Benjamin considers Baudelaire the key-figure of his era, because he expressed in his poems he the unease of modernity. At the centre of Baudelaire’s poetry is the city of Paris, in which he perceives the social and topographical changes, consisting in the transformation of the work of art in commodity and of crowd in the audience. New figures (flâneur, beggar, ragman, prostitute, gambler) characterize the city’s topography and express the transformation of modern society. However Benjamin identifies a social subject in Lumpenproletariat he perceives its ambiguity. The experience of the new is a continuous chock and arouses the memory of what has-been. Thus involuntary memory connects collective and individual memory. Stressing the “eternal recurrence” Benjamin reveals the affinity between Baudelaire, Nietzsche and Blanqui.


Historical Materialism Great Transformation Miniature Model Involuntary Memory Urban Experience 
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© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.RomeItaly

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