The Poetics of Space
A beloved multidisciplinary treatise comes to Penguin Classics Since its initial publication in 1958, The Poetics of Space has been a muse to philosophers, architects, writers, psychologists, critics, and readers alike. The rare work of irresistibly inviting philosophy, Bachelard’s seminal work brims with quiet revelations and stirring, mysterious imagery. This lyrical journey takes as its premise the emergence of the poetic image and finds an ideal metaphor in the intimate spaces of our homes. Guiding us through a stream of meditations on poetry, art, and the blooming of consciousness itself, Bachelard examines the domestic places that shape and hold our dreams and memories. Houses and rooms; cellars and attics; drawers, chests, and wardrobes; nests and shells; nooks and corners: No space is too vast or too small to be filled by our thoughts and our reveries. In Bachelard’s enchanting spaces, “We are never real historians, but always near poets, and our emotion is perhaps nothing but an expression of a poetry that was lost.” This new edition features a foreword by Mark Z. Danielewski, whose bestselling novel House of Leaves drew inspiration from Bachelard’s writings, and an introduction by internationally renowned philosopher Richard Kearney who explains the book’s enduring importance and its role within Bachelard’s remarkable career. For more than sixty-five years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,500 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators. From the Trade Paperback edition.
The Psychoanalysis of Fire
"[Bachelard] is neither a self-confessed and tortured atheist like Satre, nor, like Chardin, a heretic combining a belief in God with a proficiency in modern science. But, within the French context, he is almost as important as they are because he has a pseudo-religious force, without taking a stand on religion. To define him as briefly as possible – he is a philosopher, with a professional training in the sciences, who devoted most of the second phase of his career to promoting that aspect of human nature which often seems most inimical to science: the poetic imagination ..." – J.G. Weightman,The New York Times Review of Books
The Poetics of Reverie
In this, his last significant work, an admired French philosopher provides extraordinary meditations on the relations between the imagining consciousness and the world, positing the notion of reverie as its most dynamic point of reference. In his earlier book, The Poetics of Space, Bachelard considered several kinds of "praiseworthy space" conducive to the flow of poetic imagery. In Poetics of Reverie he considers the absolute origins of that imagery: language, sexuality, childhood, the Cartesian ego, and the universe. Approaching the psychology of wonder from the phenomenological viewpoint, Bachelard demonstrates the aurgentative potential of all that awareness. Thus he distinguishes what is merely a phenomenon of relaxation from the kind of reverie which "poetry puts on the right track, the track of expanding consciousness"
The Dialectic of Duration
In The Dialectic of Duration Gaston Bachelard addresses the nature of time in response to the writings of his great contemporary, Henri Bergson. For Bachelard, experienced time is irreducibly fractured and interrupted, as indeed are material events. At stake is an entire conception of the physical world, an entire approach to the philosophy of science. It was in this work that Bachelard first marshalled all the components of his visionary philosophy of science, with its steady insistence on the human context and subtle encompassing of the irrational within the rational.
On poetic imagination and reverie
Gaston Bachelard was considered one of the great minds of our times. His prodigious ability, displayed in twenty-three books & expressed in subtle, suggested prose has produced the single most important body of thought in the recovery of imagination in the twentieth century. Beginning his intellectual career in mathematics, physics & chemistry, he held a chair in the philosophy of science at the Sorbonne. Then he initiated a wholly new method of working with matter, penetrating to its essential core where the discourses of science, psychoanalysis & aesthetics merge. His poetics of Air, Water, Earth, Fire & Space (excerpted in this compendium) have become indispensable for the study of images - in dreams, alchemy, poetry & literature & psychopathology. These passage from his major works, their thematic organization, the authoritative prefaces by Colette Gaudin which place his work in the stream of current ideas, as well as the Bibliography of writings by & on Bachelard, together provide a concise introduction & brilliantly capture Bachelard's genius.
The formation of the scientific mind
Gaston Bachelard is one of the indispensable figures in the history of 20th-century ideas. In this work, he first elaborated a theory of knowledge and its development, which was to become a key to his thought as a whole -- the notion of "the epistemological obstacle, " -- the unavoidable presence in the mind of a thinking individual of preconceived and misleading ideas derived from the very nature of language and culture. Published in 1938, this work is still a ubiquitously taught text throughout French academe, and one whose translation is long overdue.
