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Editorial: Urban Transformations in Rapidly Growing Contexts

Open House International

ISSN: 0168-2601

Article publication date: 1 December 2019


Cities have always been sources of inspiration for poetry. However, the modern western cities, which are the origins of secularity, have inspired poets in different ways. Charles Baudelaire captured the poetic dimensions of modernity in Paris in the 19th century. He wrote about the night life of Paris which became possible after street lighting. He wrote about corruption. Baudelaire also wrote about the changing character of commercial places in cities and tried to grasp the feelings of people as a ‘flaneur': an individual stroller at city streets. The philosopher Walter Benjamin got inspired by Baudelaire's poems and formed his philosophy, which relates poetics to modernity during the 20th century. Modern cities take an important role in his philosophy too, because Benjamin was making a collection of political event news in the cities of Germany. Then he had to leave Germany because of the growth of fascism. He left his collection behind. When he went to Paris he wrote about the passages and the poetic dimensions of modern city life. When Nazi army came to France, he had to leave Paris too. The poetry of Baudelaire and the philosophy of Benjamin are evidences for the poetic nature of modern city life. The relationship between the modern city and the free individual can easily be felt in their works. However, when you read heir work, you can easily understand that today's Paris is not the same Paris any more. It is still poetic, but in another way.


Hurol, Y. and Salama, A.M. (2019), "Editorial: Urban Transformations in Rapidly Growing Contexts", Open House International, Vol. 44 No. 4, pp. 4-4.



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