In the backdrop of different perceptions of modernity, this chapter focuses on the poet Baudelaire and how, in the time of great transitions in which he lived, he responded as if in spite of himself with “double vision.” That is, he saw two times, or things, at once—as though his eyes, used as they were to seeing one world, could not yet assimilate, even as they focused on, a new one. The chapter chooses four major aspects of Baudelaire's thinking that inform his double vision: beliefs, seeing, money, and time. The first has to do with Baudelaire's political convictions; seeing, with his notions on art; money, with his inability to control expenditure; time, with his inveterate absence from the present. The visual is what seems constantly privileged in explaining the crisis of modernity, and this study is obviously no exception.
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