Sunday, May 5, 2024

we need flight to feel the light (the Bachelard series 4 of ?)


The last truly divine Moving Shadow release? 

Dave Wallace was in Aquasky, which name could not be more Bachelardian. 

Nowhere-near-as-good flipside "Waves" continues these thematics: 

“When the dreamer really experiences the word immense, he sees himself liberated from his cares and thoughts, even from his dreams. He is no longer shut up in his weight, the prisoner of his own being”

- Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space

"I felt freed from the powers of gravity, and, through memory, succeeded in recapturing the extraordinary voluptuousness that pervades high places. Involuntarily I pictured to myself the delightful state of a man in the grip of a long daydream, in absolute solitude, but a solitude with an immense horizon and widely diffused light; in other words, immensity with no other setting than itself.” - Baudelaire, quoted in The Poetics of Space

Plunged into infinite space.... little by little the heart of God’s elect is uplifted; it swells and expands, stirred by ineffable aspirations; it yields to increasing bliss, and as it comes nearer the luminous apparition, when at last the Holy Grail itself appears in the midst of the procession, it sinks into ecstastic adoration as though the whole world had suddenly disappeared”  

- Baudelaire, quoting from the passages on the Prelude in a program to Richard Wagner’s Lohengrin, requoted in The Poetics of Space

“The word vast… is a vocable of breath. It is placed on our breathing, which must be slow and calm…  the word vast evokes calm, peace and serenity..... I begin to think that the vowel a is the vowel of immensity. It is a sound area that starts with a sigh and extends beyond all limits.... like some soft substance, it receives the balsamic powers of infinite calm. With it, we take infinity into our lungs”

- Bachelard, The Poetics of Space

Referring to the work of deep sea explorer turned desert wanderer Philippe Diole, Bachelard writes that the latter "gives us a psychological technique which permits us to be elsewhere, in an absolute elsewhere that bars the way to the forces that hold us imprisoned in the ‘here’.”....  Elsewhere and formerly are stronger than the hic et nunc...  Space, vast space, is the friend of being” 

Diole himself writes: "Neither in the desert nor on the bottom of the sea does one’s spirit remain sealed and indivisible....  As I walked along, my mind filled the desert landscape with water! In my imagination I flooded the space around me while walking through it. I lived in a sort of invented immersion in which I moved about in the heart of a fluid, luminous, beneficient, dense matter." 


Matt M said...

Anything in particular triggered the recent run of Bachelard-inspired posts?


I've been reading Bachelard!

For another purpose - but the applications to certain strands of dance music, certain tracks, leapt out at me.

I love these photos of him with the magnificent thatch of beard. You can imagine a bird nesting in it.

francesco said...

Coincidentally, among my next readings to delve deeper into the "philosophy of science", there is "The Formation of the Scientific Mind". Never read Bachelard before, I'm very intrigued.

Matt M said...

I came across him in the context of philosophy of science back in the 90s. He was very influential on the likes of Foucault but I didn't get as far as reading any of his books.

francesco - I'd be interested to hear how you go with that book.

Simon - He does have a magnificent beard - even better than Ray Keith's. It looks like you have been reading the poetics books (e.g. Air and Dreams) - would you recommend?


Yes Air and Dreams is great - I kept thinking 'this could be a description of' or 'this could apply just as easily to', in reference to music. Which is not necessarily the main reason to read it but is just how my brain is wired.

The Poetics of Space is also really good, although I haven't read the whole of it. I actually made some use of his concept of "intimate immensity" way back in Blissed Out.