p.especially for businessmen. 546-65). 3 As he says in concluding. " (p. See also Beyond the Pleasure Principle (SE Vol. 424). surtout pour les gens d'affaires.. with Baudelaire's emphasis. "Baudelaire and the Limits of Poetry. pp. contrasting Ingres' tendency to "impose .drawing and writing . unless it appears useful for their business . 21). 5 Le peintre de la vie moderne. See also the anti-realist remarks in Section 7.39 I . 8 See Chesters.interchangeably in the essay.. Page references henceforth follow quotations in the text. (For most of us . 18). 4 Baudelaire repeats this critique of Ingres in Le peintre de la vie moderne (OC.

which Baudelaire would later claim "physically depoliticized " him. 2 See Pichois and Ziegler. 6 See "Notice de 'Revelation Magnetique'" (OC. 313. Chapters 2-4. 40-41. 13 See Zizek. 347: "Poe was always great . the quotation is on p. Ahearn. Baudelaire. The Modes of Modern Writing. 346-53). La Femme dans Voeuvre de Baudelaire (Neuchatel: Maison de la Baconniere." thereby eliminating any reference to memory and past experience. and Lodge. Baudelaire the Damned. Elements of Semiology. Chapters 1-3. esp. pp. esp." French Review 5111-3 (1977): 212-20. Chapter 1. and Starkie. pp. pp. 6 DECODING AND RECODING IN THE PROSE POEMS 5 The date of this essay is important: it shows that Baudelaire maintained his commitment to the ideals of the Second Republic and to "revolutionary" poetry right up until the coup d'etat of December 1851. 312-13)." which now directly precedes it in the collection. Chapters 1-2. Bassim. . 12 On metaphor and metonymy as components of " psychopoetic structure. see E. 11 The temporal instantaneity characteristic of modern urban life is accentuated in the collected version of the poem: Baudelaire substitutes "Dont le regard m'a fait soudainement renaitre" for " ." "La Chevelure." and "Sed non satiata". pp. Baudelaire.not only in his nobler creations. see Barthes. . 1 Butor.Notes to pages 156-83 289 10 The change in line 10 from "pipeuse d'amant" to "reine de roman" in the second edition strengthens the rapport between the action of this poem and the ennoblement practiced by the sun ("11 ennoblit le sort des choses les plus viles" 1. Flaubert and Kafka." see Bernheimer. Hemmings. 117-24 and 131-36. p. 7 See "Notes nouvelles sur Edgar Poe" (OC. "Toward a Psychopoetics of Textual Structure". 3 For an orthodox psychoanalytic reading. esp. The Sublime Object of Ideology. for typologies of literary discourse based on metaphor and metonymy (as suggested by Jakobson). 18) in "Le Soleil. esp. White Poet: Exile and Exploitation in Baudelaire's Jeanne Duval Poems. . p. m ' a fait souvenir et renaitre. see T. "Black Woman. Histoire Extraordinaire: Essay on a Dream of Baudelaire's] page references henceforth follow quotations in the text. 60. 1974)4 Poems in the Duval cycle alluding to Africa and the Orient include "Parfum exotique.

