Valery Presentation Notes
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What images/oppositions do you find most (and least) persuasive in these texts, and why?
Music - Sound/Noise
What does he say?
• 'Nous vivons par l'oreille dans le monde des bruits'
• 'Le bruit' = incoherent, irregular, chaotic
• 'Le son' = intelligible, clean cut
• sound/noise = pure/impure = order/disorder
• It is being able to distinguish between this that has allowed for the composition of music - 'le monde de l'art musical, monde des sons, est bien séparé du monde des bruits'
• Due to physics, it is measured, calculated, controlled - thus creating 'un système parfait de moyens bien définis'
• The 'univers musical' is produced within us when we hear a particular sound/instrument that we can pick out/does not mix in with the other noises and this works the other way round too, if during a concert a chair falls or someone coughs, the atmosphere is broken
Is this persuasive?
• Yes, like he says at the beginning of the analogy, he uses the example 'de fortifier cette notion d'univers poétique', and it is 'une notion semblable, mais plus facile encore à expliquer étant beaucoup plus simple' he shows, through the musical analogy and opposition of sound/noise, how one enters into a poetic state i.e. take words out of context and they become magical/have many meanings, just like when you break noise down into sounds, and these can form 'des combinaisons claires, des implications successives ou simultanées…des possibilities abstraites.' • Note that he says the 'univers musical' is within us/affects us this is like the poet creating the 'état poétique' within us, not necessarily for himself • It is persuasive in showing us how the poetic state is created, but must not be confused with him saying music and poetry is the same thing 'mais le poète est privé des immenses avantages que possède le musician. Il n'a pas devant soi…un ensemble de moyens fait exprès pour son art. Il doit emprunter le langage' whilst sounds in music have specific sensations attached to them, every word has a sound and a meaning, and there is no connection between the two this is what makes
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