Edgar Allan Poe and Charles Baudelaire’s Aesthetic Architecture of Revolt

An Axial Analysis

This study is essential reading for those interested in cross-cultural nineteenth century literary developments. It introduces a novel axial methodology used to perform a comparative analysis of seminal works by Edgar Allan Poe and Charles Baudelaire. Laying bare uncanny affinities of these writers, this book traces their strikingly similar generic innovations, exploring how they revised antiquated notions of Romanticism, anticipating Modernism.

Baudelaire casts the American author as a Byronic dandy, assuring Poe’s lasting reputation. But does Baudelaire owe more to Poe than previously assumed? Was Baudelaire’s Poe a convenient palimpsest for the French writer’s own self-invention, or did Poe cast a shadow on his disciple, fostering an anxiety of influence? The study examines when Baudelaire emulated his mentor and when he subverted Poe’s influence. The axial methodology proposed should prove useful for professors and students who want to compare other aesthetic works.