An Outline of Psychoanalysis. 72-92. The Culture of Narcissism) and Holland. Masochism in Modern Man. See Seigel. On the dynamics of repudiation ("foreculsion") in Lacan. who are what we might call sacred. and Zizek. On denial as a feature of borderline narcissism. As Baudelaire asks about Poe: "Are there then certain souls who are destined for the altar. Baudelaire and U Idiot de lafamille. p. Presentation de Sacher-Masoch. p. p. 105—10. Critique of Cynical Reason'. Vocabulaire de la psychanalyse. 57. "moi ideal" (pp. On the distinction between feelings of inferiority and guilt in relation to the super-ego. SE 23:202-04. Figures of III Repute. 184-86). pp. See Butor. 109. pp. See Sloterdijk. mais encore comme farceur. 166. Vocabulaire de la psychanalyse. see "D'une question preliminaire a tout traitement possible de la psychose. Histoire Extraordinaire. one would want to count Flaubert and Marx. and "surmoi" (pp. 317). See Deleuze. Presentation de Sacher-Masoch. For another definition of modernism along these lines. Histoire Extraordinaire. 255-56). 270.. 471-74) in Laplanche and Pontalis. pp. See Laplanche and Pontalis. et qui doivent marcher a la mort et a la gloire a travers un sacrifice permanent d'elles-memes?) " ("Edgar Allan Poe. pp.290 Notes to pages 183-200 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 but also as a joker. see Sartre. 319]). non-seulement dans ses conceptions nobles. see Bernheimer. 31-33. 163-67. see Kernberg. 66. pp." See Deleuze. Car il ne fut jamais dupe!) " See Baudelaire's account in his dedication ofHistoires extraordinaires to Maria Clem (Poe's stepmother) (OC. As Baudelaire described his forthcoming collection in Le Messager de V Assemblee (9 April 1851). Cited ibid. sacrees pour ainsi dire. and who must go to their death and their glory through a perpetual sacrifice of themselves? (Y a-t-il done des ames vouees a l'autel. cited in Butor. Among the most prominent contemporaries similarly affected by the failure of the Second Republic. "Narcissism from Baudelaire to Sartre. Borderline Conditions. the quotation is on p. 34-35. p. See Freud. 100-01. p. . Lasch. For he was never a dupe! (Poe fut toujours grand. See Reik. Bohemian Paris. see the entries for "ideal du moi" (pp. p. sa vie et ses ouvrages" [OC. The Sublime Object of Ideology." esp. This attitude supports what Sartre calls the "loser wins" strategy typical of Baudelaire and many of his contemporaries.

237 of Borderline Conditions. " c Perte d'aureole': the Emergence of the Dandy." "Les Veuves. some of the most striking examples of cynical violence with more or less responsibility include "Le Mauvais Vitrier. 25 Without listing the entire collection." esp. 320). 326." "Assommons les pauvres." "Une mort heroique." "La Femme sauvage et la petite-maitresse. 73-74. 33 As Wohlfarth puts it: "The elasticity of [the narrator's] double identity enables him to make the best of both worlds. 27 The prose poem narrator has often been misconstrued in this way. purely psychic sense of his own aristocracy which accompanies all his activities as a saving. 24 August 1857). 28 Throughout his discussions of Poe. for example." See " ' Perte d'aureole': the Emergence of the Dandy. Kopp. 11 [OC. 29 See OC. 408 and 412. see Petits Poemes en prose. Baudelaire vents his hatred against modern "mercantile society" (p. 30 See Wohlfarth. 567. crowds and ' prostitution' without renouncing a hidden." and "Les Bons Chiens. even though Kernberg is explicit about it: "the pathological grandiose self compensates for the generally ' ego- .. cited in Butor. 30-31 and 80-83. 32 For the earlier published version of" Les Projets " (in Le Present.. distinguishing arriere-pensee.and socio-dynamics of this poem." "Le Galant Tireur." p. 318). Baudelaire's "Portraits de maitresses" (42) with the case history Kernberg discusses on p. potable. pp." "La Fausse Monnaie. 627])." "Les Bienfaits de la lune." "Les Fenetres. 350). see Petits Poemes en prose. which he likens to an immense accounting firm (p." and " Perte d'aureole. 86. p." "Le Fou et la Venus." 26 Hence the term "projective identification" in discussions of borderline narcissism. 35 Not many cultural critics recognize the composite nature of narcissism. Borderline Conditions. p." depictions of idealized suffering with more or less sympathy would include " Laquelle est la vraie? " " Le Vieux Saltimbanque. where the idea of utility dominates all else (p. 31 For the original anecdote. notably by Bersani {Baudelaire and Freud) and Mauron {Le Dernier Baudelaire). 34 Compare. ed. ed. Kopp. He can abandon himself promiscuously to the pleasures of democracy." for a beautiful account of the psycho.Notes to pages 203-ig 291 24 See Starobinski. p. "Sur quelques repondants allegoriques du poete." "Les Yeux des pauvres." "Portraits de maitresses. pp. pp. see Kernberg. p. 345 ("Fusees" no.

