I’m familiar with the German verb flanieren (to stroll), but I didn’t know that is seems to be a ‘serious hobby’ and art until I heard about the Flâneuse on Radio 4 on my way to work this morning.
Why is this of interest in a pencil blog? ..because it all starts with the need for a pencil – from Street Haunting: A London Adventure (1930)
…so when the desire comes upon us to go street rambling the pencil does for a pretext, and getting up we say: “Really I must buy a pencil”.
We are no longer quite ourselves. As we step out of the house on a fine evening between four and six, we shed the self our friends know us by and become part of that vast republican army of anonymous trampers, whose society is so agreeable after the solitude of one’s own room.
Radio 4 talked about it at 8:21am when presenting the idea from a book by Lauren Elkin.
It’s very good if you find a pencil on your stroll through the streets because part of this hobby seems to be that you then write down what you have observed.
Good that there’s a happy end. At the end of the clip they luckily do find a pencil shop.
You can listen to it on the Radio 4 web site. You have to jump about 2h 21m into the programme to hear the part about the Flâneuse (and the pencil).
2 thoughts on “The Flâneuse and the pencil”
That’s a great Woolf essay.
I didn’t know about it until hearing about it on the radio. I should read it.