Gaston Bachelard

Gaston
Bachelard
1884
1962

French Philosopher

Author Quotes

The individual is not the sum of its general impressions, it is the sum of its singular impressions.

The spoken reverie of substances calls matter to birth, to life, to spirituality.

To live life well is to express life poorly; if one expresses life too well, one is living it no longer.

Well-determined centers of reverie are means of communication between men who dream as surely as well-defined concepts are means of communications between men who think.

Rilke wrote: 'These trees are magnificent, but even more magnificent is the sublime and moving space between them, as though with their growth it too increased.

The metaphor is~ an origin, the origin of an image which acts directly, immediately.

The subconscious is ceaselessly murmuring, and it is by listening to these murmurs that one hears the truth.

To verify images kills them, and it is always more enriching to imagine than to experience.

What a dynamic, handsome object is a path! How precise the familiar hill paths remain for our muscular consciousness! Oh, my roads and their cadence.

So, like a forgotten fire, a childhood can always flare up again within us.

The mollusk's motto would be: one must live to build one's house, and not build one's house to live in.

The truth is a corrected mistake.

True poetry is a function of awakening. It awakens us, but it must retain the memory of previous dreams.

What action could bodies and substances have if they were not named in a further increase of dignity where common nouns become proper nouns?

Sometimes the house of the future is better built, lighter and larger than all the houses of the past, so that the image of the dream house is opposed to that of the childhood home. Late in life, with indomitable courage, we continue to say that we are going to do what we have not yet done: we are going to build a house. This dream house may be merely a dream of ownership, the embodiment of everything that is considered convenient, comfortable, healthy, sound, desirable, by other people. It must therefore satisfy both pride and reason, two irreconcilable terms... Maybe it is a good thing for us to keep a few dreams of a house that we shall live in later, always later, so much later, in fact, that we shall not have time to achieve it. For a house that was final, one that stood in symmetrical relation to the house we were born in, would lead to thoughts--serious, sad thoughts--and not to dreams. It is better to live in a state of impermanence than in one of finality.

The night dreamer cannot articulate a cogito. The night dream is a dream without a dreamer.

The word chrysalis alone is an unmistakable indication that here two dreams are joined together, dreams that be-speak both the repose and flight of being, evening's crystallization and wings that open to the light.

Two half philosophers will probably never a whole metaphysician make.

What benefits new books bring us! I would like a basket full of books telling the youth of images which fall from heaven for me every day. This desire is natural. This prodigy is easy. For, up there, in heaven, isn't paradise an immense library?

Sometimes, when I am tired of so many oscillations, I look for refuge in a word which I begin to love for itself. Resting in the heart of words, seeing clearly into the cell of a word, feeling that the word is the seed of a life, a growing dawn... The poet Vandercammen says all that in a line: "A word can be a dawn and even a sure shelter."

The past of the soul is so distant! The soul does not live on the edge of time. It finds its rest in the universe imagined by reverie.

The words of the world want to make sentences.

Verticality is ensured by the polarity of cellar and attic, the marks of which are so deep that, in a way, they open up two very different perspectives for a phenomenology of the imagination. Indeed, it is possible, almost without commentary, to oppose the rationality of the roof to the irrationality of the cellar. A roof tells its raison d'etre right away: it gives mankind shelter from the rain and sun he fears. Geographers are constantly reminding us that, in every country, the slope of the roofs is one of the surest indications of the climate. We understand the slant of a roof. Even a dreamer dreams rationally; for him, a pointed roof averts rain clouds. Up near the roof all our thoughts are clear. In the attic it is a pleasure to see the bare rafters of the strong framework. Here we participate in the carpenter's solid geometry. As for the cellar, we shall no doubt find uses for it .. It will be rationalized and its conveniences enumerated. But it is first and foremost the dark entity of the house, the one that partakes of subterranean forces. When we dream there, we are in harmony with the irrationality of the depths.

What is the source of our first suffering? It lies in the fact that we hesitated to speak. It was born in the moment when we accumulated silent things within us.

One must live to build one's house, and not build one's house to live in.

Author Picture
First Name
Gaston
Last Name
Bachelard
Birth Date
1884
Death Date
1962
Bio

French Philosopher