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Paul Valéry Revisited

Author: Walter C Putnam
Publisher: New York : Twayne Publishers ; Toronto : Maxwell Macmillan Canada ; New York : Maxwell Macmillan International, ©1995.
Series: Twayne's world authors series, TWAS 850.; Twayne's world authors series., French literature.
Edition/Format:   Book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Presenting the original French and his own faithful translations, Putnam explores poems from all phases of Valery's career, including the major early pieces from the Album de vers anciens (1920), the 512-line La Jeune Parque (1917), and the mature volume Charmes (1922). His close readings demonstrate, for example, how Valery's famous "Le Cimetiere marin" (1920) uses the metaphor of the sea in a meditation on life
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Genre/Form: Criticism, interpretation, etc
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Putnam, Walter C.
Paul Valéry Revisited.
New York : Twayne Publishers ; Toronto : Maxwell Macmillan Canada ; New York : Maxwell Macmillan International, c1995
(OCoLC)621459654
Named Person: Paul Valéry; Paul Valéry; Paul Valéry; Paul Valéry
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Walter C Putnam
ISBN: 0805782915 9780805782912
OCLC Number: 30475622
Description: xvii, 172 p. ; 22 cm.
Contents: Ch. 1. Valery as Himself: A Biographical Sketch --
Ch. 2. Poetics: The Making of an Art --
Ch. 3. Album de vers anciens: The Past as Prologue --
Ch. 4. La Jeune Parque: Coming of Age --
Ch. 5. Charmes: The Many Voices of The Serpent --
Ch. 6. Prose Works: A Kaleidoscope of Forms --
Ch. 7. Critique of the Modern World --
Ch. 8. Cahiers: Notes from the Mind --
Ch. 9. Conclusion: Posterity and Heritage.
Series Title: Twayne's world authors series, TWAS 850.; Twayne's world authors series., French literature.
Responsibility: Walter Putnam; University of New Mexico.

Abstract:

Presenting the original French and his own faithful translations, Putnam explores poems from all phases of Valery's career, including the major early pieces from the Album de vers anciens (1920), the 512-line La Jeune Parque (1917), and the mature volume Charmes (1922). His close readings demonstrate, for example, how Valery's famous "Le Cimetiere marin" (1920) uses the metaphor of the sea in a meditation on life and death - "Let us run to the wave and reemerge in life!" - and explain the painstaking genesis, powerful language, and unexpected international success of La Jeune Parque. Putnam contrasts Valery's reputation during his life-time as the premier poet of France with more recent evaluations of his position in the realms of poetic theory and free thought.

In a particularly fascinating chapter, he delves into the notes, queries, sketches, and observations inscribed in Valery's monumental Cahiers - the private notebooks that are considered the most revealing and modern of all the writings of one of our century's greatest minds. Finally, Putnam looks into the poet's political and social essays, where he finds that Valery's analysis of western civilization bears an especially urgent message for our modern times.

. As he guides us through Valery's complex oeuvre, Putnam illuminates the poet's links with the classical world; his interest in Poe and Mallarme; his high regard for language (with a capital L); his dedication to the study of science and mathematics; and the "revolution of the mind" he experienced in 1892, when he turned his back on poetry and dedicated himself to gaining "maximum knowledge and control of his intellect." Putnam evokes the rich friendships and artistic affinities Valery shared with Mallarme, Gide, and Pierre Louys, as well as his appreciation of Debussy, Monet, Renoir, Degas, and Bergson in France, and Conrad, Eliot, Joyce, and Rilke among the many other European luminaries of his milieu. He also discusses Valery's personal and literary relationship after World War I with Andre Breton and the burgeoning surrealist movement - a movement whose poetics differed so significantly from his own.

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