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Air and Dreams: An Essay on the Imagination of Movement (Bachelard Translation Series) Paperback – October 24, 2011

ISBN-13: 978-0911005134 ISBN-10: 0911005137

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 298 pages
  • Publisher: Dallas Institute Publications (October 24, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0911005137
  • ISBN-13: 978-0911005134
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #664,272 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English, French (translation) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

GASTON BACHELARD is acclaimed as one of the most significant modern thinkers of France. From 1929 to 1962 he wrote twenty-three books concerned with the philosophy of science and the analysis of the imagination of matter. He received the Grand Prix National Lettres in 1961--one of only three philosophers ever to have achieved this honor. The influence of his thought can be felt in all disciplines of the humanities--art, architecture, literature, poetics, psychology, philosophy, and language.

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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By S. Lee on November 30, 2007
Format: Paperback
Air and Dreams (1943) is one of Bachelard's four studies on literary imagination, imagination whose destiny is determined by four fundamental elements. The other three are: The Psychoanalysis of Fire (1938), Water and Dreams (1942), and the two "earth" books (The Earth and Reveries of Rest (1946), The Earth and Reveries of Will (1948)). If the reader wants to see Bachelard the philsopher of imagination at work, Air and Dreams may be the best place to start, since it is here that he posits his philosphical positions a little more clearly and explores them in more depth than he does in other works.

To Bachelard, imagination, as a fundamental psychic value, is what makes human freedom possible. To imagine is for our psyche to experience "openness" and "novelty," and in this regard, imagiation and perception--habitual way of seeing things--are antithetical. As he writes in the Introduction: "Imagination allows us to leave the ordinary course of things ... To imagine is to absent oneself, to launch out toward a new life." Such "form of human boldness," however, is never an escapist lapse into fantasy, since to Bachelard the materialist, "the imaginary is immanent in the real" while "in the realm of the imagination transcendence is added to immanence."

Since the advent of psychoanalysis, sickness of normality or normality of sickness in our mental life are taken for granted. Everybody is neurotic, more or less. So, Freudian psychoanalysis is generally credited with revealing the dark recesses of human psyche, giving it the name of "unconscious," and hence with accepting 'unreason' as a strong force in our mental life. But has it explained 'unreason' adequately? Bachelard says no. To him, the blindess of classical psychoanalysis is that it misses the "aesthetic" aspect of dreams.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Peter FYFE on March 21, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you've never been taught to fly, this is a great place to learn. Bachelard will show you how to discover your buoyancy, remove your reliance on the intellectual feathered wings of angels, and make a pure leap into thin air, supported only by dreams. It's one hell of voyage to take with this wonderful man. It's frequently bewildering, and oftentimes leaves one longing for the solid ground of a more traditional discourse. But if you can find your way through the poetic fog to meet Bachelard on his own terms, you may be lucky enough to rediscover the boundless terrain that is poesis, to unleash your imagination from intellect's grasp, and then discover verticality as you take flight in the metaphor that is subtle air, as I did. Warning: This is no book for the literal minded.
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