Part II

Fate of the Artist

 Chapter 4

Tragic Descent of Artist and Hero

The death-in-life imposed by necessity is contamination: of soul by body across the boundary marked by the neck; by prostitution in the wide sense, specifically that of the artist pandering to an audience. Pentheus and Achilles are performers destroyed by this.

§4.1 Three models of necessity

In the Timaeus necessity is called “the wandering cause.” Translators have tried “errant,” “rambling,” “variable,” “aimless,” “irresponsible,” and this cause has been said to contribute “the apparently arbitrary” to the order of things.[1] Things come to be in the mysterious “recipient” or “receptacle,” “as it were, the nurse of all becoming” that “provides room for all things that have birth” and so is like their mother (their divine source being the father). This puzzling container is something like space, and something like a primordial material.[2] As such it imposes constraints, for example restricting the geometrical forms that can exist (e.g. regular polyhedra). Therefore it represents a fundamental necessity. So we can say on the one hand that this necessity is a sort of womb, and on the other that necessity operates as wandering. Hence the wandering womb that, according to Timaeus (above at n. 1.20), causes hysterical suffocation, is as it were a model of necessity within the body: Timaeus is implying that hysteria is an acknowledgment of necessity.[3]

Necessity is first prominent as that from which, or by virtue of which, souls are implanted in bodies;[4] and the association is made again when the construction of the body is considered in detail. For this the first thing to establish is the housing of the two kinds of soul, the immortal kind and the mortal kind. The latter has within it παθήματα—attributes, affections, “passions” in the philosophical sense—“both fearful (δεινὰ) and necessary: firstly pleasure, a most mighty lure (δέλεαρ) to evil,” then pains, rashness and fear, anger, hope. Combining these with irrational sensation and lust, “in necessary fashion [the offspring of the god] compounded the mortal kind [of soul]. Wherefore, since they scrupled to pollute the divine, unless through absolute necessity, they planted the mortal kind apart therefrom in another chamber of the body, building an isthmus and boundary for the head and chest by setting between them the neck, to the end that they might remain apart.”[5] The idea is that if souls are going to be in bodies, there must be different kinds of soul; and they are assigned to different places. The neck is needed for communication; but it is narrow, to impede contamination. Clearly it is at odds with itself: as link and boundary it exhibits at once the unavoidability and the constriction of necessity. Hence it provides a second model of necessity in the body, this time visible. The problem it exhibits is that there are two imperatives: one must live—in the sense of the immortal soul, as free from death as Heracles refined by fire (above at n. 3.34); and one must live—in the sense of the embodied soul, with its essential mortal part, and so, eventually, die. These competing imperatives of necessity invite hysteria to lodge in the neck, like the “frontier fortification” Freud spoke of (above at n. 1.17).

Then necessity will take one by the throat when what rises from below is too great to bear, too large to fit through the narrow neck—pleasures, pains, rashness and fear, and the rest. They threaten contamination of the immortal soul—the nearest thing to death it can suffer; yet preventing this, the neck constricted menaces the union of the two souls, which is the man, with death: the breath of life cut off.[6] That is to say, hysteria suppresses passionate memory and is characteristically suffocating. But as Aristotle’s examples of the necessary (above at n. 2.50) remind us, it is not only breath that passes through the neck; there is also food, which is more evidently a thing of the body, pleasurably filling it. Fullness and excess are universal in our poem—the spilling crowd, absorption of the atmosphere, extravagant noise and commotion, filled-out tights and skirts, the repeated “everywhere,” “everything,” the saltimbanque’s extremity. And especially (1) the dominating odor of fried food, (2) the “comble d’horreur” [full measure of horror], (3) the closing of the throat, and (4) the great reflux of people caused by some disorder or disturbance, suggesting overindulgence, nausea, and vomiting.[7] This is the life of the people; and since their world is that of transient things, such nausea can be understood to result from the vain attempt to take in, to fix one’s eye on, what Plato would call shifting shadows. The poet thinks to “pass in review” the spectacle, while remaining a spectator; this proves impossible; the “deep gaze” of the saltimbanque calls forth “the vertigo and the horror of nothingness,” he loses his footing and is swept away.[8]

In a general way the scene recalls Horace’s odes (§2.2), where proud triumphs are turned to funerals, and fear and the noose follow success; more specifically, necessity as Nemesis chastises a hubris associated with overfullness, as it often is in Greek literature. The several elements of satiety, the pinnacle (as above at n. 2.20), hubris, necessity, and the loss of footing, occur together in a brief choral passage from Oedipus Tyrannus:

