The Flâneur Still Lives!

The character emerged from the concrete of 19th Paris and is now tucked-up in the front seat of London underground trains...

Sitting on the tube and not borrowing your nose into your [insert: kindle/phone/book/pretend book] can reveal the inner secrets of life.

Take for instance the flâneur. The term has been tossed and turned like a hot potato in the literary world. Firstly to Larousse’s team as a lazy yet intelligent person who strolls around. Then the flâneur winked an eye to the one and only Baudelaire and finally dipped a toe in Germany to shake hands with Walter Benjamin.

But what does this word actually mean? (after I’ve mentioned it about 4 times… including the url and the title) Well, conjure up a particular personality who loves their city. That’s right, not a striking form of patriotism, just a genuine love of their city. Baudelaire…take it away:

“To see the world, to be at the centre of the world, and yet to remain hidden from the world - impartial natures which the tongue can but clumsily define.”

And that is when Mr Tube Driver comes in. Especially when he announces EVERY.SINGLE.LANDMARK.OF.LONDON. for each station of the Piccadilly line. Not helpful when you are in a rush but when it’s said in such a jolly manner, one simply can’t resist!

Well I leave you with a classic which is most probably played at every Christmas dinner for tube drivers…making huge assumptions here…

Tags: Blogger: mélissa


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