Charles Baudelaire (2014). Digital collage created & copyright © by Eric Edelman. All rights reserved.
Artist’s Confession (Cloud Poets Series)
How sharp is day’s end in autumn! Piercing to the point of pain. Because there are certain delicious sensations whose vagueness does not mute their intensity; and there is no shaper point than that of the Infinite.
What greater delight than to drown one’s gaze in the immensity of sky and sea! Solitude, silence, incomparable chastity of blue! Trembling on the horizon, a tiny sail, which by its minuteness and isolation mirrors my own irremediable existence; the swell’s monotonous melody; all things thinking through me or I thinking them (since the “I” loses itself quickly in the grandeur of reverie!); they think, I say, but musically and picturesquely, without quibbling, syllogisms, or deductions.
But these thoughts, whether they leave me or rush me along, soon become too intense. Energy within sensuousness provokes a malady and perceptible suffering. My overstrained nerves give out nothing but suffering, screaming vibrations.
And now the sky’s depth dismays me; its clarity exasperates me. The inanimate quality of the sea and the immutability of the spectacle revolt me. Ah! Must one suffer eternally, or eternally flee from beauty? Nature—pitiless enchantress, ever-victorious rival—leave me in peace! Stop tempting my pride, my desires! The study of Beauty is a duel in which the artist screams in terror before his defeat.
—from Paris Spleen by Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867)
Translated by Eric Edelman
All artwork, descriptions, translations, & other text [except for quotations] created & copyright © by Eric Edelman. All rights reserved.