The Painter of Modern Life

The Art of Strollers.

Like many authors before and after this shall discourse about the Modern Enlightened Man who has like a prince in incognito walked through each street, Gallerias and corner to joy every individual passing minute to do memoranda of the busy universe around him. Charles Baudelaire inThe Painter of Modern Lifehas theorized how an creative person should plunge him or herself into the flux of thenowadaysin order to catch the kernel of it and compose about its most important characteristic. Charles Baudelaire pens it as:

“The pleasance which we derive from the representation of the present is due non merely to the beauty with which it can be invested, but besides to its indispensable quality of being present” ( Charles Baudelaire )

Here in this essay we shall analyze the Charles Baudelaire’s construct of modernness and in it the Modern Enlightened Man. We will hold a retrospective reading of Charles Baudelaire’sThe Painter of Modern Lifeto acknowledge who are Flaneur and Constantin Guys and can they be identified as Modern Enlightened Men.

It is likely just to state that when Michel Foucault and Charles Baudelaire or even say Immanuel Kant looks atnowadaysthey have different position towards it. Each author tries to harmonize to show in contrast to past or future. Each author claims, in his ain spirit, that every individual person must render his or her being meaningfully by cultivating what Foucault calls philosophical ethos. Foucault in his essay,What is Enlightenment?compares the different definitions of present during the modernness. For Immanuel Kant nowadays seems non so of import as when he talks about enlightenment he focuses on footings like anflight, amanner out, anissueand so on and this procedure he wholly ignores the world of being portion of nowadays. He tries to cover with modern-day world entirely as Foucault thinks but if we observe closely, we will come across the cheerless state of affairs he has created in his authorship.

In the same footings, if we discuss Charles Baudelaire, the hero seen as life in gloriousnowadaysand is populating forego. Foucault argues that it is more of import to be cognizant about self-fashioning instead than about a peculiar period. Taking this forward Foucault notes, how for Baudelaire, the attitude of modernness means taking a base with regard to the freshness and interruption with traditions whichever the modern attitude requires. Therefore, for Baudelaire modernness and present travel together and to be the portion of it or unrecorded with it attainment of an attitude is most of import.

Charles Baudelaire acknowledged with coining the termmodernness(modernite) in his 1864 essay calledThe Painter of Modern Life, to manner the fleeting, passing experience of life in an urban city, and the duty which art has to capture that experience in it. In this sense, we can state it refers to a peculiar relationship it has with clip, the one characterized by intense historical discontinuity or rupture, openness to the freshness of the hereafter, and a heightened sensitiveness to what is alone about the present.

InThe Painter of Modern Life, Baudelaire announces that the indispensable quality of being present in the minute best witnessed in the activities of the Flaneur who is an idle Walker and passionate perceiver of the complexnesss of the modern age. Baudelaire feels it through the word picture of Flaneur the elaboratenesss of the modern age can be best represented. Although Baudelaire wrote this about a century and a half ago, but the theory of the Flaneur and the modern creative person is still really much relevant today, and seen most notably in our twenty-four hours today life. Flaneur is the individual who can heroize the minutest occurrence of the twenty-four hours by maintaining his eyes open to pay attending and construct his depot of memories. Wallace Steven’s in his verse form namedFlushing without Angelsdescribes the pleasance a Flaneur has out of sauntering and looking. Wallace Steven says:

“The great involvements of adult male: air and visible radiation, the joy of holding a organic structure, the hot stuff of looking.” ( Wallace Stevens )

If we look at the etymology of Flaneur, the termsFlaneriedates back to the sixteenth or 17th century, mentioning to the art of strolling and idleness, frequently ab initio with the intension of blowing clip. However, it was during 19th century when rich set of significances and definitions environing the Flaneur came into visible radiation.

Flaneur comes from the Gallic nounFlaneur, means asaunterer, adallier, or aidler. In the 8th volume of Larousse’sGrand dictionnaire universel du XIXe siecle, defined the term Flaneur in a long article. There Flaneur described in ambivalent footings, equal parts wonder and indolence.

Sainte-Beuve besides wrote that the Flaneur is the really opposite of making nil, one should non misidentify him as a ruffian strolling on roads.Honore de Balzac described the art of Flaneur as theas the gastronomy of the oculus. Harmonizing to Anais Bazin the merely, the true crowned head of Paris can be theflaneur ” . Paris is the metropolis of Flaneur.Victor Fournel, devoted a chapter to Flaneur art in his seminal work,Ce qu’on voit dans lupus erythematosuss herb of graces deParis(What One Sees in the Streets of Paris, 1867) where he defines it as an art and nil near indolence. It came out in the signifier of an art through which we have a rich apprehension of non merely city’s landscape but besides of the people who are portion of this landscape. If we say in Walter Benjamin’s footings, he is an indispensable figure of modern urban society who works as an recreational investigator and research worker of the metropolis. He is a traveling camera and a Kino-eye who subsequently becomes an writer or a manager and readily shapes the world into an on-going movie. Therefore, he acts as a witness who turns into a reader and so a author. He reads the modern universe about him as a complex text through his eyes and converts it into one through his esthesias.