Chapter 2. p. Borderline Conditions. 737. "Narcissism from Baudelaire to Sartre. in 1859 he says: " I have convinced myself twenty times that I would no longer get interested in politics. Baudelaire the Damned. I1 Seigel. . p." SE Vol. Baudelaire. Le Premier venu. " Screen Memories. Bohemian Paris. 2 See Starkie. CG. 346-53). Baudelaire the Damned. pp. p. p. "Mon coeur mis a n u " no. 623. Bohemian Versus Bourgeois." See Kernberg. 92. the quotation is from p. 12 See ibid. 5 {OC. 6 "Mon coeur mis a n u " no. je suis repris de curiosite et de passion)". 1 {OC. and as late as 1862 he still considers himself a "revolutionary at heart ([j'ai un] vieux fond d'esprit revolutionnaire)" {OC. 4 OC. p. 41 {OC. pp. 146. pp. and "Mon cceur mis a n u " no. a common characteristic of narcissistic personalities and patients of a borderline personality organization. 14 OC. 119. p. and Holland. no. 624. and Grafia. 322. 349. the quotation is on p. see also Terdiman. Baudelaire the Damned. 217. Discourse/ Counter-Discourse. p. 112. 630): "De la vaporisation et de la centralisation du Moi. 3 "II faut aller fusilier le General Aupick! A bas Aupick!" See Hemmings. 316). yet every time a serious issue comes up. 13) puts the figure at 8 percent. 639). and "Fusees" no. 631).. p." 36 Cf. p . Grafia {Bohemian Versus Bourgeois. pp. See also the discussion in Pachet. p. 9 "Mon cceur mis a n u " no. 632. pp. 3. p. 99-100. see also Hemmings.292 Notes to pages 2ig-j8 weakening' effects of the primitive defensive organization [splitting]. 269. 1. 15 {OC. 7 See the letter to Ancelle of 5 March 1852. I o Electoral tax requirements limited suffrage to less than 1 o percent of the population." 7 THE PROSE POEM NARRATOR 1 See Freud. 631. 151-52. 635). The catastrophe by no means put an end to Baudelaire's passion for politics. Charles Baudelaire. pp. 629). 25 {OC. 13 OC. p. 5-13 and passim. and Hemmings. Tout est la. 628. Vol. I am overtaken by curiosity and enthusiasm (Je me suis vingt fois persuade que je ne m'interesserais plus a la politique et a chaque question grave. 5 Benjamin. 8 "Notes nouvelles sur Edgar Poe" {OC.

cited in Grana. 638). On the relations between semiotic and economic surplus-value. sa vie et ses ouvrages" (OC. Prendergast. esp. 1968). see The Divided Self "Edgar Allan Poe. Chapter 13. see Baudrillard. Baudelaire and Freud. "Fusees" no. Such disparity between public and private life forms the social matrix for schizophrenia. Baudelaire and Freud: " w e have in the Petits Poemes en prose a kind of austere sophistication which consists in the poet's merely moving away from his own performances. p. p. and Godzich. 14 (OC. OC.Notes to pages 238-52 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 293 39 40 OC. pp. Attali. esp. The Age of Capital. Dream Worlds. Pour une critique de Veconomie politique du signe. "Mon coeur mis a n u " no. pp. pp. 114-18. 8-15. esp. "Mon coeur mis a n u " no. p. OC. 150). see Williams. and Hobsbawm. 632. His irony is equivalent to self-withdrawals. pp. pp. p. p. p. On bourgeois domestic aesthetics. 101—1 1. "Mon coeur mis a n u " no. 1 (OC. 626). pp. which we have shown is not the case in Baudelaire. and Beizer. 632. 634. see Bersani. 632). and this casual but devastating negativity would seem to be the poet's only escape from his violent projects toward his own desires" (p. "Fusees" no. Balzac. p. 1 (OC. The Order of Mimesis. See Bernheimer. OC. 459. Figures of III Repute. 128-32. 292. 630). 619. On prostitution and loss of identity in Baudelaire. 630). See Bersani. Paris: GarnierFlammarion. In "Sur l'Album de Philoxene Boyer" (OC. p. 698). 10 (OC. Family Plots. "Mon coeur mis a n u " no. But Bersani equates this withdrawn narrative perspective with the super-ego. Bohemian versus Bourgeois. Noise. p. 628). 3 (OC. pp. 13 (OC. Splendeur et misere des courtisanes (1844-47. 326). 623). p. p. 639. See Hugo's preface to Lucrezia Borgia. 291). esp. From "Pauvre Belgique" (OC. This is the explicit theme of the prose poem "A une heure du matin" (10). p. 36 (OC. OC. 40. according to Laing." . p. 637. references to Figures henceforth follow quotations in the text. p. 230-40. "Fusees" no. 87-97. "The Semiotics of Semiotics.

