But countless other images come to embellish the poetry of the house in the night. Sometimes it glows like a firefly in the grass, a creature with a solitary light: Jeverraivos maisons comme desvers luisants au creux des collines 1 I shall see your houses like fire-flies in the hollow of the hills. In such images we have the impression that the stars in heaven come to live on earth, that the houses of men form earthly constellations. With ten villages and their lights, G. Erich Neumann has analyzed the dream of a patient who, while looking at the stars from the top of a tower, saw them rise and shine under the earth; they emerged from the bowels of the earth.
Une Voix, Gallimard, p. A terrestrial sign is set upon a celestial being. Poetic revery, unlike somnolent revery, never falls asleep. Starting with the simplest of images, it must always set the waves of the imagination radiating. But however cosmic the isolated house lighted by the star of its lamp may become, it will always symbolize solitude. I should like to quote one last text which stresses this solitude. One might even say that light emanating from a lone watcher, who is also a determined watcher, attains to the power of hypnosis.
test.trailblazer.outdoorsy.co/80.php O Licht im schlafenden Haus! At the beginning of this chapter, on the contrary, I tried to differentiate the house according to its verticality. Then, after having examined this dynamic dialectics of the house and the universe, we shall study a number of poems in which the house is a world in itself. In Les paradis artificiels p. The scene takes place in a cottage in Wales. The white cottage sat at the end of a little valley, shut in by rather high mountains; and it seemed to be swathed in shrubs. A literary critic might even be surprised by the naturalness with which this great poet has used commonplace images.
But if, while reading this over-simplified passage, we accept the daydreams of repose it suggests; if we pause over the underlined words, it soon brings tranquility to body and soul.
We feel that we are living in the protective center of the house in the valley. And we feel warm because it is cold out-of-doors. What they really need are Canadian or Russian winters. Their own nests will be all the warmer, all the downier, all the better beloved. Indeed, everything comes alive when contradictions accumulate. Here Baudelaire has furnished us with a centered picture that leads to the heart of a dream which we can then take over for ourselves. In this way we receive the benefits of this evocation without its exaggerations; our most personal recollections can come and live here.
In Curiositis esthitiqu. The house pats up no struggle. It is as though Baudelaire knew of nothing to shut himself in with but curtains. This absence of struggle is often the case of the winter houses in literature. The dialectics of the house and the universe are too simple, and snow, especially, reduces the exterior world to nothing rather too easily. It is a non-house in the same way that metaphysicians speak of a non-I, and between the house and the non-house it is easy to establish all sorts of contradictions.
The house derives reserves and refinements of intimacy from winter; while in the outside world, snow covers all tracks, blurs the road, muffles every sound, conceals all colors. As a result of this universal white- 41 house and universe ness, we feel a form of cosmic negation in action. The dreamer of houses knows and senses this, and because of the diminished entity of the outside world, experiences all the qualities of intimacy with increased intensity.
Not only does it confer age upon our memories, taking us back to a remote past but, on snowy days, the house too is old. It is as though it were living in the past of centuries gone by. This feeling is described by Bachelin in a passage that presents winter in all its hostility.
And thus it was, perhaps, that one of our ancestors, who lay dying in the year one thousand, should have come to believe in the end of the world. During these winters, Bachelin writes elsewhere p. In the country, apparently, hurricanes are less hostile to us. From my point of view, this is a paradox of cosmic origin. But, needless to say, the Rilke fragment is very fine, and it lends itself to interesting comment. It is as though, in their elemental pride, they did not see us.
But they do see a lonely house in the country; they take it in their powerful arms and, in that way, they inure it, and when you are there, you would like to be out-of-doors, in the roaring garden, or at least, stand at the window and applaud the infuriated old trees that twist and turn as though possessed by the spirits of the prophets. When the storm rages and lashes the trees, in the shelter of the house, Rilke would like to be out-of-doors, not through any desire to enjoy the wind and the rain, but in order to pursue his own revery. So he shares, we feel, the anger reflex of the tree attacked by the anger of the wind.
He puts his trust in the wisdom of the storm, in the clear vision of the lightning, and in all the elements which, even in their rage, see the abodes of men and agree to spare them.
Rilke has furnished many proofs —to which we shall often refer—of his cognizance of the drama that attaches to the dwellings of men. At whatever dialectical pole the dreamer stands, whether in the house or in the universe, the dialectics become dynamic. House and space are not merely two juxtaposed elements of space. In the reign of the imagination, they awaken daydreams in each other, that are opposed.
And since, in all research concerning the imagination, we must leave the realm of facts behind, we know perfectly that we feel calmer and more confident when in the old home, in the house we were born in, than we do in the houses on streets where we have only lived as transients.
It is a humble house and appears to lack resistance. We shall see what fortitude it possessed. The author takes many pages to prepare us for the storm that is brewing. A poetic weather forecast goes to the very source from whence the sound and the movement are to come. Sounds lend color to space, and confer a sort of sound body upon it. But absence of sound leaves it quite pure and, in the silence, we are seized with the sensation of something vast and deep and boundless. It took complete hold of me i Corruption of redoute: retreat. It was caught up in the night, made of night.
A real, a motionless body. Only here, the author takes the time to show the narrowing of the space at the center of which the house is to live like an anguished heart. A kind of cosmic anguish precedes the storm. Then the wind starts to howl at the top of its lungs. Soon the entire menagerie of the hurricane lifts its voice.
For this author knows instinctively that all aggression, whether it come from man or from the world, is of animal origin.
And faced with this pack, which gradually breaks loose, the house becomes the real being of a pure humanity which defends itself without ever being responsible for an attack. At first it gave voice to its complaints; the most awful gusts were attacking it from every side at once, with evident hatred and such howls of rage that, at times, I trembled with fear.
But it stood firm. From the very beginning of the storm, snarling 45 house and universe winds had been taking the roof to task, trying to pull it off, to break its back, tear it into shreds, suck it off. But it only hunched over further and clung to the old rafters. Then other winds, rushing along close to the ground, charged against the wall.
Everything swayed under the shock of this blow, but the flexible house stood up to the beast. No doubt it was holding firmly to the soil of the island by means of the unbreakable roots from which its thin walls of mud- coated reeds and planks drew their supernatural strength. Though the shutters and doors were insulted, though huge threats were proferred, and there was loud bugling in the chimney, it was of no avail.
The already human being in whom I had sought shelter for my body yielded nothing to the storm. The house clung close to me, like a she-wolf, and at times, I could smell her odor penetrating maternally to my very heart. That night she was really my mother. We were alone. Maison des beaux itis obscurs de mon enfance. Milancolie I say Mother. And my thoughts are of you, oh, House.
House of the lovely dark summers of my childhood.
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Melancholy It was imperative to find a similar image to express the deep graditude of the inhabitant of La Redousse. Here, however, the image does not come from a nostalgia for childhood, but is given in its actuality of protection. And what an image of concentrated i Jos6 Cord, Paris, a O. The refuge shrinks in size.