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    Modernity, evil and ethics: a Sartrean and Bataillean reading of Baudelaire’s ‘Le Jeu’

    Catani, Damian (2012) Modernity, evil and ethics: a Sartrean and Bataillean reading of Baudelaire’s ‘Le Jeu’. Dix-Neuf 16 (3), pp. 260-270. ISSN 14787318.

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    This article argues that T.S. Eliot’s literary analysis of Baudelaire presciently paves the way for a serious reconsideration of the equally neglected philosophical critiques of Sartre (Existentialism) and Bataille (Transgression), which posit the relationship between evil and ethics as integral to any proper understanding of Baudelaire’s opus. Their contrasting interpretations shed valuable light on Baudelaire’s poem ‘Le Jeu’, whose powerful depiction of urban vice encapsulates the paradoxical, but mutually productive links that he grasped between evil and modernity. The moral equivocation on which the poem ends lends itself neither to an exclusively Sartrean or Bataillean interpretation, but provides compelling evidence of Baudelaire’s authentic and enduring commitment to seeking ethical solutions to the conundrum of modern life through a profound engagement with evil.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Charles Baudelaire, Jean-Paul Sartre, ethics, Georges Bataille, modernity, Transgression, evil, T.S. Eliot, Existentialism
    School: School of Arts > Cultures and Languages (to 2020)
    Research Centres and Institutes: Aesthetics of Kinship and Community, Birkbeck Research in (BRAKC)
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 09 Apr 2013 13:32
    Last Modified: 07 Dec 2016 15:15


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