Fraternal greetings and welcome to The Flâneur, official website of La Société des Flâneurs Sans Frontières (Liverpool chapter).
An Open Forum for Anarcho-Absurdists, Revolutionary Sybarites, Alchemical Hazardistas and Urban Arcadians everywhere.
We hope you enjoy the site, and feel moved to contribute to it.
Readers are cordially invited to send articles, misleading epistles, documents of misinformation and other contributions to our ethereal mail address: the.flaneurZZZ@yahoo.co.uk (omitting the ZZZ), and to keep an eye on news and events on our Farcebook page: www.facebook.com/home.php?#/pages/The-Flaneur/57111574557?ref=mf. Tally ho!
Latest News (December 2012): There will be a new Flâneur site opening in the new year. Watch this space!
In every true flâneur's favourite city, the delectable Chloé Van Paris [ www.chloevanparis.blogspot.com and www.facebook.com/... ] organiser of Madame Arthur and Rendez Vous Van Paris Burlesque Club sends this message: 'Rendez-vous van Paris. If you are Working in Burlesque and if you are living in Europe, this group is for you. It's a simple way to connect with all the burlesque facebook community in Europa and France. You can also will be informed of all my partys ( Burlesque or DJ sets). Welcome Dandys and Sophisticated Ladies !' And who could resist such a charming invitation?
Red Legs in Soho: Retrovintage Chapette in London. Nocturnal (and sometimes daylight) adventures in London's cocktail bars, clubs, events, tea rooms, hotels and partys. All with a claim to danger, glamour, vintage chic or eccentricity. Reviewed honestly..and even sober. redlegsinsoho.blogspot.com
My name is Gandha Key. I am a London based artist and photographer and psychogeographer/flâneuse. I regularly walk around my city taking photos, reminiscing, looking. I invite flâneurs around the world to stop off in a cafe during their flâneuring and send me a picture of the cafe for my new art project : www.zyarts.com/cafesaroundtheworld So far we have 6 rooms of contributions from people around the world. Please post my message on your website. Many thanks Gandha Key (Ms) London, UK
[Madam, 'tis our pleasure! De V.]
A textbook example of Anarcho-Absurdism in action.
When Railtrack PLC was sold off to Network Rail in 2002, the name 'Railtrack' was dropped from Companies House register. Whereupon a merry wag yclept John Hein bought the name, registered a new company Railtrack Ltd. in Scotland, and has been delighting in the confusion ever since. Read and enjoy! www.fitlads.net/tmp/railtrack.pdf
The webular presence of the Central Organ of Anarcho-Dandyism. Irrefutable filmed evidence of derring-do and goings-on at the 2007 Chap Olympics, click here and here. For the 2009 Olympiad, see here and the 2010 Olympiad here. Watch out for the 2011 event!
Lord Shuteye and his comrades at the 18th Century Society, committed against all the odds to face "the tedious banality of the post-modern condition with the vigour and elegance of half-pay Victorian colonels" (a particularly impressive feat in the 18th century).
We at The Flâneur raise our glasses to the brave stand on civilised head gear taken, against overwhelming odds, by a tiny handful of foolhardy heroes in the Antipodes - Thrill to the reckless adventures of the Hunting of the Whistling Fiend!
We are pleased to announce the establishment of full diplomatic relations with King Wilhelm-Rudolf von Elfberg & Queen Anastasia, who seem convinced they are monarchs of a Ruritania [not to be confused of course with the real one: www.theflaneur.co.uk/ruritania.html]
Even at his most lackadaisical, the flâneur never forgets he is a citizen of the world, and, in his own way, a tireless (if bone idle) campaigner against injustice. Dreams of world revolution may be fading, but www.avaaz.org gives us a chance to put our shoulders to the wheel (without even leaving the snug).
In essence, flânerie is the art of wandering at will through the streets of the thronged city, mingling with the crowds, allowing oneself woven into the rich tapestry of urban life, acknowledging no obstacle or hindrance for oneself or indeed for anyone else. As such, true flâneurs, reluctant in themselves to raise a hand against any, of necessity find themselves in profound opposition to all who would impose their own tribal barbarisms onto the world whether in the form of local gangs, sectarian enclaves, racism, homophobia or any other kind of baboonery. Hence we give our full support to Homotopia [www.homotopia.net ; www.facebook.com/...], Hope not Hate[www.hopenothate.org.uk], S.O.P.H.I.E. (Stamp Out Prejudice, Hatred and Intolerance Everywhere) [www.sophielancasterfoundation.com], Unite Against Fascism[www.uaf.org.uk].
