the flâneur’s raison d’etre—to participate fully through observation
Psychogeographers idolise the flâneur, a figure conceived in 19th-century France by Charles Baudelaire and popularised in academia by Walter Benjamin in the 20th century. A romantic stroller, the flâneur wandered about the streets, with no clear purpose other than to wander.
The figure of the flâneur—the stroller, the passionate wanderer emblematic of nineteenth-century French literary culture—has always been essentially timeless; he removes himself from the world while he stands astride its heart.
“[the flâneur] was a figure of the modern artist-poet, a figure keenly aware of the bustle of modern life, an amateur detective and investigator of the city, but also a sign of the alienation of the city and of capitalism,”