Paul Valéry

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Valéry, Paul


Born Oct. 30, 1871, in Sète; died July 20, 1945, in Paris. French poet. Member of the Académie Française (1927).

Valéry graduated from the faculty of law at the University of Montpelier. His work was formed under the influence of late 19th-century symbolism, especially that of S. Mallarmé. After writing his first poems in the 1890’s (some of these were included in the collection An Album of Ancient Poems, 1920), Valéry published essays devoted to painting, architecture, and the dance. Later he wrote essays on Mallarmé, Stendhal, and C. Baudelaire. He also wrote a literary philosophical work, An Evening with Mr. Teste (1896). Its hero, who is striving to control his reason with his will, is encountered in many other works by the poet. Valéry’s fame began with his narrative poem and collection The Young Parque (1917); after this came the narrative poem The Graveyard by the Sea (1920) and the collection of verses and narrative poems Charms (1922). Valéry ’s last, unfinished narrative poem was My Faust (published in 1941).

The intellectuality of Valéry’s poetry is illusory: he was obsessed with the idea of the powerlessness of reason to penetrate the essence of things. The world of images and associations that he created is closed, extremely subjective, and oversaturated with symbols and refined metaphors, even though it has a clear logical structure.


Oeuvres complètes, vols. 1-12. Paris, 1957-59.
Oeuvres. Paris, 1957.
Poésies: Album de vers anciens. [Paris, 1966.]
In Russian translation:
Izbrannoe. Moscow, 1936.
[“Stikhi.”] In Frantsuzskie liriki 19 i 20 vekov. Compiled by B. Livshits. Leningrad, 1937.


Istoriia frantsuzskoi literatury, vol. 4. Moscow, 1963.
Charpier, J. Essai sur P. Valéry. Paris, [1956]. (Contains a bibliography.)
La Rochefoucauld, E. de. Paul Valéry, 3rd ed. Paris, [1957].


References in periodicals archive ?
En este segundo libro de relatos, todavia mas alejado de lo novelesco, el autor situa su terreno de investigacion literaria entre Paul Valery y Octavio Paz (el "Salimos del silencio y volvemos al silencio: a la palabra que ha dejado de ser palabra" del Nuevo festin de Esopo viene a ser, en boca de Rossi, alcanzar el silencio a traves de la palabra).
Like Paul Valery before him, Maurice Blanchot explains of himself that he has very little "historical" memory, which is to say, he knows that he lived during a dark age and in some measure participated in it, but he is unable to reconstitute it in his current writings.
Her friends included the novelists Marcel Proust and Colette and the poets Paul Valery and Jean Cocteau.
A esta estirpe de reticentes pertenece Paul Valery.
En un discurso a los alumnos de algun liceo parisino, recobrado por los editores, Paul Valery decia que "la historia no nos permite prever, pero puede ayudarnos a ver mejor".
It is perhaps this naive claim that produces literature, or that means a writer without a novel has to roam around in the history of culture, tracing lines - not to reassure himself of what he is (as with Montaigne), but to measure, with no end in sight, the territory that is human (the undertaking, surely, of Georges Bataille, Paul Valery, or Barthes).
Other turn-of-the-century poets who wrote prose poetry were Paul Valery, Paul Fort, and Paul Claudel.
Eliot et Paul Valery developperent leurs propres esthetiques en reponse a cette faille langagiere.
El mundo es ya --decia Paul Valery en 1932-- uno solo y se inicia una historia universal o pluriversal en la cual los diversos relatos nacionales solo tienen sentido contra el trasfondo de procesos interdependientes.
As Paul Valery observed, there are no names for things among which one is quite alone.
Paul Valery was to scald her even more devastatingly.
Italian poet, author, editor, and translator who was known for his lyric verse and for his translations into Italian of works by Pierre Corneille, Guillaume Apollinaire, Paul Valery, Rene Char, Albert Camus, Ezra Pound, and William Carlos Williams.