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Artificial Heaven: Baudelaire against hashish?


STORY - If Baudelaire frequented the Hashish Club at the Pimodan hotel, where he lived, he was much more of a contemptor of hashish than of its promoters. Artificial paradises are, as such, the object of a real misunderstanding.

This article is taken from the

Figaro Hors-Série "Baudelaire, le spleen de la modernité"

, find all the articles on the most classic of modern poets, his life as a tormented dandy, his aesthetics, his work, from Fleurs du Mal to Artificial paradises.

Le Figaro Hors-Série "Baudelaire, the spleen of modernity" Le Figaro

My dear Théophile, he is taking hashysch (sic)

Next Monday,

November 3, under the auspices of Moreau and Aubert-Roche, do you want to be? In this case, arrive between 5 and 6 a.m. at the latest. You will have your share of a modest dinner, and you will wait for the hallucination. You can even bring with you the bourgeois you wanted to inject: as we bring strangers to my inn, one more will do nothing: I just have to be warned in advance in order to order the pasture in result. It will be spent between 3 and 5 fr. per head. Answer yes or no. "

Here we are surreptitiously introduced in the Club des Hashischins that, from 1845 to 1849, brings together in a noble building decrepit island St. Louis a few cronies, artists and writers for most.

The author of these lines, written on October 27, 1845, is called Joseph Fernand Boissard de Boisdenier.

Since 1845, worthy successor in this apartment of Roger de Beauvoir, famous for the sometimes plethora of celebrations that he organized there (up to six hundred people), to the chagrin of the neighbors, he has occupied the noble floor of the Pimodan hotel. (former hotel in Lauzun), at 17, quai d'Anjou, which he has made the landmark of a whole romantic Parisian bohemian, who comes there to spend his Sundays in music - because this dilettante painter is just as famous on the violin and on the piano -, and feast in endless dinners.

To read also Michel De Jaeghere: "Baudelaire, the alchemist of the pain"

On the third floor, Baudelaire rents, in the attic, a three-room apartment of which he has made

“the exact image of himself”

(Théodore de Banville): a sober and elegant apartment, impeccably tidy, adorned with selected furniture on which not a personal object, not a book, can be seen. In the main room lined with red and black glossy paper, dinners are served by a valet who, in silence, brings the dishes in curious crockery. Baudelaire does not disdain from time to time the exuberant company of the affable Boissard and his hosts, who meet, in small groups this time, for sessions announced by the master of the place with an almost childish amusement, in semi terms. -encrypted:

"My dear Théophile, there is hashish on the horizon"


"Hashish is decreed for Monday 22. Warn M. Cabarrus: I saw Moreau who adheres to the thing, and we promise to agree".

The dear Théophile is the one by whom this famous club is known to us: the critic of art and shows, the

“impeccable poet”

to whom Baudelaire would dedicate his

Fleurs du mal,

Théophile Gautier.

Théophile Gautier was to delight the readers of the Revue des deux mondes, on February 1, 1846, with a detailed account of his first session at the Club des haschichins, as picturesque and adorned with fantastic finery, on the banks of the Seine, as his Romance of the Mummy on those of the Nile.

He was to delight the readers of the

Revue des deux mondes,

on February 1, 1846, with a detailed account of his first session at the Club des haschichins, as picturesque and adorned with fantastic attire, on the banks of the Seine, as his

Roman of the mummy

on those of the Nile.

“Obeying a mysterious summons, written in enigmatic terms understood by affiliates”,

he therefore went, one evening in December, to the Pimodan hotel, in

“a fog, made even thicker by the vicinity of the Seine, [ which] blurred all the objects with its torn cotton wool and holes, from time to time, by the reddish halos of the lanterns and the streaks of light escaping from the lighted windows ”.

After crossing the steps of the house, in the soggy inner courtyard, and climbing the steps of a monumental classical staircase, he finds himself introduced into a house which, by its painted woodwork, its darkened canvases,

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Source: lefigaro

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