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The word that encapsulates 'Frenchness'

来源:BBC 作者: 时间:2019-10-30 Tag: 点击:

To wander aimlessly through a city is so French there’s a word for it that has no English equivalent: flâner.

Almost-translations abound, from “stroll” to “lounge” to “saunter”, but none perfectly encapsulates the spirit of the word, which evokes a certain directionless – but far from purposeless – wandering through an urban centre. The flâneur ambles with no destination in mind, despite a clear goal: to be at once part of a place and to be on the outside, observing it in a philosophical spirit that Antoine Compagnon, professor of French literature at the Collège de France in Paris and author of Un été avec Baudelaire, said, “is linked to not knowing exactly what you’re looking for”.






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