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#1. Of course, any simplification runs the risk of mutilating reality; but it helps us establish perspectives. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#2. 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. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#3. Of course, thanks to the house, a great many of our memories are housed, and if the house is a bit elaborate, if it has a cellar and a garret, nooks and corridors, our memories have refuges that are all the more clearly delineated. All our lives we come back to them in our daydreams. A psychoanalyst should, therefore, turn his attention to this simple localization of our memories. I should like to give the name of topoanalysis to this auxiliary of pyschoanalysis. Topoanalysis, then would be the systematic psychological study of the sites of our intimate lives. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#4. 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. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#5. A man is a man to the extent that he is a superman. A man should be defined by the sum of those tendencies which impel him to surpass the human condition. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#6. There are children who will leave a game to go and be bored in a corner of the garret. How often have I wished for the attic of my boredom when the complications of life made me lose the very germ of freedom! - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#7. To live life well is to express life poorly; if one expresses life too well, one is living it no longer. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#8. To verify images kills them, and it is always more enriching to imagine than to experience. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#9. The poet, in the novelty of his images, is always the origin of language. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#10. I am a dreamer of words, of written words. I think I am reading; a word stops me. I leave the page. The syllables of the word begin to move around. Stressed accents begin to invert. The word abandons its meaning like an overload which is too heavy and prevents dreaming. Then words take on other meanings as if they had the right to be young. And the words wander away, looking in the nooks and crannies of vocabulary for new company, bad company. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#11. All really inhabited space bears the essence of the notion of home. -Gaston Bachelard - Author: Louisa Thomsen Brits
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#12. Sometimes, when I am tired of so many oscillations, I look for refuge in a word which I begin to love for itself. Resting in the heart of words, seeing clearly into the cell of a word, feeling that the word is the seed of a life, a growing dawn ... The poet Vandercammen says all that in a line: "A word can be a dawn and even a sure shelter." - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#13. Here we are at the very core of the thesis we wish to defend in the present essay: reverie is under the sign of the anima. When the reverie is truly profound, the being who comes to dream within us is our anima. For a philosopher who takes his inspiration from phenomenology, a reverie on reverie is very exactly a phenomenology of the anima, and it is by coordinating reveries on reverie that he hopes to constitute a "Poetics of reverie". In other words, the poetics of reverie is a poetics of the anima. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#14. Arbre toujours au milieu
De tout ce qui l'entoure
Arbre qui savoure
La voute des cieux

(Tree always in the center
Of all that surrounds it
Tree feasting upon
Heaven's great dome) - Author: Gaston Bachelard
Bachelard quotes by Gaston Bachelard
#15. Any comparison diminishes the expressive qualities of the terms of the comparison. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#16. Why should the actions of the imagination not be as real as those of perception? - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#17. The past of the soul is so distant! The soul does not live on the edge of time. It finds its rest in the universe imagined by reverie. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#18. The great function of poetry is to give back to us the situations of our dreams. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#19. 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. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#20. The cleverer I am at miniaturizing the world, the better I possess it. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#21. What benefits new books bring us! I would like a basket full of books telling the youth of images which fall from heaven for me every day. This desire is natural. This prodigy is easy. For, up there, in heaven, isn't paradise an immense library?

But it is not sufficient to receive; one must welcome. One must, say the pedagogue and the dietician in the same voice, 'assimilate.' In order to do that, we are advised not to read too fast and to be careful not to swallow too large a bite. We are told to divide each difficulty into as many parts as possible, the better to solve them. Yes, chew well, drink a little at a time, savor poems line by line. All these precepts are well and good. But one precept orders them. One first needs a good desire to eat, drink and read. One must want to read a lot, read more, always read.