8 113-22). and Deleuze and Guattari. pp. The Postmodern Condition. Plateau 9. 32-43. 34-37. see esp. 3 On the centrality of prostitution for the aesthetics of modernism. 134-45 (26-30. 98-100). See the Anti-Oedipus. pp. 6 This is one way schizoanalysis situates psychoanalysis historically: Freud's discovery of pure libido is possible only once it has been freed from biological and social determination by ego-centric anxiety deriving from the predominance of exchange-value over " use-value ". if M ' = M is metaphor. 61-62. 21). p. pp.294 Notes to pages 253-71 41 The formula for profit is M ' = M + 6." 8 Chapter 3 of the Anti-Oedipus provides a typology of libidinal modes of production under the rubrics "Savagery. see Jameson. and Civilized Men. 95-106. "Imaginary and Symbolic in Lacan. A Thousand Plateaus. 321—24 (270—71). " I n the Brothel of Modernism". 42 OC. see also Lyotard. Sartre's LIdiot de lafamille. 16-22. which respects the boundary between family and society that Deleuze and Guattari consider a historical artifice or product. p. by claiming that anxiety increases as civilization "progresses. 52-53. 119-22). 43 "Fusees" no. 13 {OC. 114-26. thus the difference between schizoanalysis and Sartre's existential psychoanalysis. see his "Introduction to the work of Marcel Mauss. see Bernheimer." pp. Despotism." 9 See the Anti-Oedipus." . 628). 4 Flaubert's major crisis occurs within the family. Baudelaire's in society. this is the sense in which Deleuze and Guattari claim that Freud is the "Adam Smith of psychiatry" —both abstract libido and abstract labor-power are historically functions of market capitalism. 75-84. 16—20. 5 This is the definition of modernity implicit in Levi-Strauss. pp. 89-100. 146. For a similar view of how the real as contingent history "deconstructs" the imaginary/symbolic opposition. then M ' = M + 6 is hyperbolic metaphor. Figures of III Repute and Scholes. CONCLUSION 1 See the Anti-Oedipus. 142-45 (10-16. 2 I have extrapolated the notion of" apparatus of registration " from the Anti-Oedipus. " Micropolitique et segmentarite" ("Micropolitics and Segmentarity"). see esp. 82-84 (25-35. 7 Freud himself propounds one (albeit unilinear) version of the historical assessment of social anxiety in Civilization and its Discontents (SE Vol.