                              ὕβρις, εἰ
πολλῶν ὕπερπλησθῆι μάταν,
ἃ μὴ ’πίκαιρα μηδὲ συμφέροντα,
ἀκρότατα γεῖσ’ ἀναβᾶσ’
ἀπότομον ὤρουσεν εἰς ἀνάγκαν
ἔνθ’ οὐ ποδὶ χρησίμωι

Hubris, if vainly stuffed with many things that are not in fit time nor good for it, having mounted to the topmost cornice rushes forward (or is hurled) into sheer necessity (or constraint: ἀνάγκα), where it does not use a useful foot {i.e., its feet cannot serve to advantage}.[9]

The image is either of coming to the edge of a sheer drop (with “sheer” a kind of transferred epithet) and stopping short, baffled, or else of plunging down; in any case, there is no footing, as when hanged—this was the experience of the suitors’ women (above at n. 3.21).[10] We might think of a cartoon character who rushes out into thin air and then discovers his predicament. As Rilke puts it (with the help of a swan), dying is “no longer grasping / the ground we stand on every day.”[11]

Baudelaire in “Le Cygne” shows us a swan that stretches out its head “on its convulsive neck” toward the seeming water of the blue sky, while its body trails in the dry dust; the bird can be “ridiculous and sublime,” for the step from one to the other is the neck.[12] In the neck necessity is here represented as a permeable boundary between mortality and immortality, between the superhuman life of the pure soul and the dissipation of the body. Extending the idea of a boundary, we see that our poem offers a third model of necessity, this time wholly external to the human form, in the boundary across which the old saltimbanque gazes at the crowd—the magic circle which confines him (above at n. 3.9). As man that should be alive he is cut off from human life; as would-be artist, from the audience which art requires. Like the splenetic “king of a rainy country” he is rendered dead to the world by the “corrupt element” that has taken root in his being.[13] The poet looks past the boundary from the other side, and a deathly vision of the future enters his artist’s world. His pity cannot weep, his fear is realized as if by a noose around the neck; the breath of human existence and of artistic expression is stopped as the border between life and death is breached—a possibility most troubling to Baudelaire, as it was to his admired Poe.[14]

Transgression and contamination are implicit in the appearance of the saltimbanque, standing like a prostitute in his bright rags before his den (one of the booths that “flaunt”), rigged out by necessity, which is the thing that impels the prostitute. It was noted above (after n. 2.58) that the French for “rigged out” is “hooked up,” and of course a prostitute is a hooker—the French noun (raccrocheuse) is over 300 years old. The prostitute takes you by the arm, using the bend of her arm, the elbow, ἀγκών; the bent arm, ἀγκάλη. Baudelaire carries this further:

Fourmillante cité, cité pleine de rêves,
Où le spectre en plein jour raccroche le passant

Swarming (or Anthill) city, city full of dreams,
Where the specter in full daylight hooks the passerby[15]

—the awkward translation of the second line brings out the repletion we have found in our poem and the repetition essential to this one, as well as the act of hooking. Here the “specter,” whether a figure of dream or a haggard woman, reaches across the boundary between life and death. (I will return to this poem in §6.1.)

§4.2 Fall of the artist: Chambers’s theory

How contamination leads to death is explained in a subtle theory due to Ross Chambers.[16] It considers the literary artist as actor, recognizing that the actor was taken to be the type of the artist in general. I believe that it can be summed up in Horace’s maxim, “You may drive out Nature with a pitchfork, yet she will ever hurry back.”[17] In the following brief account of part of it, necessarily sketchy and crude, I will translate Chambers’s French here and there without quotation marks; whatever is not incorrect is his.

The theory begins with a fascinated spectator—a child at the theater, or the so-called flâneur, the stroller, rambler, idler about Paris. He sees masks, masked actors or just people’s exteriors: for the observer all are masked. He suffers from the distance between life and art, and wishes to join the ideal world of the bright stage, to overcome the distance that separates him from it; or to take part in the lives of the others he sees around him. This is feasible for a child, who can be absorbed in his game, be one with the role he plays; likewise in a primitive sacred theater the actor can be possessed, one with his mask. These possibilities pass away, the actor becomes conscious of acting; in the eighteenth century, a wholly human world, Diderot in Paradoxe sur le comédien defines the actor as a pure creator of illusion. In reaction the Romantics dream of the fusion of appearance and truth: the actor will express himself in his role, will live poetically. Although such an attempt to recover the past must fail, the artist can still propose to step out of himself and shape himself to any given role, so as to assume and belong wholly to a variety of masks while yet remaining who he is. The power of doing this Baudelaire calls objectivity. But it fails as well, for behind the mask is a man; more than that, an artist: not childish, but mature; not idle, but productive of art, of beauty; not sacred, but secular. His consciousness of acting keeps the identification from being genuine.

