Unreal Nature

March 27, 2013

One Day

Filed under: Uncategorized — unrealnature @ 7:01 am

… What is this weight that prevents your flying with me?

This is from Air and Dreams: An Essay on the Imagination of Movement by Gaston Bachelard (1943; 1988):

… But we must understand right away that air is the homeland of the predator. Air is that infinite substance that is crossed in a flash with a sense of offensive and triumphant freedom like a bolt of lightning, an eagle, an arrow, or an imperious sovereign glance. In air, we bring our victim out into broad daylight. We do not hide.

… How could we fail, in fact, to suppose from the first paragraph of “The Three Evil Things” that a dream of flight underlies it? “In my dream, in my last-dream, I stood today on a promontory — beyond the world; I held a pair of scales, and weighed the world.”

… it is because the dreamer has winged lightness that he can weigh the world. Flying, he asks all creatures of the earth: Why are you not flying? What is this weight that prevents your flying with me? Who is making you remain motionless on the earth?

… But verticality requires a long apprenticeship: “he who would learn to fly one day must first learn to stand and walk and run and climb and dance: one cannot fly into flying.”

My most recent previous post from Bachelard’s book is here.

-Julie

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