This book distinguishes itself from previous scholarship by offering an inclusive and comprehensive treatment of urban walking from 1800 to the present. Divided into three sections—geography, genius, and gender—the introduction establishes the origins of the flâneur and flâneuse in early foundational texts and explores later works that reimagine flânerie in terms of these same three themes.
The volume’s contributors provide new and global perspectives on urban walking practices through their treatment of a variety of genres (literature, film, journalism, autobiography, epistolary correspondence, photography, fashion, music, digital media) and regions (Europe, Asia, the Americas, Africa, the Middle East).
This volume theorizes well-known urban characters like the idler, lounger, dandy, badaud, promeneuse, shopper, collector, and detective and also proposes new iterations of the flâneur/flâneuse as fashion model, gaucho, cruiser, musician, vampire, postcolonial activist, video game avatar and gamer.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Tracing the Geography, Genius, and Gender of Flânerie, Kelly Comfort and Marylaura Papalas
Chapter 1: Necrophilic Flânerie: Collecting and Urban Walking in Georges Rodenbach’s Bruges-la-Morte, Tessa Ashlin Nunn
Chapter 2: Dystopian Flânerie: The Beauty of Failure in Kafka’s The Trial and The Castle, Josh Dawson
Chapter 3: Fashionable Flânerie: Walking Women in Interwar French Vogue, Marylaura Papalas
Chapter 4: Transformative Flânerie: Innovative Reflections on Metropolitan Life in The New Yorker, Oliver Bock
Chapter 5: Uncivilized Flânerie: The Gaucho-Flâneur in Jorge Luis Borges’s "The South," Kelly Comfort
Chapter 6: Cruising Flânerie: Homosexual Urban Desire in Epistolary and Autobiographical Writings by Hernán Díaz Arrieta, Darío Sánchez González
Chapter 7: Space-Clearing Flânerie: Remapping Hong Kong in Dung Kai-cheung’s Atlas and My Little Airport’s Songs, Mei Mingxue Nan
Chapter 8: Virtual Flânerie: Gaming and Video Tourism in Paris, Bogotá, and La Habana, Osvaldo Cleger
Chapter 9: Vampiric Flânerie: Ridding Badabad of Badauds in Ana Lily Amirpour’s A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, Jeremy Glazier
Chapter 10: Practicing Flânerie: Imagined and Applied Walking Strategies in Pretoria/Tshwane, South Africa, Lavinia Brydon, Bibi Burger, and Louis Rice
Kelly Comfort is Associate Professor of Spanish and Director of Undergraduate Studies in the School of Modern Languages at Georgia Tech. A specialist in Latin American literature and transatlantic modernisms, she has published two books: Cien años de identidad: Introducción a la literatura latinoamericana del siglo XX (2018), an advanced Spanish textbook and Latin American literature anthology, and European Aestheticism and Spanish American Modernismo (2011), which examines the changing role of art and the artist during the turn-of-the-century period and considers the multiple dichotomies of art and life, aesthetics and economics, production and consumption, and center and periphery. Her edited volume Art and Life in Aestheticism (2008) rethinks the relationship in aestheticism between the aesthetic and the human realms over the past two centuries. She is writing a monograph on transatlantic flânerie in Latin American Modernismo.
Marylaura Papalas is Associate Professor of French at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina and also serves as book review editor for Studies in 20th & 21st Century Literature (STTCL). She specializes in women writers and artists of the French avant-garde, focusing on themes of gender, identity, urbanism, and fashion in their work. Her upcoming monograph on the construction of interwar femininity looks to fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli and how the figures who wear her garments in transatlantic literature, film and popular culture offer an alternative womanhood that challenges contemporaneous archetypes like the new woman and la femme moderne.