Modernity Revisited: Past and Present Female Figures in the Poetry of Banville and Baudelaire

This article examines the notion of modernity in key poems of Theodore de Banville and Charles Baudelaire. The point of departure is Baudelaire's own statement in Le Peintre de la vie moderne on the need to explore the interaction between modernity and Antiquity in order to understand the modem work of art in general, the statue and/in the poem in particular. The essay then analyzes the fluctuation in the notions of eternal and transitory beauty as they affect female figures in representative poems of Banville and Baudelaire. The study focuses on these shifts between Antiquity and modernity in the evocations of women's bodies. The objective is to arrive at a poetics of modernity intimately bound to representations of women of the past and the present. (EFD)
Dalmolin, Eliane F
Volume 1996-1997 Fall-Winter; 25 (1-2): 78-91