This article examines the intertextual relationship between Richard Wagner and Charles Baudelaire, arguing that latter's reworking of Wagner has important implications for the status of lyric poetry reinscribed within an urban context. A network of intertexts, including Wagner's "Lettre sur la musique" and Baudelaire's poems "Correspondances," "Obsession," and "Le Cygne," will suggest that Baudelaire transformed his consideration of music into a prolonged meditation on memory. Baudelaire's essay "Richard Wagner et Tannhäuser à Paris" rewrites the nature of esthetic experience in the 1860 s as it sketches the possibility, not of the elimination of the lyric from modern life, but rather of a new role for a lyric poetry of memory. (JA)
Nineteenth Century French Studies – University of Nebraska Press
Published: May 3, 2004
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