The Poetics of Space

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

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"The Poetics of Space" is a subjective study of Gaston Bachelard's journey from a basic scientific reasoning process to an understanding, exposition and appreciation of poetic imagination or daydreaming as he refers to it. The author shares with the reader his awe and growing appreciation of the poetic world. He is a scientist whose tools no longer are adequate to explore the world of imagination. Bachelard's pathos is expressed in the observation that he now appreciates imagination when he is too old and disciplined in scientific methods to be able to imagine. Ironically, Bachelard's subjective observations are expressed through the mechanism of literary criticism too sophisticated and objective for many readers to grasp and appreciate.

The subjective tone of Bachelard's writing is matched by the equally subjective tone of his subject's poetry. For example, Poe's cellar images and Bosco's island cabin fighting against the hurricane are chilling excerpts from their work. Bachelard creates a sense of objective awe and wonder at nature's imagination when he describes a six-hundred pound shell opened and shut by the fourteen-pound mollusk. Bachelard's work itself creates an objective sense of awe and wonder at the extent to which he integrates and brings in play a vast amount of literature and knowledge to advance an understanding of the unscientific reality of poetic imagination. It is ironic that he calls poetic imaging daydreaming, which in common speech doesn't take any amount of literature or knowledge to do.


The Poetics of Space