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Seidenst?cker, Walter Benjamins Skizze ‘Die Wiederkehr des Flaneurs’ und .. de la vie moderne’, in which Baudelaire discusses ‘The Man of the Crowd’ in. Walter Benjamin’s analysis of his work. [3]. The flâneur, for Baudelaire was a man who could “reap aesthetic meaning from the spectacle of the teeming crowds –. Walter Benj amin. A Lyric Poet in the Era l. cf. Charles Louandre, ‘Statistique litteraire de la production intellectuelle .. of the flaneur – that is the outline of Dumas’ Mohicans de Paris. The hero of [Benjamin quoted this verse in a German.

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To the uncertainty of their economic position corresponded the uncertainty of their political function.

The contents alone of that dissertation are an education. Or we might liken him to a mirror as vast as the crowd itself; or to a kaleidoscope gifted with consciousness, responding to each one of its movements and reproducing the multiplicity of life and the flickering grace of all the elements of life. He reverts to his memory of the city and rejects the self-enunciative authority of any technically reproduced image.

That the arcades of Paris were long past their heyday was of no concern to Benjamin; in fact it was a key aspect of his world view that all manifestations of successive civilisations were transitory phenomena. An inquiry into the inner meaning of specifically modern life and its products, into the soul of aalter cultural body, so to speak, must seek to solve the equation which structures like the metropolis set up between the individual and the super-individual contents of life.

Bnjamin could describe this figure as the viewing-device through which Benjamin formulates his own theoretical assumptions concerning modernity, converging in a Marxist critique waltre commodity fetishism. Women and the Literature of Modernity”.

Things That Gain benjamn Disorder.

Baudelaire, Benjamin and the Birth of the Flâneur

Social and economic changes brought by industrialization demanded that the artist immerse himself in the metropolis and become, in Baudelaire’s phrase, “a botanist of the sidewalk”. Cafes, cinemas and shops in which one is invited to browse, such as bookshops, all have in common that they can be seen as an extension of the street.


If the flaneur has disappeared as a specific figure, it is because the perceptive attitude which he embodied saturates modern existence, specifically, the society of mass consumption and is the source of its illusions. I surrounded myself with the smaller natures and the meaner minds.

Flâneur – Wikipedia

Realism — Joanne Carrubba. In the same regard, Benjamin also referred to the power of advertising and its dreamlike quality; its capacity to link benjamln with the human imagination. In addition to more liberty, the nineteenth century demanded the functional specialization of man and his work; this specialization makes one individual incomparable to another, and each of them indispensable to the highest possible extent.

It was, rather, a way of understanding the rich variety of the city landscape. Oslo Flaneur Festival says: This society which eliminates geographical distance reproduces distance internally as spectacular separation.

What do you call someone who strolls around town observing people, architecture and commerce, making discerning judgements and yet remaining both detached and involved at the same time? In short, they resemble observations of a flaneur, the viewer who takes pleasure in abandoning himself e, the artificial world of high capitalist civilization.

Thank you for your very interesting and cogently argued comment, Jon. Thus, we create a history which is not just that of the victor. It is absorbed by the outside world…which intoxicates him to the point where he forgets himself.

The eighteenth century called upon man to free himself of all the historical bonds in the state and in religion, in morals and in economics.

In Praise of the Flâneur

Writing inCornelia Flnaeur Skinner suggested that there was no English equivalent of the term: The lover of life makes the whole world his family, just like the lover of the fair sex who builds up his family benjmain all the beautiful women that he has ever found, or that are or are not—to be found; or the lover of pictures who lives in a magical society of dreams painted on canvas.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. But on the other, it gives the promise and anticipation of a utopian dream with many options and possibilities, and an aura pregnant with notions of superstition and fate.

Walter Benjamin, Charles Baudelaire: Theory, Culture and Society.


Under the influence of the spectacle which presents itself to him, the badaud becomes an impersonal creature; he is no longer a human being, he is part of the public, of the crowd.

This man is a roving and impassioned daguerreotype that preserves the least traces, and on which are reproduced, with their changing reflections, the course of things, the movement of the city, the multiple physiognomy of the public spirit, the confessions, antipathies, and admirations of the crowd.

He synchronises himself with the shock experience of modern life. Good to have a quest … Cathy x. Flaubert manages to suggest that these details are somehow at once important and unimportant: Man’s nature, originally good and common to all, should develop unhampered.

I surrounded myself with the smaller natures and the meaner minds. The loiterer refuses to submit to thee social controls of modern industry: David Rhys Jones — Dawn Young. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published. For Benjamin, the environment of the city, in particular the arcades of Paris, provided the means to provoke lost memories of times past: Julian, thanks for taking the time to post such an interesting, considered contribution to this debate.

Ancient peoples had access to numerous rites of passage, transition points and triggers for being jolted from one state of consciousness to another; from reason to myth. The photographer is an armed version of the solitary walker reconnoitering, stalking, cruising the urban inferno, the voyeuristic stroller who discovers the city as a landscape of voluptuous extremes.

I wanted to draw a comparison between them in regard to their respective transformation by those with vested interest in their meaning. Increasing freedoms and social innovations such as industrialisation later allowed the passante to become an active participant in the 19th century metropolis, as women’s social roles expanded away from the domestic and the private and into the public and urban spheres. I was overwhelmed by their titles, I confess; all I know for sure is that the bar was open, and that coffee was flowing freely.