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Paul Valéry

Geburtstag: 30. Oktober 1871
Todesdatum: 20. Juli 1945
Andere Namen: Paul Ambroise Valéry

Ambroise Paul Toussaint Jules Valéry war Lyriker, Philosoph und Essayist.

„Die Geschichte rechtfertigt, was immer man will. Sie lehrt schlechterdings nichts, denn es gibt nichts, was sich mit ihr nicht beweisen ließe.“

—  Paul Valéry

Original franz.: "L’histoire justifie ce que l’on veut. Elle n’enseigne rigoureusement rien, car elle contient tout, et donne des exemples de tout." - De l'Histoire; in: Regards sur le monde actuel. Paris : Stock, Delamain & Boutelleau, 1931. p. 64 gallica.bnf.fr https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k1510319s/f72

„Im Abgrund der Geschichte ist für alle Platz.“

—  Paul Valéry

La crise de l'ésprit, Première lettre; in: Valéry, Paul: Œuvres, Vol. 1 / éd. par Jean Hytier; Paris 1957, S. 988

„Und wir sehen jetzt, dass der Abgrund der Geschichte Raum hat für alle. Wir fühlen, dass eine Kultur genau so hinfällig ist wie ein einzelnes Leben.“

—  Paul Valéry

Die Krise des Geistes. Erster Brief. Corona 1931, Seite 531 books.google https://books.google.de/books?id=_tjjAAAAMAAJ&q=%22abgrund+der%22
Original franz.: "Et nous voyons maintenant que l'abîme de l'histoire est assez grand pour tout le monde. Nous sentons qu’une civilisation a la même fragilité qu’une vie." - La crise de l'ésprit, in: Nouvelle Revue Française, 1919, Tome XIII, p. 321-337, :fr:s:La Crise de l’esprit. Première lettre.

Diese Übersetzung wartet auf eine Überprüfung. Ist es korrekt?

„The wind is rising! . . . We must try to live!“

—  Paul Valéry

As translated by by C. Day Lewis
Variant translations:
The wind is rising ... we must attempt to live.
Charmes ou poèmes (1922)
Kontext: The wind is rising!... We must try to live!
The huge air opens and shuts my book: the wave
Dares to explode out of the rocks in reeking
Spray. Fly away, my sun-bewildered pages!
Break, waves! Break up with your rejoicing surges
This quiet roof where sails like doves were pecking.

„To construct oneself, to know oneself—are these two distinct acts or not?“

—  Paul Valéry

Socrates, p. 81
Eupalinos ou l'architecte (1921)

„War: a massacre of people who don't know each other for the profit of people who know each other but don't massacre each other.“

—  Paul Valéry

La guerre, c'est un massacre de gens qui ne se connaissent pas, au profit de gens qui se connaissent, mais ne se massacrent pas.
Bizarre, issues 24-31 (1962), p. 102
This apocryphal quote from Paul Valéry is never precisely sourced: neither on the internet nor in the works we have consulted. See: https://www.guichetdusavoir.org/question/voir/52650

„The artist works out his own formulas; the interest of science lies in the art of making science.“

—  Paul Valéry

Moralités (1932)
Kontext: 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.

„Collect all the facts that can be collected about the life of Racine and you will never learn from them the art of his verse.“

—  Paul Valéry

Introduction to the Method of Leonardo da Vinci (1895)
Kontext: Collect all the facts that can be collected about the life of Racine and you will never learn from them the art of his verse. All criticism is dominated by the outworn theory that the man is the cause of the work as in the eyes of the law the criminal is the cause of the crime. Far rather are they both the effects.

„For the musician, before he has begun his work, all is in readiness so that the operation of his creative spirit may find, right from the start, the appropriate matter and means, without any possibility of error.“

—  Paul Valéry

Originally delivered as a lecture (late 1927); Pure Poetry: Notes for a Lecture The Creative Vision (1960)
Kontext: For the musician, before he has begun his work, all is in readiness so that the operation of his creative spirit may find, right from the start, the appropriate matter and means, without any possibility of error. He will not have to make this matter and means submit to any modification; he need only assemble elements which are clearly defined and ready-made. But in how different a situation is the poet! Before him is ordinary language, this aggregate of means which are not suited to his purpose, not made for him. There have not been physicians to determine the relationships of these means for him; there have not been constructors of scales; no diapason, no metronome, no certitude of this kind. He has nothing but the coarse instrument of the dictionary and the grammar. Moreover, he must address himself not to a special and unique sense like hearing, which the musician bends to his will, and which is, besides, the organ par excellence of expectation and attention; but rather to a general and diffused expectation, and he does so through a language which is a very odd mixture of incoherent stimuli.

„Stupidity is not my strong point.“

—  Paul Valéry, buch Monsieur Teste

Variant translations:
Stupidity is not my strong suit.
Monsieur Teste (1919)
Kontext: Stupidity is not my strong point. I have seen many persons; I have visited several countries; I have taken part in various enterprises without liking them; I have eaten nearly every day; I have had women. I can now recall a few hundred faces, two or three great spectacles, and the substance of perhaps twenty books. I have not retained the best nor the worst of these things: what could stay with me did.

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