« Salauds de pauvres ! » (Du scandaleux Barnabooth)

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Is it scandalous to insult the poor? Some poets don't seem to care. From Baudelaire, who incited us to beat up the poor, to Larbaud who, via Barnabooth, his alter ego and spokesman, urged us to spit in their faces, insulting the poor echoes the predicaments of artistic creation. However, the controversy goes further. Larbaud pushes provocation to the limit by making a scene on the literary scene, setting up one of the most elaborate scams in the history of publishing. What is at stake, beyond the scandal, is the questioning of the bourgeois idea (for the bourgeois also get their share of insults) that a book belongs to its author, its publisher, or its audience. What is at stake in scandal, from the insult to morals to the morals of the scam, is the freedom of writing—risking getting ruined in the process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)85-95
Number of pages11
JournalContemporary French and Francophone Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Literature and Literary Theory


  • Barnabooth
  • Baudelaire
  • Insult
  • Larbaud
  • bourgeoisie
  • poverty
  • supercherie


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