Swedenborg’s Readers: Paul Valery

I approached without knowing that I was pushing on into an enchanted forest where every step stirred ideas that flew up like unexpected birds, where shimmering hypotheses, echoes, and psychological chases ran together at every crossroad, and where the eye glimpses mysteriously renewed vistas, in the midst of which the hunter seeking rational answers gets encouraged, lost, and then he finds the track again, only to lose it from sight … I love the hunt for its own sake, and there are few hunts so captivating as the hunt for the mystery of Swedenborg.

Paul Valery, 1936 (quoted by Lars Bergquist, Swedenborg’s Secret)

Paul Valéry (1871-1945) was a French poet and essayist.  He became interested in Swedenborg’s spiritual experiences after reading Martin Lamm’s biography, first published in Swedish in 1915.  Valéry wrote a foreword to the French translation of this biography in 1936.

Reference:  Martin Lamm, Emanuel Swedenborg: the Development of his Thought (with Foreword by Paul Valéry) (English translation, Swedenborg Foundation, 2000). Read more on Swedenborg’s readers.


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