The Style of Dramaticality in Baudelaire's Prose Poetry

The dramaticality of Baudelaire's prose poems is most obviously signaled by an extensive use of dialogue. Indeed many of the poems can be formally recast as scènes dialoguées. This dramatic tendency represents a trend away from the descriptive poem-paintings of his earlier career. The peripheral poet-narrator and reader-addressee now become participating actors. The poet-actor's close dependence on a reacting spectator – rather than a remote reader – is inextricably associated with the poet's theory of dandyism. Despite an appearance of realism in thematic content, plot structure and linguistic realization, these dramatic universes represent a retreat into a more enclosed, self-sufficient universe of art. (RSK)

King, Russell S
Volume 1978-1979 Fall-Winter; 7(1-2): 50-58.