History of Our World

Bernard-Henri Lévy, Purple Magazine, Spring/Summer 2009

Posted in Print by B on September 16, 2009

Bernard-Henri Levy

On what compelled him to write his book on the French poet, Charles Baudelaire:

“His metaphysics. It may seem bizarre, but it is nonetheless true. There is a metaphysic of Baudelaire, and it’s the true subject of the book I dedicated to the man. The Baudelaire who was a disciple of Joseph de Maistre, the ant-naturalist Baudelaire, the Baudelaire who praises artifice and make believe over spontaneity, the Baudelaire who only liked women wearing makeup, the Baudelaire who believed that those who said they were friends of the human race had a good chance of becoming it’s assassins. The Baudelaire who despised Robespierre, the Baudelaire who did not believe in community, the Baudelaire who who knew that men are born alone, and die alone, and they go through life almost alone as well. This is the Baudelaire who fascinated me. It is he who, twenty years after I put myself inside his skin in order to feel his agony, accompanies me still today.”


Bernard-Henri Lévy

Les Derniers Jours de Charles Baudelaire, 1988

Charles Baudelaire

Purple Magazine