In airport, we looked at how Augé’s non-places are maybe not so ‘non’. They are places not merely of circulation, communication and consumption but creativity too. This suggests perhaps a further liminal characteristic of non-places – their identity is not merely singular but multiple; and these identities blur. It is a view proposed by Peter Merriman in […]
Ghost Sign — Liminal Narratives
They are there. And you have seen them. Perhaps from a train as it lurches and jolts over the points and junctions outside a city terminus. A glance through the window and they emerge into view. Or, perhaps, on a busy street, you raise your eyes from pavement and shopfront to glimpse what you have […]
The Flaneur in Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde — Mr Hanson’s English
In my last blog I discussed the act of walking and in particular the figure of the flâneuse in Ruth Orkin’s famous 1951 photograph of a woman walking in Florence. I also briefly touched on the ambulant subjects in Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and I want to […]
via The Flaneur in Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde — Mr Hanson’s English
Lost City: On Remembrance of Things Past — Solitary City
A favorite pastime of the French, particularly of the Parisian stock, is to lament the loss of their nation, language, or culture. This happens at neighborhood markets, on Mediterranean beaches, and frequently, on panels on evening news programs, where a graying member of the Académie Française (I am thinking here of the author and cultural […]
via Lost City: On Remembrance of Things Past — Solitary City
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
… In the streets of Paris, Benjamin earned a living as a journalist while hunting out concrete examples on which to field test and then synthesize cutting-edge social theories. Encouraged by fellow German expatriate author Franz Hessel, he learned how to wander Paris with a voyeuristic curiosity modeled on that of the flaneur — a detached, attentive spectator who believed in the “religious intoxication of great cities” — who passed through every line of Charles Baudelaire’s poetry, especially the groundbreaking volume Les Fleurs du Mal (1857).
– Tim Keane in ‘Walter Benjamin on How to Stop Worrying and Love Late Capitalism’ as found at: https://hyperallergic.com/390574/the-arcades-contemporary-art-and-walter-benjamin-the-jewish-museum-2017/ (July 15, 2017) accessed 19 September 2017 also published at: https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/118955609/posts/390574
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).