The Poetics of Space


Gaston Bachelard


Published in English in the 1960s, this text focuses on how we experience intimate places, and how our perceptions of houses and other shelters shape our thoughts, memories and dreams.

Thirty years since its first publication in English, French philosopher Gaston Bachelard's "Poetics of Space" remains one of the most appealing and lyrical explorations of home. Bachelard takes us on a journey, from cellar to attic, to show how our perceptions of houses and other shelters shape our thoughts, memories, and dreams.

Bachelard applies the method of phenomenology to architecture basing his analysis not on purported origins (as was the trend in enlightment thinking about architecture) but on lived experience of architecture. He is thus led to consider spatial types such as the attic, the cellar, drawers and the like. This book implicitly urges architects to base their work on the experiences it will engender rather than on abstract rationales that may or may not affect viewers and users of architecture. It is about the architecture of the imagination!

About the author: Gaston Bachelard occupies a pivotal position in twentieth-century French intellectual life. His works and reputation span the two fields that, in modern European culture, are generally considered antitheses: poetics and science. In each of these fields Bachelard carved out a distinctive reputation characterized by his rejection of the methodological conventions of his precursors and contemporaries. The significance of his work can be gauged by the extension of his influence beyond the philosophy of science and poetics and into the philosophy of the human sciences (as in the work of Michel Foucault), the literary criticism of scholars such as Roland Barthes and Jacques Derrida, and the history of science (as exemplified by Georges Canguilhem). In contrast to his centrality within French intellectual culture, the uneven translation of Bachelard's work into English has linked his name in Anglo-American cultures to his works on poetics rather than science. This uneven process of translation has hampered his reception within the Anglo-American tradition of the philosophy of science, despite the continuing currency of many of his ideas for this field.

Publisher: Beacon Press, 1994 ( First published 1958)
ISBN 0807064734, 9780807064733



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Nazareth Housing Association provides independent living houses for individuals and couples who are 65 and over and on the Sligo County Council housing list.  Nazareth Village is comprised of 48 houses in a garden setting.  The Village was financed as a public-private partnership between Nazareth Housing Association and Sligo County Council with funding from the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government.  

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