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282 pages, Paperback
First published January 1, 1957
“It is on the plane of the daydream and not on that of facts that childhood remains alive and poetically useful within us. Throughout this permanent childhood, we maintain the poetry of the past. To inhabit oneirically the house we were born in means more than to inhabit it in memory; it means living in this house that is gone, the way we used to dream in it.”
“All memory has to be reimagined. For we have in our memories micro-films that can only be read if they are lighted by the bright light of the imagination.”
We find ourselves experiencing in words, on the inside of words, secret movements of our own. Like friendship, words sometimes swell, at the dreamer’s will, in the loop of a syllable. While in other words, everything is calm, tight . . . Words—I often imagine this—are little houses, each with its cellar and garret . . . To go upstairs in the word house is to withdraw, step by step; while to go down to the cellar is to dream, it is losing oneself in the distant corridors of an obscure etymology, looking for treasures that cannot be found in words.