Unreal Nature

January 20, 2018

The Presence of Stars

Filed under: Uncategorized — unrealnature @ 5:50 am

… There is no reciprocity between us and them.

This is from ‘Man and the Night’ found in Selected Writings of Paul Valéry (1950; 1964):

I have sometimes tried to observe in myself, and to pursue into the realm of concrete thought, the mysterious effect that a clear night and the presence of stars generally has on men.

Then we only notice objects that have nothing to do with our bodies. We are strangely simplified.

… We can count these stars, and yet we cannot believe that we exist as far as they are concerned. There is no reciprocity between us and them.

… This darkness is threaded through and through with inaccessible brilliance. With difficulty one refrains from thinking of houses where people are awake. Unconsciously we people the darkness with luminous, unidentifiable creatures.

My most recent previous post from Valéry’s book is here.




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