Elisabetta Orsini

Penelope's awakening. Considerations on the relationship between the awake/asleep status in Paul Valéry

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Keywords: Dream; Awake; Subjectivity; Paul Valéry; Vicious Circle.

In Paul Valéry's "Notebooks", the dream part is mainly dedicated to the circular aspect of the alternation between dream and awake. According to Valéry the oneiric dissolution of one's subjectivity allows the access to a more broaden perception of our being. Even if just for a moment. Our awakening, instead, contains and limits this perception. That "I", that could not be found in dream, because multiplied by a system of relations reflecting it like an optical spectrum, is then rebuilt. There is a gradual re-surfacing of the I system: an undifferentiated spot without a meaning, that slowly comes back into shape, finally acquiring a meaning and significance, appearing from a world that had totally ignored it. The I emerges from the dream, rebuilding itself in the awakening moment like Penelope's web.

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