Category Archives: Walter Benjamin

Imaging Paris: Passage des Panoramas

Passage des Panoramas, Paris. [Photo by deneux_jacques] Thanks to deneux_jacques for sharing this image in the Creative Commons. See his superb photo set, Ah, Paris! Imaging Paris documents places in the city and the images that inhabit them. “Just as … Continue reading

Posted in Creative Commons, IIe, Imaging Paris, Walter Benjamin | Leave a comment

Walter Benjamin: Art & Mechanical Reproduction

I’ve alluded several times to Walter Benjamin’s 1937 essay, “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction.” I cited it as a kind of shorthand for several ideas that I want to explore in a blind flaneur. After … Continue reading

Posted in 19th century, Art, Walter Benjamin | 3 Comments

Georgia On My Mind, and Yours

Photo portrait of Georgia O’Keeffe by Alfred Stieglitz, 1918. [Source: Wikimedia Commons] In my day job I’ve always regarded network administration with a certain suspicion. It’s a sprawling university network and you have to arm-wrestle with an army of geekish … Continue reading

Posted in Art, fair use, Georgia O'Keeffe, Meta Blog, Walter Benjamin | 6 Comments

Foot Rage and the Blind Flaneur

As I have lost eyesight over the past thirty years, walking has been the simplest and most dependable solution to the functional limitations of my disability. When I stopped driving cars at age eighteen, walking was the mode of transportation … Continue reading

Posted in Flaneur, foot rage, Paris, Rue Mouffetard, Ve, walking, Walter Benjamin | 4 Comments

The Diva’s Diva: Cecilia Bartoli on Maria Malibran

François Bouchot. Maria Malibran. Louvre, Paris [Source: Wikimedia Commons] She was a Spanish diva who was born in Paris. She debuted in London and introduced the first Italian operas performed in New York. In her brief, tempestuous life (1808 -1836), … Continue reading

Posted in 19th century, opera, Playing by Ear, Walter Benjamin | 1 Comment

Vygotsky & Bakhtin, Madelstam & Walter Benjamin

My friend and teacher Nancy Mack invited me to visit her seminar on Lev Vygotsky, Mikhail Bakhtin, and the social nature of language. When I took her course ten years ago, it was the most stimulating subject I encountered in … Continue reading

Posted in Osip Mandelstam, poetry, Russians, Walter Benjamin | 4 Comments

Two Views of Place de la Bastille

Two 19th-century illustrations depict Place de la Bastille in the years before and after Victor Hugo ‘s description of the Elephant in Les Misérables IV.6. 2: [above left] Elephant caparaconne d’or by Alvoine, from the time of Napoleon; [below left] … Continue reading

Posted in French history, IVe, Les Misérables, Paris, Victor Hugo, Walter Benjamin | 1 Comment

Imaging Paris: La poésie est un sport de l’extrême

[Photo by gadl] Art is everywhere in Paris. You don’t have to stand in line or pay 10 euros to enter the museum. As the flaneur knows, the museum is the street. You pay with your attention. This image represents … Continue reading

Posted in Flaneur, Imaging Paris, Miss Tic, Paris, street art, Ve, Walter Benjamin | 1 Comment

Walter Benjamin: The Pearl Diver

Illuminations (1968) is the most-widely read anthology of Walter Benjamin’s writing in English. The essays gathered there, including “Unpacking My Library” and “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction,” were chosen by Hannah Arendt. She also contributed … Continue reading

Posted in Walter Benjamin | 1 Comment

Return of the Flaneur: Galerie Vivienne

[Photo by Ms. Modigliani] When I’m in Paris I cross the river at least once to walk up Rue Vivienne, which runs north from the Louvre and Palais Royale. Compared to the grand boulevards, Rue Vivienne feels like a narrow, … Continue reading

Posted in Flaneur, Ie, Ms. Modigliani, Paris, Walter Benjamin | 10 Comments