Thus, in the morning, before the books piled high on my table, to the god of reading, I say my prayer of the devouring reader: 'Give us this day our daily hunger . . .'" - Gaston Bachelard, "Introduction", The Poetics of Reverie: Childhood, Language, and the Cosmos, Pages 25-26 - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#22. A special kind of beauty exists which is born in language, of language, and for language. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#23. 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. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#24. It is certain that such a revolution in thought - that is, such an expansion of consciousness, such an evolution of intelligence - is not the result of a whim. It is in fact a question of a cosmic influence to which the earth, along with everything in it, is subjected. A phase in the gestation of the planetary particle of our solar system is completed. Gaston Bachelard observes, in this connection, what he calls "a mutation of Spirit." A new period must begin, and this is heralded by seismic movement, climate changes, and finally, above all, by the spirit that animates man. - Author: Schwaller De Lubicz
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#25. To go upstairs in the word house is to withdraw step by step; while to go down to the cellar is to dream - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#26. Our whole childhood remains to be reimagined. In reimagining it, we have the possibility of recovering it in the very life of our reveries as a solitary child. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#27. Dreaming by the river, I dedicated my imagination to water, to clear, green water, the water that makes the meadows green. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#28. The geometry of a peacock's tail is more aerial: The eyes in a peacock's spread tail are situated at the intersecting point of a double cluster of spirals, that are apparently Archimedean spirals. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#29. The brook will nonetheless teach you to speak, in spite of sorrows and memories - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#30. It is a poor reverie which invites a nap. One must even wonder whether, in this "failing asleep", the subconscious itself does not undergo a decline in being. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#31. In our view any awareness is an increment to consciousness, an added light, a reinforcement of psychic coherence. Its swiftness or instantaneity can hide this growth from us. But there is a growth of being in every instance of awareness. Consciousness is in itself an act, the human act. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#32. In my Paris apartment, when a neighbor drives nails into the wall at an undue hour, I "naturalize" the noise by imagining that I am in my house in Dijon, where I have a garden. And finding everything I hear quite natural, I say to myself: "That's my woodpecker at work in the acacia tree." This is my method for obtaining calm when things disturb me. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#33. The word chrysalis alone is an unmistakable indication that here two dreams are joined together, dreams that be-speak both the repose and flight of being, evening's crystallization and wings that open to the light. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#34. We believe we can also show that words do not have exactly the same psychic "weight" depending on whether they belong to the language of reverie or to the language of daylight life-to rested language or language under surveillance-to the language of natural poetry or to the language hammered out by authoritarian prosodies. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#35. 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. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#36. 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. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#37. The intellectualist philosopher who wants to hold words to their precise meaning, and uses them as the countless little tools of clear thinking, is bound to be surprised by the poet's daring. And yet a syncretism of sensitivity keeps words from crystallizing into perfect solids. Unexpected adjectives collect about the focal meaning of the noun. A new environment allows the word to enter not only into one's thoughts, but also into one's daydreams. Language dreams. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#38. Childhood lasts all through life. It returns to animate broad sections of adult life ... Poets will help us to find this living childhood within us, this permanent, durable immobile world. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#39. At all times and in all fields the explanation by fire is a rich explanation. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#40. What a concentration of images in Pasternak's swallow's nest! And, in reality, why should we stop building and molding the world's clay about our own shelters? Mankind's nest, like his world, is never finished. And imagination helps us to continue it. A poet cannot leave such a great image as this, nor, to be more exact, can such an image leave its poet. Boris Pasternak also wrote Man himself is mute, and it is the image that speaks. For it is obvious that the image alone can keep pace with nature. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#41. It is quite evident that a barrier must be cleared in order to escape the psychologists and enter into a realm which is not "auto-observant", where we ourselves no longer divide ourselves into observer and observed. Then the dreamer is completely dissolved in his reverie. His reverie is his silent life. It is that silent peace which the poet wants to convey to us. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#42. Baudelaire writes: In certain almost supernatural inner states, the depth of life is entirely revealed in the spectacle, however ordinary, that we have before our eyes, and which becomes the symbol of it. Here we have a passage that designates the phenomenological direction I myself pursue. The exterior spectacle helps intimate grandeur unfold. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#43. I can recover my calm by living the metaphors of the ocean. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#44. Ideas are refined and multiplied in the commerce of minds. In their splendor, images effect a very simple communion of souls. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#45. Two half philosophers will probably never a whole metaphysician make. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#46. Air is the very substance of our freedom, the substance of superhuman joy ... aerial joy is freedom. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#47. If we were to give the imagination its due in the philosophical systems of the universe, we should find, at their very source, an adjective. Indeed, to those who want to find the essence of a world philosophy, one could give the following advice-look for its adjective. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#48. Very often, I confess, the teller of dreams bores me. His dream could perhaps interest me if it were frankly worked on. But to hear a glorious tale of his insanity! I have not yet clarified, psychoanalytically, this boredom during the recital of other people's dreams. Perhaps I have retained the stiffness of a rationalist. I do not follow the tale of justified incoherence docilely. I always suspect that part of the stupidities being recounted are invented. