Bachelard, Gaston – La Poétique de l’Espace

  • house. Gaston Bachelard is laying the foundations of the house of his époque. This house is the symbol both of the author’s psyche and of his society. And this house has five levels: at the garret we find the assumptions of the future book. Here a distinction is been made between “reason” and “imagination” – the psychoanalysts are struggling to find a reason, while the phenomenologists are searching for the images of imagination. At the first store is the house of humans and Bachelard is dedicating two chapters in order to present the spatial axes (1st chapter) and temporal axes (2nd chapter) of it. Climbing up at the next store, he is drawing the house of objects – namely: drawers, chests and wardrobes (chapter 3). Next, at the third store, we are accustomed with nests – in chapter 4 where much is about birds; and with shells – in chapter 5 that is a review of the poetics of molluscs. And the author, in a little detour, is climbing down to the first floor, in order to dream again about the corners of the poets (chapter 6). This descent is followed by an ascension to the cellar, where are discussed the main properties of space – the couple of “big”/ “small”, “inside”/ “outside” and “linear”/ “circular” – as found in walking dreams, poetry and novels. In a few words, this is the summary of “The poetics of space” (in French, “La poétique de l’espace”). And the method of the “house” was used since immemorial times, long before Gaston Bachelard or even Carl Gustav Jung were born. For instance, in 1846, Charles Albert d’Arnoux (or Bertall, an anagram of Albert) has drawn “Coupe d’une maison parisienne. Cinq étages du monde parisien” ordering the social classes of France, at that time, in a house with five levels.

The image:


  • Bachelard, Gaston (2017): “La poétique de l’espace”, PUF – Presses Universitaires de France
  • Lavallée, Théophile Sebastien (1846): “Le diable à Paris. Paris et les parisiens. Mœurs et coutumes, caractéres et portraits des habitants de Paris, tableau complet de leur vie privée, publique, politique, artistique, litteraire, industrielle, etc, etc”, Hetzel, p. 27

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