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In this publication, Brand traces the origin of the flaneur, a detached, casual, and powerful urban spectator, who regards the metropolis as an entertaining spectacle and text, of seventeenth-century English literature. He then discusses the development of the English language tradition of the flaneur in its social, cultural, and philosophical contexts. Taking the encounter with the spectator and city life as an important point of contact with modernity, Brand offers his own readings of three of the most important American writers of the nineteenth century, Poe, Hawthorne, and Whitman, and the way in which, at various points in their work, each author represents a spectator who looks at a city crowd and responds to it as an entertaining spectacle, tracing the similarities and the differences that distinguish each author in his common search for literary forms adequate to the rush of city life.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780521362078
ISBN-10: 0521362075
Format: Hardback
(228mm x 152mm x 17mm)
Pages: 254
Imprint: Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publish Date: 25-Oct-1991
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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