Baudelaire and the Art of Memory

Synopsis

This study is an examination of Baudelaire's art criticism and its relationship with his creative writing. It is the first book in English to treat in one volume the diverse aspects of the subject: the principal aesthetic ideas, the importance of Delacroix, Boudin, Meryon, Guys, and Manet, the essays on laughter and caricature, and the language and rhetoric of the Salons and other critical writings. The title reflects Baudelaire's conviction, which emphasizes in relation to Delacroix, Daumier, Guys, and Wagner, that all art, whether it is painting, poetry or music, springs from the memory of the artist and speaks to the memory of the consumer of that art. This idea, exemplified in his own creative writing, extends to criticism itself, which is seen primarily as a phenomenon of recognition, and it is that sense of recognition that the author has sought to emphasize throughout.

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