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4 88. 185. 6. 40-45. 151. 199. 74. 80. 105-07. 83. 228. masochism: 193-96. 76. J. modernism: 268-74 Attali. 204 "Le Masque" 54-59. 14. 233-34. 223-24. i n . and modernism: 1. 72-75. 29. 247. 252-55> 265 allegory 54-59. 25. 131 "L'Ennemi" 91-94. 127 "L'Horloge" 8-9. 137-38. 7. 86. Second Empire: 27. 263 authoritarianism xii—xiv. J 29. 191 "Le Soleil" 22. 3 86—87 "Spleen" no. 251 "Benediction" 43. 104-07. 59-68.91-94 "Spleen" no. 184.Index advertising 4. 232. 33. 53. 225 "Spleen" no. 150-56. 169. 64-67. 162—64 "Parfum exotique" 68-72. 95-96 "La Beaute" 28. 28. 258-59 Balzac. 169—70. capitalism: 224-26. 172. 169-71. 87. 54. 106 "Spleen" no. 74. 113. 179 3°3 . 84. 35. Charles Les Fleurs du Mai " A une dame Creole " 180 "A une mendiante rousse" 156—59. 185. 123. 251 "L'Irremediable" 29. 214 "Une Charogne" 131 "La Ghevelure" 68. 253. 82-83. 85-86. 124 "Le Gout du neant" 80. 268 Althusser. 104-05. 158. 128-30. 85. 149. 132.168 "Le Cygne" 158-61. 123-24. 71-74. 75-79. 161. 75. 272 "Elevation" 44. 14. 129. 80. 159. 150. 2 87-91. capitalism: 274-76. 215. 27. 68-70. 96-104. 171 '' Crepuscule du soir " 137. 150-55. 154 " Crepuscule du matin " 138. 260-61 Baudelaire. 66. L. 225 "L'Albatros" 44 "Alchimie de la douleur" 80. 204 "L'Homme et la mer" 83. 7. 206. 137-38. ego-defense: 132-35. 96 "Hymne a la beaute" 54. 1 29-31 "Paysage" 137-38. 69. 16. 91 " Le Tonneau de la haine " 86 "La Vie anterieure" 68—71. masochism: 191-92.123-27 '' Reve Parisien " 169-71 '' Les Sept Vieillards " 161 -66. 106. 166. 79. 134 " L e j e u " 167-70. 112-14. 43-69. 149. 182 "LesPhares" 102-03. 26.161-64. 232-35. 165 "Le Mort joyeux" 86 "Obsession" 82-86. 242—43. 81. 169. 86 " L'Heautontimoroumenos" 29. 96-104. Honore de 5. 182. 186. 251-52. 115. 215 " A une passante" 157. 266 "L'Ideal" 14. 276 anxiety 3. 1 88. 200. 199 "Horreur sympathique" 80. 73. 131 " Gorrespondances " 4—5.

234—35. romanticism: 28. 28—29. 37. 221 "Les Fenetres" 212. 29m. 276 Fourier. 29m. 172. Auguste 232 Bohemia 235-47. 94-95. masochism: 187—90. 132-35. "Le Gateau" 252—55 "L'Invitation au voyage" 246 '' Le Joueur genereux " 205 "Le Joujou du pauvre" 229. 86-94. 257> 260-61. 258. xvi. 274—76 desire 124-26. 63-73. 90. Second Empire culture: 224-27. 276-77 borderline conditions xiii. 248-50. 36. 233. 166—72. anxiety: 6. 133-34. 210. 36 Chambers. 178—80. psychodynamics of: 129—35. 209. 135. decoding: 21-25. 233. Benjamin: 3. 29m. 104. R.215—19.213-15. 215. "Perte d'aureole" 4-5. 244 capitalism xii—xiv. i n . 258 Hugo. 121 Salon of 1846 116—23. 215-17. 252-53. 231—34. 268—75 democracy xii. 29m. 182. 25-27. 197-99. psychodynamics of: 127-35. dandy: 239-48. 229 "Le Confiteor de l'artiste" 205. 196. " Le Vieux Saltimbanque " 204. 191-204. 227-32. masochism: 194-200. 169. Victor 21. 274. 14. historical conditions: 221-22. 