Will Self loathing: urbanite, the crowd and the bigotry of the 'new normal'

Research output: Other contribution


Implemented as an extreme measure for an extreme crisis, lockdown has worryingly morphed in to a ‘new normal’ and has given rise to a new urban presence – the anti- flâneur, or flâneur in reverse. The art of flânerie, derives from negotiating the tension between the desired detached anonymity of the strolling voyeur, whilst simultaneously being immersed in the stimuli of the city and its crowds. As Wrigley suggests, in order to perform the part of ‘anguished urbanité’ in retreat, one must first have the threatening crowds from which one is meant to retreat from. This post- flâneur flâneur, derives pleasure, not from their aesthetic distance from the crowd, whilst also being a physical part of it, but from the veritable absence of the crowd all together. This is urbanité contented. No longer at odds with the hostility of the city scape, the empty urban landscape of the unfree city is where this new anti-urban aesthete feels most at home.
Original languageEnglish
TypeBlog post
Media of outputBlog
Publication statusPublished - 24 May 2020


  • Will Self
  • Flaneur
  • Urbanite
  • Covid 19


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