Paul Valéry

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16th century · 17th century
18th century · 19th century
20th century · Contemporary

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Ambroise-Paul-Toussaint-Jules Valéry (French pronunciation: [pɔl valeʁi]; October 30, 1871 – July 20, 1945) was a French poet, essayist, and philosopher. His interests were sufficiently broad that he can be classified as a polymath. In addition to his poetry and fiction (drama and dialogues), he also wrote many essays and aphorisms on art, history, letters, music, and current events.



Valéry was born of a Corsican father and Genoese-Istrian mother in Sète, a town on the Mediterranean coast of the Hérault, but he was raised in Montpellier, a larger urban center close by. After a traditional Roman Catholic education, he studied law at university, then resided in Paris for most of the remainder of his life, where he was, for a while, part of the circle of Stéphane Mallarmé.

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