Paul Valéry with Stendhal : Shunning the poetic style & Unreached cruxes

Let’s listen and daydream with Paul Valéry‘s seeds (sorry for my English, it’s pretty hard to translate this sharp spirit)…

ooo

“Mais la vérité et la vie sont désordre; les filiations et les parentés qui ne sont pas surprenantes ne sont pas réelles”.

“But the truth and the life are messy; the filiations and the kinships which are not surprising are not real”.

ooo

List of what Stendhal hated the most in his life :

…pettiness, absence of all whims, terror of opinion, terror of loving what we love, traditions, the little city, the local vanity, inflicted mediocrity…

ooo

“Spéculation sur le lecteur futur” : Speculation on the future reader

…is maybe what bloggers do, hmm? I’m not really read now but one day I will…

Something in the way we write (dry, fast, casual) implying an unknown person who will read it one day…

Paul Valéry about “writing for someone”?

ooo

About Stendhal’s style :

  1. Negligences, the willpower of negligence, disdain of all formal qualities of style.
  2. Diverse pillagings and quantities of plagiarisms : the essential for the accused is to become infinitely more interesting than his victims – “from other’s bleak possessions, he rebuilds work one can read, because it’s weaved with a certain tone.”

Oohhh that’s baaaad, right?

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  • “Fuir le style poetique, et faire sentir qu’on le fuit”
  • “To shun the poetic style, and make feel that we shun it”

ooo

“Nous savons bien qu’on ne se dévoile que pour quelque effet”

“We know well that we unveil ourselves only for some effect”

ooo

There are two ways to falsify : to embellish, and the application to sound true.

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“La confidence songe toujours à la gloire, au scandale, à l’excuse, à la propagande”

“A confidence always dreams for glory, scandal, excuse, or propaganda”

ooo

Fears : fictional and wished

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The “worse” is the food of critical temperaments

ooo

Those who want to detect, define and administer the whole social filth

“Toutes les fois que nous accusons et que nous jugeons, le fond n’est pas atteint”

“Each time we accuse and judge, the crux is not reached”

ooo

To live. To appeal. To be loved. To love. To write. Not to be duped. To be myself. To achieve…

ooo

Hmm : pick one, write an article, OK?

Have a nice day!

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The Cahiers/Notebooks of Paul Valéry are a unique form of writing. They reveal Valéry as one of the most radical and creative minds of the twentieth century, encompassing a wide range of investigation into all spheres of human activity. His work explores the arts, the sciences, philosophy, history and politics, investigating linguistic, psychological and social issues, all linked to the central questions, relentlessly posed: ‘what is the human mind and how does it work?’, ‘what is the potential of thought and what are its limits?’

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Paul Valéry : “Our talents press us to employ themselves…

I always come back to Paul Valéry’s notebooks. This guy is the most generous French thinker EVER.

Those who know these work, when they meet, have a special smile. “Ah you love Valéry, OK”.

Sign of good sign…

I just read five pages of this guy, about Stendhal, the writer. Here are some seeds to plant in your own soil :

ONE

  • “Se connaître n’est que se prévoir; se prévoir aboutit à jouer un rôle”.
  • “To know yourself is only to predict yourself; to predict yourself leads to play a role”.

Really? Isn’t it true? How? Can we forecast ourselves? What do you think about this? Is there a problem? Should we resist? What should we keep?

 

TWO

Napoleo seen by Stendhal is Roman, Italian, it’s the Cesar type, the Condottiere (GIYF). Seen by Balzac, he’s the Emperor of the French, inventor of laws (Le Code Civil (GIYF)), the following of French Revolution, etc.

Valéry takes this as an double exercise : you could prolong these, reasonably, with interest…

Which is a great tool : what subject would you, for your pleasure, DOUBLE STUDY? Lincoln? French lovers? XXth Century music?

 

THREE

  • “La volonté d’être encore ce que l’on fut”.
  • “The willpower to be again what we have been”.

 

FOUR

  • “Nos talents nous pressent de s’employer; la formation vive et incessante des idées engendre une étrange impatience de les produire”.
  • “Our talents press us to employ themselves; the keen and unremitting formation of the ideas engenders a strange impatience to produce them”.

 

You have two hours.

