Baudelaire came to my attention the other day. Nine months after visiting his tomb in the Montparnasse Cemetery, I started reading Les Misérables by Victor Hugo. That day I thought of Charles Baudelaire.
I mention Les Misérables because Baudelaire panned Hugo’s novel (in private) when it was published in 1862.
Nine months ago in August 2016 I was living in Paris near the Montparnasse Cemetery. In fact I could step out of the apartment building, turn the corner, and stop and see the walls that separated me from the tombs. I could then, if I wished, become a tatophile.
Since the cemetery is large with streets separating some sections of it, one must sometimes walk through it, use it as a short cut. The French do it. So do I.
It is lovely inside. Peaceful. Certainly quiet. The walls mask the traffic noise. People are respectful and don’t shout as they would when in a more public place.
When I stay in Paris, I will often return to my favorite places. Paris is rich that way; it offers to the resident and the outsider and certainly to the flâneur many spots that continue to interest. Louvre. Musée d’Orsay. Eiffel Tower. Notre Dame. The cemeteries.
I visit to pay my respects to my favorite writers and painters, such as Baudelaire, who has served as the model for this flâneur. At the top of this post and to the right is a drawing of him. But wait, there’s more!