Charles Baudelaire

a French poet noted for macabre imagery and evocative language (1821-1867)

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A book is a garden, an orchard, a storehouse, a party, a company by the way, a counselor, a multitude of counselors.
A sweetheart is a bottle of wine, a wife is a wine bottle.
Any healthy man can go without food for two days - but not without poetry.
Any healthy man can go without food for two days -- but not without poetry.
As a remedy against all ills; poverty, sickness, and melancholy only one thing is absolutely necessary; a liking for work.
Everything that is beautiful and noble is the product of reason and calculation.
Evil is done without effort, naturally, it is the working of fate; good is always the product of an art.
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.
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.
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.
It is by universal misunderstanding that all agree. For if, by ill luck, people understood each other, they would never agree.
It is necessary to work, if not from inclination, at least from despair. Everything considered, work is less boring than amusing oneself.
It is regrettable that, among the Rights of Man, the right of contradicting oneself has been forgotten.
It is the greatest art of the devil to convince us he does not exist.
Modernity is the transient, the fleeting, the contingent; it is one half of art, the other being the eternal and the immovable.
Poetry and progress are like two ambitious men who hate one another with an instinctive hatred, and when they meet upon the same road, one of them has to give place.
The being who, for most men, is the source of the most lively, and even, be it said, to the shame of philosophical delights, the most lasting joys; the being towards or for whom all their efforts tend for whom and by whom fortunes are made and lost; for whom, but especially by whom, artists and poets compose their most delicate jewels; from whom flow the most enervating pleasures and the most enriching sufferings -- woman, in a word, is not, for the artist in general... only the female of the human species. She is rather a divinity, a star.
The world only goes round by misunderstanding.
There exist only three beings worthy of respect the priest, the soldier, the poet. To know, to kill, to create.
There is no such thing as a long piece of work, except one that you dare not start.
To be just, that is to say, to justify its existence, criticism should be partial, passionate and political, that is to say, written from an exclusive point of view, but a point of view that opens up the widest horizons.
To say the word Romanticism is to say modern art -- that is, intimacy, spirituality, color, aspiration towards the infinite, expressed by every means available to the arts.
We are weighed down, every moment, by the conception and the sensation of Time. And there are but two means of escaping and forgetting this nightmare: pleasure and work. Pleasure consumes us. Work strengthens us. Let us choose.

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