The Poetics of Anonymity
The prose poems of Le Spleen de Paris substitute for the allegorical mode of awareness of the “Tableaux Parisiens” an ironic mode; that of an apparently absent divinity and of anonymous urban encounters, one that makes the familiar strange when it becomes the object of attention. This is a new form of noise corresponding to the poet’s own loss of aura, as illustrated in “Perte d’Auréole” [A Loss of Aura]. “Le Mauvais Vitrier” [The Bad Glazier] is read, then, as the story of illusions shattered without their being—in a noisy world—abolished. And the collection itself, in its failure to become an ensemble, offers noise itself as the (impossible) object of our own reading.
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