January 22, 2007

Rip Van Winkle illustrated by Arthur Rackham

Rip van Winkle by Washington Irving, published in1819, was part of a collection intitled The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon and usually assigned as the birth of fantastic literature. Irving is inspired by european fairy tales patterns (the brother Grimm notably) and built fictions which mix fantastic, mythology and U.S. politics.

Rip Van Winkle tells how the protagonist, a dutch settler, gets drunk and fells asleep, a stormy night, in the Castkill Mountains. When he wakes up, he finds, incredulous, that his night of drinking with the spirits of Henry Hudson and his crew from the shift "Half-moon", counts for twenty years to the rest of the world. In one night, the subject of his Majesty George the Third, is now a free citizen of the United States! During his long sleep, the revolutionnary war issues on the creation of the USA. Welcomed as a ghost, our hero is frightened by this new nation. The "american dream", for him, begins as a nightmare (see the entire story).

Irving's stories became legends and take part nowadays of the american unconscious mind.

The illustrations by Arthur Rackham, feed the fanstastic dimension of Rip Van Winkle and underscore the irony and the blackness of this unpleasant aftertaste of this unwilling American.

Currently, you can find at the librairie Loliée :
  • [Rackham (Arthur)] - Irving (Washington) - Rip Van Winckle. Paris, Hachette, 1906, in-4, "bradel" binding in wove paper.
  • [Rackham (Arthur)] - Fort(Paul) - Le Livre des Ballades. Paris, Piazza, 1921, in-4.

January 12, 2007

Par les champs et par les grèves

Par les champs et par les grèves, posthumous work, relates travels Flaubert made in Britain with Maxime Du Camp. Du Camp specified in his Souvenirs littéraires that the choice actually came to Britain because it was a rather far distant country, still out of civilization by his language and by his way of life. The book contains a distant irony which is typical of Flaubert who loves to mix different levels, writing about the visit of a monument and in the same time quoting his readings of travel.

This book is a learning tale, of sensations, of the wild and primal beauty of nature, and also a learning of britain people who has such peculiar standards. With this book, Flaubert experiments with the descriptive narration and adjusts his technique (portaits, urban and outsides lanscapes). Par les champs et par les grèves is also a quest tale, the one of a writer "in the making", who runs in the step of one his stylistic masters, Chateaubriand. There is something really touching when Flaubert visits the grave still empty of Chateaubriand at the Grand Bé island, or when he pays a nervous visit to Combourg where the great author grew up.

The book already indicates the Flaubert's touch and his predilection for all-embracing themes and motives, any material suitable for future novels. Nothing strange so that Proust was inspired by Par les champs et les grèves, his reading coincides with the redaction of Jean Santeuil and the sequence dedicated to Beg-Meil.
Source : http://www.crlv.org/outils/encyclopedie/afficher.php?encyclopedie_id=562

Currently at the librairie Loliee:

  • Par les Champs et les grèves, Paris, Charpentier, 1886, in-8, binding by Yseult. Original Edition.
  • Par les Champs et les grèves, Paris, Carteret, 1924, binding by Noulhac. Edition illustrated by 53 etchings of Henri Jourdain.

January 05, 2007

Galanis, a greek master

Considered as one of the master of contemporary engraving, Dimitrios Emmanuel Galanis, native to Greece, was born in Athens in 1879 (or 1882) and died in Paris in 1966.

Naturalized french citizen, he used to leave in Paris where he associated with intellectual circles. He frequented Derain, Matisse and Maillol. His aesthetic was closer from Maillol than Matisse. He was the first greek artist to be a well-known member of the artistical european avant-garde. In 1920, he took part to an exhibition with Matisse, Vlaminck and Georges Braque. In 1921, he was exhibiting with Juan Gris, Raoul Dufy, Marc Chagall and Pablo Picasso. Famous in France, he exhibited also in Brussels Bruxelles, London and New York.

His first one-man exhibition occured in 1922. He received a rousing and welcomed review. André Malraux told of Galanis that he had a same power of evocation as Giotto's.
Galanis was also a professor at the Beaux-Arts de Paris and member of the Institut.

Galanis illustrated various books. His mastery shows through the beautiful etchings he composed in 1930 for Les Nourritures Terrestres by Gide.

Currently at the Librairie Loliee :
  • [Galanis] - Gide - Les Nourritures Terrestres. Paris, Gallimard, 1930, in-4, binding by Martin.
  • [Galanis] - Gabory - Coeurs à Prendre. Paris, Editions du Sagittaire, 1920, in-4.

(source : http://fr.wikipedia.org)