Housing the imagination

In his foreword to the 1994 edition of Gaston Bachelard’s The Poetics of Space, John R. Stilgoe wrote: “Here is indeed a magical book. Bachelard guides the reader into wondering why adults recall childhood cellar stairs from the top looking down but recall attic stairs from the bottom looking up, into musing on the significance of doorknobs encountered by children at eye level, into pondering the mysteries of fingertip memory. How does the body, not merely the mind, remember the feel of a latch in a long-forsaken childhood home? If the house is the first universe for its young children, the first cosmos, how does its space shape all subsequent knowledge of other space, of any larger cosmos? Is that house “a group of organic habits” or even something deeper, the shelter of the imagination itself?” (P.viii)

Ref: John R. Stilgoe ‘foreword to the 1994 edition’ pp.vii-x in Gaston Bachelard (1994) The Poetics of Space: The classic look at how we experience intimate places. Translated from the French by Maria Jolas. Beacon Press: Boston


About backyardbooks

This blog is a kind of electronic storage locker for ideas and quotes that inform my research... literary research into fiction for young adults (with a special focus on New Zealand fiction). Kiwis are producing amazing literature for younger readers, but it isn't getting the academic appreciation it deserves. I hope readers of this blog can make use of the material I gather and share by way of promoting our fiction. Cheers!
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