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Charles Baudelaire

1821-1867. French poet, translator, and literary and art critic whose reputation rests primarily on Les Fleurs du mal (1857; The Flowers of Evil), which was perhaps the most important and influential poetry collection published in Europe in the 19th century.

Books by Charles Baudelaire

It is from the womb of art that criticism was born.

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I have to confess that I had gambled on my soul and lost it with heroic insouciance and lightness of touch. The soul is so impalpable, so often useless, and sometimes such a nuisance, that I felt no more emotion on losing it than if, on a stroll, I had mislaid my visiting card.

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The whole visible universe is but a storehouse of images and signs to which the imagination will give a relative place and value; it is a sort of pasture which the imagination must digest and transform.

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The cannon thunders... limbs fly in all directions... one can hear the groans of victims and the howling of those performing the sacrifice... it's Humanity in search of happiness.

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There are as many kinds of beauty as there are habitual ways of seeking happiness.

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Evil is done without effort, naturally, it is the working of fate; good is always the product of an art.

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As a remedy against all ills; poverty, sickness, and melancholy only one thing is absolutely necessary; a liking for work.

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The more a man cultivates the arts the less he fornicates. A more and more apparent cleavage occurs between the spirit and the brute.

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The pleasure we derive from the representation of the present is due, not only to the beauty it can be clothed in, but also to its essential quality of being the present.

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Everything considered, work is less boring than amusing oneself.

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