'À une dame créole' de Charles Baudelaire: de l'ambiguïté colonialiste à l'ambiguïté plurielle

This essay supplements existing readings of Baudelaire’s sonnet "À une dame créole" (1845) by apprehending it not as a univocal piece centered on colonialist ambiguity, but as a locus of semantic plurality where this ambiguity coexists with its self-subversion. I argue that, by conferring polysemous connotations on the sonnet’s key terms and by cultivating irony and the paradigms of illusion and representation, Baudelaire bars us from assigning a definite meaning to his composition, establishing it instead as a space of slippage and mobility. Lastly, I read the self-subversion of the text’s apparently unquestionable colonialist ambiguity in its dramatic and lyrical intertexts as well as in its inclination for self-reflexivity which paradoxically reveal that the poet further distances himself from a position of detachment and power. (In French) (ECM)

Morisi, Eve Célia.
Volume 2007 Spring-Summer; 35(3-4): 547-57.