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   Cafe Culture

   Daily Life







La Boheme
London 1900's
Beat Culture
Hippie Culture

Works Cited


"There exists in every man at every moment two simultaneous postulations, one toward God, the other toward Satan."

- Baudelaire, My Heart Laid Bare

This quote embodies Baudelaire's "contradictory impulses toward sprituality and eroticism, refinement and dissipation" Likewise, Baudelaire himself embodied the another kind of contradiction, associating with both the world of the dandy and the world of the bohemian, "with their respective associations of aristocracy and the crowd" (Seigel 114).

Baudelaire is aged 23 in this image and right in the midst of his dandy lifestyle. Note his fluffy hair and languishing pose, indicating the decadence of his way of life.
Baudelaire is an important figure of Bohemia, and tells us much about the Dandy lifestyle. Though he began life as a wealthy member of the bourgeoisie, there are several important ways in which Baudelaire was involved with Bohemia and the culture of youth in Paris...
  • He fought alongside the students and youth of Paris at the Barricades in 1848
  • Like many Bohemians, at age eighteen he "rejected [his family's] attempt to turn him toward a diplomatic career" and moved into the Latin Quarter (Seigel 109)
  • After years of carelessly squandering his inheritance, he found himself living a much more Bohemian lifestyle, perpetually short of money and living in dingy hotels
In actuality Baudelaire despised Bohemia, yet he was drawn to it and lived among it from his 20's and throughout the rest of his life. In his early years he was not a struggling artist, but rather a gifted poet with a sizeable inheritance, who lived the extravagent life of the dandy rather than the impovrished one of the bohemian.



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