Abstract

Abstract:

The position of "L'étranger" at the very beginning of Baudelaire's collection of poèmes en prose gives it the status of a frame: it establishes the terms of the reading contract. This essay reads the text as the dramatization of a kind of interpersonal encounter that is repeatedly described in the prose poems, and that may also be programmed by these texts: an encounter that ostensibly confirms but tacitly contests the mind-reader's powers of inference. This reading is supported by reference to two previously overlooked intertexts: Arsène Houssaye's Le roi Voltaire (1858) and Gustave Merlet's 1858 critique of this biography.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1931-0234
Print ISSN
0014-0767
Pages
pp. 32-47
Launched on MUSE
2018-03-16
Open Access
No
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