By Baudelaire, Charles; Baudelaire, Charles; Marchi, Dudley M
This booklet complements our knowing of France and the us by way of targeting their intercultural family. Baudelaire and Emerson have on the middle in their considering the very proposal of the way to reconcile person and collective adventure, a subject that's pervasive in French-American family. A historic viewpoint to modern matters concerning the French-American connection is helping us to come back to phrases with a number of the urgent difficulties presently dealing with France and the USA and to view a few key literary texts in a brand new gentle
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Additional resources for Baudelaire, Emerson, and the French-American Connection: Contrary Affinities
Baudelaire was constantly writing articles and reviews to keep up with his bills. Emerson went on grueling lecture tours after most of the inheritance money from his first wife’s estate was spent in allaying the financial hardships of other writers and in supporting the Underground Railroad. They were both engaged literati, in a class of their own, toiling daily to make the individual political through a socially committed spiritualization of the collective self. Both were simultaneously hermetic, yet actively engaged with their respective country’s political and social issues; they were activist scholars, teaching their knowledge to fellow citizens for improved well-being of the cooperative social body.
He follows Emerson’s exhortations toward the doctrine of self-reliance: “Insist on yourself; never imitate. Your own gift you can present every moment with the cumulative force of a whole life’s cultivation” (II, 83) with his own premise, “avant tout, être un grand homme et un saint pour soi-même” (I, 665). We see Baudelaire, ambivalent, even spiteful in his earlier commentaries on American writers, now desperately trying to order his life around principles established by one of them, who was a near antithesis of Poe.
Qxd 6/6/2011 4:12 PM Page 34 34 contrary affinities Like Emerson and Thoreau, Baudelaire balked at vulgar materialism, crass commercialism, and the anti-intellectualism of Middle America. Emerson and Thoreau could not have agreed more with Baudelaire’s assessment of the United States in his Poe essays. To counteract these realities, they were trying to create alternative realms of living, thinking, and being, as informed by their absorption and alteration of the literary and philosophical traditions of Europe.