Dialectic of individuality
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The aesthete-decadent sensibility expressed in Charles Baudelaire’s Le Peintre de la vie moderne, J.-K. Huysmans’ A Rebours, and Rainer Maria Rilke’s The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge demonstrates a developing reaction to the changes affecting the social life and th - th- urban environments of 19and early 20century Paris. These texts represent different modes of the aesthete-decadent sensibility that correspond to the particular dialectic of individuality that is activated through each work’s treatment of artifice, memory, and sensory experience. The trajectory of these changes in sensibility is also determined by the effects of consumerism on the individual’s experience of urban life. In conclusion, a significant reconceptualization of the individual emerges through an analysis of how the relationship between art, life, and subjectivity are treated in each of the three works.