The Poetics of Space

“When the image is new, the world is new.”
Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space


Through The Poetics of Space, Gaston Bachelard shares his study of the ‘magical’ cosmos of childhood, home and its imaginary spaces. When an established philosopher of science suddenly turns all his efforts to the realm of art, something new and a little different is bound to be the written result.


Bachelard was a phenomenologist, holding the view that there was a dynamic interplay between an active mind and its surroundings. He creates a distinct psychological threshold between open and closed, inside and outside, arrival and departure


In the tenth chapter, ‘Phenomenology of roundness”, he quotes people talking about rotundity.


“Life is probably round”

-Van Gogh


“He had been told that life was beautiful. No! Life is round.”

-Joe Bousquet


“A walnut makes me quite round”

-La Fontaine


“A bird is almost completely spherical”



Bachelard believed that being is round. Everything surrounding life was a metaphor to being round. It is not in the physical or visual shape. Not by geometry but by perception. In the last part of the chapter he talks about how it is in the image of being that one can relate to the quotes.

The round cry of round being makes the sky round like a cupola. And in this round landscape, everything seems to be in response.


“The round being propagates its roundness, together with the calm of all roundness.”

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