Disabled Aesthetics of Charles Baudelaire and Lu Xun's Prose Poetry

Open Access
Geng, Zhe
Area of Honors:
Bachelor of Arts
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Janet Wynne Lyon, Thesis Supervisor
  • Lisa Ruth Sternlieb, Honors Advisor
  • disability theory
  • prose poetry
  • Baudelaire
  • Lu Xun
This thesis analyzes Charles Baudelaire's collection of prose poems, The Spleen of Paris (1869) and Lu Xun's collection of prose poems, Wild Grass (1927) in a pendant, or counterpart relationship while incorporating disability theory into the study. The pendant, defined as “two objects d’art approximately alike, destined to appear together as a corresponding relation” envisions a model of reading both works in light of the other. The Spleen of Paris and Wild Grass were the considered among the first collections of prose poetry in their respective countries (France and China). When read together, these two texts work together to outline an aesthetic that overturns conventional poetic ideals; they celebrate the fragmented and the marginalized through their unconventional form and contents. In the preface to The Spleen of Paris, Baudelaire invites the reader to fragment and reorder the sequential fabric of his work. I take up this invitation and conjoin poems from both collections to create new ways of understanding these textual relationships.