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#49. 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. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#50. I should say: the house shelters day-dreaming, the house protects the dreamer, the house allows one to dream in peace. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#51. How is it possible not to feel that there is communication between our solitude as a dreamer and the solitudes of childhood? And it is no accident that, in a tranquil reverie, we often follow the slope which returns us to our childhood solitudes. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#52. Ideas are invented only as correctives to the past. Through repeated rectification of this kind one may hope to disengage an idea that is valid. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#53. This word "description" may be disconcerting when used to refer to what is generally called a translation. But when one wishes to render a verbal creation (as opposed to a didactic statement) from one language to another, he is confronted with two equally unsatisfactory choices. He may, according to his talents, elaborate a similar, but never identical creation, or he may describe that creation as completely as possible in his own language. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#54. As I stood in contemplation of the garden of the wonders of space," Milosz writes, "I had the feeling that I was looking into the ultimate depths, the most secret regions of my own being; and I smiled, because it had never occurred to me that I could be so pure, so great, so fair! My heart burst into singing with the song of grace of the universe. All these constellations are yours, they exist in you; outside your love they have no reality! How terrible the world seems to those who do not know themselves! When you felt so alone and abandoned in the presence of the sea, imagine what solitude the waters must have felt in the night, or the night's own solitude in a universe without end!" And the poet continues this love duet between dreamer and world, making man and the world into two wedded creatures that are paradoxically united in the dialogue of their solitude. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#55. In order to dream so far, is it enough to read? Isn't it necessary to write? Write as in our schoolboy past, in those days when, as Bonnoure says, the letters wrote themselves one by one, either in their gibbosity or else in their pretentious elegance? In those days, spelling was a drama, our drama of culture at work in the interior of a word. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#56. What a dynamic, handsome object is a path! How precise the familiar hill paths remain for our muscular consciousness! Oh, my roads and their cadence. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#57. We cannot say what reality is, only what it seems like to us. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#58. 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. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#59. Words are clamor-filled shells. There's many a story in the miniature of a single word! - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#60. The best proof of the specificity of the book is that it is at once a reality of the virtual and a virtuality of the real. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#61. For Baudelaire, man's poetic fate is to be the mirror of immensity; or even more exactly, immensity becomes conscious of itself, through man. Man for Baudelaire is a vast being. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#62. A book is a human fact; a great book like Seraphita gathers together numerous psychological elements. These elements become coherent through a sort of psychological beauty. It does the reader a service. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#63. We cover the Universe with the drawings we have lived. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#64. 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. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#65. An excess of childhood is the germ of a poem. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#66. 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." - Gaston Bachelard, "Reveries on Reverie (Anima - Animus)", The Poetics of Reverie: Childhood, Language, and the Cosmos, Page 88 - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#67. What action could bodies and substances have if they were not named in a further increase of dignity where common nouns become proper nouns? - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#68. It is not a question of observation which propels mankind forward as if toward a looking glass of great magnitude; it is an instance of aggrandized reflection that insinuates the human psyche to the inhuman. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#69. Cosmic reveries separate us from project reveries. They situate us in a world and not in a society. The cosmic reverie possesses a sort of stability or tranquility. It helps us escape time. It is a state. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#70. Life begins well. It begins enclosed, protected, all warm in the bosom of the house. -Gaston Bachelard - Author: Louisa Thomsen Brits
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#71. The night dreamer cannot articulate a cogito. The night dream is a dream without a dreamer. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#72. I shall never find a better document for a phenomenology of a being which is at once established in its roundness and developing in it. Rilke's tree propagates in green spheres a roundness that is a victory over accidents of form and the capricious events of mobility. Here becoming has countless forms, countless leaves, but being is subject to no dispersion: If I could ever succeed in grouping together all the images of being, all the multiple, changing images that, in spite of everything, illustrate permanence of being, Rilke's tree would open an important chapter in my album of concrete metaphysics. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#73. The subconscious is ceaselessly murmuring, and it is by listening to these murmurs that one hears the truth. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#74. All important words, all the words marked for grandeur by a poet, are keys to the universe, to the dual universe of the Cosmos and the depths of the human spirit. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#75. If there is any realm where distinction is especially difficult, it is the realm of childhood memories, the realm of beloved images harbored in memory since childhood. These memories which live by the image and in virtue of the image become, at certain times of our lives and particularly during the quiet age, the origin and matter of a complex reverie: the memory dreams, and reverie remembers. