The Other Other: Baudelaire, Melancholia, and the Dandy

Abstract: 

Charles Baudelaire, one of nineteenth-century France's most prominent dan-dies, cites melancholia as one of the most striking features of dandyism. The dandy's melancholia seems to acquire special connotations in Baudelaire's typology: it takes form as a symbolic crisis that coincides with the phallicization of the male body. The connotations of this crisis are perhaps best illustrated in Baudelaire's prose poem, "Assommons les pauvres." The poem's confrontation between two dimensions of male selfhood signals a displacement and obfuscation of masculine desire in phallic culture. The confusion integral to phallic culture's conception of the masculine fur-ther resonates in Baudelaire's sometimes startling attitudes regarding women, fashion, and cosmetics. (PGH) 

Author: 
Hadlock, Philip.
Release Year:
Project MUSE: 
Volume: 
2001-2002; 30(1-2): 58-67.