Slaying Genre: Flaunt Your Inner Flaneur
I've always been a bit obsessed with cities. And since I've never had a license, and frankly, prefer to hoof it, walking is the way I experience them. Cultural theorist Michel de Certeau has a brilliant essay on this very topic called "Walking in the City" and though I loved me some theory back in my grad school days, I rarely find myself going back to it to inspire my creative work.
So I was pretty darn delighted to learn about the Flaneur Walk Pamphlet Series, a poetic/conceptual walking tour of a city that is created by writers and encourages walkers to become flaneurs (or people who experience a city by walking in it, a term brought to popularity by Baudelaire). These pamphlets are interactive, beautiful pieces of writing that defy convention and categorization, at once a lovingly drawn story of the unique space and a selection of inspiring writing prompts. Each pamphlet encourages the flaneur to slow down and re-enter urban spaces, to notice and consider, to interact and analyze. This acitivity is doubly inspiring for writers, as the pamphlets encourage flaneurs to map cities with pen in hand, with each physical space in the pamphlet represented by a writing prompt. One literally writes their way from one hidden corner or mythological locale to another.
Obviously, I'm stoked to try this. I'm headed to a flaneur walk in Northampton this weekend and will share my unique experience of this new literary art in the next installment of Slaying Genre.
I figure, if it's good enough for Baudelaire, it's good enough for me.
KL Pereira's chapbook, Impossible Wolves was published by Deathless Press is 2013. Her fiction, poetry, and nonfiction are forthcoming or appear in The Drum Literary Magazine, Shimmer Zine, Lightning Cake, The Golden Key, Innsmouth Free Press, Innsmouth Magazine, Mythic Delirium, Jabberwocky, The Medulla Review, Bitch Magazine and other publications. Pereira’s work on fairy tales, sexuality, Wonder Woman, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer are featured on Studio 360 and other radio programs, cited in numerous publications, and assigned in courses all over the United States and Canada. Find Pereira online on klpereira.com and @kl_pereira.See other articles by KL Pereira