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#76. How concrete everything becomes in the world of the spirit when an object, a mere door, can give images of hesitation, temptation, desire, security, welcome and respect. If one were to give an account of all the doors one has closed and opened, of all the doors one would like to re-open, one would have to tell the story of one's entire life. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#77. The poetic image [ ... ] is not an echo of the past. On the contrary: through the brilliance of any image, the distant past resounds with echoes. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#78. What is the source of our first suffering? It lies in the fact that we hesitated to speak ... it was born in the moments when we accumulated silent things within us. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#79. And when a philosopher looks to poets, to a great poet like Milosz, for lessons in how to individualize the world, he soon becomes convinced that the world is not so much a noun as an adjective. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#80. 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. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#81. In my book entitled 'L'eau et les reves, I collected many other literary images in which the pond is the very eye of the landscape, the reflection in water the first view that the universe has of itself, and the heightened beauty of a reflected landscape presented as the very root of cosmic narcissism. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#82. Would a bird build its nest if it did not have its instinct for confidence in the world? - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#83. Any work of science, no matter what its point of departure, cannot become fully convincing until it crosses the boundary between the theoretical and the experimental: Experimentation must give way to argument, and argument must have recourse to experimentation. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#84. One must always maintain one's connection to the past and yet ceaselessly pull away from it. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#85. Consciousness rejuvenates everything, giving a quality of beginning to the most everyday actions. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#86. So, like a forgotten fire, a childhood can always flare up again within us. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#87. Every object in the world, loved for its own sake, has a right to its own nothingness. Every being pours out being, a little of its being, the shadow of its being, into its own non-being. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#88. But shall I have the strength to write this book? For there is a great distance between the words we speak uninhibitedly to a friendly audience and the discipline needed to write a book. When we are lecturing, we become animated by the joy of teaching and, at times, our words think for us. But to write a book requires really serious reflection. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#89. In contrast to a dream a reverie cannot be recounted. To be communicated, it must be written, written with emotion and taste, being relived all the more strongly because it is being written down. Here, we are touching the realm of written love. It is going out of fashion, but the benefits remain. There are still souls for whom love is the contact of two poetries, the fusion of two reveries. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#90. If we did not have a feminine being within us, how would we rest ourselves? - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#91. Rilke wrote: 'These trees are magnificent, but even more magnificent is the sublime and moving space between them, as though with their growth it too increased. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#92. Now my aim is clear: I must show that the house is one of the greatest powers of integration for the thoughts, memories and dreams of mankind. The binding principle in this integration is the daydream. Past, present and future give the house different dynamisms, which often interfere, at times opposing, at others, stimulating one another. In the life of a man, the house thrusts aside contingencies, its councils of continuity are unceasing. Without it, man would be a dispersed being. It maintains him through the storms of the heavens and through those of life. It is body and soul. It is the human being's first world. Before he is "cast into the world," as claimed by certain hasty meta-physics, man is laid in the cradle of the house. And always, in our daydreams, the house is a large cradle. A concrete metaphysics cannot neglect this fact, this simple fact, all the more, since this fact is a value, an important value, to which we return in our daydreaming. Being is already a value. Life begins well, it begins enclosed, protected, all warm in the bosom of the house. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#93. The reverie would not last if it were not nourished by the images of the sweetness of living, by the illusions of happiness. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#94. A creature that hides and "withdraws into its shell," is preparing a "way out." This is true of the entire scale of metaphors, from the resurrection of a man in his grave, to the sudden outburst of one who has long been silent. If we remain at the heart of the image under consideration, we have the impression that, by staying in the motionlessness of its shell, the creature is preparing temporal explosions, not to say whirlwinds, of being. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#95. The demands of our reality function require that we adapt to reality, that we constitute ourselves as a reality and that we manufacture works which are realities. But doesn't reverie, by its very essence, liberate us from the reality function? From the moment it is considered in all its simplicity, it is perfectly evident that reverie bears witness to a normal useful irreality function which keeps the human psyche on the fringe of all the brutality of a hostile and foreign non-self. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#96. In other words, since immense is not an object, a phenomenology of immense would refer us directly to our imagining consciousness. In analyzing images of immensity, we should realize within ourselves the pure being of pure imagination. It then becomes clear that works of art are the by-products of this existentialism of the imagining being. In this direction of daydreams of immensity, the real product is consciousness of enlargement. We fell that we have been promoted to the dignity of the admiring being. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#97. Contemplating a flame perpetuates a primordial reverie. It separates us from the world and enlarges our world as dreamers. In itself the flame is a major presence, but being close to it makes us dream of far away, too far away. The flame is there, feeble and tiny, struggling to stay in existence, and the dreamer goes on to dream of elsewhere, losing his own being by dreaming on a grand, on a too grand scale by dreaming of the world. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#98. The words of the world want to make sentences. - Author: Bachelard
