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Paul Valery Quotes


Ambroise-Paul-Toussaint-Jules Valéry was a French author and Symbolist poet.
(1871 - 1945)

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A businessman is a hybrid of a dancer and a calculator.
[Capitalism]
 

A great man is one who leaves others at a loss after he is gone.
 

A man is a poet if difficulties inherent in his art provide him with ideas; he is not a poet if they deprive him of ideas.
 

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 man's true secrets are more secret to himself than they are to others.
 

A poem is never finished, only abandoned.
[Poetry]
 

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.
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An artist never really finishes his work, he merely abandons it.
[Art]
 

An intelligent woman is a woman with whom one can be as stupid as one wants.
[Women]
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At times I think and at times I am.
 

Books have the same enemies as people: fire, humidity, animals, weather, and their own content.
 

Conscience reigns but it does not govern.
[Conscience]
 

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.
[Religion]
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Great things are accomplished by those who do not feel the impotence of man. This ... is a precious gift.
[Ignorance]
 

History is the science of things which are not repeated.
 

If some great catastrophe is not announced every morning, we feel a certain void. 'Nothing in the paper today,' we sigh.
 

In poetry everything which must be said is almost impossible to say well.
 

Long years must pass before the truths we have made for ourselves become our very flesh.
 


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