The situation can be described this way: the masked one is not only an observer, but also an observed (regardant, regardé). That is, he is not only one who took masks and wears them, who adopted roles of his choosing; he is also, as wearing them, watched: he performs the roles for an audience. And he knows that his identification with a role is temporary, that he must return to his existence apart from it. Then since the role is not himself, he fears giving himself over to it—fears selling himself to the crowd, prostituting himself, being dispersed among his roles and vaporized for the people’s pleasure. As actor he will be unable to attain the concentration art requires. Baudelaire notes, “De la vaporisation et de la centralisation du Moi. Tout est là” [Of the vaporization and centralization of the I. Everything is in that (or That’s the important thing)].[18] So the performer holds himself as far apart from the performance as possible.[19] Holding himself apart, he sees himself as not understood, he despises his own performance as not “his.” Within the regardé a new spectator, a harsh critic, is born, who knows that the longed-for reality is unattainable. A mask is now a protective shield, which he coldly contemplates.

This is the outcome of the essential problem of the actor’s art: to satisfy the observer’s need for prostitution—for assuming the masks the crowd expects: he needs the crowd, a repertory of masks, the substance of his art—without exacerbating the observed’s fear of prostitution—of vaporization as an object of public enjoyment. Thus there are two contradictory temptations: (1) of glory and acting—that means prostitution, self-betrayal; (2) of solitude and egoism, shut away—that is to remain uncomprehended, to draw hostile glances; if this is absolute, one ceases to be an artist. Then to be an artist, one can only choose one’s degree of prostitution (and in choosing, one is conscious of one’s duality). Baudelaire chooses maximal solitude, the attitude of defiance—he is the artist that is not understood.[20]

So the spectator in him contemplates the work. This spectator is doubly exiled: rejected by the crowd (not understood), and self-excluded from his own performance. (As exiled, he can be portrayed as a vagabond.) He hates the people and the work as well: he is ironical and aggressive. Against him the “objective” actor has no effective resistance. The result is exposure, artistic death. The inner critic blows the whistle on the performer, and the performance collapses—this happens literally in the prose poem “Une mort heroïque” [A Heroic Death]. Shattered by the derisive whistle, illusion is replaced by disillusion, and the natural man is back, participating in the absurd human comedy.[21]

To sum up: the old distance is reborn. The actor behind his mask lives the same division between being and seeming as the original spectator in the audience; this dooms his art.

And Baudelaire presents the whole scene to us. There are (1) the actor as observed, given over to life, to the crowd, prostituted; (2) the actor as the new, withdrawn observer of the other; and (3) the distant spectator of this dual figure. Of course, all three can be seen as internal to the poet. In the case of our poem, there are (1) the crowd and the entertainers, given over to the joy of the festival; (2) the old saltimbanque looking at them; (3) the poet who sees this. In the poem “Le Jeu” [The Game] there are (1) those who give themselves up to the game, the charm of life, prostitution; (2) a hateful, envious spectator, part of the spectacle but in a corner apart—“myself” (moi-même); (3) the poet-spectator watching these—“I” (je).[22] And in “Une mort héroïque” there are (1) an actor-prostitute, giving himself to his role as, in plotting against the Prince, he had just given himself to the crowd; (2) the Prince, cold-eyed spectator; (3) the narrator who contemplates their strained relation.

That is Chambers’s description. In it the conflict of imperatives we have noticed appears as at once essential to the artist’s situation and fatal to his success. His fate is classically tragic, a fall from prosperity to adversity consequent upon his conception of high art, which leads to the fatal severing of creation and performance. Indeed, his rigorous application of principle puts him in the class of men who possess a kind of justice, but not corrective equity, hence are liable to the tragic descent which error brings about.[23]

