Wednesday, March 11, 2015

10 Quotes I Love from Gaston Bachelard

I discovered Gaston Bachelard quite by accident. I honestly don't even remember how I stumbled across his book The Poetics of Space, but I did and I fell in love. I was working on my Master's thesis for my English degree when I did and his philosophy of space and reading and dreaming fit so perfectly into my discussion of L.M. Montgomery's Emily trilogy that it's a little crazy. I recently read Poetics of Reverie and reaffirmed my love for his way of looking at things, but, being the philosophical (for lack of a better word) non-fiction work it is, it doesn't lend itself well to a traditional 10 Things I Loved post. So I thought I'd take a different approach. So here are 10 quotes from the 2 Bachelard books I referenced above.

But we still have books, and they give our day-dreams countless dwelling places. Is there one among us who has not spent romantic moments in the tower of a book he has read? The Poetics of Space

Words, beautiful words, great natural words believe in the image which has created them. The Poetics of Reverie

Behind dark curtains, snow seems to be whiter. Indeed, everything comes alive when contradictions accumulate. The Poetics of Space

I am a dreamer of words, of written words. I think I am reading: a word stops me. I leave the page. The syllables of the word begin to move around. Stressed accents begin to invert. The word abandons its meaning like an overload which is too heavy and prevents dreaming. Then words take on other meanings as if they had the right to be young. And the words wander away, looking in the nooks and crannies of vocabulary for new company, bad company. The Poetics of Reverie

Objects that are cherished in this way really are born of an intimate light, and they attain to a higher degree of reality than indifferent objects ... From one object in a room to another, housewifely care weaves the ties that unite a very ancient past to the new epoch. The housewife awakens furniture that was asleep. The Poetics of Space

One word leads to another. The words of the world want to make sentences. The dreamer knows it well, that dreamer who makes an avalanche of words issue from a word that he dreams. ... everything lives with a secret life, so everything speaks sincerely. The poet listens and repeats. The voice of the poet is a voice of the world. The Poetics of Reverie

But every good book should be re-read as soon as it is finished. After the sketchiness of the first reading comes the creative work of reading. We must then know the problem that confronted the author. The second, then the third reading ... give us, little by little, the solution of this problem. The Poetics of Space

For us, a book is always an emergence above everyday life. A book is expressed life and thus is an addition to life. The Poetics of Reverie

A house that has been experienced is not an inert box. Inhabited space transcends geometrical space. The Poetics of Space

How can you be objective in the face of a book you love, which you have loved, which you have read at several different times in your life? Such a book has a reading past. In rereading it, you have not always suffered in the same way--and above all, you no longer hope with the same intensity in all the seasons of a life of reading. Can one relive the hopes of the first reading... Above all the great books remain psychologically alive. You are never finished reading them. The Poetics of Reverie

And a bonus because I couldn't leave this one out:

Does there exist a single dreamer of words who does not respond to the word wardrobe? The Poetics of Space

If you are a lover of language, of houses, of dreams, of memory, of childhood, of homes I highly recommend Bachelard's works!

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