The Art of Taking a Walk
This is a study of one of the characteristic figures of European urban modernity - the observing city stroller, of flaneur. The text examines these figures in the context of Weimar Germany and the intellectual sphere of Walter Benjamin, with whom the concept of flanerie is often associated. The author sketches the European influences that produced the German flaneur, and establishes the figure as a pervasive presence in Weimar culture, as well as a profound influence on modern perceptions of public space. The theory of literary flanerie and the technological changes - street lighting, public transportation - that gave a new status to the activities of sightseeing and walking in the modern city, are also examined in the book, and the place of flanerie in the works of various writers is considered.
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