Monday, January 23, 2017

Flaneur

Here's a nifty term I learned from reading Nassim Nicholas Taleb:

Flâneur (pronounced: [flɑnœʁ]), from the French noun flâneur, means "stroller," "lounger," "saunterer," or "loafer." Flânerie refers to the act of strolling, with all of its accompanying associations. A near-synonym is boulevardier.

The flâneur was, first of all, a literary type from 19th century France, essential to any picture of the streets of Paris. The word carried a set of rich associations: the man of leisure, the idler, the urban explorer, the connoisseur of the street. It was Walter Benjamin, drawing on the poetry of Charles Baudelaire, who made this figure the object of scholarly interest in the 20th century, as an emblematic archetype of urban, modern experience. Following Benjamin, the flâneur has become an important symbol for scholars, artists and writers.



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