Quotes by Gaston Bachelard

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Gaston Bachelard (June 27, 1884 October 16, 1962) was a French philosopher and poet who rose to some of the most prestigious positions in the French academy despite his humble origins. He mainly taught philosophy of science, ... more

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The words of the world want to make sentences.

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.
To live life well is to express life poorly; if one expresses life too well, one is living it no longer.
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.
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.
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.
A special kind of beauty exists which is born in language, of language, and for language.
Man is a creation of desire, not a creation of need.
Even a minor event in the life of a child is an event of that child's world and thus a world event.
Literary imagination is an aesthetic object offered by a writer to a lover of books.
There is no original truth, only original error.
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.
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.
Reverie is not a mind vacuum. It is rather the gift of an hour which knows the plenitude of the soul.
Two half philosophers will probably never a whole metaphysician make.
The characteristic of scientific progress is our knowing that we did not know.
Man is an imagining being.
Ideas are refined and multiplied in the commerce of minds. In their splendor, images effect a very simple communion of souls.
Ideas are invented only as correctives to the past. Through repeated rectification of this kind one may hope to disengage an idea that is valid.