9 Apr, 2021

Charles Baudelaire – French poet and critic

Charles Pierre Baudelaire was born in Paris on April 9, 1821. His father, François Baudelaire, was an artist, and from early childhood he instilled in his son a love of art, took him to museums and galleries, and introduced him to his fellow artists.

When Charles was 11 years old, the family moved to Lyon, and the boy was sent to a boarding house. In 1836, the Baudelaires returned to Paris, and Charles entered the College of Saint Louis, from where he was expelled just a year before graduation. In May 1841, Baudelaire was sent on a journey to “get rid of evil influences.”

A year later, he entered into the right of inheritance, but quickly began to squander his father’s money, and in 1844, by a court order, the management of the inheritance was transferred to his mother, and Charles himself now had to receive only a modest amount of “pocket money” every month.

From 1844 to 1848, Baudelaire attended the Assassins’ Club, founded by Jacques-Joseph Moreau, and consumed dawamesk (an Algerian variety of hashish). Subsequently, he became addicted to opium, but by the early 1850s he had overcome the addiction and wrote three large articles about his psychedelic experience, which compiled the collection “Artificial Paradise” (1860).

In 1857, the collection of poems “Flowers of Evil” was published, which shocked the public so much that the censors fined Baudelaire and forced him to remove six of the most “obscene” poems from the collection. Then Baudelaire turned to criticism and in this field quickly achieved success and recognition. And in 1860 he returned to poetry and published the collection “Paris Spleen”, which consisted of prose poems.

In 1864, Baudelaire left for Belgium, where he spent two and a half years, despite his aversion to the boring Belgian life and rapidly deteriorating health. While at the Saint-Loup church in Namur, Baudelaire fainted and fell directly onto the stone steps. He was brought to Paris and placed in a clinic. The use of drugs was not in vain. Before his death, doctors discovered in him the first signs of right-sided paralysis and severe aphasia, which later turned into a complete loss of speech.

Charles Baudelaire died on August 31, 1867 in Paris, was buried in the Montparnasse cemetery