Gaston Bachelard

Gaston
Bachelard
1884
1962

French Philosopher

Author Quotes

The repose of sleep refreshes only the body. It rarely sets the soul at rest. The repose of the night does not belong to us. It is not the possession of our being. Sleep opens within us an inn for phantoms. In the morning we must sweep out the shadows.

Through imagination, thanks to the subtleties of the irreality function, we re-enter the world of confidence, the world of the confident being, which is the proper world for reverie.

We have only to speak of an object to think that we are being objective. But, because we chose it in the first place, the object reveals more about us than we do about it. What we consider to be our fundamental ideas concerning the world are often indications of the immaturity of our minds. Sometimes we stand in wonder before a chosen object; we build up hypotheses and reveries; in this way we form convictions which have all the appearance of true knowledge. But the initial source is impure: the first impression is not a fundamental truth. In point of fact, scientific objectivity is possible only if one has broken first with the immediate object, if one has refused to yield to the seduction of the initial choice, if one has checked and contradicted the thought which arise from one?s first observation. Any objective examination, when duly verified, refutes the results of the first contact with the object. To start with, everything must be called into question: sensation, common sense, usage however constant, even etymology, for words, which are made for signing and enchanting, rarely make contact with thought.

Words are clamor-filled shells. There's many a story in the miniature of a single word!

Poetry, rather than being a phenomenology of the mind, is a phenomenology of the soul.

The great function of poetry is to give back to us the situations of our dreams.

The reverie we intend to study is poetic reverie. This is a reverie which poetry puts on the right track, the track an expanding consciousness follows. This reverie is written, or, at least, promises to be written. It is already facing the great universe of the blank page. Then images begin to compose and fall into place.

Thus the dream house must possess every virtue. How? ever spacious, it must also be a cottage, a dove-cote, a nest, a chrysalis. Intimacy needs the heart of a nest. Erasmus, his biographer tells us, was long in finding a nook in his fine

We must listen to poets.

Words are little houses, each with its cellar and garret. Common-sense lives on the ground floor, always ready to engage in foreign commerce on the same level as the others, as the passers-by, who are never dreamers. To go upstairs in the word house, is to withdraw, step by step; while to go down to the cellar is to dream, it is losing oneself in the distant corridors of an obscure etymology, looking for treasures that cannot be found in words. To mount and descend in the words themselves - this is a poet's life. To mount too high or descend too low, is allowed in the case of poets, who bring earth and sky together.

Reverie is commonly classified among the phenomena of psychic detente. It is lived out in a relaxed time which has no linking force. Since it functions with inattention, it is often without memory. It is a flight from out of the real that does not always find a consistent unreal world.

The human being taken in his profound reality as well as in his great tension of becoming is a divided being, a being which divides again, having permitted himself the illusion of unity for barely an instant. He divides and then reunites.

The reverie would not last if it were not nourished by the images of the sweetness of living, by the illusions of happiness.

To disappear into deep water or to disappear toward a far horizon, to become part of depth of infinity, such is the destiny of man that finds its image in the destiny of water.

We suffer through dreams. We heal by dreams.

Words, in their distant past, have the past of my reveries.

Reverie is not a mind vacuum. It is rather the gift of an hour which knows the plenitude of the soul.

The image can only be studied through the image, by dreaming images as they gather in reverie. It is a non-sense to claim to study imagination objectively since one really receives the image only if he admires it. Already in comparing one image to another, one runs the risk of losing participation in its individuality.

The reveries of two solitary souls prepare the sweetness of loving.

To feel most beautifully alive means to be reading something beautiful, ready always to apprehend in the flow of language the sudden flash of poetry.

We understand nature by resisting it.

Written language must be considered as a particular psychic reality. The book is permanent; it is an object in your field of vision. It speaks to you with a monotonous authority which even its author would not have. You are fairly obliged to read what is written.

Reveries of idealization develop, not by letting oneself be taken in by memories, but by constantly dreaming the values of a being whom one would love. And that is the way a great dreamer dreams his double. His magnified double sustains him.

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.

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

French Philosopher