Conspiratorial Poetics: Baudelaire's `Une Mort héroïque'
Towards the end of his life, Baudelaire described the ideological legacy of his time as an irresistible contagion to which the poet himself was not immune. "Une Mort heroïque" (1864) investigates the relationship between poetry and politics to unveil their mutual contamination.The artist's failure to oppose the ruling order in this poem suggests that representation cannot sever itself from the conditions of its emergence and reception. The demise of a separate oppositional sphere, however, leads to a conspiratorial poetics that explores the complicity between artistic and state power. Such an oppositional strategy illuminates a historical shift in the representation and critique of aesthetic and political sovereignty. (DS)