Paul Valéry, French poet, essayist, and critic was born in Sète, France in 1871. His father, Barthelmy Valéry, was a customs officer at the sea port of Sète, and his mother, Fanny Grassi, who was the daughter of an Italian consul and a descended from Venetian nobility.
He was educated in Sette and at the lycée and University of Montpellier, and obtained his licence in 1892 after studying law there. In this same year, Valéry fell in love with a young Spanish girl but suffered a personal crisis. It was at this time he discovered the 'revolution of the mind', during a stormy night in Genoa. He turned his back on writing poetry and dedicated himself to gaining 'maximum knowledge and ... more »
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Quotationsmore quotations »
A work is never completed except by some accident such as weariness, satisfaction, the need to deliver, or death: for, in relation to who or what is making it, it can only be one stage in a series of ...Paul Valéry (1871-1945), French poet, essayist. "Recollection," Collected Works, vol. 1 (1972).
''Poe is the only impeccable writer. He was never mistaken.''Paul Valéry (1871-1945), French poet, essayist. Letter to writer André Gide. quoted in Julian Symons, The Tell-Tale Heart: The Life and Works of Edgar...
Science is feasible when the variables are few and can be enumerated; when their combinations are distinct and clear. We are tending toward the condition of science and aspiring to do it. The artist w...Paul Valéry (1871-1945), French poet, essayist. repr. In Collected Works, vol. 14, "Analects," ed. J. Matthews (1970). Moralités (1932).
''Science means simply the aggregate of all the recipes that are always successful. All the rest is literature.''Paul Valéry (1871-1945), French poet, essayist. repr. In Collected Works, vol. 14, "Analects," ed. J. Matthews (1970). Moralités (1932).
The Graveyard By The Sea
This quiet roof, where dove-sails saunter by,
Between the pines, the tombs, throbs visibly.
Impartial noon patterns the sea in flame --
That sea forever starting and re-starting.
When thought has had its hour, oh how rewarding
Are the long vistas of celestial calm!
What grace of light, what pure toil goes to form
The manifold diamond of the elusive foam!
What peace I feel begotten at that source!
When sunlight rests upon a profound sea,
Time's air is sparkling, dream is certainty --
Pure artifice both of an eternal Cause.
Sure treasure, simple shrine to ...