Literary Birthday – 9 April – Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire was born 9 April 1821, and died 31 August 1867.


  1. Inspiration comes of working every day.
  2. Common sense tells us that the things of the earth exist only a little, and that true reality is only in dreams.
  3. Nothing can be done except little by little.
  4. Any newspaper, from the first line to the last, is nothing but a web of horrors, I cannot understand how an innocent hand can touch a newspaper without convulsing in disgust.
  5. God is the only being who, in order to reign, doesn’t even need to exist.
  6. A book is a garden, an orchard, a storehouse, a party, a company by the way, a counsellor, a multitude of counsellors.
  7. Two fundamental literary qualities: supernaturalism and irony.
  8. 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.
  9. In literature as in ethics, there is danger, as well as glory, in being subtle.
  10. Always be a poet, even in prose.

Charles Baudelaire was a French poet. He influenced a whole generation of poets including Paul Verlaine, Arthur Rimbaud and Stéphane Mallarmé. His themes of sex, death, lesbianism, metamorphosis, depression, urban corruption, lost innocence, and alcohol gained him loyal followers. It also created controversy. Baudelaire, his publisher, and the book’s printer were taken to court for offending public morality. He is credited with coining the term ‘modernity’ (modernité) to designate the fleeting, experience of life in an urban metropolis. His most famous work is Les Fleurs Du Mal.

Source for Image:,_Portrait_of_Charles_Baudelaire,_circa_1862.jpg In the public domain.

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 9th April 2013