Word of the Day Archive
Thursday August 12, 2004
flaneur \flah-NUR\ , noun:
One who strolls about aimlessly; a lounger; a loafer.
Burrows and Wallace show how New York embraced the idea of the flaneur -- of the disinterested, artistically inclined wanderer in the city, of what they call "city watching."
-- Jed Perl, "The Adolescent City", New Republic, January 22, 2001
The restricted hotel lobby has replaced the square or piazza as a public meeting place, and our boulevards, such as they are, are not avenues for the parade and observation of personality, or for perusal by the flaneur, but conveyor belts to the stores, where we can buy everything but human understanding.
-- Anatole Broyard, "In Praise of Contact", New York Times, June 27, 1982
Baudelaire saw the writer as a detached flaneur, a mocking dandy in the big-city crowd, alienated, isolated, anonymous, aristocratic, melancholic.
-- Ian Buruma, "The Romance of Exile", New Republic, February 12, 2001
Flaneur comes from French, from flâner, "to saunter; to stroll; to lounge about."