Monday, February 14, 2005

Flaneur

Particularly, check out the most recent cited usage of the word, from 1969: "The electronic age may yet see every man a flaneur." The Internet and the Flaneur?

flâneur (Oxford English Dictionary, Second Ed, 1989)

[F. flâneur, f. flâner: see prec.]


A lounger or saunterer, an idle ‘man about town’. Also transf. Hence flane, flâne, flané, flâné v. intr., to saunter, to laze.

1854 Harper's Mag. Aug. 411/2 Did you ever fail to waste at least two hours of every sunshiny day, in the long-ago time when you played the flaneur, in the metropolitan city, with looking at shop-windows? 1872 E. BRADDON Life in India vi. 236 He will affect a knowledge of London life that only comes to the regular flâneur after years of active experience. 1876 OUIDA Winter City vi. 149 An existence which makes the life of the Paris flâneurs look very poor indeed. 1876 L. TROUBRIDGE Life amongst Troubridges (1966) xi. 143 Shopped the whole morning{em}flanéed down Regent Street. 1894 G. DU MAURIER Trilby III. VIII. 155 They are going to laze and flane about the boulevards. 1896 G. B. SHAW Our Theatres in Nineties (1932) II. 217 The boundary which separates the clever flâneur from the dramatist. 1897 G. DU MAURIER Martian IV. 175 To his great surprise he saw Bonzig leisurely flâning about. 1938 H. G. WELLS Apropos of Dolores i. 13 In Paris, in London I have been a happy flâneur; I have flâné-d in New York and Washington and most of the great cities of Europe. 1954 I. MURDOCH Under Net xv. 203 The fishermen were fishing, and the flâneurs were flaning. 1969 Computers & Humanities IV. 29 The electronic age may yet see every man a flaneur.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

While doing some flanuering of my own on the web I stumbled across this blog:

www.glowlab.blogs.com/following/

On this site there is an interesting project in which two people practice the art of the flanuer over a twenty-four hour period. The rules for this project are simple: Each of the participants start in the same location of the city, a busy public place of any kind. There participant 1 selects a stranger to follow (the idea here being that the stranger will randomly lead you to a different part of the city). Participant 1 then must follow the stranger until he/she enters a building. At this time participant 1 is to remain inactive in that location and take in the sights. Participant 1 must then send a text message to participant 2, signaling them to select a stranger and do the same sort of procedure until their stranger enters a building, rendering participant 2 inactive to take in the new location that they were lead to. Every time the selected stranger enters a building the participant that was following them must stay in that location until they recieve a text message from the other participant that their stranger entered a building. Get it Yet? (If you don't the website can explain it better)

The idea here is that the participants will be lead randomly throughout the city and be allowed to observe. Their project was completed quite some time ago so there's some pictures and posts of their adventures in flaneuring on this sight. This is something I would like to try someday if anyone is interested...

Thadeaous Mighell

8:10 PM  

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