Thursday, June 23, 2011

Gaston Bachelard – The Poetics of Space: The house, the image of the house and mental space (summary)


Gaston Bachelard – The Poetics of Space - summary and review
part 1 - 2 - 3 - 4



Our soul, argues Gaston Bachelard in his "Poetics of Space", in a place of dwelling. Therefore the house is an especially suitable site for phenomenological research of the intimacy of the inner mental space. For this end, which Bachelard terms "topoanalysis", we need to perceive it in both its diversity and unity, in its aspects as well as in its totality of essence. The house for Bachelrad is the source of poetic images, which bring up both its complexity and unity. This is because poetry enables us to experience the house instead of just verbalizing it.

The house for Bachelard is not an object to examine and describe. On the contrary, one of the key notions of Bachelard's The Poetics of Space is that one should transcend mere description in order to grasp the essential qualities of space, the intimacy of the house, the protection and bliss that it grants us. A phenomenological examination of the poetic representations of the house, Bachelard holds, will enable us to experience the meaning of the home space. In the introduction to The Poetics of Space Bachelard notes that the phenomenology of the poetic expression is the phenomenology of the soul and not the mind, and it is aimed at a core, initial and essential strata of our experience of being. By reconstructing a subjective consciousness which gave birth to a poetic image of homw we discover an individuality we can connect with by means of our analysis, what Bachelard terms inter-subjectivity.

The Poetics of Space by Gaston Bachelard | Summary &Study Guide
Bachelard speaks of thought, daydreaming and dreaming invoked by the house, actions which resurrect the past and connect it with the present. When we enter a new house we are flooded with experiences of prior homes, which are not memories but something rather different. In this state all of the homes of our life trace back to the early house of our childhood. As Bachelard puts it "we are never real historians, but always near poets, and our emotion is perhaps nothing but an expression of a poetry that was lost (The Poetics of Space, p.6). 



Gaston Bachelard – The Poetics of Space - summary and review
part 1 - 2 - 3 - 4

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