Gaston Bachelard, a French philosopher who was born on this day in 1884, has some lovely things to say about language, imagination, and writing:
"Literary imagination is an aesthetic object offered by a writer to a lover of books."
"Reverie is not a mind vacuum. It is rather the gift of an hour which knows the plenitude of the soul."
"A special kind of beauty exists which is born in language, of language, and for language."
"Man is an imagining being."
"The great function of poetry is to give back to us the situations of our dreams."
"The words of the world want to make sentences."
What wonderful mantras to take me through the day! I have, I must admit, spent my morning in a reverie, but Bachelard has made me realize the value of a good daydream.
Here's to the memory of Bachelard, philosopher and word-lover.
(photo: Julia Buckley, 2006)