Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Poetics of Space - Preface

I’m participating with some friends in a reading of Bachelard’s Poetics of Space. The intent is to both discuss the work and share the fruits of its inspiration on Google + and a Pintrest board. While we haven’t formally begun, I’m finding I can’t keep myself from reacting to what I read. Consequently I've already assembled a couple long-winded posts and related images, but I hate how disconnected they are on those sites so I plan on reposting some of that content here. Perhaps tangential to hedonism, it is none-the-less an activity at present that’s bringing me pleasure and satisfying my hedonic needs. Apologies for the cross posting.


I got through the introductions and was transported to a time when I was smoking cigarettes to mask the acidic burn of twice heated coffee, the clock at 3 AM and Kant’s critique of pure reason staring back at me. 

I ingested what I could, but I had to pull myself away to see where Bachelard fell in the philosophic pantheon. No one can hide on the internet and I quickly placed him somewhere between Sartre’s existential musings and the obtuse post structuralism of Derrida, who (and here begins the wiki-tangent) apparently was teaching at UCI in the 80’s – a time when we joked that there were no bookstores in Irvine not knowing then that they would soon vanish from most communities. Where did Derrida buy his books at that time?

Perhaps he stood in a cafeteria line behind Chris Burden (also a UC veteran) before he went out to shoot at airplanes. Meanwhile at another UC campus (Berkeley), fellow French philosopher Michel Foucault was lecturing by day and cruising the S&M bars of San Francisco by night – soon to be one the few acknowledged victims of a strange new disease. AIDS was a long slow lingering death often wrought with suffering and dementia. We lost friends and feared for other’s lives. 

So much happening in my own backyard and me, married and content in a Long Beach 4-plex, a most comfortable space, oblivious to all but my own slice of the culture wars – Dana Rohrabacher and the NEA 4.

I want to post images of that time, that space, but wonder if really these are just memories and not the poetic images that Bachelard wants to subject to his phenomenology. Yet these images possess a certain sonority with me that perhaps bespeak their poetry at least in my own subjective apprehension - so I will post them on my board as a sort of abstract starting point in this exploratory duel.

I'm ready for Chapter One

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