Modernity, Flaneur, And The City 1


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Modernity, Flaneur, And The City 1

  1. 1. Modernity, Flâneur , and the City I
  2. 2. Charles Baudelaire, “Painter of Modern Life” R95122010 外文所 蔡念穎
  3. 3. I. Beauty and Fasion <ul><li>general and particular </li></ul><ul><li>The past and the present: the moment </li></ul><ul><li>“ Without losing anything of its ghostly attraction, the past will recover the light and movement of life and will become present” (2) </li></ul><ul><li>Beauty: a. of an eternal, invariable element </li></ul><ul><li>b. of a relative, circumstantial element </li></ul>
  4. 4. II. The Modern Artist <ul><li>Monsieur C. G: French Realist Illustrator, 1802-1892 </li></ul><ul><li>Constantin Guys (Flessingue, 1802-Paris, 1892) </li></ul><ul><li>Equipage in a Park Last third of the nineteenth century ( </li></ul>
  5. 5. ↑ A CONVERSATION PEN AND INK) <ul><li>↓ The confidantes </li></ul><ul><li>(Pen and watercolor) </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>Affects of modernity: </li></ul><ul><li>Man of the World </li></ul><ul><li>“ for the perfect flâneur , for the passionate spectator, it is an immense joy to set 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 pleasure of those independent, passionate, impartial natures which the tongue can but clumsily define” (9). </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>Man of the Crowd </li></ul><ul><li>Man-child->as convalescent </li></ul><ul><li>“ [. . .] as a man-child, as a man who is never for a moment without the genius of childhood – a genius for which no aspect of life has become stale ” (8) </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>Baudelaire’s Dandyism </li></ul><ul><li>posses a distinct type of physiognomy (26) </li></ul><ul><li>implies a quintessence of character and a subtle understanding of the entire moral mechanism of this world; with another part of his nature, however, the dandy aspires to insensitivity, and it is in this that Monsieur G., dominated as he is by an insatiable passion – for seeing and feeling– parts company decisively with dandyism. (9) </li></ul>
  9. 9. III. Modernity <ul><li>“ By ‘modernity’ I mean the ephemeral, the fugitive, the contingent, the half of art whose other half is the eternal and the immutable” (13). </li></ul><ul><li>The painter of modern life: </li></ul><ul><li>“ He has everywhere sought after the fugitive, fleeting beauty of present-day life, he distinguishing characters of that quality which, with the reader’s kind permission, we have called “modernity.” often weird, violent and excessive, he has contrived to concentrate in his drawings the acrid or heady bouquet of the wine of the life” (41). </li></ul>
  10. 10. Walter Benjamin, “The F lâneur ” R96122010 外文所 楊璐綺
  11. 11. I. Physiologies <ul><li>Panorama literature: </li></ul><ul><li>petty-bourgeois, self-observation, innocuousness, definition of types </li></ul><ul><li>Arcades: </li></ul><ul><li>“ Such an arcade is a city, even a world, in miniature. It is in this world that the flâneur is at home . . . he obtains there the unfailing remedy for the kind of boredom that easily arises under the baleful eyes of a satiated reactionary regime” (37). </li></ul>
  12. 12. II. Detective Story <ul><li>The literature dealing with the disquieting and threatening aspects of urban life. </li></ul><ul><li>It concerns about the functions which are peculiar to the masses in a big city. </li></ul><ul><li>When everyone is something of a conspirator, the flâneur is turned into an “unwilling detective.” </li></ul>
  13. 13. II. Detective Story <ul><li>flâneur as an “unwilling detective”: </li></ul><ul><li>--accredits his idleness </li></ul><ul><li>--enables him to dream that he is like an artist </li></ul><ul><li>Edgar Allan Poe: </li></ul><ul><li>--prototype of detective story </li></ul><ul><li>--the Dupin series </li></ul><ul><li>Baudelaire wrote no detective story because he cannot identify with the detective. </li></ul>
  14. 14. II. Detective Story <ul><li>Social content: </li></ul><ul><li>The obliteration of the individual’s traces in the big-city crowd. </li></ul><ul><li>The bourgeoisie compensates itself by making itself as a host of objects and by weaving a multifarious web of registrations. </li></ul><ul><li>Material base: </li></ul><ul><li>The invention of photography; gaslight </li></ul>
  15. 15. III. The Commodity-Soul <ul><li>Empathy with the commodity: </li></ul><ul><li>“ Baudelaire refers to ‘the holy prostitution of the soul which gives its wholly, poetry, and charity, to the unexpected that appears, to the unknown that passes’” (56). </li></ul><ul><li>The more conscious one becomes of his status as a commodity, the more one proletarianizes himself, and the less he will feel like empathizing with commodities. </li></ul>
  16. 16. III. The Commodity-Soul <ul><li>The petty bourgeoisie can only have enjoyment for passing time. No full enjoyment, i.e., power, is granted to it. </li></ul><ul><li>“ It had to enjoy this identification [with the commodity] with all the pleasure and uneasiness which derived from a presentiment of its own destiny as a class . . . it had to approach this destiny with a sensitivity that perceives charm even in damaged and decaying goods” (59). </li></ul>
  17. 17. III. The Commodity-Soul <ul><li>If the natural concentrations of people by their private interests become evident, the totalitarian states may see to it by making the concentration of their clients permanent and obligatory for all their purposes. (63) </li></ul><ul><li>Though intoxicated by the commodity-soul, the flâneur remains conscious of the horrible social reality, but “only in the way in which intoxicated people are ‘still’ aware of reality” (63). </li></ul>
  18. 18. IV. The Natural-Supernatural <ul><li>Victor Hugo viewed the crowd as a spectacle of nature. </li></ul><ul><li>Hugo was no flâneur since he considered the crowd as the crowd of his clients. </li></ul><ul><li>“ When Victor Hugo was celebrating the crowd as the hero in a modern epic, Baudelaire was looking for a refuge for the hero among the masses of the big city” (66). </li></ul>
  19. 19. V. A Working Definition of the Flâneur <ul><li>Petty bourgeoisie </li></ul><ul><li>Strolling in urban “ intérieur ” </li></ul><ul><li>Aimlessly, leisurely, innocuously </li></ul><ul><li>An unwilling detective </li></ul><ul><li>Intoxicated by the commodity-soul </li></ul><ul><li>Half-aware of the horrible social reality </li></ul>