Isolating the Flaneur from the time, the place and the texts in and from which this urban personage emerged turns the figure into an analytical category that, by definition, lies outside history. Yet if the flaneur now walks abroad in many guises and in many texts, he took his first steps in the streets of Paris early in the nineteenth century. When the flaneur is taken as a historical agent, that is, as the emblem, not of modernity but of nineteenth-century Paris, one is struck by the chronicle of grandeur and decadence as the flaneur appears on and then moves off the streets of Paris. Illustration from Louis Huart Physiologie du flaneur (1841). Reproduced by permission of the Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Butler Library, Columbia University, New York. If post-Benjaminian discussions concur with the Physiologie du flaneur and other contemporary texts in assigning the flaneur to the nineteenth century and locating him in the arcades.