Spring 1946 • Vol. VIII No. 2 Nonfiction |

Valéry: La Poésie Engagée

It is difficult now to write of Valéry. It is not because so much of his work cannot be procured and one has to depend for his latest writings on fragments scattered in English journals. That does not matter: his later writing would tell us little or nothing that cannot wait; there was, as Gide has said—and as Valéry's own words about himself declare—a massive consistency, an unshakeableness in him that prevents our being curious about any last retouching. Nor is it because of his actual death. To his friends he was a loyal and extraordinary figure; his acquaintances report a wit and a courage—both intellectual and moral—which make us realize that this man was not only the finest writer of his time but also a person whose going is a human loss. We, who knew him only by his writing, knew all this somehow from his work. We mourn his death. But it is not that which makes it difficult now to write of Valéry. That difficulty lies partly in our times and partly in one's self. T

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Disorder

By Lawrence Leighton

It is difficult now to write of Valéry. It is not because so much of his work cannot be procured and one has to depend for his latest writings on […]

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