In this, his last significant work, an admired French philosopher provides extraordinary meditations on the relations between the imagining consciousness. . In Poetics of Reverie he considers the absolute origins of that imagery: language, sexuality, childhood, the Cartesian ego, and the universe. Although Bachelard, who died at the age of seventy-nine in , is considered the father of the French new critics, his work is both too bizarre and homespun to .

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At least once or twice a year, I read Gaston Bachelarda French philosopher and literary critic. The best way to read Bachelard is to read Bachelard slowly, preferably in deep afternoon, outside, under some enormous tree, with a turquoise bowl of ice cream in hand. He is impossible to read quickly, and almost impossible to understand without a serious background in mid-century French philosophy—and, yet, here I am, continuing to read him, year after year, with such fondness and tenderness, and only a vague understanding of mid-century French philosophy.

Both were purchased for undergrad literature courses and have stayed with bachelrd, prominently placed on my bookshelf, through various apartments and houses. They have fantastic titles: Language, Childhood, and the Cosmos The latter, which sits in front of me as I type this, has a pale aquamarine cover.


The Poetics of Reverie – Michigan Quarterly Review

The words on the page are not crisp; the letters blur. The smell, the cover, the old font: And their language—arcane, British-sounding—was prim, often close to rhyming. Bacheladd, for Bachelard, is both a place a noun and an action a verb.

Reverie is daydream and it is also the daydreaming itself. It is the mind at play.

The poetics of reverie : childhood, language, and the cosmos (Book, ) []

It is the mind untethered bacheladr its usual duties. It is also the lucid dream. 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 words begin to move around … The words take on other meanings as if they had the right to be young. Notice how Bachelard personifies words: To follow them is to risk losing yourself in depthless reverie. You could end up anywhere. A word is a bud attempting feverie become a twig. How can one not dream while writing?

It is the pen which dreams. The blank page gives the right to dream.

Whether or not these writings are actually sent out and published is an entirely different matter—probably not important. What will we see? What will we find? What memories will we bring up from the depths, all covered in brine? But who actually daydreams?


The Poetics of Reverie

A day of commuting, meetings, emailing, and running errands feels productive. To lounge around on the sofa, drifting in and out of naps, gazing at a white rose blooming outside the window feels slothful, lazy, and shall I say it?

To daydream is to resist the dominant motion of our busy culture. What if nothing comes of my reveries! What if I just wasted a day on the sofa? No wonder daydreaming is scary. I spend time each day allowing my mind to sway and scuttle. Sometimes I have a pen in hand, sometimes not. Then again, maybe not. But I have a hunch. Your email address will not be published.

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