Gaston Bachelard


French Philosopher

Author Quotes

Air is the very substance of our freedom, the substance of superhuman joy.... aerial joy is freedom.

Daydream transports the dreamer outside the immediate world to a world that bears the mark of infinity.

I am reminded of an optimistic prover according to which: ?Every pot has its cover.? The world would get along better if pots and covers could always stay together...Gentle closing calls for gentle opening, and we should want life always to be well oiled.

In scientific thought, the concept functions all the better for being cut off from all background images. In its full exercise, the scientific concept is free from all the delays of its genetic evolution, an evolution which is consequently explained by simple psychology. The virility of knowledge increases with each conquest of the constructive abstraction.

Love is never finished expressing itself, and it expresses itself better the more poetically it is dreamed.

All the senses awaken and fall into harmony in poetic reverie. Poetic reverie listens to this polyphony of the senses, and the poetic consciousness must record it.

Doesn't reverie ramify the sentence which has been begun? A word is a bud attempting to become a twig. How can one not dream while writing? It is the pen which dreams. The blank page gives the right to dream. If only one could write for himself alone.

I should say: the house shelters day-dreaming, the house protects the dreamer, the house allows one to dream in peace.

In short, it must be confessed that there are two types of reading: reading in animus and the anima reading. I'm not the same man when I read a book of ideas, where the animus must stay vigilant, ready for criticism, ready for replication, or a poet's book, in which images must be received in a transcendental kind of reception of gifts . Ah, to echo this absolute gift that is a poet image would require our anima could write a thank you song! The animus read little; the anima, too.

Man is a creation of desire, not a creation of need.

An excess of childhood is the germ of a poem.

Empirical description involves enslavement to the object by decreeing passivity on the part of the subject.

I was born in a country of brooks and rivers, in a corner of Champagne, called Le Vallage for the great number of its valleys. The most beautiful of its places for me was the hollow of a valley by the side of fresh water, in the shade of willows...My pleasure still is to follow the stream, to walk along its banks in the right direction, in the direction of the flowing water, the water that leads life towards the next village...Dreaming beside the river, I gave my imagination to the water, the green, clear water, the water that makes the meadows green. ...The stream doesn?t have to be ours; the water doesn?t have to be ours. The anonymous water knows all my secrets. And the same memory issues from every spring.

In the theater of the past that is constituted by memory, the stage setting maintains the characters in their dominant roles . . . . And if we want to go beyond history, or even, while remaining in history, detach from our own history the always too contingent history of the persons who have encumbered it, we realize that the calendars of our lives can only be established in its imagery.

Man is an imagining being.

And all the spaces of our past moments of solitude, the spaces in which we have suffered from solitude, enjoyed, desired, and compromised solitude, remain indelible within us and precisely because the human being wants them to remain so. He knows instinctively that this space identified with his solitude is creative; that even when it is forever expunged from the present, when, henceforth, it is alien to all the promises of the future, even when we no longer have a garret, when the attic room is lost and gone, there remains the fact that we once loved a garret, once lived in an attic. We return to them in our night dreams. These retreats have the value of a shell. And when we reach the very end of the labyrinths of sleep, when we attain to the regions of deep slumber, we may perhaps experience a type of repose that is pre-human; pre-human, in this case, approaching the immemorial. But in the daydream itself, the recollection of moments of confined, simple, shut-in space are experiences of heartwarming space, of a space that does not seek to become extended, but would like above all still to be possessed. In the past, the attic may have seemed too small, it may have seemed cold in winter and hot in summer. Now, however, in memory recaptured through daydreams, it is hard to say through what syncretism the attic is at once small and large, warm and cool, always comforting.

Even a minor event in the life of a child is an event of that child's world and thus a world event.

Ideas are invented only as correctives to the past. Through repeated rectifications of this kind one may hope to disengage an idea that is valid.

In writing, you discover interior sonorities in words. Dipthongs sound differently beneath the pen. One hears them with their sounds divorced.

Nobody knows that in reading we are re-living our temptations to be a poet. All readers who have a certain passion for reading, nurture and repress, through reading, the desire to become a writer...In this admiration, which goes beyond the passivity of contemplative attitudes, the joy of reading appears to be the reflection of the joy of writing, as though the reader were the writer's ghost.

Any comparison diminishes the expressive qualities of the terms of the comparison.

Every corner in a house, every angle in a room, every inch of secluded space in which we like to hide, or withdraw into ourselves, is a symbol of solitude for the imagination; that is to say, it is the germ of a room, or of a house.

Ideas are refined and multiplied in the commerce of minds. In their splendor, images effect a very simple communion of souls.

Indeed, I am a dreamer of words, a dreamer of words written. I read. I stopped short. Leave the page. The syllables of the word begin to stir. The tonic accents are reversed. The word leaves his sense too heavy a burden that prevents dream. The words then take other meanings as if they had the right to be young. And the words are, among the thickets of vocabulary, looking for new, bad company. Many minor conflicts must be resolved when the vagabond reverie, it becomes fair vocabulary. And it's worse when instead of reading I start to write. Under the pen, the anatomy of syllables slowly unfolds. The word lives syllable by syllable, in danger of internal reveries. How to keep it together forcing their usual easements outlined in the sentence, a phrase that perhaps we will delete the manuscript? Is not the phrase branches started dreaming? The word is an outbreak that tries to give a twig. How not to dream while typing. Pen dreams. The blank page gives the right to dream. If only I could write for yourself. How hard is the fate of the maker of books! We must cut and re-sewing to have continuity in ideas. But when you're writing a book about dreaming, is there no time to let them run the pen, leaving talk to dreaminess and better yet, to dream the dream at the same time you believe estarla transcribing ? - Gaston Bachelard , The Poetics of Reverie

Nothing is forgotten in the processes of idealization. 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.

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French Philosopher