187. 247-58. 6. 244. "Hymne a la beaute": 58—67. programming: 252-55. 129—34. 212. 179 beautification 47-54. 267. 16. 243 "Laquelle est la vraie?" 200—01. 275. 221-22. 184. J 7 9 Salon of1859 56-57. 19. dandy: 6. decoding: 22. 90. 192-96. 218—20 (see also narcissism.29m. 240. 228. Gustave 14. 250. " Une mort heroique " 202—06. consumption: 245. " La Soupe et les nuages " 233 " Les Tentations " 205 "Les Veuves" 244. prose poem narrator: 205-06 binary logic 244. dandy: 240—41. 29m. 181-82. 24. 271 Dupont. 218. 2-4. 149. A. 137 commerce 1-2. 114-15. 188-89. the structure of experience: 6 > 255-56.272 Flaubert. 229. 271. 131-38. 155 Salon of 1845 119. and programming: 251-58 correspondences (program) 83. 218. 5-7. 185-87. prose poem narrator: 204—06. 250-52. "Le Mauvais Vitrier" 201-08. socio-symbolic order: 16. 224-26. 158—66. 268-72. 277 Bersani. 272. 199. L. 183-84. 227-28. 180. Poe" 228 "Le peintre de la vie moderne" 140-47. "La Chambre double" 206-07. 225—26. 126 xiii. 265-66. 268 . 190-93. 226.228-30. 208-13. 267-68 defense 3-4. 260-61. 215. 139-47. 215-19. 218. 233-34. 9. 177-84. 162-64. 265-67 intensification 64. 271-77. 106—07. "Tableaux Parisiens": 148-49. "Les Yeux des pauvres" 229. 157-65. i55-57> 219 Benjamin. 213. 128. modernism: 273. 255 consumption/consumer society 3-4. M. 29m. 111-13. 2^95 decoding: 9-15. Pierre 177. 56-67. 273-77. splitting) Butor. 29m. xi—xiv. 173. shock-defense: 22—24. prose poems: 208. 263-65. Nachtraglichkeit: '' Assommons les pauvres " 210-12. 210. metonymy of: 18-19. 227-28. W. 147. 239-48. 29m. 250 "La Corde" 207—08. 232-34 communicative function 51-52. splitting: 25—26. 240-42 imaginary (the) 126-30. "Le Galant Tireur" 202. 29 m.3°4 Petits Poemes en prose Index Blanqui. 218. 19. 173. 117. Charles 181-83 Freud. 29 m. 215. "Notes nouvelles sur E. in—14. 240 evilification i n . 23. 111-24. 267—68. 243-44. 215. 264-65. "Les Projets" 215-18. 155. 2-7. 230. S. 7.

73-76. 192-200. 1. 21—22. 6-7. 132. 86-87. 209. 240-43. 268-71.132-35. 260—76. 165-67. 172. 39. B. 227. 22. 28-29. 251. 234. 58. subjectivity: 25. 169-70. ego ideal: 209-12. 209. 199.32-39.57-59. 207—09. 231-35. 25-28. 185—96. 274-77. 20. 190-92. 248-51. 228-30. 274-75. 209—32. 272. 218-19. 103 modernity xiii-xv. art: 117-20. 232. 30. 3. modernism: 26. e v i l : 95-104. 124-26. 218-19. 25—27. 171. l&l~&% 227-32. 268—70 postmodernism xv. 204. 20—22. O. 199. Nachtrdglichkeit\ 221-22. 30. 25-30. 247. 131 3°5 Johnson. narrative: 197. 204—05. 56-57. 138. and Edgar Allan Poe: 183-85. 127 overcoding 123-27. 133. 3—4. 255-56. 26. . Karl xiii. 267. 272-73 satanism 133. 139—43. decoding: 73-75. 179. 30-38. programming 26-27. 129. 94. masochism: 185-90. R. 258 modernism xv. 66—67. 172. 190-96. 141-46. 73-74 Kernberg. 265-68 registration 10. 200 real (the) 17. 27. 233. 33-37. 259 Marx. 138. 39. 76-77. 