This paper analyses Paul Valéry’s theories relating to his stated goal of poetic production: the attainment of “resonance” and a “singing-state”. My intention is to defend Valéry’s theory as a valid and consistent model of the creative process in poetry. To that end, I will draw support from T. W. Adorno’s claim that Valéry’s manner of reflective journalising in his Notebooks
can furnish us with what he calls “aesthetic insight”. The consistency of Valéry’s theory will be supported by comparisons with the inferentialist understanding of semantics. Valéry proves to be a reliable exemplar of what might be called a “practice-led” aesthetics.
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