All this was non plenty to portray Flaneur in its truest image ; Decadent Parisian poet Charles Baudelaire presented a memorable portrayal of the Flaneuras the artist-poet of the modern city in his workThe Painter of Modern Lifein the 1860’s amidst the rebuilding of Paris underNapoleon III and theBaron Haussmann in the undermentioned lines:

The crowd is his component, as the air is that of birds and H2O of fishes. His passion and his profession are to go one flesh with the crowd. For the perfectFlaneur, for the passionate witness, it is an huge joy to put up house in the bosom of the battalion, amid the wane and flow of motion, in the thick of the fleeting and the space. To be off from place and yet to experience oneself everyplace at place ; to see the universe, to be at the Centre of the universe, and yet to stay concealed from the world—impartial natures which the lingua can but clumsily specify. The witness is a prince who everyplace rejoices in his incognito. The lover of life makes the whole universe his household, merely like the lover of the just sex who builds up his household from all the beautiful adult females that he has of all time found, or that are or are not—to be found ; or the lover of images who lives in a charming society of dreams painted on canvas. Thus the lover of cosmopolitan life enters into the crowd as though it were an huge reservoir of electrical energy. Or we might compare him to a mirror every bit huge as the crowd itself ; or to a kaleidoscope gifted with consciousness, reacting to each one of its motions and reproducing the multiplicity of life and the aflicker grace of all the elements of life. ( Charles Baudelaire )

Before we discuss about our hero in item, allow us hold a expression at Baudelaire’s adult male of modernness whom he besides describe in the signifier of the creative person Constantin Guys. Constantin Guys, Ernest-Adolphe-Hyacinthe-Constantin, ( December 3, 1802 – December 13, 1892 ) was a Dutch-bornCrimean Warcorrespondent, water-color painterand illustrator for British and Gallic newspapers.Baudelaire labeled him asthe painter of modern life,adult male of the universeand apassionate lover of crowds, and pseudonym him asMonsieur G.Constantin Guys’ submergence into the aggregate civilization of his society’snowadaysis what makes him star in the eyes of Baudelaire. Constantin Guys overlaps with the Flaneur creative person as their wonder and artistic gifts create an art that best represents the epoch. It is in Baudelaire’s treatment of Constantin Guys that Baudelaire theorizes the image of the Flaneur creative person. In discoursing Constantin Guys, Baudelaire describes the properties of the Flaneur as being similar to the properties of the modern creative person.

As for Baudelaire, both the Flaneur and the Constantin Guys are theaggregatorsandwitnesssbut they are non same. There is a all right line, which differentiates them and their mentality. While the Constantin Guy is the aggregator ofwonders, he is evertravel rapidlyingandseeking. On the other manus, Flaneur is more intosing. Flaneur is a dreamer while Constantin Guys is an perceiver. Flaneur becomes the portion of crowd, he ever remainsoff from placebut in crowd, he feelsat place. Unlike Flaneur, Constantin Guys is person who is numbering every 2nd and is an old adult male. He is person who understands the whole universe and the cryptic and lawful grounds of all its utilizations. For this, he is eagle eyed. When he wakes up to see the vehement Sun, he reproaches himself with compunction and sorrow:

“What a autocratic order! What a bugle blast of life! Already several hours of light—everywhere—lost by my slumber! How many lighted things might I have seen and missed visual perception! ” ( Charles Baudelaire )

He wants to be lively and nicely dressed, and joy the minute of being alive and being portion of cosmopolitan twenty-four hours for one more twenty-four hours. He is absorbed in the pageant of modern life, its imposts, mores, and spectacle. He feels this modern being and to the full identifies with it and in his plants, he re-invents the modern external universe.

Readers of Baudelaire frequently confuse Flaneur with Badaud. The termBadaud comes from the Gallic and means agawker, or abystander, which is associated with a sort of idle wonder, credulousness, simpleminded folly and goggling ignorance. He is the 1 who is funny and astonished by everything he sees and he believes everything he hears. He shows his contentment and surprise by his wide-open, goggling oral cavity. In 1842, Auguste de Lacroix inThe Gallic Described By Themselvesexplained that theFlaneuris to theBadaudwhat the epicure is to the gourmand. He argues that theBadaud walks for theinterestof walking and is amused and captivated with everything. He becomes person who laughs without ground and regard without seeing. He is like a Canis familiaris who barks at everything new it sees. He is nil more than a small skilled animate being. Thus it can be said that in the Flaneur there is joy of watching which victory and he works like the recreational investigator and if of all time he turns into person who is a stagnate gaper, so he has turned into the Badaud which Walter Benjamin besides points out.

