Gaston Bachelard, Revised and Updated: Philosopher of Science and Imagination

SUNY Press
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Comprehensive overview of the entire spectrum of works by one of twentieth-century France’s most original thinkers.

Gaston Bachelard, one of twentieth-century France’s most original thinkers, is known by English-language readers primarily as the author of The Poetics of Space and several other books on the imagination, but he made significant contributions to the philosophy and history of science. In this book, Roch C. Smith provides a comprehensive introduction to Bachelard’s work, demonstrating how his writings on the literary imagination can be better understood in the context of his exploration of how knowledge works in science. After an overview of Bachelard’s writings on the scientific mind as it was transformed by relativity, quantum physics, and modern chemistry, Smith examines Bachelard’s works on the imagination in light of particular intellectual values Bachelard derived from science. His trajectory from science to a specifically literary imagination is traced by recognizing his concern with what science teaches about how we know, and his increasing preoccupation with questions of being when dealing with poetic imagery. Smith also explores the material and dynamic imagination associated with the four elements—fire, water, air, and earth—and the phenomenology of creative imagination in Bachelard’s Poetics of Space, his Poetics of Reverie, and in the fragments of Poetics of Fire.
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About the author

 Roch C. Smith is Professor Emeritus of French at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and the author of Understanding Alain Robbe-Grillet.

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Additional Information

Publisher
SUNY Press
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Published on
Jun 3, 2016
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Pages
203
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ISBN
9781438461939
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Language
English
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Genres
Philosophy / Aesthetics
Philosophy / General
Science / Philosophy & Social Aspects
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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A beloved multidisciplinary treatise comes to Penguin Classics

Since its initial publication in 1958, The Poetics of Space has been a muse to philosophers, architects, writers, psychologists, critics, and readers alike. The rare work of irresistibly inviting philosophy, Bachelard’s seminal work brims with quiet revelations and stirring, mysterious imagery. This lyrical journey takes as its premise the emergence of the poetic image and finds an ideal metaphor in the intimate spaces of our homes. Guiding us through a stream of meditations on poetry, art, and the blooming of consciousness itself, Bachelard examines the domestic places that shape and hold our dreams and memories. Houses and rooms; cellars and attics; drawers, chests, and wardrobes; nests and shells; nooks and corners: No space is too vast or too small to be filled by our thoughts and our reveries. In Bachelard’s enchanting spaces, “We are never real historians, but always near poets, and our emotion is perhaps nothing but an expression of a poetry that was lost.”

This new edition features a foreword by Mark Z. Danielewski, whose bestselling novel House of Leaves drew inspiration from Bachelard’s writings, and an introduction by internationally renowned philosopher Richard Kearney who explains the book’s enduring importance and its role within Bachelard’s remarkable career.

For more than sixty-five years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,500 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
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