The crowd is his element, as the air is that of birds and water of fishes.

His passion and his profession are to become one flesh with the crowd. For the perfect flaneur, for the passionate spectator, it is an immense joy to self up house in the heart of the multitude, amid the ebb and flow of movement, in the midst of the fugitive and the infinite. To be away from home and yet to feel oneself everywhere at home; to see the world, to be at the centre of the world, and yet to remain hidden from the world – such are a few of the slightest pleasures of those independent, passionate, impartial natures which the tongue can but clumsily define. The spectator is a prince who everywhere rejoices in his incognito. The lover of life makes the whole world his family…

– From, Charles Baudelaire, “The Painter of Modern Life,” trans. Jonathan Mayne, in The Painter of Modem Life and Other Essays (London; Phaidon, 1964).

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