Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Chapel at Le Couvent de la Tourette, Jan 2009, JBowring

"Reality, as it evolves, sweeps me with it. I am struck by everything and, though not everything strikes me in the same way, I am always struck by the same contradiction: although I can always see how beautiful anything could be if only I could change it, in practically every case there is nothing I can really do. Everything is changed into something else in my imagination, then the dead weight of things changes it back into what it was in the first place. A bridge between imagination and reality must be built ..."

Raoul Vaneigem, The Revolution of Everyday Life, 1967

Chapel at Le Couvent de la Tourette, Jan 2009, JBowring

"... imagination augments the values of reality." Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space, first published in French, 1958

Chapel at Le Couvent de la Tourette, Jan 2009, JBowring

"... the rational substance is a corporeal light; the imagination, insofar as it is an image of the body, is a shadow. Therefore, after the imagination has risen as far as reason, like a shadow that comes to the light and superimposes itself on the light, insofar as it comes toward the light it makes itself manifest and circumscribed, insofar as it superimposes itself on the light and darkens it, enfolds it, covers it.

... ... if reason adheres to it with delight the imagination becomes like a skin for it, so that reason cannot detach itself without pain, because it has attached itself with love..."

Hugh of St Victor in Giorgio Agamben, Stanzas:Word and Phantasm in Western Culture, 1993

Chapel at Le Couvent de la Tourette, Jan 2009, JBowring

"Strange! So infinitesimally narrow is the threshold between the two realms, and yet no one raises their foot to cross it! The other reality borders on our skin, yet we do not feel it! Our imagination stops here, where it could create new land."

Gustav Meyrink, The White Dominican, 1921 (with thanks to Gavin Keeney)


pensum said...

okay JB, that is just an insanely beautiful chapel! i'm stunned, and very annoyed that all the years i lived in France i never stumbled upon it and made a visit. so i'm left with the comforting thought that my little "revolution" is spreading, whether consciously or by mere happenstance, as Vaneigem is popping up here and there, and your selection here is particularly wonderful. perhaps it's time for his revolution to actually take hold--isn't that a marvelous thought?

jacky bowring said...

Oh yes, revolution, MT! I first met that particular quote as the opening to Patrick Keiller's film "Robinson in Space", the gloriously gloomy sequel to "London" ... am currently writing a paper on all of this.
And the chapel, c'est merveilleux, oui! Part of the same complex as the monk's cell which I posted earlier, and will soon post some of the exterior, avec glacon.

jacky bowring said...
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