In his article "Sightseeing in Paris with Baudelaire and Breton," Benton Jay Komins discusses the tensions between Charles Baudelaire's acts of modern appropriation and André Breton's imaginative seizing of the démodé. While Breton roams the Parisian cityscape with the same aspect of creative gazing as Charles Baudelaire's nineteenth-century dandy, the objects and experiences that he privileges are different from the dandy's fashionable marvels. In texts such as Nadja passé artifacts captivate Breton. Between Baudelaire's revelling in the elegant modern possibilities of dandysme and Breton's imaginative seizing of démodé objects, something significant has occurred: Twentieth-century urbanites like Breton no longer celebrate the experience of the new; rather, they privilege the obsolete, injecting it with inspirational possibilities. Against the cultural frame of Baudelaire's dandy and the social phenomenon of the fetishized commodity, Breton's twentieth-century descriptions of ruined Parisian landmarks, decrepit neighbourhoods, and exhausted everyday objects indeed become political.
Komins, Benton Jay.
"Sightseeing in Paris with Baudelaire and Breton."
CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture
This text has been double-blind peer reviewed by 2+1 experts in the field.
The above text, published by Purdue University Press ©Purdue University, has been downloaded 3248 times as of 02/24/15. Note: the download counts of the journal's material are since Issue 9.1 (March 2007), since the journal's format in pdf (instead of in html 1999-2007).
CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture is published by Purdue University Press ©Purdue University in open access. Please support the journal: Click here for more information and to make your donation online.