By James Werner
Investigates the connections among Poe and the nineteenth-century flaneur - or jogging city observer - and the centrality of the flaneur to Poe's literary goals and intimate but ambivalent courting together with his surrounding tradition.
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Extra resources for American Flaneur: The Cosmic Physiognomy of Edgar Allan Poe (Studies in Major Literaryauthors, 33)
In their fittings art is brought in to the service of commerce” (146). Likewise, “[a]s architecture begins to outgrow art in the use of iron construction, so does painting in the panoramas” (149). ” Likewise, he argues, the world exhibitions “are the sites of pilgrimages to the commodity fetish. ‘Europe is on the move to look at merchandise,’ said Taine in 1855” (151). These exhibitions “glorify the exchange value of commodities. They create a framework in which commodities’ intrinsic value is 22 AMERICAN FLANEUR eclipsed” (152).
Should you ever be drowned or hung, be sure and make a note of your sensations—they will be worth to you ten guineas a sheet” (281). ” In his praise for these pieces, though, Blackwood blurs the line between what seem valid literary attributes (“taste, terror, sentiment, metaphysics, and erudition…glorious imagination—deep philosophy—acute speculation”) and qualities that are aesthetically worthless but currently marketable (“plenty of fire and fury, and a good spicing of the NEITHER IN NOR OUT OF THE MARKET 35 decidedly unintelligible…it of flummery [that] went down the throats of the people delightfully,” and the merits of “good rant, and indifferent Greek—both of them taking things with the public”).
7 Poe’s conflicted attitude about writing for a mass audience is also evident in his letters. He wrote to Philip Pendleton Cooke, “As for the mob—let them talk on. I should be grieved if I thought they comprehended me…” (Ostrom 118). Thomas to “send the public opinion to the devil, forgetting that a public existed” (148). Later, Poe would resign from two of the most successful magazines of the times, Graham’s and Godey’s Lady’s Book, renouncing their blatant capitulation to public tastes. The same “pictures, fashion-plates, music, and love tales” that made Graham’s such a success Poe finds “contemptible” and elicit his “disgust with the namby-pamby character” of the magazine (197).
American Flaneur: The Cosmic Physiognomy of Edgar Allan Poe (Studies in Major Literaryauthors, 33) by James Werner