Gaston Bachelard
Quotations


Even a minor event in the life of a child is an event of that child's world and thus a world event.

Man is a creation of desire, not a creation of need.

There is no original truth, only original error.

If I were asked to name the chief benefit of the house, I should say: the house shelters day-dreaming, the house protects the dreamer, the house allows one to dream in peace.

Ideas are invented only as correctives to the past. Through repeated rectifications of this kind one may hope to disengage an idea that is valid.

Man is an imagining being.

A special kind of beauty exists which is born in language, of language, and for language.

To live life well is to express life poorly; if one expresses life too well, one is living it no longer.

Literary imagination is an aesthetic object offered by a writer to a lover of books.

Two half philosophers will probably never a whole metaphysician make.

One must always maintain one's connection to the past and yet ceaselessly pull away from it. To remain in touch with the past requires a love of memory. To remain in touch with the past requires a constant imaginative effort.

To feel most beautifully alive means to be reading something beautiful, ready always to apprehend in the flow of language the sudden flash of poetry.

The repose of sleep refreshes only the body. It rarely sets the soul at rest. The repose of the night does not belong to us. It is not the possession of our being. Sleep opens within us an inn for phantoms. In the morning we must sweep out the shadows.

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 word begin to move around. Stressed accents begin to invert. The word abandons its meaning like an overload which is too heavy and prevents dreaming. Then words take on other meanings as if they had the right to be young. And the words wander away, looking in the nooks and crannies of vocabulary for new company, bad company.

The words of the world want to make sentences.

A word is a bud attempting to become a twig. How can one not dream while writing? It is the pen which dreams. The blank page gives the right to dream.



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