Paul Valery

Ambroise-Paul-Toussaint-Jules Valéry was a French poet, essayist, and philosopher.

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...in song the words tend to lose their significance, do often lose it, while at the other extreme, in current prose it is the musical value that tends to disappear - so that verse stands symmetrically, as it were, between song, on the one hand, and prose on the other - and is thus admirably and delicately balanced between the sensual and the intellectual power of language.
A man is infinitely more complicated than his thoughts.
A man who is 'of sound mind' is one who keeps the inner madman under lock and key.
A painter should not paint what he sees but what should be seen.
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.
Books have the same enemies as people fire, humidity, animals, weather, and their own content.
Books have the same enemies as people: fire, humidity, animals, weather, and their own content.
God created man and, finding him not sufficiently alone, gave him a companion to make him feel his solitude more keenly.
God made everything out of nothing, but the nothingness shows through.
La politique est l'art d'empcher les gens de se mler de ce qui les regarde. (Politics is the art of preventing people from sticking their noses in things that are properly their business.
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.
Long years must pass before the truths we have made for ourselves become our very flesh.
Love is being stupid together.
Man is only man at the surface. Remove the skin, dissect, and immediately you come to machinery.
Man's great misfortune is that he has no organ, no kind of eyelid or brake, to mask or block a thought, or all thought, when he wants to.
Our judgments judge us, and nothing reveals us, exposes our weaknesses, more ingeniously than the attitude of pronouncing upon our fellows.
Politics is the art of preventing people from sticking their noses in things that are properly their business.
Politics is the art of preventing people from taking part in affairs which properly concern them.
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.
Serious people have few ideas. People with ideas are never serious.
That which has always been accepted by everyone, everywhere, is almost certain to be false.
That which has been believed by everyone, always and everywhere, has every chance of being false.
The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up.
The folly of mistaking a paradox for a discovery, a metaphor for a proof, a torrent of verbiage for a spring of capital truths, and oneself for an oracle, is inborn in us.
The trouble with our times is that the future is not what it used to be.
Two dangers constantly threaten the world order and disorder.
What others think of us would be of little moment did it not, when known, so deeply tinge what we think of ourselves.

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