Sartre on Baudelaire (2)

"When he wrote a poem he thought that he was giving people nothing or at least that he was only giving them a useless object. He did not serve; he remained greedy and shut up in himself; he did not compromise himself in his creation. At the same time the discipline of rhythm and versification forced him to pursue in this field the ascesis which he practised by his tasted in clothes and his dandyism. He imposed a form on his feelings as he had imposed a form on his body and his movements. Baudelaire's poems have a dandyism of their own. Finally, the object which he produced was only an image of himself, a restoration in the present of his memory which offered the appearance of a synthesis of being and existence. And since he was more than half engaged in it, when he tried to appropriate it to himself he did not succeed completely; he remained unsatisfied. Thus the object of desire was paired off with the desire in order to form in the end this rigid, perverse, unsatisfied totality which was none other than Baudelaire himself."

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