Time (Harmonie Du Soir)

Françoise Meltzer

in Seeing Double

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print June 2011 | ISBN: 9780226519883
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226519876 | DOI:
Time (Harmonie Du Soir)

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The grave in Baudelaire is more often than not metonymic of the void or, as here, the cold bed of the dead. It is not, however, a space that can successfully commemorate the departed; nor, with its various funerary architectures, does it suspend time by its insistence on reminding the living of “great men” of the past. Time in Baudelaire is deaf and blind to the funerary efforts of the living, and never suspended or slowed by any reminder of the past (though such reminders can help somewhat in repressing the fearful future). One owes a certain respect to the dead; but no monument can serve, for Baudelaire, to mitigate the horrors of the void or to conjure up hopes for a glorious immortality among men. Immortality, if it exists for the poet, is emphatically not to be found in the mortal sphere.

Keywords: grave; Baudelaire; time; void; immortality; space

Chapter.  21138 words. 

Subjects: Literature

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