224-26. 66-68. 191. 204-08. 269—71. 263-64. I 7 I . 262—65. 105. " Correspondances": 43-45. 39-43. decoding: 14-17. 267-68. 265 Mallarme. 172. epistemology: 2. 94-95. 28-29. 114. 20—22. 157. in—14. 131-32. 142-45. textuality: 51-52. Stephane 36 market xiii. 272-73 memory 3. 37-39. 272. 231-35. 147. 219—20. decoding: 14—17. 195—96. 232. 158-62. 219. 242-43.2 . 172. 132-34. 182—85. 256. 173. 65-66. 273-74 primal signifier 125-27. 204-05. 17-26. masochism: 193. 270. 258-59. Leopold von xiv. disappearance: 51-52. art: 120—23. 26-29. J 27-48. 272—73 narrator 3. 268-72. 22-23. 197—99. borderline conditions: 26—27. 24-26. J. 262. 126. 256-57 Napoleon III xii. 185-87. 261-77. decoding: 10—17. 275 masochism xiv. 129. 228. 144-45. 57~595 66-67. xv. J79> 256-69. 161. 17 lyric xiii. 155-66. 89. modernism: 133—35.43-45.Index irony 28-29. Beauty: 49-54. 150—57. 224 narcissism xiii-xiv. 273-74 pleasure principle 111-13. reference: 25. 198-99. 37. 205. 32-35. 129. 240-42. 186 Poe. 12-15. 120-23. repudiation: 150-57. 190-92. 134. 123. 82-84. 27—29. 251 Jakobson. 106-07. 219-22. spleen: 80—85. 58-59. 25i-57> 273-75 prosopopoeia 51-52. 233-57. 166-73. 129—30. 223-27. decoding: 130-35. 91-95. 149. Beauty cycle: 51-53. 158—61. xiii-xiv. Nachtrdglichkeit: 221-22. 224-26. structure of experience: 112-15. 22-23. 248-57 nature xv. 166. Edgar Allan 23. 86-90. 258 Lukacs. J57> J 65. Masochian: 26. 191. 271 Lacan. "Tableaux Parisiens": I I 5 ~57> 253-55 Sacher-Masoch. 138—39. decoding: 68—74. 266 recognition 20-21. 229. 1-10. epistemology: 32-37. 5-7. 22-23. 178-80. prose poem: 199-220. 133-35. 98—103. 141. 26—30. 90-93. 6-7. G. 248-51. masochism: 194-95. decoding: 16—17. 34—37. 30—39. 28. 257-58. 208-09. 56-59. 103-04. 2-3. 267—74. 273—77 (see also borderline conditions) narrative xv. 133-35 programmer. 223. 177. 195-96 shock 3-4. 166. 147-49. 273-77 romanticism xii. 229-30. 2—6. 241-46. 92-94. 185. masochism: 194. 5. 11. 2-7. 111—23. 157—65. 4-6. 268. 224. 223-24. 193-97. 219. 15. 266-70 reference 11. 210. romanticism: 27-28. 12. 238. 247—51. 200.

defense: 132-34. 187-190.263. 233.306 Index surplus-value 11-13. defense: m . 90. 34—36. 22. trauma: 103—07. 127-35. 274-77. masochism: 192-94. "Tableaux Parisiens": 167. 265-67. 104. 28-29. 128-29. 268. 266 borderline conditions: 204. 184. 172. 28. prose poems: 193—206. 218. 211. 59-67. 212-19. 268—72. 172 . 240-41.1 5 . 7. 121-24. 226. decoding: 123-27. 34~37> J 24-29. 247-51. 126. symbolic (the) 16-23. 242-43. 268—69 value-hierarchies 36. 180. 113-14. 258. 274-77. 104. 204-08 textual function 51-52. 228. 224 splitting 3-4. 86-95. 255 trauma 21-22. 199-200. 208. 271—72 spleen 8. 191-94. 222-24. 148. 273. 275-76. 294n. decoding: 59-64. 67. 275 socio-symbolic order 15-21. I 3 I ~38. 236-38. 232. 266. historical conditions: 224-32. 197—99.251-55. 24-27. 127. 56—57. 293n.

