> There is a wonderful book with a whole chapter devoted
to Baudelaire, Valéry, Poe -- it was
> written in Italian, but
it's one of the best essays on Romanticism
> The title is -- "Flesh,
Death and Devil in the Romantic Literature" by Mario Praz.
Isn't that Romantic Agony in
From Peter Montgomery:
> So what is it that Baudelaire, Valéry and
Mallarmé liked so much about Poe?
> Could it have been his nterest in
creating a work by starting at the end and
> working backwards -- the
There is more, of course.
First of all, there's the Gothic
thrill - a quality of English literature that the French tend to take more
seriously than the Anglo-Saxons themselves.
Poe was also a
kindred spirit in that he too wrote against the grain of a society that was
essentially materialistic and future-oriented. There is an obvious connection
between Poe's fascination with the innate perversity of man and Baudelaire's
insistence that sin was better than bourgeois mediocrity.
Poe's final fall in the gutter also
increased his reputation among the poètes maudits.
It was precisley that Gothic/Satanist
quality that Eliot wanted to rid the symbolist tradition of. He tried to rescue
Baudelaire by calling him a natural Christian, but he lost Poe in the