Philosophy Essay -The Crisis of Mind

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Paul Valery is a philosopher and a poet immersed in European artistic tradition and literary. He described with pain the effects of World War I to Europe. He explains that the world war was mainly known for massive killing of both the soldiers and the civilians. According him, the war mainly involved thirteen million civilians and eight point five soldiers. The war lead to economic breakdown in Europe leading to much riots and famine to the citizens. Following the challenges encountered in the World war, Paul Valery wrote, “The crisis of mind in 1919."The book aimed at responding to the sentiments passed through by Maynard indicating that Europe has never experienced such a burning encounter in their lives. As a poet, Paul Valery was able to identify with his audience. Unlike other poets Valery was very passionate about his work, he used sociological approach rather than a scientific approach applied by Spengler.

According to him, he explained that he wanted to express history into a personal record. In addition, Valery wished his readers and audience experience the pain through his writing. He wrote on the self-awareness pain of the modern civilization. Civilization lead to loss of faith in the guiding values leading to its own mortality. Valery human mind actions act as a measurement unit for civilization. He expounds that guideposts to measuring civilization are fragile.

In his letter in 1919, Paul Valery explains how the search for civilization leads to massive loss to the nations. Valery explains that the civilization has the same characteristics of life, where both the sweet and beautiful names are destroyed by a mere occurrence, “We are sure that a civilization has the same fragility as life." He later describes that the situation that could make Baudelaire and Keats join work of Menander was no longer assured. In this h tries to show the negative side of the civilization process. According to him, the process of Civilization was an accident “the most formidable and the best ordered can perish by accident” that has led to the destruction of both the current and upcoming things. Paul indicates that though everyone needed the civilization, the cost of acquiring civilization was more painful than expected.

Valery later explains that though the civilization process led to the destruction, no everything was destroyed but they are now sure that everything can be lost if such an occurrence occurs. Everyone in Europe did his part to ensure that stability was achieved as soon as possible. Though the calamities were over, Europe was left with the problem of economic downfall. According Valery, the crisis caused by the civilization process will never allow the European to taste the kind of life they had before the war. He emphasizes that no one knows what may happen tomorrow in their live time. But having hope and determination for the best outcome will be the best expectation.

Valery suggests that any unfavorable conclusion may only be viewed as an error of the mind. It painful that more young writers and artists have perished in the struggle for civilization. From the War is was evident that knowledge was impotent and European culture was lost, with science and personality wounded, leaving the country with no defense. Valery explains that the only conditions that seemed to bring light to Europe were overturned by the crisis “so violent that the best-hung lamps have finally overturned." Paul, the poet, narrates how the encounters were sickening from death of all the intellects in the area, the war was not selective but acted as a plaque to destroy nature best features. But he expects to see a change of events where the country will regain it economic bases and manpower back. He believes the country will stand again as an Anthill.


Hollander, Robert. Western Literature: [vol.] 2. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1971. Print.

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