December 04, 2007

Dedicaces by Verlaine

is perhaps the most heterogeneous collection of poems by Paul Verlaine. It contains 4 ballads and 37 pieces dedicated to his friends. There is included in the first edition of 1890 (followed in 1894 an expanded edition) a portrait of Verlaine at the hospital. It is one of the many portraits done by F.-A. Cazals, cartoonist and close friend, during the convalescence of Verlaine to Broussais, his "sanitary prison", in which the poet, depressive, made several stays.

Despite a growing celebrity, Verlaine does not get over the remarriage of Mathilde, his wife, and is affected with not seeing his son. Between wanderings, absinthes and hospitalizations, he holds on with the help of his friends. Dédicaces is released through the intermediary of Léon Deschamps who, after the parting of Verlaine with his publisher Vanier, brings out the book at the editions of La Plume-Bibliothèque Artistique et Littéraire.

Put back in this context, Dédicaces, bouquet of sonnets offered by Verlaine to his friends, has a very moving dimension.
(source : album Verlaine - bibliothèque de la Pléiade, Gallimard - 1981)

Currently, the librairie Loliée offers :
  • Verlaine (Paul). Dédicaces. Drawing by A.F. Cazals, engraved by Maurice Baud. Paris, Bibliothèque Artistique et Littéraire, 1890, in-16, bound. First edition. On of the 50 copies on Holland paper signed by the author.