The Flâneur is pleased to see students taking to the streets again. It has been far too quiet for twenty odd years, and the regrettable fact is that when things are quiet corruption in high places flourishes. The only thing that makes the great and the good behave themselves is fear of being 'expropriated' by the rest of us. Bolshie students are a necessary part of a functioning democracy; it is their job to be bolshie. We are equally pleased that the police tactic of 'kettling' demonstrations (to our minds obviously illegal false imprisonment) is at last being challenged in the courts by Liberty. www.guardian.co.uk/...
Free Tibet The Flâneur offers its heartiest support to all organisations and movements committed to liberating Tibet from Beijing's domination (and while we are at it, liberating the Chinese from Beijing's domination too).
La Société des Flâneurs sans Frontières - who we are, what we stand for, why do we bother?
By now the idea of the flâneur is well enough known in the English speaking world. The 19th century Parisian boulevardier, the bohemian, strolling the city, frequenting the cafés, digesting the urban spectacle, exemplified by Baudelaire (whose exquisite prose poem, Les Foules - The Crowds - is included, in a new translation, on this site), defined by Walter Benjamin as 'he who botanises upon the asphalt', has at last gained a foothold in Anglo-Saxon awareness.
No more need be said in explaining le flâneur and la flâneuse in themselves. However, perhaps a few words are required to explain this specific project.
In 1961, Maurice Gerodias of Olympia Press in Paris, bold publisher of such masterpieces as Tropic of Capricorn, Lolita, The Ginger Man, Story of O, Candy, Our Lady of the Flowers and many others, launched a literary magazine entitled Olympia, a monthly publication which managed an awe-inspiring total of four issues in two years and then packed up.
Inspired by this, a group of us gathered in Liverpool in early 1995, determined to launch our own organ, yclept The Flâneur, and to match or, if possible, even surpass Olympia's heroic record. We succeeded beyond our wildest dreams. In ten years not a single issue of our publication saw the light of day.
Realising we were onto something, a small gathering in Arles, Provence, in August 2003, formally constituted itself as La Société des Flâneurs Sans Frontières (SFSF). In keeping with the bohemian spirit of flânerie, we then did absolutely nothing about it for another two years, until finally, in April 2005, incarnated as a webular site, The Flâneur finally made its entrance, its top hat at a rakish angle, its goatee trimmed to perfection, plucking off its white gloves with an insouciant air.
Our stated intention was to provide an idiosyncratic guide to the cultural and artistic side of life in north west England, events, people, places and things in and around Merseyside, as Liverpool approached its year as Capital of Culture 2008. We certainly succeeded in providing a thoroughly idiosyncratic guide to something, but no-one seems entirely sure of what. Despite our interest in things Liverpolitan, it was always our intention to avoid being a merely 'local' site. In this, we seem to have been successful. If anything, the establishment of sister chapters around the world has ensured that The Flâneur has avoided any stifling provincial flavour, and has flourished rather as an arena of gratuitous twaddle on a truly international scale.
We continue to offer free advertising to anyone and anything interesting, and welcome contributions - news, reviews, letters, original writing and art-work, objets trouvés, gossip, scandal, japes and wheezes, strange tales, home-made jam, etc.
In March 2009 we inaugurated a page on Farcebook, which, despite the fundamental vulgarity of the medium, nonetheless lends itself well to events and news. However, The Flâneur webular site remains the flagship of La Société, as it continues its meanderings as the repository of the cultural, the aesthetic ,the literary, the peculiar and the downright unintelligable as it has always done, inviting contributions - news, reviews, letters, original writing, objets trouvés, scandal, japes and wheezes, strange tales, home-made jam, etc. - from those who feel so moved.
Membership of this illustrious international Société - which would doubtless by now run to lots and lots (if we'd bothered to keep count) - continues to be determined by quality of contribution(s).
Marquis Danton de Vouvray,
on behalf of La Société des Flâneurs Sans Frontières (SFSF)