Baudelaire, Emerson, and the French-American Connection: - download pdf or read online

By Dudley M. Marchi

ISBN-10: 1433114429

ISBN-13: 9781433114427

This e-book complements our knowing of France and the us through targeting their intercultural kin. Baudelaire and Emerson have on the center in their considering the very idea of ways to reconcile person and collective adventure, a subject that's pervasive in French-American relatives. A ancient viewpoint to modern concerns in regards to the French-American connection is helping us to return to phrases with the various urgent difficulties at present dealing with France and the USA and to view a few key literary texts in a brand new mild.

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Extra info for Baudelaire, Emerson, and the French-American Connection: Contrary Affinities (Currents in Comparative Romance Languages and Literatures)

Sample text

1848 ne fut charmant que par l’excès même du ridicule” (I, 680). The naive idealism of the left during the events of 1848 certainly affected Baudelaire and ultimately caused him to acquire a measure of distaste for direct political action. Even so, from 1848 on Baudelaire nevertheless maintained a constant, although implicit, political stance in his work; he was ever the antibourgeois writer, a secret agent of anarchist politics as promoted by Blanqui. In his own idiosyncratic way, Baudelaire was dedicated to undermining the bourgeois hegemony of France from within its systems of cultural production.

In Emerson’s description of the “stormy affair” at Barbès’s club, he witnessed students, artists, and hommes de lettres enraptured by Barbès’s fiery rhetoric, a marked contrast to Emerson’s oratory style. Baudelaire was perhaps one of these latter attendees whose emotional intoxication shook Emerson’s habitual serenity and imperturbability (Letters, IV, 73). On May 21, both Baudelaire and Emerson were present at the elaborate celebration of peace and work at the Place de la Concorde. One can speculate that perhaps they passed on the streets or even rubbed shoulders at one of the political rallies.

Baudelaire’s appropriation of American culture is thus a complicated mosaic of absorptions and transformations in cross-cultural filiations of themes, imagery, and attitudes. qxd 6/6/2011 4:12 PM Page 12 ·3· BAUDELAIRE AND EMERSON Contrary Affinities BAUDELAIRE’S ATTITUDE TOWARD AMERICAN LIFE AND CULTURE OFTEN APPEARS to be right on target, yet also highly uninformed. He does not seem to have understood anything of the tradition of American reform orators and writers and how they influenced the politically engaged writings of Emerson, and also of Thoreau, Whitman, Dickinson, Melville, and Hawthorne (D.

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Baudelaire, Emerson, and the French-American Connection: Contrary Affinities (Currents in Comparative Romance Languages and Literatures) by Dudley M. Marchi


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