Wednesday, April 14, 2010

On Poetic Imagination and Reverie
by Gaston Bachelard

"To say that the poetic image is independent of causality is to make a rather serious statement. But the causes cited by psychologists and psychoanalysts can never really explain the wholly unexpected nature of the new image, any more than they can explain the attraction it holds for a mind that is foreign to the process of its creation.  The poet does not confer the past of his image upon me, and yet his image immediately takes root in me.  The communicability of an unusual image is a fact of great ontological significance.  We shall return to this question of communion through brief, isolate, rapid actions.  Images excite us--afterwards--but they are not the phenomena of an excitement.  In all psychological research, we can, of course, bear in mind psychoanalytical methods for determining the personality of a poet, and thus find a measure of the pressures--but above all of the oppressions--that a poet has been subjected to in the course of his life.  But the poetic act itself, the sudden image, the flare-up of being in the imagination, are inaccessible to such investigations.  In order to clarify the problem of the poetic image philosophically, we shall have to have recourse to a phenomenology of the imagination.  By this should be understood a study of the phenomenon of the poetic image when it emerges into the consciousness as a direct product of the heart, soul and being of man, apprehended in his actuality. "

Sounds like fun to me...I'm loving these Bachelard books.  Didn't laugh out loud in gladness as much as with Poetics of Space.  This book is a sampler.  Didn't know that when I ordered it.