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The Flaneur's Relationship to Marginal Forms at The Old Acrobat In Charles Baudelaire's "The Old Acrobat," the flaneur describes his encounter with a dropped figure who eventually shows the absence of humanity in the city people's hardened hearts. The flaneur finds comfort in individuals with boundary character types because he could connect to them. He's an idler in a world that concentrates on surplus, over-stimulation and one of which runs on a constant invisible ticking clock that pushes the masses towards desensitization as well as unhappiness. These, among many other pretentious items, make him search out the uncommon populace, a strain of apparently raw folks that live their lives at the front of the world's eyes. He's bored and uninterested in the ennui, commonplace people who make up the vast majority of society since they can make facades to shield their faults from the planet's view. Rather than concentrating on the mundane and concealed life of the middle and upper course, the flanuer concentrates his focus towards the passing, bizarre "drifting clouds"1 that are not a component of the busy social milieu. Back in "The Old Acrobat," the flanuer is lured by the naturalistic and crude looks of the street performers brought on by society's demand for abstract stimuli. The acrobat is emotionally and mentally drained from doing exhausting and straining activities for the gratification of others. The dominant scent at the carnival will be "a frying odor"two which hints that the performers are sacrificing themselves and literally "skillet" away their spirits to meet their hungry audiences. The acrobat is described as being "illuminated all too nicely with two burned-down candles"3 which are "smoking and freezing." 4 There is a sense of...