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Open Access Publications from the University of California


  • Author(s): Schall, Daniel
  • et al.

These poems are inspired by Baudelaire’s original poetic image of the flâneur, the poet ambling through the Latin Quarter in Paris, absorbing the city’s increasingly rapid modernization. A crucial difference, however, is that these poems also play into the words of Michel de Certeau, who reminds us that there are (at least) two ways to “see” the city: through the minimizing and totalizing lens of aggregation, or as part of it, moving and swimming through the arteries of the city and letting the poignant smells and personalities stick to one’s skin. The photographs and collage elements of this piece attempt to marry these two views of the city in their interactions with and supplements to the text. Baudelaire had the keen sense to stay removed from his own poems; his speaker was imbued in the works, but rarely did he make a cameo appearance. I find that to do that in the city today would be impossible.

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