Saturday, July 3

11 August

In Délia's library I found La Jeune Parque, a critical study by Octave Nadal. I've learned that Paul Valéry kept all the outlines, rough drafts, copies, all the papers or scraps of paper on which he wrote dates, words, ideas, on which he sketched or figured, etc., etc., "about eight hundred pieces of various sizes, the major part in separate sheets and the rest comprised of seventy bound pages of a large notebook" (p. 155). He kept everything. But why? Indifference or, on the contrary, the mania of the collector and archivist? Curiosity about the gestation and maturation of his own work? Or the feeling that, by keeping everything, at least some of the mysterious processes of poetic creation could be understood?

-- Mircea Eliade Journal 1963