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Counterfeit CapitalPoetic Labor and Revolutionary Irony$
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Jennifer Bajorek

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780804758246

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804758246.001.0001

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Paris Spleen (The Irony of Revolutionary Power)

Paris Spleen (The Irony of Revolutionary Power)

(p.13) Chapter 1 Paris Spleen (The Irony of Revolutionary Power)
Counterfeit Capital
Stanford University Press

This chapter examines Baudelaire's prose poems, or Spleen de Paris (aka Petits poèmes en prose), which are considered the pièce de rèsistance of his ironic production, arguing that theories of politics which dismiss or play down irony could not grasp the poetic principle of Spleen de Paris. They would invariably construe this principle overly negatively, as if the suspension of calculable or programmable protocols was always bad and the very thing we should be fighting. A less fearful (and less moralizing) reading would recognize that Baudelaire's text, by inscribing the story it tells us about its own production in relation to a radically ironic movement, opens the concept and field of productive activity beyond any single determination of capital's history.

Keywords:   Baudelaire, prose poems, Spleen de Paris, irony, capital

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