Valery's Cahiers/Notebooks are one of the most remarkable and original works in twentieth-century thought, a unique form of writing, unparalleled in scope and form. Day in day out, in the silence of dawn, over more than 50 years, Valery pursued his inner quest to determine the creative and cognitive mechanisms of the mind. The Cahiers are the modern equivalent of the 'Notebooks' of Leonardo da Vinci or in some respects of Diderot's Encyclopedie: notes, sketches, illustrations, fragmentary ideas, passages rarely more than a page in length cover every conceivable subject: physical and mathematical models of the human mind, language, poetics, dreams, emotions, science, ethics, education, politics, power, the future of Europe. Lyrical passages, writing of extreme beauty and sensitivity, prose poems of extraordinary descriptive power run alongside humorous aphorisms and the most abstract kind of analysis. But throughout, one guiding question that is of concern to everyone is constantly reposed in a multiplicity of forms: 'What is the human mind and how does it work?' The present edition is based on the French edition prepared by Judith Robinson-Valery for the Bibliotheque de la Pleiade, which presents a selection from the complete Cahiers according to chapter headings and classifications established by Valery during his lifetime. But it differs from that edition in a number of respects: some additional texts have been added, particularly from the rich and formative early years; the critical apparatus benefits from the latest developments in Valery studies; and the grouping of chapters has been varied. Valery himself, while generally sure about the headings to which the notes belonged, often hesitated about the order to put them in, for the work is open-ended and an infinite number of connections are possible within it. The present edition has modified the order of chapters, respecting the affinities between related ones, while regrouping them into five thematic volumes. As a result, new resonances arise, fresh perspectives open up, which are completely in tune with the original.
Publisher: Peter Lang GmbH
Number of pages: 600
Weight: 5100 g
Dimensions: 230 x 160 mm
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