§4.3 Classical falls: Pentheus and Achilles

Such a descent resulting from Baudelairean prostitution is sharply drawn in Euripides’ Bacchae. There Pentheus the king despises and condemns the celebrants of Dionysus, yet cannot resist the temptation to see them at their revels. Helpless in the hands of the god, whom he does not recognize, he is dressed up as a woman, so as to resemble the revelers and be safe from discovery. Then he is elevated by the god to the very top of a tree, where he attains the best viewpoint; but on that pinnacle he is most visible, and seeing he is seen. Instead of finding acceptance, he is identified as a beast, thrown down by the celebrants and torn to pieces like the singer Orpheus. Foremost among the assailants is his own mother. And as the god had promised, she carries him back: Dionysus had told him he would return, carried “ ‘in your mother’s arms.’ ‘Indeed you will compel me to be in softness’ [he replied].” That exchange is a single line, in which “you will compel” (ἀναγκάσεις) indicates necessity and “be in softness” suggests “be broken into small pieces” as well as “be effeminate.”[24] In his effort to conform to what he condemned the king has lost his art of rule, his humanity, and finally his very existence, vaporized by the embrace of the mother from whose womb he came.[25]

Pentheus becomes a performer in spite of himself; ignorant and heedless, he cannot anticipate his fate. Much more conscious is Achilles, in whose world what matters is acknowledgment of worth. Gain represents prowess in war: the hero grew wroth at Agamemnon because “he honored the best of the Achaeans not at all.”[26] Then war is its own end, the complex activity in which alone the warrior is fully at work, fully himself. Purposeful as battle may be, in the eyes of men and gods it is an occasion for the fighter to fight; nobility is beauty (τὸ καλόν)—contemptible Thersites is ugly as well. Achilles and the others, like the dandies of a later age, glory in a kind of aristocratic uselessness. “To be a useful man has always seemed to me something really hideous,” reflects Baudelaire. This is art for art’s sake, l’art pour l’art, the doctrine of which Gautier wrote the manifesto: “There is nothing truly beautiful save what cannot serve any pupose; everything useful is ugly, for it is the expression of some need, and those of man are ignoble and disgusting, like his poor and infirm nature. —The most useful place in a house is the toilets.”[27] As soon cramp Heracles in brazen clothes (§3.4) as govern battle by the modern god Utility.

Yet to practice his art the warrior must perform in public, as on the bright stage at Troy. In his anger at unappreciative Agamemnon and the Achaeans who follow him, Achilles withdraws to solitude. The waves of battle crash around him, until like a god he sends forth a simulacrum of himself, his “other self,” Patroclus wearing his armor, to put on the required performance, to show what he could do if he would. This masked figure is to be controlled by his direction, but even as he gives it he betrays his fear that the stand-in cannot be managed; and so it turns out. Patroclus cannot sustain his role, precisely because he is not Achilles, nor backed up by the hero, who keeps at a distance. He succumbs to the temptation of heroic achievement, and is struck down; his body is all but pulled apart by the crowd.[28] The mask having failed, Achilles is exposed, stripped bare, shouting in rage and despair. The death of his other self presages his own: the bright likeness was a prophet of the artist’s end.

Like Aeneas, like the suitors of Penelope (§1.3), Achilles has seen his own ghost. Similarly, the old saltimbanque is prophetic for the poet, revealing his future in a motionless figure of the fixed past it will become. “[L]a Mort … n’est-elle pas une courtisane dont les embrassements sont positivement irrésistibles?” [Isn’t Death a prostitute whose embraces are positively irresistible?] asks Baudelaire.[29] The somber artist stands waiting for the poet alone: no one else sees him. Harsh critic that he is, in his costume he looks like the gaiety he condemns, for an artist’s collapse is a failure to hold at a distance the public he desires. This portrait of destructive self-condemnation, suddenly before the poet, fills him with fear, a feeling that springs from “an image (φαντασίας) of coming evil,” as Aristotle puts it—not with pity, for “the panic-stricken do not pity, because they are occupied with their own emotion (πάθει).” The saltimbanque is terrible in his necessity, and “the terrible (τὸ δεινὸν) is different from the pitiable, and tends to drive out pity (ἐκκρουστικὸν, as a failed actor is driven from the stage), and often serves to produce the opposite of pity.” In a moment the poet will pursue calculations of pity, but at present there has been no time for it: the immediacy of the image is not the leisure of a tragedy; he is as though suddenly deprived of the gift of Prometheus, no longer to foresee one’s doom. Of the fear of self-condemnation hysteria is precisely the acute form, hence his reaction to the triumph of fatal desire.[30] Desire, we know, is a tree “hardier than the cypress,” that living graveyard-dweller; thanks to the structure of the flesh imposed by Timaean necessity, it reaches over the boundary between life and death, ultimately to hold its victim in the oblivion of defunct art. —Socrates too considered the possibility that it is desire, and not necessity alone, that has the power to bind men in Hades; to be sure, that was the desire for virtue.[31]


[1] “The wandering cause,” ἡ πλανωμένη αἰτία, first at 48a; A. E. Taylor, A Commentary on Plato’s Timaeus (London: Oxford University Press, 1928), note to 47e4–5. In the generation of the cosmos Timaean necessity, being more philosophical than the tragic necessity of §3.2 above, yields to the persuasion of reason (νοῦς)—to some extent, at least: 48a, 56c.

