Artificial Paradises Background

Artificial Paradises Background

Artificial Paradises (original French title Les Paradis Artificiels) is a non-fiction text published by an author far more famous for his reputation as one of the greatest poets that France ever produced. Charles Baudelaire's 1860 volume, which examines and analyzes use of drugs like opium and hashish to enhance and alter ‘the primordial conditions of his existence," was inspired in large part by Thomas De Quincey’s Confessions of an English Opium Eater

Though this be so, make no mistake that Baudelaire wrote from personal experience. Like many creative artists of his time--especially writers and especially poets--Baudelaire's experience in using opium led him directly to the misery that accompanied addiction to the mind-enhancing agent. The conclusion ultimately made by Baudelaire's prose analysis of the effects of "artificial paradises" created through the use of such narcotic stimulation is that there is inevitably a sacrific of the will that must be paid for the expansion of imagination.

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