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Baudelaire's “Dark Zone”: The Poème en Prose As Social Hieroglyph; or The Beginning and the End of Commodity Aesthetics

Baudelaire's “Dark Zone”: The Poème en Prose As Social Hieroglyph; or The Beginning and the End... <jats:p> Lyric poetry collides with the prose of history in Baudelaire's Petits poèmes en prose (1869), one of modernité's inaugural aesthetic projects. While the “prose poem” persists today with its own canons, anthologies, and journals, Baudelaire's poème en prose remains irreducible to the genre it is typically said to have originated. This essay makes a case for the generic singularity of Baudelaire's poème en prose by way of Paul de Man and Theodor Adorno, whose oblique references to Baudelaire's innovation are rich in unexamined implications, implications which illuminate the work of both theorists as much as they help us to understand the stakes of Baudelaire's prosaic experiment. The essay goes on to argue that modern lyric's rarefied aim for an autonomy beyond language's referential function persists critically, albeit paradoxically, in the seeming transparency of the Petits poèmes en prose, where poem and commodity collapse in an internal identification, while maintaining the distinctions of external disparities. </jats:p> http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Modernist Cultures Edinburgh University Press

Baudelaire's “Dark Zone”: The Poème en Prose As Social Hieroglyph; or The Beginning and the End of Commodity Aesthetics

Modernist Cultures , Volume 4 (1): 1 – May 1, 2009

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Publisher
Edinburgh University Press
Copyright
© Edinburgh University Press, 2010
ISSN
2041-1022
eISSN
1753-8629
DOI
10.3366/E2041102209000434
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

<jats:p> Lyric poetry collides with the prose of history in Baudelaire's Petits poèmes en prose (1869), one of modernité's inaugural aesthetic projects. While the “prose poem” persists today with its own canons, anthologies, and journals, Baudelaire's poème en prose remains irreducible to the genre it is typically said to have originated. This essay makes a case for the generic singularity of Baudelaire's poème en prose by way of Paul de Man and Theodor Adorno, whose oblique references to Baudelaire's innovation are rich in unexamined implications, implications which illuminate the work of both theorists as much as they help us to understand the stakes of Baudelaire's prosaic experiment. The essay goes on to argue that modern lyric's rarefied aim for an autonomy beyond language's referential function persists critically, albeit paradoxically, in the seeming transparency of the Petits poèmes en prose, where poem and commodity collapse in an internal identification, while maintaining the distinctions of external disparities. </jats:p>

Journal

Modernist CulturesEdinburgh University Press

Published: May 1, 2009

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