Gender on the Divide: The Dandy in Modernist Literature

By Jessica R. Feldman | Go to book overview

4
MUNDUS MULIEBRIS

BAUDELAIRE'S DANDY


LEVANA: A DANDY'S PROLOGUE

During the years 1857 and 1858, Charles Baudelaire ( 1821-1867) created his version of Thomas De Quincey Confessions of an English Opium-Eater ( 1821) and Suspiria de Profundis ( 1845). De Quincey's works combine autobiography, polemic, and psychological thriller. In them he recounts his childhood, spent partly in the shelter of a loving family and partly as a street child in London; then his harrowing opium addiction, complete with transcribed visions; and finally his unsuccessful attempts to break the addiction permanently. Baudelaire version, titled Un mangeur d'opium, was the work of a dandy and an artist. Just as Barbey created "Du Dandysme" by appropriating others' personalities, appearances, and labors, so Baudelaire seized on De Quincey's work and made it his own. The process by which Confessions became Mangeur combined translation, paraphrase, plagiarism, quotation, excision, and addition.1 Baudelaire invented its

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1
For a complete account of the transformation of Confessions to Mangeur, see Wulf, in Baudelaire, Mangeur (28-97)

-97-

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Gender on the Divide: The Dandy in Modernist Literature
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Abbreviations xi
  • 1 - Introduction 1
  • 2 - Paroles Hermaphrodites 25
  • 3 - Cette Vie En L''Air 54
  • 4 - Mundus Muliebris 97
  • 5 - On the Divide 143
  • 6 - The Intimidating Thesis 180
  • 7 - The Abyssinian Maid 220
  • Afterword 269
  • Select Bibliography 273
  • Index 285
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