Monday, October 24, 2011

One and the Crowd

It is not given to every man to take a bath of multitude; enjoying a crowd is an art; and only he can relish a debauch of vitality at the expense of the human species, on whom, in his cradle, a fairy has bestowed the love of masks and masquerading, the hate of home, and the passion for roaming…

Multitude, solitude: identical terms… The poet enjoys the incomparable privilege of being able to be himself or someone else, as he chooses. Like those wandering souls who go looking for a body, he enters as he likes into each man's personality. For him alone everything is vacant; and if certain places seem closed to him, it is only because in his eyes they are not worth visiting
 "On Crowds" Charles Baudelaire

An excellent piece on social spaces and the tension between desire for access and a need for privacy. Timely and highly recommended.

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