Baudelaire, Rimbaud, and Mallarmé: Music in the City – Fragments of Open Air

This study explores the poetic topos of the open-air concert in France during the second half of the nineteenth century. As cultural institutions, various kinds of open-air music were controversial, alternately praised as a harmonizing influence on city life and condemned as a public nuisance. This ambivalence is deepened and reinterpreted in poems and prose poems by Baudelaire, Rimbaud, and Mallarmé. Their works suggest that open-air music transforms urban space not by homogenizing or naturalizing it, as convention holds, but by fragmenting it in ways that emphasize its artificiality and dislocate accepted, spacially-oriented categories. (MRM)
Miner, Margaret
Volume 1995 Spring-Summer; 23(3-4): 403-15