Michel Jarrety has put together a new biography, published in French by Editions Fayard. In an interview on the publisher's website, Jarrety discusses Valéry as a poet and a man of science, and his great circle of acquaintances, and the process of writing his extensive biography.
Paul Gifford at The Guardian observes:
Valéry’s circle of contacts remains dazzling. He was intimate with leading poets and writers (Mallarmé, Gide, Rilke); he worked alongside Hugo von Hofmannsthal, Thomas Mann, Gabriele d’Annunzio, John Galsworthy and Stefan Zweig; he exchanged ideas with André Malraux, Jean Giraudoux, Colette and Paul Claudel (but also with George Meredith, Arnold Bennett, H. G. Wells and Aldous Huxley); his lectures at the Collège de France were an influence on Jacques Lacan, Roland Barthes, Michel Tournier, Yves Bonnefoy and Paul de Man. Who else with such a profile could also have had Einstein as trusted interlocutor and colleague, discussed atoms with Niels Bohr, or the crisis of representation in sciences with the likes of Paul Langevin and Émile Borel; compared notes with Ravel and Stravinsky, Degas and Picasso; collaborated with Bergson and Sir James Frazer; interacted with both Pétain and de Gaulle; interviewed Mussolini and crossed paths with an entire gallery of Europe’s interwar power-brokers? To say nothing of the cast list of princesses, duchesses, countesses and other denizens of the cosmopolitan, high-society Paris salons who provided the writer with dinners, contacts, funding, entertainment, country-seat vacationing, confidantes and lovers.
Jarrety's biography can't but be interesting focusing on a busy polymath like Valéry, and it covers the scope of both his public life and his private (love) life extensively.
As of now, Paul Valéry is only available in French and is priced at 52 Euros.