Sartre's study of Baudelaire is one of the more brilliant achievements off modern criticism. We may often disagree with his interpretations of the poet's personality, but we cannot fail to wonder at the mastery with which he presents his case. It is the case, quite patently, of an Existentialist who wishes to psychoanalyse a paramount literary figure in terms of his own beliefs. Perhaps Sartre's greatest contribution to Existentialism has been his own personality. He turned abstrations into a theory of psychoanalysis, grounded in man's creativity and opposed to Freudian determinism. Then he put the theory in practice in this book on Baudelaire, the greatest lyric poet of the age.
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It's though, even though Sartre is an excellent writer, i have to make an exception on this one, it is after the fact, the fact that a complete study would only exist if it took place during and near to Baudelaire, so that he himself could offer his explanation of when he ended and we begun to think we could ever understand why he say the things that are on his mind.