[2] Timaeus 49a, 52a–b, 50c–51b. Cf. Aristotle, Physics 209b12–18.

[3] The notion of a model and its copy (by mimesis) is prominent in Timaeus (first explicit at 28a; mimesis at 19d): thus, e.g., as the cosmos is modeled upon the eternal (29a), so also the head imitates the round universe (44d)—representation by a part of the body, as here. The “wandering stars,” or planets, together with the sun and moon, introduced to generate time (38c), further associate the cycling womb with the idea of wandering.

[4] Souls are implanted ἐξ ἀνάγκης, 42a.

[5] Timaeus 69c–e. The word translated “building” (διοικοδομήσαντες) is used in Thucydides (above, n. 2.11) 4.69.2 for constructing a siege wall. See also Plato, Phaedo 66b–67b.

[6] Immediately following the passage quoted in n. 2.55 from Marvell’s Rehearsall Transpros’d we read, “There is another [necessity] which may be named the Necessity of the Neck, or Caligula’s Necessity …; that is that the whole body of the People should have but one Neck” (190). Cf. the account in Huysman’s À rebours (1884, chap. 5) of two pictures of Salome by Moreau. Before the murder she is not only a baladine (cf. n. 1.10 above) but “the goddess of immortal Hysteria,” who exceeds “the royal Prostitute of the Apocalypse”; after it, “the terrifying vision [of the staring risen head of John the Baptist] … nails her, immobile, standing on tiptoe … her hand convulsively gripping her throat … a frightful nightmare was strangling … the courtesan, petrified, hypnotized by terror.”

[7] In the introduction above, “pour comble d’horreur” was translated “to top off the horror.” Comble indicates fullness to the point of overflowing.

[8] For the last quoted phrase see n. 2.24 above.

[9] Oedipus Tyrannus 873–879. On hubris and κόρος, overfullness, see LSJ and the note to line 873 in Sophocles, Oedipus Rex, ed. R. D. Dawe (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982). The word for “free” in ode 3.24, expedies, is etymologically “free the foot,” so the helplessness there further resembles that here. Where Aristotle says that necessity “impedes” (text above at n. 2.50), the Greek verb is like the English (from Latin), ἐμποδίζω, literally “put the foot in [bonds]”—“fetter the foot,” to use a cognate. Cf. Parmenides’ “shackles,” text above after n. 2.38, and Montaigne, text above at n. 3.7. Necessity (τὸ χρεών) may pull down the climber after virtue by the foot in Lucian, Hermotimus 6.

[10] Contrast Seneca, Thyestes 926–928: “magnum, ex alto / culmine lapsum stabilem in plano / figere gressum [It is a great thing, when fallen from a lofty pinnacle, to set foot firmly on the plain], trans. after F. J. Miller, LCL (1929).

[11] Rainer Maria Rilke, “Der Schwan.”

[12] “Le Cygne,” Œuvres 1:86 (cf. “convulsive” in n. 1.10 above). In Rilke’s poem, to the “awkward walking” of the swan is compared a difficult passage, “heavy and as if bound,” “through the still-undone.” His bird attains the water.

[13] Baudelaire, “Spleen” (“Je suis comme le roi …”), Œuvres 1:74. Cf. Pascal, Pensées 136 (Lafuma), 139 (Brunschvicg), paragraph 3.

[14] Richard D. E. Burton, Baudelaire in 1859: A Study in the Sources of Poetic Creativity (Cambridge University Press, 1988), 138–148; Poe: e.g. “The Fall of the House of Usher,” in which Roderick Usher, who has been feeling that he will have to “abandon life and reason together, in some struggle with the grim phantasm, FEAR,” advances to exhibiting “an evidently restrained hysteria in his whole demeanor” as a result of his apprehension that his sister is alive in her tomb. See also “Loss of Breath,” “The Premature Burial,” and other tales.

[15] “Les Sept Vieillards” (above, n. 3.27).

[16] Chambers (above, n. 2.2) 189–260.

