Tyranny of the human face

I’ve recently been reading Baudelaire. The idea of redemption through one’s art in his prose poem “At One O’Clock in the Morning” resonated with me, as well as his embrace of solitude.

Here are a few passages:

Alone, at last! Not a sound to be heard but the rumbling of some belated and decrepit cabs. For a few hours we shall have silence, if not repose. At last the tyranny of the human face has disappeared, and I myself shall be the only cause of my sufferings.


Discontented with everyone and discontented with myself, I would gladly redeem myself and elate myself a little in the silence and solitude of night. Souls of those I have loved, souls of those I have sung, strengthen me, support me, rid me of lies and the corrupting vapours of the world; and you, O Lord God, grant me the grace to produce a few good verses, which shall prove to myself that I am not the lowest of men, that I am not inferior to those whom I despise.

– Charles Baudelaire, from At One O’Clock in the Morning