Book Note:
Flâneuse, cont’d
27 April 2018

But in the end, I really liked Lauren Elkin’s Flâneuse! I liked it a lot! Once past those initial quibbles, I settled into a very engaged read. The book is a model of personalized literary criticism — a genre that I expect will not just grow but mushroom. Elkin braids her accounts of living in various cities — in the case of Venice, this amounts to a short research trip, but she is not a tourist — with descriptions of books, films, and their creators. One could do far worse than approach the novels of Virginia Woolf via Elkin’s chapter about London. And she is very sensible about George Sand, presenting a sympathetic woman and downplaying the male masquerade. The effect is one of oblique Bildungsroman, in which the central character is nurtured by woman who have gone before, and shown how to live in cities. 

This is a book to come back to. 

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