Toril Moi (Duke University). RHIANNON GOLDTHORPE Sartre: Literature and Theory 8. and Flaubert 13. j . Howard Bloch (University of California. Oxford) Editorial Board: R. NORMAN BRYSON Tradition and Desire: From David to Delacroix 6. Naomi Schor (Duke University) Also in the series (* denotes titles now out of print) 1. Berkeley). Stendhal. L E O S P I T Z E R . GEOFFREY BENNINGTON Sententiousness and the Novel: Laying Down the Law in Eighteenth-Century French Fiction *II. Peter France (University of Edinburgh). MARIAN HOBSON The Object of Art: The Theory of Illusion in EighteenthCentury France 4. DIANA KNIGHT Flaubert's Characters: The Language of Illusion 9. Nerval. ANN MOSS Poetry and Fable: Studies in Mythological Narrative in Sixteenth-Century France 7. Ross Chambers (University of Michigan). CHRISTOPHER PRENDERGAST The Order of Mimesis: Balzac. translated and edited by David Bellos Essays on Seventeenth-Century French Literature 5. COCKING Proust: Collected Essays on the Writer and his Art 2. LEO BERSANI The Death of Stephane Mallarme *3. ANDREW MARTIN The Knowledge of Ignorance: From Genesis to Jules Verne 10. NAOMI SEGAL The Unintended Reader: Feminism and Manon Lescaut . M.CAMBRIDGE STUDIES IN FRENCH General editor: Michael Bowie (All Souls College. Antoine Compagnon (Columbia University). Manet and Redon: Visual and Aural Signs and the Generation of Meaning 12. PENNY FLORENCE Mallarme.

LEAKEY SARAH KAY Baudelaire: Collected Essays. 26. 1953-1988 Subjectivity in Troubadour Poetry GILLIAN JONDORF French Renaissance Tragedy: The Dramatic Word . 29. Baudelaire in 1859 RICHARD D. 19. Lacan and Derrida Irony and Ideology in Rabelais: Structures of Subversion JOHN FORRESTER JEROME SCHWARTZ DAVID BAGULEY LESLIE HILL Naturalist Fiction: The Entropic Vision Beckett's Fiction: In Different Words F. E. Rimbaud and Mallarme Corneille. W. Flaubert and the Gift of Speech: Dialogue and Discourse in Four 'Modern' Novels *l6. 21. *l8. Classicism and the Ruses of Symmetry HOWARD DAVIES 17. 20. 23. 32. 30. A Question of Syllables: Essays in Nineteenth-Century French Verse STIRLING HAIG GLIVE SCOTT 15. 25. Flaubert. ANN JEFFERSON Reading Realism in Stendhal DALIA JUDOVITZ Subjectivity and Representation in Descartes: The Origins of Modernity 24. 31. MITCHELL GREENBERG Sartre and ' Les Temps Modernes' Mallarme's Prose Poems: A Critical Study Claude Simon: Writing the Visible Pictorialist Poetics: Poetry and the Visual Arts in NineteenthCentury France ROBERT GREER COHN CELIA BRITTON DAVID SCOTT 22. 27.14. NATHANIEL WING The Limits of Narrative: Essays on Baudelaire. BURTON MICHAEL MORIARTY Taste and Ideology in Seventeenth-Century France The Seductions of Psychoanalysis: Freud. 28.

39. KRITZMAN 34. 44. System and Writing in the Philosophy of Jacques Derrida CAROL A. 35. The Love Aesthetics of Maurice Sceve: Poetry and Struggle PETER FRANCE Politeness and its Discontents: Problems in French Classical Culture Subjectivity and Subjugation in Seventeenth-Century Drama and Prose: The Family Romance of French Classicism 36. REID . MITCHELL GREENBERG 37. 38. MOSSMAN Politics and Narratives of Birth: Gynocolonization from Rousseau to Zola The Discourse of Enlightenment in Eighteenth-Century France: Diderot and the Art of Philosophizing Women Readers and the Ideology of Gender in Old French Verse Romance Narration and Description in the French Realist Novel: The Temporality of Lying and Forgetting ROBERTA L. DANIEL BREWER 43. JAMES H. 41. KRUEGER 42.33- The Rhetoric of Sexuality and the Literature of the French Renaissance JERRY G. TOM CONLEY The Graphic Unconscious in Early Modern French Writing MARGERY EVANS Baudelaire and Intertextuality: Poetry at the Crossroads Justice and Difference in the Works of Rousseau: Bienfaisance and Pudeur CHRISTOPHER JOHNSON JUDITH STILL 40. NASH LAWRENCE D.

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