[17] “Naturam expelles furca, tamen usque recurret”: Epistles 1.10.24, trans. H. Rushton Fairclough, LCL (1929).

[18] Mon cœur mis à nu, Œuvres 1:676. The editor calls attention to a related extract from Emerson made by Baudelaire.

[19] Compare the behavior of a dandy, such as Baudelaire was. As Jean Starobinski says, the dandy endeavors to separate himself from his body; the clown parodies the dandy, catching him in the trap of his body: Portrait de l’artiste en saltimbanque (Genève: Éditions d’Art Albert Skira, 1970), 66–67.

[20] “Goût invincible de la prostitution dans le cœur de l’homme, d’où naît son horreur de la solitude. —Il veut être deux. L’homme de génie veut être un, donc solitaire.” [Invincible taste for prostitution in the heart of man, from which is born his horror of solitude. —He wants to be two. The man of genius wants to be one, hence solitary.] Mon cœur mis à nu, Œuvres 1:700.

[21] Œuvres 1:319–323. Again we can think of Lear. Two of his daughters are troublesome: they prostitute themselves, to the king himself and to Edmund, for power. The third refuses to speak, to perform in the play: “I want that glib and oily art / To speak and purpose not.” She suffers “for want of … / A still-soliciting eye, and such a tongue / That I am glad I have not,” and dismisses a suitor with the comment, “Since that respect and fortunes are his love / I shall not be his wife.” Then she withdraws to a distant shore—France!—and makes war upon the others. Lear 1.1.223–248, 3.1.30–31, 4.4.23–28, etc.

[22] Œuvres 1:95–96.

[23] He is not ἐπιεικής: Aristotle, Poetics 1452b34–1453a17; Nicomachean Ethics 5.10 (above, n. 3.10); see the translation of Poetics entitled On Poetics, trans. Seth Benardete and Michael Davis (St. Augustine’s Press: South Bend, Indiana 2002), xxii–xxiv.

[24] Line 969, in which τρυφᾶν suggests the verb θρύπτω (2 aor. pass. ἐτρύφην), from which it derives: Bacchae, ed. R. Seaford (Warminster: Aris & Phillips, 1996), note to lines 969–970 (citing Kepple); Chantraine, s.v. θρύπτω.

[25] The fatality of the sociable disguise is experienced in another way in Musset’s Lorenzaccio. Having falsely pretended that his youthful virtue was but a “stifling mask,” Lorenzo deliberately assumes and long wears the garment of vice, only to find it “stuck to his skin,” “like the robe of Deianira [wife of Heracles]”; he had “wanted only to take on a mask like their faces,” and now cannot recover himself: his “plaster mask” cannot blush (3.3, 4.5). Cf. the end of Nabokov’s Real Life of Sebastian Knight.

[26] Iliad 1.412.

[27] Mon cœur mis à nu, Œuvres 1:679; Gautier, Mademoiselle de Maupin (Paris: Eugène Fasquelle, Bibliothèque-Charpentier, 1924), préface, p. 22.

[28] Iliad 17.389–395. “Patroclus, whom I honored above all my comrades and equally with myself [lit. my head]” (ἶσον ἐμῆι κεφαλῆι), 18.81–82. “A scholiast quotes the Pythagorean dictum: ‘τί ἐστι φίλος; ἄλλος ἐγώ’ ” [What is a friend? Another I]. Allen Rogers Benner, Selections from Homer’s Iliad (New York: Irvington, 1903), note to line 82.

[29] À Alphonse de Calonne, 11 février 1859 (above, n. 3.25). Cf. Valéry’s observation, “Nothing so pure [as the pure poetry to which the symbolists aspired] can coexist with the conditions of life.” Baudelaire, he says, was the first to attempt the “preparation of poetry in the pure state”: Paul Valéry, Œuvres, ed. Jean Hytier, vol. 1 (Paris: Gallimard, Pléiade, 1957), 1275, 1270.

[30] Aristotle, Rhetoric 1382a21–22, 1385b33–34, 1386a21–23; Prometheus Bound 250. Cf. Baudelaire, “L’Héautontimorouménos” (above, n. 3.35) and contrast Caesar’s “Of all the wonders that I yet have heard, / It seems to me most strange that men should fear, / Seeing that death, a necessary end, / Will come when it will come”: Julius Caesar 2.2.34–37.

[31] Baudelaire, “Le Voyage” 70–74, Œuvres 1:131–132; Plato, Cratylus 403c–404a.