Aug 25Liked by Jason Wilson

As one who is also given to fits of flâneurie, I thank you for sharing Benjamin's Arcades Project. I've been reading several books about the flâneur, so I shall add this one to my list.

Also thank you for sharing some obscure varietals so I may become as mad as Benjamin in my efforts to locate them.

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Aug 26Liked by Jason Wilson

I think the only time I/we've possibly been flaneurs is on holiday, as at home it's either work, being at home taking care of house stuff, or trying to relax in nature when we can. Memories of the French Quarter in Hanoi come to mind, as does wandering around Budapest and Pecs in Hungary.

As far as these obscure cultivars go, I would say some are more rare than others. We had Merseguera a year or two ago, but it wasn't a wow moment (there are better ones in Europe, I'm sure). Baga is likely the most "mainstream" of the four and can even be found in Asia, (I think); though often in blends.

Caino and Viosinho are rarer than hen's teeth, as I haven't seen them anywhere yet, neither in Europe or in Asia. Even in mainstream and geeky wine print, wine-searcher.com, Wine Folly's Master Guide (Magnum Edition) or Godforsaken Grapes, (ahem!) can you find one line about them.

Cool article and I will put these varietals on my wine geek radar. Cheers!

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Aug 29Liked by Jason Wilson

I’m new to the blog and this is the first piece I’ve read.

Benjamin is always a delightful topic, and I applaud your dauntingly incongruous choice of beach book — hardly anything is less beachy than The Arcades Project, after all.

I fear that you’ve undersold Benjamin’s appreciation of the flaneur, reducing him, in WB’s eyes, to an amusing idler.

While Benjamin no doubt has his suspicions about the flaneur, I think we do well to remember why WB set out to discuss him in the first case. First, Baudelaire lionized the flaneur in “The Man of the Crowd” as a sort of society artist — precisely not a disengaged figure. While Benjamin interrogates this characterization, I don’t think he goes so far as to reject it. Second, I take it that, in classic Frankfurt style, WB sees himself to be a flaneur, and his Marxist critique extends to and from his own consumerist tendencies.

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