Valery Paul 1871 - 1945 (74)

The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up.


The Graveyard

By The Sea

Paul Valery (October 30, 1871 - July 20, 1945) was a French poet, writer and philosopher. He was born in Sete, France but grew up in Montpellier where he studied law. After his military service, he joined a circle of renowned poets of the time who encouraged him in his early poetic endeavors. For two years he did not stop publishing poems in various avant-garde magazines, until one night in 1892, when he decided to distance himself from all human passion, including poetry, after a fierce erotic disappointment. He devoted twenty years to the study of language, mathematics and philosophy, wrote dozens of essays on politics, philosophy and aesthetics, art reviews, dialogues and articles. In 1900 he married Jeannie Gobillard, with whom he had three children. For a time he worked as a translator in London and then at the Ministry of War, from where he left disgusted, as he said, by the greed of the colonialists. After a whole twenty years, he wrote again poetry, the masterpiece "The young fate" (1917). From 1920 he devoted himself exclusively to writing. Throughout his life he will argue that method and technique are important in poetry, he will stubbornly reject inspiration, attributing innocence to those who speak of a poetic muse. After being elected to the French Academy in 1925, Valery is internationally recognized as an intellectual, associates with the greatest thinkers in the field of letters, science, politics, represents France in cultural matters in the League of Nations, gives innumerable lectures in the best European universities.

Valery may be best known for his poetry, but perhaps his most impressive work is the monumental "Notebooks". Early every morning throughout his adult life, he wrote something in his Notebooks, to which he once said: "Having devoted these hours to the life of the mind, I gain the right to be an idiot for the rest of the day." The subjects that concern him in the "Notebooks" are often, in an unexpected way, Science and Mathematics. In fact, such themes seem to have attracted more time than his famous poetry. The "Notebooks" also contain the original forms of many aphorisms that he later introduced in his books. He died in Paris but was buried in the cemetery of his birthplace, which had inspired him in one of his most famous poems, "The Seaside Cemetery".