Hmmm : jeanpascal@wanadoo.fr.

Thanks for reading!

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“Wisdoms”, a poem by P. Valéry

WISDOMS

One wisdom runs away from love
Like the beast flees the fire;
She’s scared of being devoured.
She’s afraid of being consumed.

One wisdom looks for it,
And like the intelligent being,
Far from fleeing it, blows on the flame,
Makes it her strength and melt the iron,

Thereby, Love offers her his powers.

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SAGESSES

Une sagesse fuit l’Amour
Comme la bête fuit le feu;
Elle craint d’être dévorée.

Elle a peur d’être consumée.

Une Sagesse le recherche,
Et comme l’être intelligent,
Loin de la fuir, souffle la flamme,
La fait sa force et fond le fer,

Ainsi l’Amour lui prête ses puissances.

Paul Valéry

Paul Valéry, a poem about the thinker & the sea

This quiet roof, where dove-sails saunter by,
Between the pines, the tombs, throbs visibly.
Impartial noon patterns the sea in flame —
That sea forever starting and re-starting.
When thought has had its hour, oh how rewarding
Are the long vistas of celestial calm!

Ce toit tranquille, où marchent des colombes,
Entre les pins palpite, entre les tombes;
Midi le juste y compose de feux
La mer, la mer, toujours recommencée
O récompense après une pensée
Qu’un long regard sur le calme des dieux!

 

Translation impossible, as usual. This verse : “La mer, la mer, toujours recommencée”. Why not “That sea forever starting and re-starting”. I also found “The sea, the ever renewing sea!”. The truth is it’s “The sea, the sea, always rebegun”

O reward after a thought, staring longly on gods quietness…

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One-Lined Ideas for Writers, Part II

The suites of transformations you need to express things, respecting the conditions your have to respect.

You write, you read what you just wrote, in a loop. A closed balanced between you and you. A pleasure can resonate.

Pull weapons out of other people’s work – to use you own resources.

Find the person you write for – even if this person does not really exist. Golem it.

Use what is made for use. Find a drawer : open it. Break what is fragile. Push what tilts.

Try what has never be done, but appears as possible.

Your work can always been gone back over. This is your job. Find your “until”.

Try a thousand ways to write an idea until you meet a favorable words figure.

Find a force. Find where to use it. Apply a force.

At one moment you are attracted by what is needed, by what goes forward to the goal.

You dream to write, you desire to write, you call. But it’s not to be confused with the state where you MAKE.

Our most precious states are unstable – the artist answers trying to stabilize them.

What you feel. What you do. What you want to make feel.

 

All these microseeds come from Paul Valéry‘s Poietis (Poïétique). They aren’t quotes, I kneaded them for your pleasure. Have fun.

One-Lined Ideas for Writers, Part I

Thanks for reading!

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One-Lined Ideas for Writers, Part I

A writer doesn’t find his words. While he searches, he finds better ones.

How to read an instinct?

A writer places himherself on a place where he finds things on the left and language on the right.

The inventor saw, then showed.

Maybe art is one language opposed to the necessary disorder of the language.

A writer is able to abandon an idea in favor of another idea he found while he was looking for the words to tell the first one.

A worried sense of the possible, of the usable.

You have to find balance between intellect, exactitude, reason, cold, logical AND absurd harmonies, magical non sense, sensibility.

The geometric mind extracts signs, systems, structures and patterns from a question, a situation. Then he plays with the system, blind from reality, until he finds every useful aspects or facets he wants to put into light.

Embarrassments born from a find.

Some freedoms not imagined yet.

A writer who looks for the perfect effect. A writer who wants to learn something. Who’s right? One? Two? Both?

One secret is to give invisible things to the reader.

The one who wrote a verse wanted to move, not to be moved.

Importance of a text for an author, function of the unforeseen-ness it brings from himher to himherself while he builds it.

An idiot says a chair is a chair. The abundance of certain spirits is to use everything, to eat it, to turn around it and find patterns and possibles. A chair can be a ladder, a stake, a gym tool, a battering ram, a weapon, a stretcher, a cage…

All these microseeds come from Paul Valéry‘s Poietis (Poïétique). They aren’t quotes, I kneaded them for your pleasure. Have fun.

Thanks for reading!

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