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Valéry was nominated for the Nobel Prize twelve times and was just about to win when he kicked the bucket. Womp womp. Always the bridesmaid! (Source.)
Valéry has been called everything from a poet to an essayist to a scientist to a philosopher. He's also been called a "poet-mathematician," which is as fascinating as it sounds. (Source.)
Two exquisite lines—"An angel sets warm bread / and cool milk at my place…."—from Valéry's poem "Palme" inspired the Pulitzer Prize–winning American poet James Merrill to pen his poem "Lost in Translation." (Source.)
The famed incident known as "the night of Genoa" was a crisis point for Valéry, after which he did not publish anything for twenty years. Then he published "La jeune Parque." (Source.)
Valéry had the serious hots (stalker alert) for a woman named Madame de Rovira. (Source).