Quotes by Charles Baudelaire

Music fathoms the sky.
- Charles Baudelaire
What is art? Prostitution.
- Charles Baudelaire
We are all born marked for evil.
- Charles Baudelaire
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Always be a poet, even in prose.
- Charles Baudelaire
Everything for me becomes allegory.
- Charles Baudelaire
Progress, this great heresy of decay.
- Charles Baudelaire
Genius is childhood recalled at will.
- Charles Baudelaire
Hypocrite reader my fellow my brother!
- Charles Baudelaire
But a dandy can never be a vulgar man.
- Charles Baudelaire
Inspiration comes of working every day.
- Charles Baudelaire
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Sexuality is the lyricism of the masses.
- Charles Baudelaire
Nothing can be done except little by little.
- Charles Baudelaire
The world only goes round by misunderstanding.
- Charles Baudelaire
It is from the womb of art that criticism was born.
- Charles Baudelaire
I have cultivated my hysteria with pleasure and terror.
- Charles Baudelaire
There is no more steely barb than that of the Infinite.
- Charles Baudelaire
I have more memories than if I were a thousand years old.
- Charles Baudelaire
Beauty is the sole ambition, the exclusive goal of Taste.
- Charles Baudelaire
A sweetheart is a bottle of wine, a wife is a wine bottle.
- Charles Baudelaire
Nature... is nothing but the inner voice of self-interest.
- Charles Baudelaire
For the merchant, even honesty is a financial speculation.
- Charles Baudelaire
Two fundamental literary qualities: supernaturalism and irony.
- Charles Baudelaire
Everything considered, work is less boring than amusing oneself.
- Charles Baudelaire
Any man who does not accept the conditions of life sells his soul.
- Charles Baudelaire
Whether you come from heaven or hell, what does it matter, O Beauty!
- Charles Baudelaire
A frenzied passion for art is a canker that devours everything else.
- Charles Baudelaire
Who would dare assign to art the sterile function of imitating nature?
- Charles Baudelaire
Those men get along best with women who can get along best without them.
- Charles Baudelaire
All which is beautiful and noble is the result of reason and calculation.
- Charles Baudelaire
I can barely conceive of a type of beauty in which there is no Melancholy.
- Charles Baudelaire
It would perhaps be nice to be alternately the victim and the executioner.
- Charles Baudelaire
Any healthy man can go without food for two days - but not without poetry.
- Charles Baudelaire
To handle a language skillfully is to practice a kind of evocative sorcery.
- Charles Baudelaire
To be a great man and a saint for oneself, that is the only important thing.
- Charles Baudelaire
If the poet has pursued a moral objective, he has diminished his poetic force.
- Charles Baudelaire
God is the only being who, in order to reign, doesn't even need to exist.
- Charles Baudelaire
Everything that is beautiful and noble is the product of reason and calculation.
- Charles Baudelaire
What is exhilarating in bad taste is the aristocratic pleasure of giving offense.
- Charles Baudelaire
There are as many kinds of beauty as there are habitual ways of seeking happiness.
- Charles Baudelaire
There is no such thing as a long piece of work, except one that you dare not start.
- Charles Baudelaire
Anybody, providing he knows how to be amusing, has the right to talk about himself.
- Charles Baudelaire
The priest is an immense being because he makes the crowd believe astonishing things.
- Charles Baudelaire
The man who says his evening prayer is a captain posting his sentinels. He can sleep.
- Charles Baudelaire
Nearly all our originality comes from the stamp that time impresses upon our sensibility.
- Charles Baudelaire
The study of beauty is a duel in which the artist cries with terror before being defeated.
- Charles Baudelaire
This life is a hospital in which every patient is possessed with a desire to change his bed.
- Charles Baudelaire
Even if it were proven that God didn't exist, Religion would still be Saintly and Divine.
- Charles Baudelaire
The poet enjoys the incomparable privilege of being able to be himself and others, as he wishes.
- Charles Baudelaire
Let us beware of common folk, of common sense, of sentiment, of inspiration, and of the obvious.
- Charles Baudelaire
Evil is committed without effort, naturally, fatally; goodness is always the product of some art.
- Charles Baudelaire
To the solemn graves, near a lonely cemetery, my heart like a muffled drum is beating funeral marches.
- Charles Baudelaire
Evil is done without effort, naturally, it is the working of fate; good is always the product of an art.
- Charles Baudelaire
In literature as in ethics, there is danger, as well as glory, in being subtle. Aristocracy isolates us.
- Charles Baudelaire
As a small child, I felt in my heart two contradictory feelings, the horror of life and the ecstasy of life.
- Charles Baudelaire
I am unable to understand how a man of honor could take a newspaper in his hands without a shudder of disgust.
- Charles Baudelaire
There exist only three beings worthy of respect: the priest, the soldier, the poet. To know, to kill, to create.
- Charles Baudelaire
Common sense tells us that the things of the earth exist only a little, and that true reality is only in dreams.
