jueves, 19 de septiembre de 2013

del esto y del aquello

In Freud, art is not the only palliative measure, yet the most important one. The Freudian theory of aesthetics departs from the unconscious, and it is a theory of repression and the return of repressed (through art). Art confronts reality; in more poetic terms, we could say that artists express the social subconscious, the true social-self to confront it against social neurosis that culture creates in its fight against nature. That is actually the reason why artists are so often rejected by society, a repressed and neurotic society who reacts against a form of negation of its culture. That would be a good resume. Of course, there is mucho more in the Freudian theory of aesthetics (the way artists are even more exposed to neurosis due to social rejection, etc.) but such is enough to go where we are intending.

So, what about Baudelaire? Baudelaire died when Freud was only a child. He was, perhaps, the first poet and thinker that took conscience of the fact that art (poetry/ beauty) was condemned by the same society that asked for it and was supposed to enjoy it. Baudelaire created the figure of the Dandy and Dandyism as a way for the true poet/artist/beauty lover to escape from society taking part of it at the same time. A man how know himself to be out of society (above it) but irremissibly condemned to live within society.

It is risky to say Baudelaire was a major influence for Freud, but that is for sure that we can read some paragraphs by Baudelaire which could be referred as pre-freudian, in the way the place of an individual in the world and perception and figuring out are seen. To put it simple: Baudelaire, like Freud did later, pointed out the alienation of the self within society and the fight of such self against said society and inner self constrictions created by culture as social construction. We could consider every thinker before Baudelaire as acritic regarding that point. Besides, the natural world is for Baudelaire an ensemble of symbols we have to decipher, giving them an specific meaning. If we erase the name of Baudelaire from the previous sentence we easily could think that we are talking about Freud instead.

All that is in Baudelaire's aesthetics (and that's for sure that aesthetics are the centre of Baudelaire thought) and we could take it as a rough draft of what Freud would say (about aesthetics but about society too; again, everything is connected with everything in Freudian thinking) decades later.

We can see the main difference in the attitude. Baudelaire rejects society but, at the same time, make the assumption that individual is condemned within its insurmountable boundaries. He proposes Dandyism as an attitude against social constrictions but Dandy is still condemned, and that's for him the end of the story. Regarding Freud, perhaps because we are talking of a scientific and not of an artist as Baudelaire was (and so, his theories are less involved in that Dionysian attitude in which Baudelaire's were) was keener to find a solution for alienation, neurosis or the way we wish to call it. Where Baudelaire proposed Dandyism (a way to present oneself before society, taking part of it but fighting against it at the same time, enjoying arts and beauty at a greater level but anyway condemned to boredom and misunderstanding) Freud proposed Psychoanalysis. Freud opens the possibility for the individual to get sane, to be happy through the treatment of neurosis. In that sense, arts in Freud are small and momentary doors to sanity, a sanity that is always a possibility. Such a possibility is denied by Baudelaire.

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