Quotations From CHARLES BAUDELAIRE


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  • All fashions are charming, or rather relatively charming, each one being a new striving, more or less well conceived, after beauty, an approximate statement of an ideal, the desire for which constantly teases the unsatisfied human mind.
    Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), French poet. repr. In Selected Writings on Art and Artists, ed. P.E. Charvet (1972). "The Painter of Modern Life," sct. 11, L'Art Romantique (1869).

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  • What is exhilarating in bad taste is the aristocratic pleasure of giving offense.
    Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), French poet. Squibs, Intimate Journals, sct. 18 (1887), trans. by Christopher Isherwood (1930), rev. Don Bachardy (1989).
  • I consider it useless and tedious to represent what exists, because nothing that exists satisfies me. Nature is ugly, and I prefer the monsters of my fancy to what is positively trivial.
    Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), French poet. repr. In The Mirror of Art, ed. Jonathan Mayne (1955). "Salon of 1859," sct. 3, Curiosités Esthétiques (1868).

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  • However incoherent a human existence may be, human unity is not bothered by it.
    Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), French poet, critic. Artificial Paradise, An Opium-eater, VIII. Visions of Oxford (1860).
  • Love is the natural occupation of the man of leisure.
    Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), French poet, critic. The Painter of Modern Life, IX "The Dandy," (1863).

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  • This life is a hospital in which each patient is obsessed with the desire to change beds.
    Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), French poet, critic. Little Poems in Prose (Paris Spleen), "Anywhere Out of the World," (1867).

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  • "Modernity" signifies the transitory, the fugitive, the contingent, the half of art of which the other half is the eternal and the immutable.
    Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), French poet, critic. The Painter of Modern Life, IV "Modernity," (1863).
  • The study of beauty is a duel in which the artist cries with terror before being defeated.
    Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), French poet, critic. Little Poems in Prose (Paris Spleen), "The Confiteor of the Artist," (1862).

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  • Woman is natural, that is to say, abominable.
    Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), French poet, critic. My Heart Laid Bare, XVIII (1887).

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  • Where one should see only what is beautiful, our public looks only for what is true.
    Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), French poet, critic. "Théophile Gautier," part IV (1859).

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