“A new social type was being created by the apartment building, a cool, unemotional personality impervious to the psychological pressures of high-rise life, with minimal needs for privacy, who thrived like an advanced species of machine in the neutral atmosphere. This was the sort of resident who was content to do nothing but sit in […]
Book Review: ‘The Thinking Space: The Café as a Cultural Institution in Paris, Italy and Vienna’ — Cafe Dissensus Everyday
By Gaurav J. Pathania – The café becomes a site of enunciation of identity, lived experience, and contested meaning, bringing the city inside, but also shielding its regulars from the “crowd” and the “masses” outside.
via Book Review: ‘The Thinking Space: The Café as a Cultural Institution in Paris, Italy and Vienna’ — Cafe Dissensus Everyday
Francis Bacon — words and music and stories
Il 28 ottobre 1909 nasceva a Dublino Francis Bacon (1909 –1992), pittore noto per le sue immagini imprevedibili e grottesche, cariche di emozioni, che tentano di sondare l’essenza dell’uomo contemporaneo. Il suo caotico studio fu trasferito da Londra e ricostruito a Dublino attorno al 1998.
Architecture Detail — Hamburg by mingophoto
The Intriguing Hidden History of Corridors as Explored by Liminal Narratives
Let us return to the corridor – intrigued and delighted by Rachel Hurdley’s Radio 4 broadcast, The hidden history of the corridor. Poised between public and private; open and closed; movement and stasis; the pragmatic and the eerie, corridors are ‘time and ‘matter out of place” (Hurdley, p.50). From one perspective, opening the door to […]
Passages of Paris & Soundscapes
These are the contemporary sounds inside the Galerie Vivienne, recorded a few days ago. But we do have a record of the impression the nineteenth century sounds of the galerie made on one person: the composer, Hector Berlioz.
Another highly engaging tour of the Passages of Paris with accompanying soundscapes by Des Coulam via The Galerie Vivienne and its Sounds — Soundlandscapes’ Blog
Benjamin’s Parisian Passages
I have a distant recollection of walking all the way from the Gare du Nord to lunch in the Café Marly by way of the nineteenth-century arcades so beloved of Walter Benjamin. I tried to reconstruct this journey in reverse, starting in the Galerie Vivienne not far from Adrien Gardère’s office:-
A fabulous piece of flânerie and visual tour of Benjamin’s Passages by Charles Robert Saumarez Smith via Passages — | Charles | Saumarez | Smith |
The Arcades book [Das Passagen-Werk] was never intended to be an economic history (though part of its ambition was to act as a corrective to the entire discipline of economic history). An early sketch suggests something far more like his autobiographical work, A Berlin Childhood [:] “One knew of places in ancient Greece where the way led down into the underworld. Our waking existence likewise is a land which, at certain hidden points, leads down into the underworld – a land full of inconspicuous places from which dreams arise. All day long, suspecting nothing, we pass them by, but no sooner has sleep come than we are groping our way back to lose ourselves in the dark corridors. By day, the labyrinth of urban dwelling resembles consciousness; the arcades… issue unremarked on to the streets. At night, however, under the tenebrous mass of the houses, their denser darkness protrudes like a threat, and the nocturnal pedestrian hurries past – unless, that is, we have emboldened him to turn into a narrow lane.”
Two books served Benjamin as models: Louis Aragon’s A Paris Peasant, with its affectionate tribute to the Passage de L’Opéra, and Franz Hessel’s Strolling in Berlin, which focuses on the Kaisergalerie and its power to summon up the feel of a bygone era. In his book, Benjamin would try to capture the “phantasmagoric” experience of the Parisian wandering among displays of goods, an experience still recoverable in his own day, when “arcades dot the metropolitan landscape like caves containing the fossil remains of a vanished monster: the consumer of the pre-imperial era of capitalism, the last dinosaur of Europe”.
An extract from JM Coetzee’s highly engaging essay on Walter Benjamin: ‘The man who went shopping for truth’ as found at:
https://www.theguardian.com/books/2001/jan/20/history.society as accessed 30 September 2017-09-30
Poetry in a City
City – the word evokes such dichotomous imagery. As I savour the languorous beauty of William Dalrymple’s City of Djinns, the words speak to me and I learn to see through new perspectives, the city I live in. Feeling every bit the outsider, adjusting to the linguistic differences, the charms of this city have begun to work on me […]
by Nirupama via http://themadrasponnu.wordpress.com/2017/04/18/poetry-in-a-city/
 Writing Exercise: “In A Regretful Room”…
Where am I? An 8×10 square room with a feeling of no air. White walls with dirt marks caused by the edge of my dirty feet mirroring an eeriness inside my mind. The bright white light blinds me for a millisecond and then I see again. A table of inferior quality stands on its four […]
via  Writing Exercise: “In A Regretful Room” — Smoke words every day.
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