Monday, September 12, 2011

from Gaston Bachelard's THE POETICS OF SPACE Introduction

"The poet, in the novelty of his images, is always the origin of language. To specify exactly what a phenomenology of the image can be, to specify that the image comes before thought, we should have to say that poetry, rather than being a phenomenology of the mind, is a phenomenology of the soul. We should then have to collect documentation on the subject of the dreaming consciousness...
before the interior poetic light was turned upon it, it was a mere object for the mind. But the soul comes and inaugurates the form, dwells in it, takes pleasure in it...can therefore be taken as a clear maxim of a phenomenology of the soul."

"...the poetic image is essentially variational, and not, as in the case of the concept, constitutive.

Good argument for poetry therapy:
"A consciousness associated with the soul is more relaxed, less intentionalized than a consciousness associated with the phenomena of the mind. Forces are manifested in poems that do not pass through the circuits of knowledge."

This is why the self-help book type of reading is not to be confused with bibliotherapy. And though the argument here is strongly poetry based, I propose it is comparable to reading fiction when the criteria of a relaxed mind, an open and aware consciousness, rather than the critical mind, is active. This can also be understood by reading Jungian works on "active imagination" (See Marie-Louise Von Franz.)