'Le spectacle de la rue': Edmond de Goncourt and the Siege of Paris

Abstract: 

This article examines the account of the fall of the Second Empire and the Siege of Paris, contained in Edmond de Goncourt's Journal (1851-96). It considers the Goncourt Journal as a text which offers not only an aesthetic response to the urban experience, but also an interpretation of the city in politically critical terms. Particular attention is paid to the figure of the flâneur, who emerges as a significant urban subject during this period. The article concludes by suggesting that Edmond's critique of the social, political and economic failures of the Second Empire strongly anticipates Walter Benjamin's later work on Paris and the commodity culture. (ML).

Author: 
Liston, Mairi.
Release Year:
Project MUSE: 
Volume: 
2003-2004 Fall-Winter; 32(1-2): 58-68.