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Paul Valery Quotes (46 Quotes)


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  • History is the science of things which are not repeated.
    (Paul Valery)

  • 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.
    (Paul Valery)

  • 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.
    (Paul Valery)

  • A man's true secrets are more secret to himself than they are to others.
    (Paul Valery)

  • God created man and, finding him not sufficiently alone, gave him a companion to make him feel his solitude more keenly.
    (Paul Valery)


  • Poe is the only impeccable writer. He was never mistaken.
    (Paul Valery)

  • A work is never completed except by some accident such as weariness, satisfaction, the need to deliver, or death.
    (Paul Valery)

  • In poetry everything which must be said is almost impossible to say well.
    (Paul Valery)

  • Science means simply the aggregate of all the recipes that are always successful. All the rest is literature.
    (Paul Valery)

  • We are wont to condemn self-love but what we really mean to condemn is contrary to self-love. It is that mixture of selfishness and self-hate that permanently pursues us, that prevents us from loving others, and that prohibits us from losing ourselves.
    (Paul Valery)

  • A great man is one who leaves others at a loss after he is gone.
    (Paul Valery)

  • Politics is the art of preventing people from busying themselves with what is their own business.
    (Paul Valery)

  • God made everything out of nothing, but the nothingness shows through.
    (Paul Valery)

  • 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.
    (Paul Valery)

  • A man who is "of sound mind" is one who keeps the inner madman under lock and key.
    (Paul Valery)


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