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The City

Baudelaire, Rimbaud, Verhaeren


Reinhard Thum

Before the mid-nineteenth century, the modern industrial metropolis played only a minor role in lyric poetry. In incorporating the new urban reality into their poetry as a physical and mental counterpart to the romantic world of nature, Baudelaire, Rimbaud and Verhaeren helped to accomplish an aesthetic and mental «quantum leap» which still influences lyric poetry today. This book traces the attempt of three representative poets to explore the uncharted, and repulsive yet strangely mysterious and beautiful realm of the industrialized cityscape as an embodiment of lyric consciousness, as an intimate and enigmatic projection of themselves and their fellow human beings.