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Date of Award
Bachelor of Arts
Language and Culture Studies--French and Italian
At first glance, a nineteenth-century poet and a twentieth-first century slam artist seem to have little common. Yet we can trace some important similarities and motifs between the two. Baudelaire in Le Peintre de la Vie Moderne, outlines a new concept of modernity [be prepared to explain your understanding of modernity thru Baud.] in reference to the connection between ephemeral and eternal life experiences influenced by urban change. Cities, then and today are in a constant state of change and, according to Baudelaire’s poetry, urban experience endures in a specific moment of time.
Slam, in seemingly stark contrast, started out as a movement in the mid-eighties in the United States in Chicago. The principal idea behind this art form is that everyone can be a poet. In France, slam appealed particularly to urban youth, a new form of expression that allowed them to share their everyday experiences. While some critics may not view slam as a true art form that is comparable to more classical poetry, this paper seeks to demonstrate the connection between some of the texts of Tableaux Parisiens of Baudelaire and those of a contemporary slameur, Grand Corps Malade. The banning of Baudelaire’s Fleurs du Mal and the debate of slam as an art form offers another link between these two artists, a struggle for a sense of artistic legitimacy. Both Baudelaire and Grand Corps Malade have transformed their experiences in Paris and Saint Denis, respectively, into a lasting art form that not only presents their urban experiences through poetry but also offers a critique of the changing urban environment and the decay, perceived and stereotyped, of these two cities.
Hellwig, Claire, "La Représentation Poétique de l’Expérience Urbaine : l’Exemple de Baudelaire et Grand Corps Malade". Senior Theses, Trinity College, Hartford, CT 2012.
Trinity College Digital Repository, https://digitalrepository.trincoll.edu/theses/268