Screaming to Be Held Tight: The Life and Work of Charles Baudelaire as Metaphor for Holding [Padmavathy Desai]


This presentation will look at how the personal biography of Charles Baudelaire, one of the most influential French writers of the 19th century impacted his work. Most notable for his grand oeuvre, Les Fleurs du Mal (The Flowers of Evil), I will draw on the biography by Joanna Richardson to explore the symbiotic and yet depriving relationship with his mother that was not only a source of artistic genius but came with intense personal suffering. Psychoanalytical theories of holding and containing of the maternal function will be used to understand how Baudelaire’s felt lack in this area gave birth to the vividness in his work and serves as a clear and loud metaphor for early infant needs and wishes.

Short bio:

Padma Desai, LMHC, LPC is a psychoanalytic psychotherapist practicing in New York with extensive experience in a wide range of clinical settings. She is an advanced candidate at the Object Relations Institute for Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy in New York, a member of the American Psychoanalytical Association (APsaA), where she serves on the APsaA Psychotherapist Associates Committee. She is also the Editor of the Psychotherapist Associates E-Newsletter. Padma Desai is an active member of the International Psychoanalytical Association (IPA), participating in on-going training and development.