READING IN / Baudelaire in Paris

Ah, the distinct, ephemeral nature of life in an urban metropolis: Baudelaire was preoccupied with this experience, particularly in relation to 19th century Paris. As he once wrote, “the old Paris is no more (the form of a city changes faster, alas! than a mortal’s heart).”

Charles Baudelaire was born in 1821 in Paris, where he also died before he reached the age of fifty. While his poetry drew from the Romantics of earlier periods, his work was decidedly modern in its focus on urban life and the impacts of industrialization. In fact, he is credited with coining the term “modernity” (modernité) to describe the contradictions inherent in his age as well as the attendant responsibilities of art: “By modernity I mean the transitory, the fugitive, the contingent which make up one half of art, the other being the eternal and the immutable.” Baudelaire’s most famous volume of poetry, Les Fleurs du mal, situates beauty in the context of modernity, exploring beauty in all its changing forms: pure, cold, sinister, melancholy, and so on.

From “Meditation”

📷 : Paris, France / June 2016

From “The Sun”

📷 : Paris, France / June 2016

From “Elevation”

📷 : Paris, France / June 2016

From “The Balcony”

📷 : Paris, France / June 2016

From “Clouded Sky”

📷 : Paris, France / June 2016

From “Landscape”

📷 : Paris, France / June 2016

See also:

France Dossier

And . . .

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