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)…

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“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…

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“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”?

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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”

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“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”

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Fears : fictional and wished

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The “worse” is the food of critical temperaments

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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?’

“Oh Fabiola!” – Tremendous Love & Speechless Shock are two Stendhal’s Syndromes

Stendhal was a French writer (1783-1842 – let’s say it was the time of Napoleon). He wrote great novels, but I want to talk today about two stendhalian concepts : Cristallization and what we call the Stendhal Syndrome.

The Stendhal Syndrome happens when a human being becomes speechless in front of too much beauty : overcome, overwhelmed by emotion in front, for example, of Art.

Wikipedia : The staff at Florence’s Santa Maria Nuova hospital are accustomed to dealing with tourists suffering from dizzy spells and disorientation after admiring the statue of David, the masterpieces of the Uffizi Gallery and other treasures of the Tuscan city.

There is a Paris Syndrome too, of course, mostly happening to Japanese visitors, crushed by the City and its beauties (but also by the differences they find between their “idealized” vision of France and the reality). Yes, it’s like a “mega culture shock”. There’s a book (“Les Fous de l’Inde”) about a similar shock for India, felt by people from the whole Occident. A oceanic feeling leading to craziness. Embassies know this very well : they take care of people, and put them in planes to go back to normal life.

It’s interesting to study this and its source : Expectations? Tension between reason and feelings? Between brain and reality? What do you think? Have you been crushed by beauty one day? In front of a painting? A place? A light?

Cristallization has also been described by Stendhal. It is about love, of course! It’s when, in the beginning of a love story, the “marvellous” feeling cristallizes around every characteristic of the loved person, who is seen as perfect in every way, or as they say in wiki : a mental metamorphosis, in which unattractive characteristics of a new love are transformed into perceptual diamonds of shimmering beauty.

We have all probably been there : when we’re ready to love someone, when our “love” chooses a person, we open some gates and a big lake of sweet sugary love is poured, unleashed on the poor chosen “other”. Admiration, Acknowledgement, Hope and Delight are steps of the journey.

Of course, this is far from a balanced process of inventing a couple! You can watch out for disillusion. Cristallization often grows when the loved person is far (great for perfection, right?). This “love” generally explodes like a multicolor comet in front of reality.

Then remains possibilities : nothing, a friendship, a real love, an impetus to build something stronger, etc.

Thanks for reading!

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