Book by Valery, Paul
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Something about seashells attracts poets: Pablo Neruda kept a collection of them, as did William Wordsworth, C.P. Cavafy, and Walt Whitman; all wrote about the wonders of malacology. The French symbolist poet Paul Valéry (1871-1945) joins their number with this short yet graceful essay on these "privileged objects" that "present us with a strange union of ideas: order and fantasy, invention and necessity, law and exception." At turns he likens the forms of poetry to those of shells and the shell itself to poor Yorick's skull, which set Hamlet to wondering about matters of life and death. The noted American poet Mary Oliver provides an introduction. Henri Mondor's pencil illustrations are an added pleasure. --Gregory McNameeLanguage Notes:
Text: English (translation)
Original Language: French
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