United Kingdom

Why the city emptied by Covid is perfect for modern flanour | Walking Holidays

CHarles Baudelaire, whose 200th birthday is stamped on April 9th, is celebrated with a new edition of his poem, a virtual event, is arguably more famous for his concept. Flaneur – A purposeless stroller or umbra – more than his writing.That’s partly because I’m reading his volume Les Fleurs du Mal Or Le Spleen de Paris With some application, the idea of ​​an individual moving down the streets of the city and finding aesthetic pleasures in a bustling crowd appeals to us and keeps chiming. At least until the spring of 2020, when the crowd was told to stay home.

An illustration drawn by Raoul Serres in 1907 for Charles Baudelaire’s poem The Flowers of Evil. Photo: World History Archive / Alami

However, even in a ghost town, it is possible to think and walk like a flannel. Rainer Hanshe has translated some of Baudelaire’s books into English. Belgian strip bear, About a French writer’s visit to Brussels just before the cholera epidemic. He states: “Flanur is a person who is at the same time away from the urban crowd while immersed in it. Rather than being empty, our city is still somewhat populous and the communion that Baudelaire called a mysterious addiction. You can engage in the form of. “

This includes trying to get into someone else’s head. This is an act of ecstatic empathy that turns the imagination of a lonely pedestrian into “people.” It’s a radical idea that envisions the spirit as a sponge or perhaps a social media channel. Boderer’s most memorable phrase for Flaneur was “a conscious kaleidoscope.”

Some of his ideas need to be updated. Flaneur may be “a prince enjoying secret mode wherever he goes”, but what about the princess? Professor Janet Wolff of the University of Manchester “Invisible flanur”The absence of “good” women from public places in modern cities.In her 2016 book Flaneur: Women walk around the city (((Penguins, £ 8.99), Lauren Elkin calls on women to go down the street, following the example of a radically reflective female pedestrian, from Virginia Woolf and Jean Rhys to Rebecca Solnit...

View of Albert Dock and Royal River Building, Cunard Building and Port of Liverpool Building in Liverpool.
View of Albert Dock and Royal River Building, Cunard Building and Port of Liverpool Building in Liverpool. Photo: Alami

German philosopher Walter Benjamin Extending Boderer’s idea of ​​flanur, adding the myth of Paris as a typical modern metropolis. Some of TS Eliot’s London poetic awakenings arose from his reading on Baudelaire.

But you can walk around and ruminate in the same way in Cardiff, Dundee, Liverpool, and Belfast.As the city’s consumer culture spreads, you can definitely become a flanur in the form of delivery vans, Deliveroo bikes, “craftsman” coffee shops and more. (There are also verbs, Flaneur, Take a walk) in towns, villages, countryside.

But to do so requires discipline. There are 10 Boderaia suggestions for exploring ghost towns.

Read the city

In his poem “Le Soleil,” Baudelaire wrote, “Stumbling on words like cobblestones.” It sounds exaggerated to say that the city should be treated as text, but not when excavating forgotten ornaments or historic sites given the street name, tree species, and brick color. The Marble Arch Tyburn gallows shield is near trafficking areas, but few people stop by to study it. Famous monuments can also be seen from a new angle. Baudelaire writes about marble statues as if they were perceptual. What emotions do they stir up in you? Who was here before you?

I’m not in a hurry because there is no rush hour

For some translators, “idler” is the best equivalent of flanur. It’s best to enjoy the amble slowly and fantasize. “Dandy doesn’t do anything,” Baudelaire wrote. A pandemic-stricken city with a permanent Sunday state is ideal for a leisurely meander. Use it for as long as it lasts.

Night walk

The photo shows a reflection of a person in a puddle as he walks through the city late at night.
“The shadow mystery recreates a familiar place …” Photo: Sara Lee / Guardian

Nocturnal is the pursuit of magicWhen we trade sleep and ordinary dreams (or those flashy dreams we all had during the blockade) for urban dream landscapes. Artificial light, the absence of others, the wandering fox, and the mystery of shadows recreate familiar places as strange and special.The ultimate goal is to see every day anew Flaneur..

Turn off the gadget

If there’s one thing that kills Flaneur’s art, it’s the smartphone. Even worse is an app that counts steps. Why do you look down when you can look up? If you want to walk the soundtrack University of Birmingham Boderer Song Project Choose a slow tempo Chanson..

