The Poetics of Space

Gaston Bachelard

this book wasn’t exactly what i was expecting; it’s not so much “one of the most appealing and lyrical explorations of home,” as the 1994 Beacon Press edition describes it. there is a lot in here about images of home but the focus is more generally on “intimate spaces” analyzed through (mostly French) literature/poetry.

in the end i took away more of a literary critique on how writers use images, particularly contrasted from metaphors. it would have been helpful to have more of a background of the texts Bachelard references — i wish there were a volume dedicated to drawing out similar images from the canon i was taught.

it’s a pretty dense, phenomenological book, definitely not a casual read. i skimmed a few chapters near the end, as the focus got further from concepts of “home.”