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Quotations From GASTON BACHELARD

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  • 1.
    To live life well is to express life poorly; if one expresses life too well, one is living it no longer.
    Gaston Bachelard (1884-1962), French scientist, philosopher, literary theorist. "A Retrospective Glance at the Lifework of a Master of Books," Fragments of a Poetics of Fire (1988, trans. 1990).

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  • 2.
    Ideas are invented only as correctives to the past. Through repeated rectifications of this kind one may hope to disengage an idea that is valid.
    Gaston Bachelard (1884-1962), French scientist, philosopher, literary theorist. "A Retrospective Glance at the Lifework of a Master of Books," Fragments of a Poetics of Fire (1988, trans. 1990).

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  • 3.
    A special kind of beauty exists which is born in language, of language, and for language.
    Gaston Bachelard (1884-1962), French scientist, philosopher, literary theorist. "A Retrospective Glance at the Lifework of a Master of Books," Fragments of a Poetics of Fire (1988, trans. 1990).

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  • 4.
    There is no original truth, only original error.
    Gaston Bachelard (1884-1962), French scientist, philosopher, literary theorist. "A Retrospective Glance at the Lifework of a Master of Books," Fragments of a Poetics of Fire (1988).

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  • 5.
    Literary imagination is an aesthetic object offered by a writer to a lover of books.
    Gaston Bachelard (1884-1962), French scientist, philosopher, literary theorist. "A Retrospective Glance at the Lifework of a Master of Books," Fragments of a Poetics of Fire (1988, trans. 1990).

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  • 6.
    Two half philosophers will probably never a whole metaphysician make.
    Gaston Bachelard (1884-1962), French scientist, philosopher, literary theorist. "A Retrospective Glance at the Lifework of a Master of Books," Fragments of a Poetics of Fire (1988, trans. 1990).
  • 7.
    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.
    Gaston Bachelard (1884-1962), French scientist, philosopher, literary theorist. "A Retrospective Glance at the Lifework of a Master of Books," Fragments of a Poetics of Fire (1988, trans. 1990).

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  • 8.
    Poetry is one of the destinies of speech.... One would say that the poetic image, in its newness, opens a future to language.
    Gaston Bachelard (1884-1962), French scientist, philosopher, literary theorist. "Introduction," sect. 2, The Poetics of Reverie (1960, trans. 1969).

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  • 9.
    Man is an imagining being.
    Gaston Bachelard (1884-1962), French scientist, philosopher, literary theorist. The Poetics of Reverie, ch. 2, sct. 10 (1960, trans. 1969).
  • 10.
    Man is a creation of desire, not a creation of need.
    Gaston Bachelard (1884-1962), French scientist, philosopher, literary theorist. The Psychoanalysis of Fire, ch. 2, "Fire and Reverie," (1938).
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