Valéry, Paul

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Valéry, Paul

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  • Valéry, Ambroise Paul Toussaint Jules

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Dates of existence

1871–1945

History

Paul Valéry was born in Sète, France, in 1871. He studied law in Montpellier and developed an interest for poetry and architecture. From 1888 until 1891 he wrote many poems, before devoting his life to science and philosophy of science during the mid-1890s. From 1897 until 1900 Valéry worked as a civil servant in the French War Office and subsequently served as private secretary to the director of the French press association, Edouard Lebey, until the latter’s death in 1922. In 1917 Valéry published La Jeune Parque which brought him instant fame. Other publications included Album des vers anciens (1920) and the Variétés series (since 1924). His personal diary was published as Cahiers from 1973. Valéry was elected to the Académie française in 1925. He became head of administration at the Centre Universitaire Méditerranéen at Nice in 1933, and in 1937, a professorship of poetry was created for him at the Collège de France. On his death in 1945 he received a full state funeral.

A prominent public intellectual, Valéry had many acquaintances in European intelligentsia, politics, and the military. At the International Institute of Intellectual Cooperation (IIIC), he was a member of the Sub-Committee on Arts and Letters, and from 1935 until 1938 he chaired the Permanent Committee on Arts and Letters. Valéry was a principle advocate of intellectual cooperation, arguing that “a League of Nations implies a league of minds”, a motto that was adopted by the IIIC for its annual reports.

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Created by Jan Stöckmann 10-08-2015.

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Sources


  • Robert Donald Davidson Gibson, Paul Valéry, Encyclopædia Britannica, at http://global.britannica.com/biography/Paul-Valery [accessed 9 July 2015].
  • J.-J. Renoliet, L’UNESCO oubliée: la Société des Nations et la coopération intellectuelle, 1919–1946 (Paris, 1999).
  • UNESCO Archives, Archival Group 1, IIIC, H.IV.31, 3 boîtes
  • League of Nations (1933) International Institute of Intellectual Cooperation 1932, Paris, p. 138.
  • League of Nations (1936) International Institute of Intellectual Cooperation 1935, Paris, p. 136.

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