December 31, 2008

Krapp's Last Tape

Krapp's Last Tape (in French, La Dernière Bande) is a monologue primarily written in 1958 for the English radio. Samuel Beckett finally adapts the text to the theater in addition to Endgame played at the Royal Court Theatre of London. The role was created by Patrick Magee, Irish actor for who Beckett imagined the text. In a room occupied by a single table and dusty archives, Krapp, an old and shabby intellectual, records on an antique tape recorder his comments on the past year. He listens to the sound of his own voice and makes a bitter analysis of his vanished existence. Beckett riddles the text with stage indications, specifies the intonation of the voice, indicates the rythme of the delivery in order to create the space in which fits Krapp's memories.
A few months after the first production in London, Beckett translated in French this "monodrama" with the help of Pierre Leyris. It was not until 1960 that the piece is created by Roger Blin at the Récamier theatre in its French version.

Now a classic, Krapp's Last Tape is one of the great dramatic texts by Beckett. Many artists have tried to interpret the figure of Krapp: in 2000 John Hurt in the Atom Egoyan's film adaptation or in 2006, Harold Pinter who, to celebrate the 50th season anniversary of the Royal Court Theatre, took over the role.
(source : Wikipedia).

Currently, the librairie Loliée offers Samuel Beckett's french first editions :
  • La Dernière Bande. Traduit de l’anglais par Pierre Leyris et l’auteur. Paris, Éditions de Minuit, 1959, in-12. Limited to 47 copies on Marais vellum paper. Complete of the errata folio.
  • Tous Ceux qui tombent. Pièce radiophonique traduit de l’anglais Robert Pinget. Paris, Editions de Minuit, 1957, in-12. Limited to 80 copies on Marais vellum paper.
  • Bing. Paris, Éditions de Minuit, 1966, in-12. Copy on BFK vellum paper.
  • Sans. Paris, Éditions de Minuit, 1969, in-12. Limited to 742 copies on Rives vellum paper.
  • Berceuse suivi de Impromptu d’Ohio. Traduits de l’anglais par l’auteur. Paris, Éditions de Minuit, 1982, in-16. Limited to 99 copies on Arches vellum paper.
  • Pour en finir encore. Paris, Éditions de Minuit, 1976, in-12, grey bradel (Mouillac). Copy on Arches Vullum paper.

December 18, 2008

Small and Large Drinks

"As for France, it seems that the cocktail made its first appearance with the Anglo-American bars shortly after the exhibition of 1889. Column talks about it and newspapers are aware of it. Alphonse Allais is prompt to stuff his tales with those new beverage names which have then all the flavour of novelty : Sherry Cobbler, Mint Julep, pick-me-up, prairie oyster, etc. "

Petits et Grands Verres (Small and Large drinks), published in 1927, offers a choice of the best cocktail recipes, sometimes with fanciful names which titillate imagination and taste buds. The 10 engravings by Jean-Emile Laboureur, who illustrates the book, highlight the delicate etiquette of the manners at the time.

Currently, the librairie Loliée offers :
  • Laboureur (J.-E.). Petits et Grands Verres. Choix des meilleurs cocktails. Recueillis par Nina Toye et A.-H. Adair et mis en français par Ph. Le Huby. 10 gravures de J.-E. Laboureur. Paris, Au Sans Pareil, 1927, in-4. 10 original and full-page ethcings by Laboureur. Limited to 270 copies, this one on vellum paper.

December 10, 2008

Charles Bovary and Flaubert savoir-faire

The first Madame Bovary that we discover in the famous novel written by Gustave Flaubert is not necessarily the one we think about. The story opens with a sketch taken place in a provincial school : "the new fellow", a shy and meticulous boy does not dare throwing on the floor, like his schoolmates, the new and ridiculously pedantic cap his mother makes him wear. In one chapter, Flaubert tells how a relentless maternal love brings Charles, future husband of Emma, to surpass his mediocrity in order to reach an acceptable social status. Madame Bovary wants her son to become a doctor. The young man moves in town to study and is stunned by the list of disciplines he must follows. "He understood nothing of it all ; it was all very well to listen he did not follow. Still he worked, he had bound note-books, he attended all the courses, never missed a single lecture. He did his little daily task like a mill-horse, who goes round and round with his eyes bandaged, not knowing what work he is doing. " In this quote, we can sense Flaubert savoir-faire, the syntax made of simple and acurate sentences which build up to conclude on an obvious and almost cruel metaphor.

One night, Charles, now a rural doctor, is called to treat a fracture, by chance, "simple". He meets Emma and his father, injured. Young widow of an unhappy first marriage, Charles falls in love with Emma. It is through his eyes that we see for the first time this young and pale woman with a look "that came at you frankly, with a candid boldness." After a court whose romantic dimension seduces Emma but reflects mostly Charles clumsiness and inexperience, a marriage is quickly settled. As a happy man, Mr. Bovary becomes puffy, lost in a comfortable routine ; regarding Madam ... after only fifty pages, the issue comes as a bolt from the blue : "Before marriage, she [Emma] thought herself in love ; but the happiness that should have followed this love not having come, she must, she thought, have been mistaken. And Emma tried to find out what one meant exactly in life by the words felicity, passion, rapture, that had seemed to her so beautiful in books. "

Currently, the librairie Loliée offers :
  • Flaubert (Gustave). Madame Bovary. Mœurs de province. Paris, Michel Lévy Frères, 1857, 2 volumes bound in one, in-12, full red levant, original covers preserved, case (Chambolle-Duru). First edition.

December 04, 2008

When Louis Legrand illustrates Edgar Poë

Bank employee, Louis Legrand takes night classes at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts of Dijon. It is then with Félicien Rops that he learns the techniques of printmaking. He becomes famous by working as a cartoonist for the periodical Le Courrier Français. His dark and macabre vision of Paris nights causes him to be charged for obscenity and briefly imprisoned in 1891. Legrand then turns to more soft subjects and participates in Gil Blas, an illustrated periodical which makes sales records. His engravings on dance classes are reprinted, the following year, by E. Dentu, under the title Cours de danse fin de siècle. Legrand continues to describe this art with Les Petits du Ballet published in 1893 by Gustave Pellet. This is the beginning of a long collaboration with the editor who published thereafter among the most beautiful works of Toulouse-Lautrec, a master who outshined Legrand yet his predecessor.
In his study of the work of the painter, published also by Pellet, Camille Mauclair focuses on the illustrations made for Quinze Histoires d'Edgard Poe and adds :
"Those fifteen plates are little known and not often reproduced. They deserve yet to be widely shared, not only because of their beauty, but because they are so far the only illustrations work that someone dared try of these terrible masterpiece. "

Currently, the librairie Loliée offers :
  • Legrand (Louis) - [Baudelaire (Charles)]. Quinze Histoires d'Edgar Poë. Illustrations de Louis Legrand. Paris, imprimé pour les Amis du Livre, Chaumerot et Renouard, 1897, in-4, binding in full black levant (Chambolle-Duru). Edition illustrated with 15 full-page original etchings, in two state, on Japan paper, et with 30 in-text drawings.
  • Legrand (Louis) – Ramiro (Erasthène). Faune Parisienne. Paris, Gustave Pellet Éditeur, 1901, in-4, binding full brown levant (Canape). First edition illustrated with 19 original etchings by Louis Legrand, including the cover. Limited to 130 copies. This one with a second state, in black of the etchings et with two original drawings enhanced with watercolors.
  • [Legrand (Louis)] - Mauclair (Camille). Louis Legrand, peintre et graveur. Paris, H. Floury et G. Pellet, 1910, petit in-4. Important study with many illustrations.