International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Cities in Motion: Flanery and the Aesthetics of Metropolitan Flux
Mrs Amira Hedhili, Mrs Sana’ BenAli Taga

Protean and multiparadigmatic as they are, the flanêur(se), as a literary trope and hermeneutic construct is of viable structural and ontological expediency in probing the thematic of mobility in Charles Baudelaire’ and Paul Auster’s psychogeographical cityscapes. Entangled in the metropolitan aporetic world, with its surfeit of unanchored referents and abundance of urban ephemera, the mindless amblings of the flanêur in Charles Baudelaire’s Paris and Paul Auster’s New York modulate into phantasmagoric city rhetorics and performative spatial practices. Consigned to an unrelenting vacillation between flux and fixity, reality and fantasy, the centre and the interstices, the flanêur, this intriguing epicurean figure and avid connoisseur of the urban texturology, stands as a denizen of a limbo world, a dweller of a phantasmagoric, mercurial cityscape where mutability and mobility are the only constants. More than a mere pleasure seeking idler or an escapist artist abjectly yearning for a muse , the flanêur rises as an unlocatable “wandersmänner” and an insatiable practitioner of everyday life. It is through the flanêur’s meanderings that inane urban ephemera assume an aesthetic value and static spaces veer into heterotopias, hyper real phenomena extending beyond the threshold of visibility.

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