The Poetics of Space - Shells Summary & Analysis

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Shells Summary and Analysis

The idea of a shell is unlike any other image that appears in poetry. Ammonite shells specifically seem to be designed by geometry above and beyond the world to spiral around a logarithmic axis. Paul Valery's knowledge of geometry lets him understand the form, but not why the mollusk coils to the left or right. His further reflection helps him understand that a mollusk builds from the inside as a living form of protection rather than as a man might build from outside to enter later for protection.

A phenomenologist looks for observable facts or events, but a conchologist classifies a huge variety of shells to discover diversity. Neither appreciates the external beauty, nor is amazed that a mollusk is able to live inside the piece of stone they call a shell. Similar to coming upon an empty nest, finding an...

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This section contains 816 words
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