- Charles Baudelaire
For each letter received from a creditor, write fifty lines on an extraterrestrial subject and you will be saved.
- Charles Baudelaire
How little remains of the man I once was, save the memory of him! But remembering is only a new form of suffering.
- Charles Baudelaire
A book is a garden, an orchard, a storehouse, a party, a company by the way, a counselor, a multitude of counselors.
- Charles Baudelaire
There is no dream of love, however ideal it may be, which does not end up with a fat, greedy baby hanging from the breast.
- Charles Baudelaire
The insatiable thirst for everything which lies beyond, and which life reveals, is the most living proof of our immortality.
- Charles Baudelaire
It would be difficult for me not to conclude that the most perfect type of masculine beauty is Satan, as portrayed by Milton.
- Charles Baudelaire
There are moments of existence when time and space are more profound, and the awareness of existence is immensely heightened.
- Charles Baudelaire
It is by universal misunderstanding that all agree. For if, by ill luck, people understood each other, they would never agree.
- Charles Baudelaire
Modernity is the transient, the fleeting, the contingent; it is one half of art, the other being the eternal and the immovable.
- Charles Baudelaire
It is necessary to work, if not from inclination, at least from despair. Everything considered, work is less boring than amusing oneself.
- Charles Baudelaire
Modernity signifies the transitory, the fugitive, the contingent, the half of art of which the other half is the eternal and the immutable.
- Charles Baudelaire
Even in the centuries which appear to us to be the most monstrous and foolish, the immortal appetite for beauty has always found satisfaction.
- Charles Baudelaire
It is the hour to be drunken! to escape being the martyred slaves of time, be ceaselessly drunk. On wine, on poetry, or on virtue, as you wish.
- Charles Baudelaire
I love Wagner, but the music I prefer is that of a cat hung up by its tail outside a window and trying to stick to the panes of glass with its claws.
- Charles Baudelaire
It is time to get drunk! So as not to be the martyred slaves of Time, get drunk; get drunk without stopping! On wine, on poetry, or on virtue, as you wish.
- Charles Baudelaire
In order for the artist to have a world to express he must first be situated in this world, oppressed or oppressing, resigned or rebellious, a man among men.
- Charles Baudelaire
Nature is a temple in which living columns sometimes emit confused words. Man approaches it through forests of symbols, which observe him with familiar glances.
- Charles Baudelaire
The life of our city is rich in poetic and marvelous subjects. We are enveloped and steeped as though in an atmosphere of the marvelous; but we do not notice it.
- Charles Baudelaire
The unique and supreme voluptuousness of love lies in the certainty of committing evil. And men and women know from birth that in evil is found all sensual delight.
- Charles Baudelaire
Poetry and progress are like two ambitious men who hate one another with an instinctive hatred, and when they meet upon the same road, one of them has to give place.
- Charles Baudelaire
France is not poetic; she even feels, in fact, a congenital horror of poetry. Among the writers who use verse, those whom she will always prefer are the most prosaic.
- Charles Baudelaire
The dance can reveal everything mysterious that is hidden in music, and it has the additional merit of being human and palpable. Dancing is poetry with arms and legs.
- Charles Baudelaire
The pleasure we derive from the representation of the present is due, not only to the beauty it can be clothed in, but also to its essential quality of being the present.
- Charles Baudelaire
To say the word Romanticism is to say modern art - that is, intimacy, spirituality, color, aspiration towards the infinite, expressed by every means available to the arts.
- Charles Baudelaire
Any newspaper, from the first line to the last, is nothing but a web of horrors, I cannot understand how an innocent hand can touch a newspaper without convulsing in disgust.
- Charles Baudelaire
I consider it useless and tedious to represent what exists, because nothing that exists satisfies me. Nature is ugly, and I prefer the monsters of my fancy to what is positively trivial.
- Charles Baudelaire
The lover of life makes the whole world into his family, just as the lover of the fair sex creates his from all the lovely women he has found, from those that could be found, and those who are impossible to find.
- Charles Baudelaire
We are weighed down, every moment, by the conception and the sensation of Time. And there are but two means of escaping and forgetting this nightmare: pleasure and work. Pleasure consumes us. Work strengthens us. Let us choose.
- Charles Baudelaire
An artist is an artist only because of his exquisite sense of beauty, a sense which shows him intoxicating pleasures, but which at the same time implies and contains an equally exquisite sense of all deformities and all disproportion.
- Charles Baudelaire
Modernity is the transitory, the fugitive, the contingent, which make up one half of art, the other being the eternal and the immutable. This transitory fugitive element, which is constantly changing, must not be despised or neglected.
- Charles Baudelaire
Our religion is itself profoundly sad - a religion of universal anguish, and one which, because of its very catholicity, grants full liberty to the individual and asks no better than to be celebrated in each man's own language - so long as he knows anguish and is a painter.
- Charles Baudelaire