New York-Paris: Whitman, Baudelaire, and the Hybrid City by Laure Katsaros

By Laure Katsaros

As long island and Paris started to modernize, new modes of leisure, akin to panoramas, dioramas, and images, appeared poised to take where of the extra complicated varieties of literary expression. Dioramas and images have been invented in Paris yet quickly unfold to the United States, forming a part of an more and more common idiom of the spectacle. This courageous new international of technologically complex yet crudely mimetic spectacles haunts either Whitman's imaginative and prescient of latest York and Baudelaire's view of Paris. In New York-Paris, Katsaros explores the pictures of the mid-nineteenth-century urban within the poetry of either Whitman and Baudelaire and seeks to illustrate that, by way of projecting a picture of the other's urban onto his personal, each one poet attempted to withstand the it seems that impossible to resist ahead momentum of modernity instead of create a paradigmatically satisfied mix of "high" and "low" culture.

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In both cases, the city is an actor in its own narrative. Shift- This Insubstantial Pageant 43 The Seventh Regiment arrives in front of the Metropolitan to escort the Japanese Embassy to City Hall, June 18, 1861. Robert N. Dennis Collection of Stereoscopic Views, Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs, The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations ing the distinction between object and subject, Whitman speaks as observer of the city and as the city under scrutiny.

The museum was soon drawing large crowds of visitors, eager to see its clamorously touted physical freaks, such as “General” Tom Thumb or the Siamese twins Eng and Chang. But the popularity of the museum also lay in the fact that it presented its attractions as theatrical shows, and not as a static collection of curiosities. In his memoirs, ‹rst published in 1855, P. T. ” They included, he claimed, “educated dogs, industrious ›eas, automatons, jugglers, ventriloquists, living statuary, tableaux .

64 In an earlier version of “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry,” which survived in spirit if not in words through years of revisions, the poet already spoke of himself retrospectively: “But I was a Manhattanese, free, friendly and proud . . ”65 As Dana Brand has pointed out, Whitman “represents himself as the only living person in the midst of a crowd of phantoms, or people who will be dead when the audience addressed in the poem actually reads it . . ”66 A Call in the Midst of the Crowd 29 At the heart of “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry,” there is a secretive and faceless “Man of the Crowd,” neither dead nor alive, who transforms all those around him into ghosts.

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