1821-1867, French Poet
A frenzied passion for art is a canker that devours everything else.
Charles Baudelaire – [Arts and Artists]
A sweetheart is a bottle of wine, a wife is a wine bottle.
Charles Baudelaire – [Wives]
Alas, human vices, however horrible one might imagine them to be, contain the proof (were it only in their infinite expansion) of man's longing for the infinite; but it is a longing that often takes the wrong route. It is my belief that the reason behind all culpable excesses lies in this depravation of the sense of the infinite.
Charles Baudelaire – [Vice]
All fashions are charming, or rather relatively charming, each one being a new striving, more or less well conceived, after beauty, an approximate statement of an ideal, the desire for which constantly teases the unsatisfied human mind.
Charles Baudelaire – [Fashion]
All forms of beauty, like all possible phenomena, contain an element of the eternal and an element of the transitory — of the absolute and of the particular. Absolute and eternal beauty does not exist, or rather it is only an abstraction creamed from the general surface of different beauties. The particular element in each manifestation comes from the emotions: and just as we have our own particular emotions, so we have our own beauty.
Charles Baudelaire – [Beauty]
Any healthy man can go without food for two days — but not without poetry.
Charles Baudelaire – [Poetry and Poets]
Any man who does not accept the conditions of human life sells his soul.
Charles Baudelaire – [Rejection]
As a remedy against all ills; poverty, sickness, and melancholy only one thing is absolutely necessary; a liking for work.
Charles Baudelaire – [Health]
Every idea is endowed of itself with immortal life, like a human being. All created form, even that which is created by man, is immortal. For form is independent of matter: molecules do not constitute form.
Charles Baudelaire – [Immortality]
Everything considered, work is less boring than amusing oneself.
Charles Baudelaire – [Bores and Boredom]
Everything that is beautiful and noble is the product of reason and calculation.
Charles Baudelaire – [Reason]
Evil is done without effort, naturally, it is the working of fate; good is always the product of an art.
Charles Baudelaire – [Evil]
For the merchant, even honesty is a financial speculation.
Charles Baudelaire – [Business]
For the perfect idler, for the passionate observer it becomes an immense source of enjoyment to establish his dwelling in the throng, in the ebb and flow, the bustle, the fleeting and the infinite. To be away from home and yet to feel at home anywhere; to see the world, to be at the very center of the world, and yet to be unseen of the world, such are some of the minor pleasures of those independent, intense and impartial spirits, who do not lend themselves easily to linguistic definitions. The observer is a prince enjoying his incognito wherever he goes.
Charles Baudelaire – [Travel and Tourism]
Genius is no more than childhood recaptured at will, childhood equipped now with man's physical means to express itself, and with the analytical mind that enables it to bring order into the sum of experience, involuntarily amassed.
Charles Baudelaire – [Genius]
Hypocrite reader — my fellow — my brother!
Charles Baudelaire – [Books and Reading]
I consider it useless and tedious to represent what exists, because nothing that exists satisfies me. Nature is ugly, and I prefer the monsters of my fancy to what is positively trivial.
Charles Baudelaire – [Fantasy]
I have cultivated my hysteria with delight and terror. Now I suffer continually from vertigo, and today, 23rd of January, 1862, I have received a singular warning, I have felt the wind of the wing of madness pass over me.
Charles Baudelaire – [Madness]
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.
Charles Baudelaire – [Gambling]
If photography is allowed to stand in for art in some of its functions it will soon supplant or corrupt it completely thanks to the natural support it will find in the stupidity of the multitude. It must return to its real task, which is to be the servant of the sciences and the arts, but the very humble servant, like printing and shorthand which have neither created nor supplanted literature.
Charles Baudelaire – [Photography]