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Christine98 Profile
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"Privacy Policy"


Consider a street in 19th-century France. Strolling along is the quintessential 19th-century French man of the crowd, the poet Charles Baudelaire. Baudelaire has devoted himself to the study of urban life, which in the 19th-century had begun to take the shape we know today.

You can learn a lot about Baudelaire’s thoughts on the crowd in a prose poem titled “Crowds.” He wrote:

    It is not given to every man to take a bath of multitude; enjoying a crowd is an art; and only he can relish a debauch of vitality at the expense of the human species, on whom, in his cradle, a fairy has bestowed the love of masks and masquerading, the hate of home, and the passion for roaming…

    Multitude, solitude: identical terms… The poet enjoys the incomparable privilege of being able to be himself or someone else, as he chooses. Like those wandering souls who go looking for a body, he enters as he likes into each man's personality. For him alone everything is vacant; and if certain places seem closed to him, it is only because in his eyes they are not worth visiting…

Baudelaire takes pleasure in his work. He likes the ease with which he can lose himself in the labyrinth of shops, likes the predictable distraction of the street. In the crowd, you can observe with complete freedom. Multitude/solitude, together/alone — in the crowd they’re all the same. That is the pleasure of anonymity, the debauched delight of the flaneur.

http://thesmartset.com/article/article10131101.aspx
Oct/18/2011, 9:52 am Link to this post Send Email to Christine98   Send PM to Christine98
 
Terreson Profile
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Thanks, Chris. Great link. Said before, the reasons are several why Baudelaire is still considered the first modern poet. Taking on urban life is one of them. I can picture Baudelaire randomly, but purposefully, leaving a boulevard for the narrow streets of Paris. Taking on the smells. Rancid, putrid, fetted. Quite likely in an opium induced dream. There's a scene for you.

As for thge article's larger point involving the commodification of privacy, I need to think on it. I am not sure the point is proved.

Tere

Last edited by Terreson, Oct/18/2011, 7:24 pm
Oct/18/2011, 7:15 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
Christine98 Profile
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I thought you'd like the Baudelaire references,
Tere. Glad you did.

Chris
Oct/18/2011, 10:02 pm Link to this post Send Email to Christine98   Send PM to Christine98
 


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