In his new book, An Atmospherics of the City: Baudelaire and the Poetics of Noise (Fordham University Press, 2015), Ross Chambers refers to this understanding of the world governed by forces that are “sometimes occult, sometimes manifest” as the “supernaturalism of noise” and the “atmospherics of urban life”. Atmospherics “make sensible the dimension of strangeness inherent in the ‘moving chaos’ of the familiar urban street”. Baudelaire’s poem “À une passante” aptly conveys the booming atmosphere of noisy streets that surrounds the speaker.
La rue assourdissante autour de moi hurlait.
Around me roared the nearly deafening street.
Noise not only surrounds and deafens but compels recognition of human alienation as an effect of entropic energy generated by the modern city.
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