The Poetics of Space

What is the author's style in The Poetics of Space by Gaston Bachelard?

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Gaston Bachelard is the French philosopher who wrote "The Poetics of Space." He was a leading philosopher of Europe and a Sorbonne university professor. Bachelard begins his study in philosophy of science but eventually turns to the philosophy of art and esthetics. As an older man at the height of his renowned scientific career, Bachelard decides to take on the challenge of an entirely new body of knowledge. He admits at the outset that his acquired knowledge in science does not help him understand the poetic imagination. Bachelard leads the reader, as he explores himself, on a journey through inhabited spaces as a poet might see them. Bachelard is accustomed to use specific scientific methods, tools and "facts" to analyze and evaluate thought and appearances that is useless on this journey.

"The Poetics of Space" is an apparent self-exploration of the new, mature and revised thought of an older, perhaps wiser, scientist. He discovers as a child might, the wonder of things he once took for granted as a reasoning scientist. His book is full of comparative comments how one or another professional might see the same phenomenon. Bachelard seems to examine his own thoughts with the reader so he can better understand his own feelings. Gaston perhaps is his own audience as he ruminates on a world of dream and imagination that lies within poetic images. Among many audiences, he comments on are psychologists, phenomenologists and psychoanalysts. He knows how scientists see these things, and having been one himself, Bachelard pushes his limits forward by commenting on how these other quasi-scientists see things to reach out for his own poetic imagination.


The Poetics of Space