The plausibility of the flaneuse in our modern era in sex and the city

On the one hand, Charles Darwin brought the scrutiny of positivist science to bear on biological issues, negating any human uniqueness, while on the other, Herbert Spencer translated evolution into a philosophy of human progress. Spencer's evolutionary philosophy, in particular, had a tremendous impact in the United States because it reconciled the new science with traditional beliefs; it preserved the belief in the special spiritual nature of humankind, as well as the existence of a spiritual realm. The purposefulness of human life on earth thus was upheld, in contrast to Darwin's negation of any human uniqueness. But as Gillian Beer has pointed out, evolutionary science abounded in metaphors and contradictory elements; it could be read as both an ascent and a descent of man.

The plausibility of the flaneuse in our modern era in sex and the city

Paris As Revolution Page 5 of impel the literary and artistic turmoil that so altered modes of artistic production and the products themselves? That there were connections was obvious to the most indifferent observer, but the exact nature and meaning of the linkages were a subject of great debate.

The choices within the vast semantic and sociological field of revolution charted the range of both literary options and political positions from the beginning to the end of the century. The indissoluble connection between literature and politics was already a commonplace when, inthe vicomte de Bonald made his celebrated proclamation that "literature is the expression of society as language is the expression of man.

The connection became almost an article of faith for the century that followed, regardless of political or aesthetic position. Revolution on the street, revolution on the page—the two were inevitably found together, even if the relations were far from transparent and the correlation was often indirect.

Attitudes toward revolution are always problematic, but in nineteenth-century Paris they were as consuming as they were at least in part because they were also confused.

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Passionate involvement with revolution in its many guises turned Paris into an engrossing object of cultural speculation. As a result, the city comprised much more than the subject and backdrop that it had provided for writers and painters for close to six centuries.

The great social and political reconfiguration that followed upon bestowed upon the city a status that it held for a century: The capaciousness of the concept made both its literary and its sociological fortune.

Revolution proposed such a seductive model for literary interpretation because it constructed social change simultaneously as a function of time and of space, the very elements that form the foundation of any narrative.

Understanding how chronotopes work in particular texts is fundamental, Bakhtin argues, to figuring out how genres work.

For in rendering the triangulation of time, space, and text, revolution suggests the decisive context for thinking about the city in nineteenth-century France. A three-way definition of self, society, and political identity is always at work in the nineteenth-century authors who write about Paris, and the controlling frame of reference is invariably the place that each constructs in a revolutionary tradition.

Whether present or repressed, implicit or explicit, revolution determines what Benjamin calls the "time-space" and the "dreamtime" that define nineteenth-century Paris. Any appreciation of revolution as paradigmatic chronotope must be an interdisciplinary process.

Literary criticism, historical interpretation, and sociological placement join in any realization of the symbol system that is constructed in and around nineteenth-century Paris, and it helps to keep these disciplines in play in our own awareness of nineteenthcentury conflations.

The genres that work out these historical and spatial interconnections most fully are the journalistic essay and the novel, which together constitute something of a "collective autobiography" of Paris and Parisians as they confronted a rapidly changing world for which they were often ill prepared.

These profoundly urban genres make the city itself into a revolutionary text. To speak of an "urban genre" or a "revolutionary text" is to do more than indulge in metaphor. Or rather, this particular metaphor takes on a theoretical http: If reading the city has become a commonplace, we do well to remember that we are able to undertake such readings, as Michel de Certeau reminds us, only because of the properties the urban text shares with written or more specifically literary texts.

Each exhibits the contest between fabrication and interpretation; each exemplifies the shifting affinities between text and intertexts.

Moreover, reading urban space in terms of a literary narrative comes easily to nineteenth-century Parisians who struggle with the vitality of revolution in order to represent, to explain, and, finally, to make sense of their city.

The power of what is in sum a political aesthetic lies precisely in the expression these works give to a collective memory or tradition. At the same time, these texts anchor and thereby perpetuate that memory.

They provide a "social frame," to take Maurice Halbwachs' term, on which society hangs its beliefs and its practices. But, as Halbwachs also argues, the social memory—in this case, revolution—remains alive only to the extent that it is reactivated by and through current social structures.

Revolution was contemporary in nineteenth-century France not only because of the recurrent political conflict and the repeated changes of regime but also because so many texts supplied a continuous social frame and literary narrative for the revolutionary tradition.

These works were not the only means of communication, and it is certainly true that they rely on other kinds of social frames that also kept revolution alive.

Even so, I shall argue, the power of these texts lies in their capacity to mobilize revolution in the present—even, at far remove, today. In the construction of revolution and in the elaboration of the symbol system attached to Paris, the texts examined in Paris as Revolution played a critical role for contemporaries, and to the extent that these texts are read still, they perpetuate revolutionary Paris a century and more later.

To the degree that the Revolution remains a touchstone in French culture a matter of much current debatethese texts will resonate within that culture. They, in turn, will have something to do with keeping revolution alive.

Much of the power of these works derives from the sense of authority that they radiate. These writers are confident that they can know Paris. For them, the city is readable, and they write within this conviction of legibility. But this faith—and it is indeed a faith—makes all of these writers figures of the nineteenth century.

There is, of course, much criticism, both of individual writers and of nineteenth-century fiction more generally, that rightly stresses the complexity of representation and the awareness of these writers of that complexity.

The urban narrative that I identify in effect mediates between the necessarily simplifying perspective of the controlling author the "bird's-eye view" of the omniscient narrator and the muddled, fragmentary perspective from within the labyrinth of the city the incomplete, obscure point of view of the protagonists in these works.

That these writers at times acknowledge the fragmentary and therefore faulty nature of the knowledge that their works convey does not lead them to renounce the larger project of understanding.

For the writers of revolutionary Paris, the possibility of knowledge of the city, http: Each of the chapters below analyzes this nexus of the political, the cultural, and the iconographical at a particular historical moment.Final for theatre.

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London's Globe Theatre was built outside London city limits because of what? Shakespeare's plays were not yet accepted in London at the time. The Modern Era was ushered in by profound changes based in part by the writings of Sigmund Freud, who believed what?. Founded in , Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide is a scholarly, refereed e-journal devoted to the study of nineteenth-century painting, sculpture, graphic arts, photography, architecture, and decorative arts across the globe.

In our column Poetry Rx, readers write in with a specific emotion, and our resident poets—Sarah Kay, Kaveh Akbar, and Claire Schwartz—take turns prescribing the perfect poems to match. This week, Claire Schwartz is on the line.

The literature of modernity, describing the fleeting, anonymous, ephemeral encounters of life in the metropolis, mainly accounts for the experiences of men.

It ignores the concomitant separation of public and private spheres from the mid-nineteenth century, and the increasing segregation of the sexes around that separation.

The plausibility of the flaneuse in our modern era in sex and the city

The influential . Stimulating and engaging programme of talks, discussions and screenings (hosted in collaboration with the University of Sussex’s Centre for Visual Fields and School of English). THE MODERN FAMILY: CHANGES IN STRUCTURE AND LIVING ARRANGEMENTS IN THE UNITED STATES understand these changes.

In part 2, students will watch a clip from the show “Modern Family” and compare their observations with census data. Table 1, Distribution of Same-Sex Couple Households by States Grouped by Legal .

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