Advertisement

Baudelaire through Kierkegaard

Art, Fallibility, and Faith
Chapter
  • 105 Downloads

Abstract

Both Søren Kierkegaard (1813–55) and Charles Baudelaire (1821– 67) invented unique literary genres in order to launch spiritual revolutions. Their various works can be interpreted in terms of aesthetic, ethical, and religious dimensions of human experience. The esthetic favors the quest for ideal beauty and sensory or imaginative stimulation—what Kierkegaard calls “immediacy.” The ethical confronts fantastical impulses with the reality of other beings, human or otherwise; Kierkegaard labels this system of moral values the “universal.” The religious dimension points to the “Absolute,” a mode of experience beyond words, beyond concepts. The reality of God is “incommensurable” with the “ethical,” whereas the “esthetic” ignores morality, transcendent meaning, or God. These categories are not always separable in life.

Keywords

Religious Dimension Ideal Beauty Existential Presupposition Transcendent Meaning Critical Poetry 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Works Cited

  1. Babuts, Nicolae. Baudelaire: At the Limits and Beyond. Newark: U of Delaware P, 1997.Google Scholar
  2. Baudelaire, Charles. Œuvres complètes. Paris: Gallimard, 1975–76.Google Scholar
  3. The Parisian Prowler (Le Spleen de Paris). 1989. Trans. Edward K. Kaplan. Athens: U of Georgia Press, 1997.Google Scholar
  4. Bonnefoy, Yves. “L’acte et le lieu de la poésie.” L’Improbable et autres essais. Paris: Mercure de France, 1959. 147–86.Google Scholar
  5. Buber, Martin. “The Question to the Single One.” 1936. Between Man and Man. London: Routledge, 2002. 46–97.Google Scholar
  6. Burton, Richard. Baudelaire and 1859: A Study in the Sources of Poetic Creativity. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1988.Google Scholar
  7. Fingarette, Herbert. “The Meaning of Law in the Book of Job.” Hastings Law Review 29.6 (1978): 1581–1617.Google Scholar
  8. Fingarette, Herbert. “The Meaning of Law in the Book of Job.” Hastings Law Review 29.6 . “Out of the Whirlwind: The Book of Job.” Mapping Responsibility: Explorations in Mind, Law, Myth, and Culture. Chicago: Carus, 2004. 125–40.Google Scholar
  9. Handwerk, Gary. Irony and Ethics in Narrative. New Haven: Yale UP, 1985.Google Scholar
  10. Johnson, Barbara. Défigurations du langage poétique. Paris: Flammarion, 1979.Google Scholar
  11. Kaplan, Edward. “Baudelaire and the Vicissitudes of Venus: Ethical Irony in ‘Fleurs du Mal.’” Ed. Emanuel Mickel Jr. The Shaping of Text. Style, Imagery, and Structure in French Literature: Essays in Honor of John Porter Houston. Lewisburg: Bucknell UP, 1993. 113–30.Google Scholar
  12. Fingarette, Herbert. “The Meaning of Law in the Book of Job.” Hastings Law Review 29.6 . Baudelaire’s Prose Poems: The Esthetic, the Ethical, and the Religious in “The Parisian Prowler.” Athens: U of Georgia P, 1990.Google Scholar
  13. Fingarette, Herbert. “The Meaning of Law in the Book of Job.” Hastings Law Review 29.6 . “Martin Buber and the Drama of Otherness: The Dynamics of Love, Art, and Faith.” Judaism: A Quarterly 27.2 (Spring 1978): 294–306.Google Scholar
  14. Fingarette, Herbert. “The Meaning of Law in the Book of Job.” Hastings Law Review 29.6 . “Teaching the Ethical Baudelaire: Irony and Insight in Les Fleurs du Mal.” Ed. Laurence M. Porter. Approaches to Teaching Baudelaire’s Flowers of Evil. New York: Modern Language Association, 2000. 147–53.Google Scholar
  15. Kierkegaard, Søren. Either/Or. Trans. Howard V. Hong and Edna H. Hong. Part I. Princeton: Princeton UP, 1987.Google Scholar
  16. Fingarette, Herbert. “The Meaning of Law in the Book of Job.” Hastings Law Review 29.6 . Fear and Trembling and The Sickness Unto Death. Trans. Walter Lowrie. Princeton: Princeton UP, 1941.Google Scholar
  17. Fingarette, Herbert. “The Meaning of Law in the Book of Job.” Hastings Law Review 29.6 . Stages on Life’s Way. Ed. and trans. Howard Hong and Edna Hong. Princeton: Princeton UP, 1988.Google Scholar
  18. Lawler, James R. Poetry and Moral Dialectic: Baudelaire’s “Secret Architecture.” Madison: Fairleigh Dickenson UP, 1997.Google Scholar
  19. Powers, Scott. “Writing against Theodicy: Reflections on the Co-Existence of Good and Evil in Baudelaire’s Poetry and Critical Essays.” Nineteenth-Century French Studies 39.1–2 (Fall–Winter 2010–2011): 77–86.Google Scholar
  20. Ricœur, Paul. Fallible Man. Trans. Charles Kelbley. Chicago: Henry Regnery, 1965.Google Scholar
  21. Runyan, Randolph. Intratextual Baudelaire: The Sequential Fabric of “Les Fleurs du Mal” and “Spleen de Paris.” Columbus: Ohio State UP, 2010.Google Scholar
  22. Thélot, Jérôme. La Poésie précaire. Paris: Presses universitaires de France, 1997.Google Scholar
  23. Weil, Simone. “The Love of God and Affliction.” Waiting for God. New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1951. 117–36.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Joseph Acquisto 2013

Authors and Affiliations

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations