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Abstract

In her article "Text, Textile, and the Body in Baudelaire's 'A une mendiante rousse' and Devi's Indian Tango," Michelle C. Lee aims to rethink the post-romantic division between aesthetics and politics through a reconsideration of the idea of complicity in Charles Baudelaire's poem and Ananda Devi's novel. Lee argues against the claim that aesthetics needs to remain autonomous in order to be able to radically critique bourgeois society. Through a reading of the trope of clothing in each of the texts, Lee re-evaluates the formation of autonomous modernist aesthetics and attempts to show that avant-garde self-reflexivity engages in the very social questions that it had sought to abandon. Baudelaire's and Devi's employment of linguistic self-reflexivity blurs the boundaries between self and other, writer and character, as it constructs a socially informed relationship between speaker and interlocutor.