In My Heart Laid Bare, an apodictic work of aphorism, maxim, note, and extended reflection, we encounter a fierce dandy who revolts against utilitarianism: to be useful, Baudelaire gibes, is to be hideous. Yet, contrarily, it is not dissolution that this poète maudit praises or celebrates.
Here we have the poet as philosopher king and transvaluator of values; here we have the disciplined flâneur. Baudelaire the keen symptomatologist who escapes “the nightmare of Time” via Pleasure or Work.
Also included in this volume are other texts of Baudelaire’s such as the Consoling Maxims on Love, the equally burning Flares, his notes for a projected magazine, The Philosopher Owl, and select pieces from his cahiers.