So much so, in fact, that I took it as a kind of guidebook for my thesis work in college, an installation entitled "The Room That Resembled a Reverie," which was in many ways an exploration and evocation of the kind of spaces Bachelard examines. Obviously I had immediate high hopes. But I have to say that it took me a good six months to get more than halfway through. One of the pleasures for me of The Poetics of Space is all the wonderful little scraps of poetry floating around like misplaced butterflies throughout the text. Okay, not misplaced. But half the time I think he just put them in because he loves them so much, not because he actually has a point to make.
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Gaston Bachelard — is one of the most wonderful — literally: full of wonder — philosophers of the twentieth century, yet one of the most underappreciated. Bachelard writes: In poetry, wonder is coupled with the joy of speech… The poetic image is in no way comparable, as with the mode of the common metaphor, to a valve which would open up to release pent-up instincts. The poetic image sheds light on consciousness in such a way that it is pointless to look for subconscious antecedents of the image… Poetry is one of the destinies of speech.
In trying to sharpen the awareness of language at the level of poems, we get the impression that we are touching the man whose speech is new in that it is not limited to expressing ideas or sensations, but tries to have a future.
One would say that poetic image, in its newness, opens a future to language. And yet he makes a necessary distinction between reverie and dreaming: In contrast to a dream a reverie cannot be recounted. To be communicated, it must be written, written with emotion and taste, being relived all the more strongly because it is being written down.
Click image for more. There are still souls for whom love is the contact of two poetries, the fusion of two reveries… To tell a love, one must write… Love is never finished expressing itself, and it expresses itself better the more poetically it is dreamed. The reveries of two solitary souls prepare the sweetness of loving… The reality of love is mutilated when it is detached from all its unrealness. A dream can be so strange that it seems that another subject has come to dream with us. To convince ourselves that they are really ours, we must reinhabit these dreams.
Afterwards we make up accounts of them, stories from another time, adventures from another world… The teller of dreams sometimes enjoys his dream as an original work. It is a reported conviction which is reinforced each time he retells the dream.
There is certainly no identity between the subject who is telling and the subject who dreamed. Even more powerfully, dream and reverie conspire together to form a gateway to happiness. Bachelard writes: Reverie illustrates repose for a being… it illustrates well-being.
The dreamer and his reverie enter totally into the substance of happiness. You must tell the man who wants to dream well to begin by being happy. Then reverie plays out its veritable destiny; it becomes poetic reverie and by it, in it, everything becomes beautiful. Poetic reverie is a cosmic reverie. It is an opening to a beautiful world, to beautiful worlds. It gives the I a non-I which belongs to the I: my non-I.
At its highest potentiality, reverie touches on the cosmic, and in doing so, liberates our solitude — that essential capacity to be alone. Bachelard writes: The cosmic reverie … is a phenomenon of solitude which has its roots in the soul of the dreamer.
They situate us in a world and not in a society. The cosmic reverie possesses a sort of stability or tranquility.
It helps us escape time. It is a state. Let us get to the bottom of its essence: it is a state of mind… Poetry supplies us with documents for a phenomenology of the soul.
The entire soul is presented in the poetic universe of the poet. It finds its rest in the universe imagined by reverie… Cosmic images are possessions of the solitary soul which is the principle of all solitude. Therein lies the greatest gift of poetic reverie: Reverie gives us the world of a soul [and] a poetic image bears witness to a soul which is discovering its world, the world where it would like to live and where it deserves to live… Poetry forms the dreamer and his world at the same time.
The Poetics of Reverie is a superb read in its entirety. Complement it with Muriel Rukeyser on how poetry expands our lives , James Dickey on how to read a poem , and Mary Oliver on the secret of great poetry. It takes me hundreds of hours a month to research and compose, and thousands of dollars to sustain. If you find any joy and solace in this labor of love, please consider becoming a Sustaining Patron with a recurring monthly donation of your choosing, between a cup of tea and a good lunch.
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The Poetics of Reverie
He was a professor at the University of Dijon from to and then was appointed chair in the history and philosophy of science at the University of Paris. In the English-speaking world, the connection Bachelard made between psychology and the history of science has been little understood. One task of epistemology is to make clear the mental patterns at use in science, in order to help scientists overcome the obstacles to knowledge. Through his concept of "epistemological break", Bachelard underlined the discontinuity at work in the history of sciences. However the term "epistemological break" itself is almost never used by Bachelard, but became famous through Louis Althusser.
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Joan Ockman But any doctrine of the imaginary is necessarily a philosophy of excess. Inhabited space transcends geometrical space. To read only The Poetics of Space is therefore to miss his originality with respect to the philosophical tradition from which he emerged, as well as the historical specificity of his development. One must consider his work on the creative imagination together with his writings on science and rationality to appreciate the dialectic that informs his thought.
This lyrical journey takes as its premise the emergence of the poetic image and finds an ideal metaphor in the intimate spaces of our homes. Guiding us through a stream of meditations on poetry, art, and the blooming of consciousness itself, Bachelard examines the domestic places that shape and hold our dreams and memories. Houses and rooms; cellars and attics; drawers, chests, and wardrobes; nests and shells; nooks and corners: No space is too vast or too small to be filled by our thoughts and our reveries. For more than sixty-five years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1, titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
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