Valéry Paul – Bad thoughts and others
Valéry Paul – Bad thoughts and others: The poet gives us here his Bad thoughts, sometimes loose, short thoughts, funny and percussive: “Farewell says the dying in the mirror that is extended to him, we will not see us more”, or well “What is a fool? – Perhaps it is only a little demanding spirit, which is satisfied with little. Would a fool be a wise man? »; sometimes they are more developed, thematically organized, more philosophical, on beauty, love, thought, intelligence, glory, etc.
“Nothing proves to me that I will never be of the party or of the opposite opinion. There is the victim in the executioner and the executioner in the victim, the believer in the unbeliever, and the unbeliever in the believer. There is something to switch from one to the other; and it is perhaps this power of transformation that is the very essence of the true Self. ”
Here is a wealth of quotes for essays: Valéry knows how to use words and their opposites, to play them between them to make us think.
These Thoughts are not to read in one go, they are to read in small touches, to meditate, to read again, to dissect, to reflect.
“I am a living protest”
Paul Valéry (Sète, 1871 – Paris, 1945) studied in Montpellier where the reading of À Rebours by J.-K. Huysmans introduces him to Verlaine and Mallarmé. He begins to write poems, meets and exchanges a regular correspondence with Pierre Louÿs, Mallarmé, Gide, Heredia, Debussy. After an emotional crisis, in 1892 (the night of Genoa), he renounced poetry, settled in Paris and moved towards a successful administrative career. However, he wrote essays such as the introduction to the method of Leonardo da Vinci or works of imagination such as the evening with Mr. Teste. Prompted by André Gide and Gaston Gallimard, he returned to poetry with La jeune Parque (written between 1913 and 1917), then re-edited, in 1920, poems published between 1890 and 1893 under the name Album of Ancient Verses and finally, in 1922, brings together his most recent poems in Charmes. These publications are hugely successful. Having become almost an official poet, Paul Valéry will only write works of circumstance, prefaces, conferences … Academician, professor at the College de France, he received, at his death, a national funeral and was buried, according to his wishes, at the Sète Marine Cemetery.