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Paul Valery quotes (36)

A businessman is a hybrid of a dancer and a calculator.
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A great man is one who leaves others at a loss after he is gone.
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A man is a poet if difficulties inherent in his art provide him with ideas; he is not a poet if they deprive him of ideas.
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A man is infinitely more complicated than his thoughts.
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A man who is "of sound mind" is one who keeps the inner madman under lock and key.
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A man's true secrets are more secret to himself than they are to others.
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A poem is never finished, only abandoned.
Paul Valery   Category: Poetry

An artist never really finishes his work, he merely abandons it.
Paul Valery   Category: Art

At times I think and at times I am.
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Books have the same enemies as people: fire, humidity, animals, weather, and their own content.
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God created man and, finding him not sufficiently alone, gave him a companion to make him feel his solitude more keenly.
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God made everything out of nothing, but the nothingness shows through.
Paul Valery   Category: Religion

History is the science of things which are not repeated.
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In poetry everything which must be said is almost impossible to say well.
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Long years must pass before the truths we have made for ourselves become our very flesh.
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Love is being stupid together.
Paul Valery   Category: Love

Man's great misfortune is that he has no organ, no kind of eyelid or brake, to mask or block a thought, or all thought, when he wants to.
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Our judgments judge us, and nothing reveals us, exposes our weaknesses, more ingeniously than the attitude of pronouncing upon our fellows.
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Poe is the only impeccable writer. He was never mistaken.
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Politeness is organized indifference.
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Politics is the art of preventing people from busying themselves with what is their own business.
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Power without abuse loses its charm.
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Science means simply the aggregate of all the recipes that are always successful. All the rest is literature.
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Serious-minded people have few ideas. People with ideas are never serious.
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That which has always been accepted by everyone, everywhere, is almost certain to be false.
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That which has been believed by everyone, always and everywhere, has every chance of being false.
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The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up.
Paul Valery   Category: Dreams

The folly of mistaking a paradox for a discovery, a metaphor for a proof, a torrent of verbiage for a spring of capital truths, and oneself for an oracle, is inborn in us.
Paul Valery   Category: Science

The history of thought may be summed up in these words: it is absurd by what it seeks and great by what it finds.
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The purpose of psychology is to give us a completely different idea of the things we know best.
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The trouble with our times is that the future is not what it used to be.
Paul Valery   Category: Time

The universe is built on a plan the profound symmetry of which is somehow present in the inner structure of our intellect.
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To write regular verses destroys an infinite number of fine possibilities, but at the same time it suggests a multitude of distant and totally unexpected thoughts.
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Two dangers constantly threaten the world: order and disorder.
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War: a massacre of people who don't know each other for the profit of people who know each other but don't massacre each other.
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We are enriched by our reciprocate differences.
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