Window shopping

Paris Arcade, circa 1950: A woman walks beside a large arcade pillar at the western end of Rue de Rivoli in Paris.
Around 1950, a woman walks beside an arcade pillar at the western end of Rue de Rivoli in Paris. Photo: Getty Images

The magnificent iron and glass arcades of Paris influenced Walter Benjamin, who was fascinated by the wide selection. Magasin, A capitalist “temple”. Window shopping is not prohibited, and you can still read signs, promises, buildings, fashion. We are witnessing the arcade being gradually abandoned. Benjamin would have been magical. Even Liverpool One, which opened in 2008, suddenly looks old and semi-redundant.

Sit down and stop

Did the cafe close? Did the pub close? There are always benches and stairs, parks and squares, and doorways for wandering. It’s not embarrassing to sit down. In his dazzling erudition book Walker: About finding and losing yourself in a modern city (Verso), Matthew Beaumont convinces that the convalescent period (the condition between health and illness) is the best mode for discovery because it not only makes us raw and sensitive, but also isolated. I have a claim. If you are recovering from the coronavirus, you may actually be recovering. As Covid-19 retreats, so does our city.

Become surreal – or get drunk

philosopher Guy Debord, Walking Derive (Drift) was influenced by surrealists who used opportunities and games to develop new ideas and perspectives. One of Debord’s friends walked the German region following a map of London. Would you like to roam Manchester in the sky with a randomly reassembled cut-up map?In his 1989 book Panegyric, Debord says he is wandering around a large European city trying a variety of alcoholic beverages, including British mixed-race (half-mild, half-bitter) pints. What about Aberdeen’s Absinthe hip flask? In 1955, Debord developed the idea of ​​psychogeography. This was later taken up by Iain Sinclair, Will Self and others.

Reinvent the city

CGI for the Stockton-on-Tees green space project.
CGI for the Stockton-on-Tees green space project. Photo: Stockton-on-Tees Autonomous Region Council / Rider

Baudelaire and Benjamin’s Paris are a long time ago. Today’s Flaneur needs to take into account traffic, tourism pollution, selfies “at Sartre’s favorite cafe”, and soulless spaces like La Defense. Our city is emptied and reinvention after the pandemic could be an improvement in hyperinflated housing, glass and steel pharocentricity, pseudo-public squares and rank consumerism in the big cities of the late 20th century. There is sex. Perhaps we are heading for a brighter future? The huge projected green space of Stockton-on-Tees replaces the High Street Shop and provides a great patch for residents. urbe rus Opening in 2025, it is reminiscent of a Victorian city park.

Pick up trash

Baudelaire is in Paris Siphonier Or ragpickers, pro-recyclers who have reached the limits of the city to ignore and avoid them. Benjamin developed this into the idea of ​​a poet as a rapicker. Shabby flannel can build his spiritual collage from the messy, chaotic, ugly, dirty abandoned things found all over the city. Trash cans and gutters tell us more than museums. Key workers, including garbage collectors, see more “real” cities than most. British cities have some of the world’s most expansive and renowned post-industrial landscapes, most of which are far from the “historic center” of honeypots and theme parks.

Take notes and make sketches

Pedestrians will walk on January 5, 2021 in the empty St. Peter's Square in Manchester, northwest England.
Pedestrians will walk on the empty St. Peter’s Square in Manchester on January 5, 2021. Photo: Ori Scarf / Getty Images

Baudelaire was not the first or last wandering philosopher writer. He took important ideas from Edgar Allan Poe, Charles Dickens, Marcel Proust, George Sand (crossdressing to penetrate a male-dominated environment), James Joyce, Jorge Luis Borges, Franz. -There are various writers such as Hessel, Ralph Ellison, and Edmund White. Contributed to tradition. Flaneur has appeared in the paintings of many artists, including Degas and Manet (Edward Hopper is depicted as one), and ghosts can be seen through the works of filmmakers such as: Agnès Varda And Patrick Kayler.. Many of the best travelogues benefit from quiz gaze, intellectual restlessness, and some distance – see. European tribe of Caryl Phillips.. The empty city is waiting to be filled with new words.

Why the city emptied by Covid is perfect for modern flanour | Walking Holidays

SourceWhy the city emptied by Covid is perfect for modern flanour | Walking Holidays

Back to top button