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#99. True poetry is a function of awakening. It awakens us, but it must retain the memory of previous dreams. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#100. In Leonardo da Vinci's Notebooks, we read: "An oyster opens wide at full moon. When the crab sees this, it throws a pebble or a twig at the oyster to keep it from closing and thus have it to feed upon." Da Vinci adds the following suitable moral to this fable: "Like the mouth that, in telling its secret, places itself at the mercy of an indiscreet listener. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#101. The dream remains overloaded with the badly lived passions of daytime life. Solitude in the nocturnal dream is always a hostility. It is strange. It isn't really our solitude. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#102. We comfort ourselves by reliving memories of protection. Something closed must retain our memories, while leaving them their original value as images. Memories of the outside world will never have the same tonality as those of home and, by recalling these memories, we add to our store of dreams; we are never real historians, but always near poets, and our emotion is perhaps nothing but an expression of a poetry that was lost. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#103. Daydream transports the dreamer outside the immediate world to a world that bears the mark of infinity. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#104. The lock doesn't exist that could resist absolute violence, and all locks are an invitation to thieves. A lock is a psychological threshold. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#105. Man is a creation of desire, not a creation of need. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#106. By following "the path of reverie"-a constantly downhill path-consciousness relaxes and wanders-and consequently becomes clouded. So it is never the right time, when one is dreaming, to "do phenomenology." - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#107. One must live to build one's house, and not build one's house to live in. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#108. If Barthes, along with Bachelard, is one of those who have done most to enrich criticism during the last thirty years, it is not as a theoretician of a still hazy semiology, but as the champion of a new pleasure in reading. - Author: Laurent Binet
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#109. The spoken reverie of substances calls matter to birth, to life, to spirituality. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#110. 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. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#111. All great, simple images reveal a psychic state. The house, even more than the landscape, is a "psychic state," and even when reproduced as it appears from the outside, it bespeaks intimacy. Psychologists generally, and Francoise Minkowska in particular, together with those whom she has succeeded interesting in the subject, have studied the drawing of houses made by children, and even used them for testing. Indeed, the house-test has the advantage of welcoming spontaneity, for many children draw a house spontaneously while dreaming over their paper and pencil. To quote Anne Balif: "Asking a child to draw his house is asking him to reveal the deepest dream shelter he has found for his happiness. If he is happy, he will succeed in drawing a snug, protected house which is well built on deeply-rooted foundations." It will have the right shape, and nearly always there will be some indication of its inner strength. In certain drawings, quite obviously, to quote Mme. Balif, "it is warm indoors, and there is a fire burning, such a big fire, in fact, that it can be seen coming out of the chimney." When the house is happy, soft smoke rises in gay rings above the roof.

If the child is unhappy, however, the house bears traces of his distress. In this connection, I recall that Francoise Minkowska organized an unusually moving exhibition of drawings by Polish and Jewish children who had suffered the cruelties of the German occupation during the last war. One child, who had been - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#112. Even a minor event in the life of a child is an event of that child's world and thus a world event - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#113. The poetic image exists apart from causality. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#114. Verticality is ensured by the polarity of cellar and attic, the marks of which are so deep that, in a way, they open up two very different perspectives for a phenomenology of the imagination. Indeed, it is possible, almost without commentary, to oppose the rationality of the roof to the irrationality of the cellar. A roof tells its raison d'etre right away: it gives mankind shelter from the rain and sun he fears. Geographers are constantly reminding us that, in every country, the slope of the roofs is one of the surest indications of the climate. We "understand" the slant of a roof. Even a dreamer dreams rationally; for him, a pointed roof averts rain clouds. Up near the roof all our thoughts are clear. In the attic it is a pleasure to see the bare rafters of the strong framework. Here we participate in the carpenter's solid geometry.
As for the cellar, we shall no doubt find uses for it .. It will be rationalized and its conveniences enumerated. But it is first and foremost the dark entity of the house, the one that partakes of subterranean forces. When we dream there, we are in harmony with the irrationality of the depths. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#115. Wolves in shells are crueler than stray ones. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#116. The poetic image is a sudden salience on the surface of the psyche - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#117. There are reveries so deep, reveries which help us descend so deeply within ourselves that they rid us of our history. They liberate us from our name. These solitudes of today return us to the original solitudes. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#118. Of course, a psychologist would find it more direct to study the inspired poet. He would make concrete studies of inspiration in individual geniuses. But for all that, would he experience the phenomena of inspiration? His human documentation gathered from inspired poets could hardly be related, except from the exterior, in an ideal of objective observations. Comparison of inspired poets would soon make us lose sight of inspiration. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#119. The only possible proof of the existence of water, the most convincing and the most intimately true proof, is thirst. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#120. We understand nature by resisting it. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#121. 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. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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#122. Immensity is within ourselves. It is attached to a sort of expansion of being that life curbs and caution arrests, but which starts again when we are alone. As soon as we become motionless, we are elsewhere; we are dreaming in a world that is immense. Indeed, immense is the movement of motionless man. It is one of the dynamic characteristics of quiet daydreaming. - Author: Gaston Bachelard
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