Similarly, the Constantin Guys and the creative person are besides confused of being same. Charles Baudelaire inThe Painter of Modern Lifefocal points on the Artist, Man of the World, Man of the Crowd and the Child. The Man of the World is the Constantin Guys is a lover of crowd and incognitos. He carries originality within him. He is a great traveller and cosmopolite. The Artist is a specializer. He is a adult male who embodied in his pallet like the helot to dirty as Baudelaire points out. He has his ain little universe, a universe of ethical motives and political relations. He knows, understands and appreciates everything that happens on the surface of Earth that relates to his universe. He is a extremely skilled animate being tied to his profession. The Guys does non wish to be an creative person as he recognizes and associates himself with the whole universe non with a selected, enclosed and specific universe. He is a kid who ever wants to be intoxicated by newness.

Since here we’re looking for the Enlightened Man can we state that a dude is the 1 because what we called or looked for in an Enlightened Man in modernness is one who canself-fashionitself to the most. Furthermore, dude is the 1 who makes his organic structure, his behaviour, his feelings and passions or you can state its really being, a work of art. However, do you believe this will be plenty for us to label him, as the Enlightened Man or still there is something missing? A true dude is non the 1 who follows any given regulations, Torahs or norms or attention for official values such as money, conformity, heterosexualism and marriage.He is one who despises the bounds of common sense and creates his ain aesthetics of the ego, which is dedicated to useless passions, utmost leisure and insensitivenesss. Therefore, the dude becomes a perfect illustration of single disaffection from society and official civilization. His captivation besides expresses a certain rebellion against businessperson and capitalist values with their rationalized and useful life style ideals. Furthermore, his aesthetic cultivation of the ego is besides politically and socially transgressive. These features make himimmoralityand make non let being portion of cosmopolitan life. His wonts and passions make him a modernist but non an enlightened modernist.

As we have suggested in this article, in the context of modernness, theaesthetics of the ego is a specific theoretical configuration. Baudelaire provided us with a winning definition of modernness that:each present in its nowness, in other words, the present in its strictly instantaneous quality and every centripetal experience should be captured. No minute should be lost. The art of Flaneur called Flanerie embraces both phantasmagoric and impressionistic esthesias. In the impressionistic observations of Edward Dujardin’sLes Lauriers sont coupes, the Flaneur inspires James Joyce to prosecute his innovation of the watercourse of consciousness manner of authorship. The Flaneur became the experimental function theoretical account. He leaves the businessperson insides to meet their stuff of observations in a new domain of public outsides.

Flaneur and Constantin Guys are the walking authors who enter the populace sphere in order to read the texts of modernness within the continuum of their ambles, within the kaleidoscopic continuity offered at every street corner. For them streets and images is nil but texts in their ain rights to supply them the chance to be modern writers.

Henceforth, we can non distinguish between Flaneur, Constantin Guys and modernists. They all are portion of crowd and are unconsciously portion of the historical passage. As thenowadaysis like a fluxing river so is our Enlightened Men, he is sauntering from street to street entering his or her experience. The colourss, signifiers and visible radiations will ever be new to him or her and so is he or she will be new to us in every yesteryear,nowadaysand hereafter.

Plants Cited

Baudelaire, Charles, and Jonathan Mayne.The Painter of Modern Life, and Other Essaies.London: Phaidon, 1964. Print.

Benjamin, Walter, and Michael William Jennings.The Writer of Modern Life: Essaies on Charles Baudelaire. Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard UP, 2006. Print.

“ Flaneur. ”Wikipedia.Wikimedia Foundation. Web. 13 Apr. 2015. & A ; lt ; hypertext transfer protocol: //en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flaneur & A ; gt ; .

Gleber, Anke. The Art of Taking a Walk: Flanerie, Literature, and Film in Weimar Culture. Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 1999. Print.

Mccall, Corey. “ The Art of Life: Foucault ‘s Reading of Baudelaire ‘s “ The Painter of Modern Life ” ”The Journal of Speculative Philosophy: 138-57. Print.

Peng, Xiaoyan.Foppishness and Transcultural Modernity: The Dandy, the Flaneur, and the Translator in 1930s Shanghai, Tokyo, and Paris. New York, NY: Routledge, 2010. Print.

Steiner, Uwe. WalterBenjamin an Introduction to His Work and Thought. Chicago: Uracil of Chicago, 2010. Print.

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