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Paul Valery

1871-1945 ,  French poet
Paul ValeryFrench poet, essayist, and philosopher. In addition to his poetry and fiction, his interests included aphorisms on art, history, letters, music, and current events.
His greatest poem is considered La Jeune Parque (1917; “The Young Fate”), which was followed by Album de vers anciens 1890–1900 (1920) and Charmes ou poèmes (1922), containing the poem “The Graveyard by the Sea”.

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

Politics is the art of stopping people from minding their own business.

The trouble with our times is that the future is not what it used to be.

If the state is strong, it crushes us. If it is weak, we perish.

A work of art is never finished; it is only abandoned.

Man's deepest glances are those that go out to the void. They converge beyond the All.

That which has always been accepted by everyone, everywhere, is almost certain to be false.

God created man, and finding him not sufficiently alone, gave him a female companion so that he might feel his solitude more acutely.

Politeness is organized indifference.

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

Love is being stupid together.

God made everything out of nothing. But the nothingness shows through.

Our most important thoughts are those that contradict our emotions.

Sometimes I think; and sometimes I am.

A man who is of 'sound mind' is one who keeps his inner madman under lock and key.

To enter into your own mind you need to be armed to the teeth.

The history of thought may be summed up in these words: it is absurd by what it seeks and great by what it finds.

Poetry is to prose as dancing is to walking.

Power without abuse loses its charm.

Stupidity is not my strong point.

Poetry is a separate language, or more specifically, a language within a language.

Everything simple is false. Everything complex is unusable.

Degas is one of the very few painters who have given the floor its true importance.

Science is a collection of successful recipes.

Nothing beautiful can be summarized.

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

All nations have present, or past, or future reasons for thinking themselves incomparable.

Let us enrich ourselves with our mutual differences.

Having precise ideas often leads to a man doing nothing.

Serious people have few ideas. People with ideas are never serious.

What one wrote playfully, another reads with tension and passion; what one wrote with tension and passion, another reads playfully.

The advantage of the incomprehensible is that it never loses its freshness.

Conscience reigns but it does not govern.

A bad poem is one that vanishes into meaning.

A politician is a hybrid of a dancer and an accountant.

Fascism begins with the thought that everybody else is an idiot.

A leader is someone who needs other people.

Always, start again.

Toujours recommancer.

Ego is awful. The ego of other people, of course.

Nothing ages faster than the modern.

Optimists do not write well.


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2017: Manolis Papathanassiou