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 ?
In the light of all this--supported by brilliantly chosen extracts from Graham Greene, Paul Valery, Montaigne, Balzac, David Lodge, Oscar Wilde, and others--the categories of books that one has read and those that one has not read dissolve into each other.
Njardvik also connects his poems to other poets and writers, Pablo Neruda and Paul Valery among them, as well as to wanderers he has encountered or encounters on his journey through life.
The trouble with our times," Paul Valery said, "is that the future is not what it used to be.
Synge, Edwin Muir, George Mackay Brown, Paul Valery, Eugenio Montale, Osip Mandelstam, R.
As the French writer Paul Valery once said, "History is the science of what never happens twice.
To respond to the Governor's question, we should recall the words of the French poet, Paul Valery who wrote that, "The problem with our present times is that our future isn't what it used to be.
Thinking about the so-called federal "death tax" brings to mind a quote from the writer Paul Valery.
And he rounds up the usual suspects in marshalling his arguments: Nabokov, Paul Valery, Samuel Beckett, Victor Shklovsky.
In the introduction to his essay Daumier and Printmaking, Segolene Le Men quotes the French poet Paul Valery whose words could be applied to artists working in all kinds of media from a cartoon by Leonardo to paintings on porcelain done at the turn of the century by the great Harry Stinton at Worcester.
Small wonder that four of our most distinguished dance writers--Theophile Gautier, Paul Valery, Lincoln Kirstein, and Denby--were poets.
The first half of this proposition was given classic expression by Paul Valery several decades ago: "There is no theory that is not a fragment, carefully prepared, of some autobiography.
The Parisian modernists, Apollinaire and Blaise Cendrars, are the least appreciated by Butler who finds their city verse insipid and prefers Paul Valery, the symbolist