November 28, 2007

Motherhood by M. Arland, illustrated by M. Chagall

"One of the first days of this year, we discovered in a village in East, Chenevière, the body of a newborn baby, of whom we could not knew if death, which took place two years ago, had been naturally. A young woman was immediately charged (...) Since I learned of the fault she was taxed with, her image did not leave me. I try to tell her story. "
This mystery opens Motherhood, a little-known text by Marcel Arland but estimated by book lovers in its edition of 1926. The volume includes 5 original engravings by Marc Chagall, entitled "Shame", "Birth", "Brawl", "Couple in bed", "Visit by the window." There are quite representative of the delicate grace of the painter, especially in the drawing of this couple of lovers seized under the duvet.

Currently, the librairie Loliée can offer :
  • Chagall- Arland (Marcel). Maternité. Paris, Au Sans Pareil, 1926, in-8 . Edition illustrated with five original engravings by Marc Chagall. Copy on Lafuma paper.

November 21, 2007

Bissière and the arrival of abstract art

By the age of 18, Roger Bissière leaves his notarial studies to join, in Alger, the orientalist painter Rochegrosse. After this first experience of a year, he studies art in Paris and Bordeaux. Discharged against his will from the army in 1914, Bissière sees his career start after war : he takes part in various exhibitions, writes articles in the magazine L'Esprit Nouveau created by Le Corbusier and Ozenfant. He does his first exhibition in 1921. Appointed professor at the famous Academy of Ranson, Bissière opens in 1934 an atelier devoted to fresco and attended by some of the future members of the new school of Paris (as Alexandre Garbell, Jean Le Moal and Alfred Manessier). Very active, Bissière withdraws however in 1939 in the family's house in Lot. He ceases painting. After 1945, he makes artistic hangings made of pieces of fabric, old clothes and socks. In 1950, operated for a glaucoma, Bissière is afraid of losing the sight. He produces, during his convalescence at the island of Ré, small formats with egg paint. In 1951, the Jeanne Bucher gallery exhibits untitled paintings which tend toward an abstract landscaping.

In 1954, Bissière rediscovers oil paint and realises, always for the gallery Jeanne Bucher, the model of The Canticle to Brother Sun by Francis of Assisi. Engraved on wood by Fiorini, then printed in color, the book is release at 48 copies, all signed by Bissière and Fiorini.

In 2001, the Ides and Calendes Editions, publish a catalog of the works of Roger Bissière and, thus, render tribute to one of the the french instigator of abstract art.
(sources :,

Currently, the librairie Loliée can show you:
  • Bissière - Francis of Assisi. Cantique à notre frère soleil. Paris, Editions Jeanne Bucher, 1954, in-4, in leaves, cover in parchment paper, folder. 11 original wood engravings in colors by Bissière. 48 copies on Auvergne paper, signed byt the artist and the engraver.

November 14, 2007

Queneau's polyphony

Erudite with an encyclopaedic mind, Raymond Queneau was interested as well in philosophy, mathematics, as languages and anthropology. His mixed experimentation among Surrealists which reach on an exclusion, did not pleased him. Queneau tells indeed, with a satirical tone, this period in Odile (1937). After a trip to Greece of which he liked the language and his service record in Algeria where he learned Arabic, Raymond Queneau is quickly aware of the danger of leaving the literary language away from the spoken language. Bringing these two extremes becomes his literary project.

In 1933, is published his first book, Chiendent, a transposition into a "neo-french" language, both classic and playful, of Discourse on the Method by Descartes. The book won the first literary prize of Les Deux-Magots. Queneau likes to truffer his books of literary references. Published in 1947, Exercices de style (1947), a novel composed of 99 different mini-romans telling the same story, is a major success . The book is inspired by the Art of Fugue by J.S. Bach, heard at a concert with his friend Michel Leiris. In Le Cheval Troyen (1963), Queneau is inspired by the work of Swift. For Le Dimanche de la vie (1952), chronicles of the suburbs life, Queneau borrows its title to Hegel.
As a lover of science, Raymond Queneau also applies arithmetic rules to the construction of his work. With Cent Mille Milliards de Poèmes (1961), he manages a literary and editorial challenge. This book offers to the reader the opportunity to combine and compose poems responding to the classic form of regular sonnet. One hundred thousand billion is the number of possible combinations calculated by Queneau : "It is after all a kind of machine to produce poems, but in limited numbers. It is true that this number, albeit limited, provides reading for nearly two hundred million years ago (if reading 24 hours a day). "

In 1960, Queneau constitutes with François Le Lionnais, a literary research group called Oulipo (Workroom of potential literature) involving Italo Calvino, Jacques Roubaud and Georges Perec, spiritual son if ever there is one. (Sources :,

Currently, the librairie Loliée can offer :
  • Monuments. Paris, Editions du Moustié, 1948, in-4, en leaves, folder from the publisher. First edition decorated with de 12 original engravings by Jean-Paul Vroom.
  • Un Dimanche dans la vie. Paris, N.R.F., 1951, in-12, bradel. First editionOne of the 160 copies on velin paper.
  • Si tu t'imagines. Paris, N.R.F., 1952, in-12. First edition. One of the first 82 copies on velin paper.
  • Le Cheval Troyen. Visat, 1963, in-12 , in leaves, folder. First edition decorated with 20 original drawings by Christiane Alanore. Copie on velin paper (Arches).
  • Les Fleurs Bleues. Paris, Gallimard, 1965, in-8. First edition. One of the 45 first copies on Holland paper.
  • Le Vol d'Icare. Paris, Gallimard, 1968, in-8. First edition. One of the 160 copies on velin paper.
  • Battre la campagne. Paris, Gallimard, 1968, in-12. One of the 105 copies on velin paper.
  • Fendre les Flots. Paris, N.RF., [1969], in-12. First edition. One of the first 35 copie son Holland paper.

November 07, 2007

literature according to Gus Bofa

In 1923, Gus Bofa, illustrator of 20's and 30's, published under the leadership of his friend Roland Dorgelès who wrote the preface, a book of colored drawings : Literary and extra-literary Synthesis. In a warning, Bofa says humorously:
"This elliptical title, although it has a sense, is quite incorrect for the drawings that it announces. A more complete title would have been: Synthesis, Analysis, Exegesis, Prosthetics, Antithesis, Diathesis, Synopsis, Symbols, Parabola, Impressions, literary Expressions and Entertainment. "
Gus Bofa illustrates, in 40 printings, some of the more important names of literature : Proust, Dickens, Maupassant, Zola, etc.

Currently, the librairie Loliée can offer, for Gus Bofa's books :
  • Synthèses littéraires et extra littéraires. Présentées par Roland Dorgèles. Paris, Éditions Mornay, 1923, in-8. First edition. 40 colored drawings of literature author's portraits by Gus Bofa. Copie on White Vergé paper.
  • Le Cirque. Ving-quatre dessins gravés sur bois par Gus-Bofa. Préface de Pierre Mac-Orlan. Paris, Éditions de la Renaissance du Livre, s.d. [1923], in-8. 24 wood engravings by Gus-Bofa.