Poetics of Space

The Poetics of Space  is a 1958 book by Gaston Bachelard. The book describes the beauty of household spaces with details and literature. The spaces which resides at our house with minute detail and elegance forms an enchanting aura which shapes out memories and dreams. The comfort of our own home and the dream of something more. The palace and cottage moments in our lives and their importance. Every little space has a life of its own and understanding of its existence.

“The man with the magnifying glass takes the world as though it were quite new to him. If he were to tell us of the discoveries he has made, he would furnish us with documents of pure phenomenology, in which discovery of the world, or entry into the world, would be more than just a worn out word, more than a word that has become tarnished through over frequent philosophical use”.

Miniatures start with the difference between what is fantastic and what is fantastical. “The cleverer I am at miniaturizing the world, the better I possess it”. One takes the best from the objects and create or recreate in a miniature hence, the values, the details and the beauty of it is more compact and put together in harmony. It’s experience is more rich and wholesome. He talks about scale and perception. The fact of the idea what is small and what is big. Who defines scale and that too is a reality which starts from imagination.

There are many beautiful examples one of them being of a scientist working in laboratory who starts describing a periwinkle flower. The beauty of the description is in the details. the smallest of curves and finish. the play of light and the literature, language used by him. The worker doesnot even realise that he becomes a poet desribing the flower.

He says the man is a being of the world and it doesnot take him time to become the world. The miniature deploys to the dimensions of the universe. Once more, large is contained in small.

“Thus the minuscule, a narrow gate, opens up an entire World. The details of a thing can be the sign of a new world which, like all worlds, contains the attributes of greatness”.

The point that we have got accustomed to the subtlest jerk, sound or vibrations that we dont notice them anymore. He brings this out by reference to a clock and how we have have got accustomed to its “tick-tock” that we never notice it anymore.

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