Years ago, back in the day of the independent book shop, while browsing in one (opposite, what was then, the Czechoslovakian embassy) I came across The Poetics of Space. The paperback English translation had been recently published by Beacon Press. I’d never heard of it.
I bought the book for its title (after the standard test: – open a page at random, begin reading anywhere, see if I want to keep going.., try same a few more times – if all good – buy). Eventually, one or two studios later, I got around to opening it (again).
Whatever prompted me to start reading Bachelard’s book, I must have been primed and ready because it changed me – the Poetics of Space gave me, quite simply and dramatically, a new view of the world, other ways to perceive things, tools to open up my thinking.
It’s written in plain, clear and direct language. Which doesn’t mean it’s good for a quick read. He gives you so much to chew on. It’s so packed with ideas it can take me an age to get through a page. Often a few lines of simple prose contain so much for me to ponder – setting off trains of thought which might play out for days! [Read more…]