By Marit Grøtta
Baudelaire's Media Aesthetics situates Charles Baudelaire in the course of 19th-century media tradition. It bargains a radical research of the function of newspapers, images, and precinematic units in Baudelaire's writings, whereas additionally discussing the cultural background of those media typically. The booklet unearths that Baudelaire used to be no longer purely encouraged through the hot media, yet that he performed with them, utilizing them as frames of notion and methods of experiencing the realm. His writings display how diverse media reply to each other and the way the conventions of 1 medium could be paraphrased in one other medium. hence, Baudelaire's Media Aesthetics argues that Baudelaire might be visible in simple terms as an suggest of "pure poetry," yet as a poet in a media saturated setting. It indicates that mediation, montage, and stream are gains which are crucial to Baudelaire's aesthetics and that his modernist aesthetics will be conceived of, to a wide measure, as a media aesthetics.
Highlighting Baudelaire's interplay with the media of his age, Baudelaire's Media Aesthetics discusses the ways that we reply to new media know-how, drawing on views from Walter Benjamin and Giorgio Agamben. Combining distinctive learn with modern concept, the e-book opens up new views on Baudelaire's writings, the determine of the flâneur, and modernist aesthetics.
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Additional resources for Baudelaire's Media Aesthetics: The Gaze of the Flâneur and 19th-Century Media
However, Baudelaire does not focus on the Newspapers 39 events as such, but rather brings attention to the question of how to perceive, interpret, and understand them. In this undertaking, he is drawing on the genre signals of two genres: the literary fable—la moralité—and the journalistic fait divers. These genres correspond to two prototypical forms of literature: allegory and anecdote, each prompting different reading strategies. Whereas an allegory spurs an interpretation process that aims at establishing meaning and truth, an anecdote is usually considered an insignificant curiosity that is to merely entertain the reader.
Further, a genre that was not actually published in the newspaper, but that Benjamin refers to as the haute-école of the feuilleton, was the physiologie, which peaked in the 1840s. It provided literary descriptions of all types of people one could encounter in the city landscape and hence made navigation easier for the newspaper reader/city dweller. The physiologie was a kind of panoramic literature taking in all of Paris through its descriptions. Benjamin associates la physiologie with the activity of the eye at the marketplace and the idle strolling of le flâneur: They [the physiologies] investigated types that a person taking a look at the marketplace might encounter.
It is easy to imagine that these fields of vision start to blur in his consciousness, the one melting into the other. When he narrates that he spots “the man of the crowd” outside on the street, on the other side of the smoky window, the following question comes to the fore: from where does the idea of “the man of the crowd” originate? From observation of the streets through smoky windows? From reading newspapers? Is it possible to distinguish clearly between the two? In 1840, newspapers were full of reports from urban life, in the form of physiologies, tableaux, and fait divers, and Poe’s newspaper reading narrator may well have been predisposed to spotting “the man of the crowd” on the street.