Gaston Bachelard subversive humanist
In an elegant translation, Mary McAllester Jones brings to English-speaking readers the writings of a singular French philosopher of science whose rich intellectual legacy is too little known. Gaston Bachelard, who died in 1962, left us twelve works on the philosophy of science, nine on the poetic imagination, and two on time and consciousness, written in an image-laden style that rejected traditional academic discourse in favor of a subversive, allusive, highly metaphorical way of thinking and writing. Gaston Bachelard, Subversive Humanist gives us a generous introduction to Bachelard's brilliant and idiosyncratic writings about the relation of science, poetry, and human consciousness. The extracts are framed in succinct critical essays that explicate the development of his ideas and clarify his relation to the contemporary French intellectual revolution more commonly associated with Michel Foucault and Jacques Derrida. The matrix of Bachelard's thought is twentieth-century science, the "new scientific mind" that he dates from 1905 and Einstein's special theory of relativity. Like the discovery of America five hundred years before, the discoveries of mathematics and physics today have undermined our familiar epistemologies. Modern science has forced us to revise our conception of the rational subject and of the relation between reason and reality, subject and object. A "psychic revolution" has accompanied this revolution in reason. If we try to grasp the dialectics of matter and energy in physics, or the dualism of waves and particles, we shall learn to maintain difference and handle complexity; we are shaken out of the reductive, identity-ridden habits of ordinary life and thought. As a writer of science, Bachelard deliberately aimed to rid us of the preconceptions that blind us to the facts, to science as it is now. The same wariness with regard to theory is present in his approach to poetry. For Bachelard, mathematical equation and poetic image alike break with everyday experience. Reading poetic images brings us "the experience of openness, of newness", says Bachelard. The reader "is called upon to continue the writer's images, he is aware of being in a state of open imagination." There is little place for abstract critical theory in Bachelard's view of Poetry. Gaston Bachelard, Subversive Humanist will interest literary scholars, philosophers, and intellectual historians.
In this new study, Cristina Chimisso explores the work of the French Philosopher of Science, Gaston Bachelard (1884-1962) by situating it within French cultural life of the first half of the century. The book is introduced by a study - based on an analysis of portraits and literary representations - of how Bachelard's admirers transformed him into the mythical image of the Philosopher, the Patriarch and the 'Teacher of Happiness'. Such a projected image is contrasted with Bachelard's own conception of philosophy and his personal pedagogical and moral ideas. This pedagogical orientation is a major feature of Bachelard's texts, and one which deepens our understanding of the main philosophical arguments. The primary thesis of the book is based on the examination of the French educational system of the time and of French philosophy taught in schools and conceived by contemporary philosophers. This approach also helps to explain Bachelard's reception of psychoanalysis and his mastery of modern literature. Gaston Bachelard: Critic of Science and the Imagination thus allows for a new reading of Bachelard's body of work, whilst at the same time providing an insight into twentieth century French culture.
The new scientific spirit
Examines the changes during the twentieth century in the views of mathematics, physics, and the scientific method and discusses the role of the mind in science
The Philosophy and Poetics of Gaston Bachelard
The essays in this volume discuss the life and work of French philosopher Gaston Bachelard, exploring the context of his thought, the relationship between his work on science and on poetry, and his approach to language. Contents: include: 1. "Bachelard in the Context of a Century of Philosophy of Science," by Colin Smith; 2. "Gaston Bachelard: Phenomenologist of Modern Science," by Alfons Grieder; 3. "Gaston Bachelard and Ferdinand Gonseth: Philosophers of Scientific Dialectics," by Henri Lauener; 4. "Science and Poetry in the Ontology of Human Freedom: Bachelard's Account of the Poetic and the Scientific Imagination," by Noel Parker; 5. "Bachelard and the Refusal of Metaphor," by Jean-Claude Margolin; 6. "The Place of Alchemy in Bachelard's Oneiric Criticism," by John G. Clark; "Unfixing the Subject: Gaston Bachelard and Reading," by Mary McAllester. Co-published with the Center for Advanced Research in Phenomenology.