The Flâneur, by Edmund White

Vulpes Libris

9781582342122This is an elegant little book, first published over ten years ago in a series from Bloomsbury called The Writer And The City “… an occasional series in which some of the finest writers of our time reveal the secrets of the city they know best.” As I love Paris, but never could aspire to put the considerable work in to become any sort of a flâneur myself, I was delighted when a friend passed this book on to me. I knew I would be in good hands.

It seems I’ve caught the zeitgeist – no sooner had I taken this book on holiday, but flânerie kept popping up – most recently in Laurie Taylor’s entertaining Radio 4 programme Thinking Allowed. Far from being a lightweight dilettante, the flâneur is someone who absorbs the experience of the city in a peculiarly intense way, and, if we are lucky, shares the…

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