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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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Insert into Blankness (Poetry and Cultural Memory in Benjamin's Baudelaire)

Insert into Blankness (Poetry and Cultural Memory in Benjamin's Baudelaire)

(p.94) Chapter 4 Insert into Blankness (Poetry and Cultural Memory in Benjamin's Baudelaire)
Counterfeit Capital
Stanford University Press

This chapter examines Walter Benjamin's analyses of Baudelaire's poetry. For Benjamin, Baudelaire's poetry is characterized by the failure of the shock defense. It is thus assigned a collective and historical task: without Baudelaire's poetry, there can be no history of the nineteenth century, and thus no document of the transformation of experience by capital—no saving and transmission of that history to us. Benjamin also claims that Baudelaire's poetry dreams of capturing an experience which would “establish itself in crisis-proof form.”

Keywords:   Walter Benjamin, Baudelaire, Baudelaire's poetry

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