The city as dreamer of its own history.
So many meanings lost in the layers.
Layer upon layer of the past, inarticulated but felt.
Dreams and ghosts of the past, bleeding one into the other.
Shades that clutch at the heart of the urban roamer, le flâneur, stopping him in his tracks.
“At streetcorners, before housefronts and shopfronts, in proximity to particular doorways, particular stretches of cobblestone, particular entrances to the catacombs, particular cafés and cabarets, he experiences an uncanny thickening and layering of phenomena, an effect of superimposition, in which remembered events or habitations show through the present time and place, which have suddenly become transparent, just as in film an image may bleed through one or more simultaneously perceptible, interarticulated images in multiple exposure. It is a dreamlike effect, with the moving imagery characteristically yielding, in the flâneur’s case, a “felt knowledge” that is not yet conceptual.”
–Howard Eiland, “Superimposition in Walter Benjamin’s Arcades Project”
(This is a project that I have been ruminating over for a couple of years. I owe many thanks to Timothy Moss, fellow flâneur from the other side of the world, for the impetus to finally get this under way. I strongly encourage you to stroll amongst his truly phenomenal images here. His is the eye of “an intensely heightened kind of receptivity” and makes my eye look like mud.)