The idea of perfection
Heir to Mallarme and the symbolists, godfather to the modernists, Paul Valery was a poet with thousands of readers and few followers, great resonance and little echo. Along with Rilke and Eliot, he stands as a bridge between the tradition of the 19th century and the novelty of the 20th. His reputation as a poet rests on three slim volumes published in a span of only ten years. Yet these poems, it turns out, are inseparable from another, much vaster intellectual and artistic enterprise: the Notebooks. Behind the published works, behind the uneventful life of the almost forgotten and then exceedingly famous poet, there hides another story, a private life of the mind, that has its record in 27,000 pages of notebooks revealed in their entirety only after his death. Their existence had been hinted at, evoked in rumours and literary asides; but once made public it took years for their significance to be fully appreciated.
Author Paul,1871-1945, Val?ry Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux ISBN 9780374298487 EAN 9780374298487 Bic Code Cover Hardback
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