Introduction: A System of Contradictions

  • Nicole Ward Jouve


It is beautiful to see how people who write about Baudelaire fall in love with him. There is something magnificent about his pride. His aloofness, the clear outline which the intentness of his concern draws around everything he writes, the impeccability of his stance, are, through a paradox which is at the core of his work, what enable the reader to feel so close to him. He offers himself to the world as irreducibly set apart: yet he creates an intimacy which thrills.


Infinite Space Clear Outline Grace Divine Divine Comedy Sudden Eruption 
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  1. 10.
    See on contemporary opinion A. E. Carter, Baudelaire et la Critique Française, 1868–1917, University of South Carolina Press, 1963.Google Scholar
  2. 14.
    Verlaine, Oeuvres posthumes II in Oeuvres complètes, Paris, Messein, 1913, pp. 8–9.Google Scholar
  3. 18.
    F. W. Leakey, Baudelaire and Nature, Manchester University Press, 1969, p. 124.Google Scholar
  4. 21.
    Paul Bourget, Essais de psychologie contemporaine, Paris, Plon-Nourrit, 1901, p. 6.Google Scholar
  5. 22.
    Turnell, Baudelaire, a Study of his Poetry, London, Hamish Hamilton, 1953, p. 108.Google Scholar

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© Nicole Ward Jouve 1980

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  • Nicole Ward Jouve

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