Model city, with a critical introduction on prose poetry and the city
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Charles Baudelaire famously wrote that he dreamed of the miracle of a poetic prose in order to find a mode in which to write about cities: ―It was, above all, out of my explorations of huge cities, out of the medley of their innumerable interrelations, that this haunting ideal [of a poetic prose] was born.‖ These explorations led to Paris Spleen, widely accepted as the first volume of modern prose poems written. The critical portion of this dissertation examines the purported relationship between the prose poem and the city, constructing an apparatus of Baudelairean correspondences inquiring into how the built environment of the poem relates to the built environment we live in, using—in addition to poetry—literary criticism, urban theory, structural linguistics, sociology, and architectural theory to explore these sightlines. The prose poems in the manuscript that follows, ―Model City,‖ exploit the connection between prose poetry and the urban and give it another twist—exploring the relationship between rigid form and the ―drifting‖ poetic, the poems are ―model cities‖ in themselves, built environments designed to a utopian template that thereby create space for the ―innumerable relations‖ of utopic and dystopic living that goes on inside them.