Paul Valéry

Poet, Author

1871 – 1945


Who was Paul Valéry?

Ambroise-Paul-Toussaint-Jules Valéry was a French poet, essayist, and philosopher. His interests were sufficiently broad that he can be classified as a polymath. In addition to his poetry and fiction, his interests included aphorisms on art, history, letters, music, and current events.

Famous Quotes:

  • That which has been believed by everyone, always and everywhere, has every chance of being false.
  • A poem is never finished, only abandoned.
  • 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 inner transformations.
  • Long years must pass before the truths we have made for ourselves become our very flesh.
  • Our judgments judge us, and nothing reveals us, exposes our weaknesses, more ingeniously than the attitude of pronouncing upon our fellows.
  • 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 works out his own formulas; the interest of science lies in the art of making science.
  • The trouble with our times is that the future is not what it used to be.
  • Serious people have few ideas. People with ideas are never serious.
  • A man is infinitely more complicated than his thoughts.
  • Latent in every man is a venom of amazing bitterness, a black resentment; something that curses and loathes life, a feeling of being trapped, of having trusted and been fooled, of being the helpless prey of impotent rage, blind surrender, the victim of a savage, ruthless power that gives and takes away, enlists a man, and crowning injury inflicts upon him the humiliation of feeling sorry for himself.

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Oct 30, 1871
Also known as
  • Paul Valery
  • Paul Ambroise Valery
  • Paul Valéry
  • France
Jul 20, 1945

on July 23, 2013


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