n French Studies in Southern Africa - L'uvre sans nom de Charles Baudelaire ou l'unité perdue des Petits Poèmes en Prose
|Article Title||L'uvre sans nom de Charles Baudelaire ou l'unité perdue des Petits Poèmes en Prose|
|© Publisher:||Association for French Studies in Southern Africa (AFSSA)|
|Journal||French Studies in Southern Africa|
|Publication Date||Jan 2008|
|Pages||18 - 43|
|Keyword(s)||Auto-textualite, Baudelaire, Intertextualite, Intertextuality, Poemes en prose, Prose poems, Rousseau and Self-repetition|
Baudelaire has always maintained that there exists a certain parallelism between his collected verses (Les Fleurs du Mal) and his later poetic work in prose, Le Spleen de Paris (also called Petits Poèmes en prose). This parallelism is already apparent in the number of poems assembled in both cases : a hundred in the case of the first edition of Les Fleurs du Mal, fifty in the case of the posthumously published Le Spleen de Paris. Yet, whereas Les Fleurs du Mal is characterized by a closed structure, Baudelaire's specialists have always presented Le Spleen de Paris as an unfinished work with an open structure, basing their conclusions on the esthetics of fragmentation that Baudelaire himself advocates in his preface. By analyzing the very last prose poem, "Les Bons chiens", we will show that, while the prose poems reflect the experience of Les Fleurs du Mal, they also possess a closed structure. Indeed, it would appear that this poem acts as a kind of summary of all the previous poems and signals a conclusion to the book, thus closing it. At the same time, these measures of self-repetition are opened up again by intertextual references to Rousseau, whose Rêveries d'un Promeneur solitaire can be seen as a forerunner of prose poetry.
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