39 pages 1 hour read

Gaston Bachelard

The Poetics of Space

Nonfiction | Book | Adult | Published in 1957

A modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, SuperSummary offers high-quality Study Guides with detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, and more.

Chapters 6-8Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 6 Summary and Analysis: “Corners”

Another case that creates and contains solitude—this time within the human world—is the corner. Bachelard writes that the corner is a space for solitude and silence. Corners are particularly useful for the imagination because they emulate immobility. When individuals are in a corner, they sense that they are protected, sheltered, and able to be still.

Bachelard refers to the corners of the house as well as the corners of being, postulating that children discover their own sense of existence within the corners of their beings. He also states that topoanalysis explores both the introvert and the extrovert—concepts refined by Carl Jung. The terms "introvert” and “extrovert” could also be replaced in The Poetics of Space with “interior” and “exterior.” By leaving home and experiencing the exterior, individuals are forced to confront their own existence in relation to the exterior world. They then retreat home, back to the safety of their own consciousness.

Bachelard uses the phrase “life in corners,” referencing those physical and figurative spaces that invite engagement with conscious and unconscious awareness. Corners offer respite for those seeking a place to sulk and feel gloomy, as experienced by a character in the novel L’amoureuse initiation by O.