Grâce, Daimôn…Hallali, hallali…7th hour
In the seventh hour of Alphabet, the tone drastically changes. The sunlight observed during hours five and six, which had reflected through his Soul and revealed “the highest thought” and perfection, now brings angst. His head bursts as the glimmers of sunlight cross and combat. These brief sparks, which carry so much hope and certainty, are now revealing Truth.
Valéry uses the cry “Hallali” which can be translated from French as a “cry or sound of a horn announcing that the animal is spotted in the woods”.
A sketch of this poem dated 11.11.37 (see featured image of this post) can be found in the Cahiers (C.XX.56). Valery noted in the margin: “Alph” as he had originally planned to place this text at letter H (Hallali).
The Cahiers mention several times, in brief fragments devoted to the activity of the Spirit, Socrates and his Daimôn, an inner voice which advised him. Now, this Daimôn is advising our Narrator.
As his head is bursting with the glimmers of this bright light, he fills all the scrapes of paper with scribbles. His thoughts are as electric as the rays of light.
Que de choses a la fois…Je ne puis plus me supporter
So many things at once…He cannot stand himself anymore. Conviction in his Spirit perhaps? Has this light exposed and therefore revealed truths that he does not want to see?
I am out of breath. The spirit makes me breathless. I’m almost numb….
He questions if this asphyxiation is because of these convictions from the Spirit within him or if it because of “her”. Who is this femme fatale?
This short poem closes with this warning:
C’est la chasse du diable; le Daimôn se change en Démon.
Hallali, It is the hunt of the Devil; the Daimôn (or inner voice) changes into a Demon.
Valéry, Paul. Alphabet. Paris: Librairie Générale Française. 1925