Paul Valéry – the temptation of Mephistopheles

Jan Tomkowski

Abstract


Paul Valéry (1871–1945), the great French poet and essayist, did not finished his last work Mon Faust, however it was published after his death. It is poetic and philosophical drama in two parts. The story of the eponymous hero takes place in our times. Unlike in Johann Wolfgang Goetheʼs Faust, the devil, not a man, is here tempted. It is obvious, because for Valéry the devil is not attractive enough to be the tempter par excellence. The unknown God is probably absent in the modern world, whereas man is lonely, tormented uncertainty. Mon Faust has not been translated into Polish, however, it is performed in theaters around the world from time to time.


Keywords


French literature; poetic drama; Faust

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