Wine is a recurring theme in Charles Baudelaire’s literary works, in his poetry (e.g. the five poems in the third section of Les Fleurs du Mal, and the famous prose poem Enivrez-vous in Le Spleen de Paris) as well as in his prose (e.g. the narrative essay Du vin et du hachisch), not to mention his lesser-known dramatic text L’Ivrogne. In his works, wine often serves as a pretext to reflect on artistic creation and men’s boundless aspirations. If, on the one hand, these fundamental aspects of Baudelaire’s anthropology have already been treated by scholars, on the other, the modern script still offers several interesting prompts for further research. As George Bataille wrote in La Littérature et le mal, L’Ivrogne, a work that Baudelaire unfortunately never finished, tries to create a blend of empathy and madness, putting on stage «an aesthetic of the impossible», represented by the symbolic value of wine and the creation of an original anti-hero, a sawmill worker.
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