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The Poetics of Spaceby Gaston Bachelard
Philosopher Gaston Bachelard published The Poetics of Space in 1958, many years into a prolific and prestigious career in science and French academe. A rationalist who believed rational thought was an ill-fitting framework for exploring the imagination, dream worlds, and poetics, Bachelard was nevertheless intensely interested in exactly these realms. In this book, he proposes a rethinking of space based on lived experience, risen from one's intimate experiences in/with them. His phenomenology of architecture, then, is most concerned with the house (or its alter ego, the dream house), the nest, corner nooks, and the inner cove of a seashell. Bachelard addresses these spaces, winningly, with fondness: "Wardrobes with their shelves, desks with their drawers, and chests with their false bottoms are veritable organs of the secret psychological life. Indeed, without these 'objects' and a few others in equally high favor, our intimate life would lack a model of intimacy....Does there exist a single dreamer of words who does not respond to the word wardrobe?" Though Bachelard is not the most casual read, I highly recommend this dense text for pragmatics, poets, and any of us with a penchant for the leaning tower of the literary postmodern.
Synopses & Reviews
Thirty years since its first publication in English, French philosopher Gaston Bachelard's The Poetics of Space one of the most appealing and lyrical explorations of home. Bachelard takes us on a journey, from cellar to attic, to show how our perceptions of houses and other shelters shape our thoughts, memories, and dreams.
Book News Annotation:
**** Reprint of the work originally published by Orion Press, 1964. BCL3 endorsed it; Beacon now presents it on acid-free paper with a new foreword by John R. Stilgoe.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Published in English in the 1960s, this text focuses on how we experience intimate places, and how our perceptions of houses and other shelters shape our thoughts, memories and dreams.
About the Author
Gaston Bachelard (1884-1963) is the author of The Poetics of Space, The Psychoanalysis of Fire, and The New Scientific Spirit
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