Paris Peasant – Louis Aragon

“Louis Aragon guides us through the Passage de L’Opéra, imaginatively exploring the allure of various establishments found in the covered arcades, including seedy lodging houses, cafés, hairdressing salons, public baths, theatres, washrooms and quaint specialist shops selling such items as handkerchiefs, walking sticks, and exotic stamps. He evokes the ambiguity of these places, their pleasures and secrets: ‘the ephemeral, the ghostly landscape of damnable pleasures and professions’. Aragon playfully opens up the arcades as diverse laboratories of sensations against what he sees as respectable, inoffensive bourgeoisie sensibilities. The passageway becomes a ‘method’ for loosening inhibitions, revealing both the shadowy and bright secrets that can be found behind its doors. In his stroll through Passage de L’Opéra the public baths and brothel are described in terms of ‘other places’, different worlds  secreted in the heart of Paris, and when he moves out to the district of Butts-Chaumont, Aragon’s description and celebration of gardens and parks likewise become zones of mystery and enchantment. Gardens become places of, and for, dreams and mad invention. Parks, particularly at night, become places of sensual delight and lurking danger.”

Review of Peter Aragon’s Paris Peasant by Peter Johnson  (12 February 2014) via http://www.heterotopiastudies.com/paris-peasant-aragon/

 

Page Images from A Rare Hardcover Edition of Paris Peasant. Photography by Marcus D. Niski © 2004-2017

 

Smiling At Strangers — mokita dreams

This fabulous spontaneous street photography piece – Smiling At Strangers – was put together by Ieva Kambarovaite and posted on her blog at mokitadreams.com

“Sat in a coffee shop, watching the world and taking pictures of strangers. Who knew? They smiled. Big and genuine smiles. Brits are not so miserable after all (got to work on my sarcasm). I hope you have a great day and I hope you smile at strangers. Surprise Harmony…”

via Smiling At Strangers — mokita dreams

Downtown Streets — L.T. Garvin

These downtown streets are like broken promises spilling into the surrounding neighborhood. They are like pathways bordering an interrupted fantasy. They are arteries skirting the secrets of pavement. These downtown streets once agleam silent now as a once brief dream. The terrace stroll of shoppers spent cracks run like blood veins through pavement. The streets fall […]

via Downtown Streets — L.T. Garvin

The Painter of Modern Life …

But now it is evening. It is that strange, equivocal hour when the curtains of heaven are drawn and cities light up. The gas-light makes a stain upon the crimson of the sunset. Honest men and rogues, sane men and mad, are all saying to themselves, ‘The end of another day!’ The thoughts of all, whether good men or knaves, turn to pleasure, and each one hastens to the place of his choice to drink the cup of oblivion. Monsieur G. will be the last to linger wherever there can be a glow of light, an echo I of poetry, a quiver of life or a chord of music; wherever a passion can pose before him, wherever natural man and conventional man display themselves in a strange beauty, wherever the sun lights up the swift joys of the depraved animal! ‘A fine way to fill one’s day, to be sure’ …

– Charles Baudelaire, The Artist, Man of the World, Man of the Crowd, and Child in The Painter of Modern Life and Other Essays (1863) , Translated and Edited by Jonathan Myne, Phaidon, 1964, P 11