Psychogeography
Palimpsests, strange maps, interesting links
Posted by Adrian - November 7, 2010

Palimpsest
/palimpsest/
noun 1 a parchment or other surface on which writing has been applied over earlier writing which has been erased. 2 something reused or altered but still bearing visible traces of its earlier form: the house is a palimpsest of the taste of successive owners.
— ORIGIN from Greek palin ‘again’ + psestos ‘rubbed smooth’.
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Lombard Street, September 9 2009, (c) A Holme, 2009. All rights reserved.



Writings on psychogeography

The flaneur

'The crowd is his element, as the air is that of the birds and water of fishes. His passion and his profession are to become one flesh with the crowd. For the perfect flaneur, for a passionate spectator, it is an immense joy to set up house in the heat of the multitude, amid the ebb and flow of movement, in the midst of the fugitive and the infinite. To be away from home and yet to find oneself everywhere at home; to see the world, to be at the cente of the world, and yet remain hidden from the world...'
Baudelaire C (1975). The painter of modern life & other essays. London: Phaidon Press, p9. In: Coverley M (2006). Psychogeography. Harpenden: Pocket Essentials. p61

'The street conducts the flaneur into a vanished time. For him, every street is precipitous. It leads downward - if not to the mythical Mothers, then into a past that can be all the more spellbinding because it is not his own, not private. Nevertheless, it always remains the time of a childhood. But why that of the life he has lived? in the asphalt over which he passes, his steps awaken a surprising resonance. The gaslight that streams down on the paving stones throws an equivocal light on this double ground'
Benjamin W (1999). The arcades project. Ed. Rolf Tiederman. Transl. Howard Eiland and Kevin McLaughlin. Cambridge Mass.: Belknap Press / Harvard Univ Press. p416. [M1,2]

'...photography first comes into its own as an extension of the eye of the middle class flaneur, whose sensibility was so accurately charted by Baudelaire. The photographer is an armed version of the solitary walker reconnoitering, stalking, cruising the urban inferno, the voyeuristic stroller who discovers the city as a landscape of voluptuous extremes. Adept of the joys of watching, connoisseur of empathy, the flaneur finds the world "picturesque." '
Sontag S. (1977). On photography. London: Penguin