Post-Aural Story-Telling and the Iranian Flaneurs: A Benjaminian Reading of Sina Dadkhah’s Yousef Abad, Street 33

Bakhtiar Sadjadi, Bahareh Nilfrushan


The city has fascinated the street wanderer as the contemplation of modern life. Walter Benjamin’s conception of ‘flâneur,’ originally borrowed from Charles Baudelaire, could be taken as the true legacy of such fascination. There is always a sense of nostalgia being revealed through the flânerie of the city stroller passing through the metropolis, its shopping centers, and boulevards nourishing the mind of the bohemic storyteller with tales of post-aural experience and memory. Adapting Walter Benjamin’s concept of ‘flânerie’ in the streets of Paris to those of Tehran, the present paper attempts to explore Sina Dadkhah’s Yousef Abad, Street 33 in order to demonstrate the post-aural stories of the flaneurs in an Iranian milieu. This article focuses on the modern aspect of the Iranian contemporary society and explores the immediate consequences of modernity on the individual subjectivity of the characters represented in the novel. Considering Dadkhah’s novel as a product of the urban literature of a generation dealing with modernity of the arcades and other lures of the megapolis on the one hand and feeling of nostalgia for their past spirit on the other, the paper simultaneously reveals the close affinity between the subjectivity of the characters and Benjaminian tenets of flânerie and modern storytellers. The flaneurs represented in the novel, by rambling through and about the city of Tehran, are turning to be the storytellers who narrate their ‘post-aural’ experiences. In Yousef Abad, Street 33 the central characters are, as fully manifested in the paper, deeply engaged in the experiences of a modern sense of living while wandering to console their wistful longings despite the everyday challenges.


Aura, The Post-aura, Flâneur, Nostalgia, Storytelling, Phantasmagoria

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