Tuesday, 5 May 2009

distribution of petrol stations

he treated the fragmentary perceptions which bombarded the
city-dweller as historical clues. For the flaneur-as-detective, traversing
urban space became a movement back in time. "For the flaneur, the
following transformation occurs with the street: it takes him through a
time which has disappeared .... It leads down, if not to the mothers,
then still into a past which can be all the deeper in that it is not his own, private one. Still it always remains the past of a youth. Why however that of his lived life?" (V, 1052). A temporal map is imposed upon the spatial one. The distracting chains of the images which constitute urban perception function as dream images which trigger in Benjamin the historical memory of his own urban childhood. It doesn't matter that the images are of early 19th-century Paris and his own childhood was in late 19th-century Berlin. The dream images constructed by capitalism move freely across national boundaries. And they move as well over the boundary between an individual's actually lived experiences and the collective history of earlier generations which is "experienced"

The Flaneur, the Sandwichman and the Whore:
The Politics of Loitering
by Susan Buck-Morss
New German Critique, No. 39, Second Special Issue on Walter Benjamin (Autumn,
1986), pp. 99-140

filling station network

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