February 19, 2009

The narrative poetry of Robert Desnos

Robert Desnos joins André Breton in the early Surrealism and became one of the key members of the movement. He tells his dreams, writes and draws in a state of trance. He uses his technique to express the spontaneity of his inspiration. He feels quickly shut by the doctrine of Breton and left the group in 1930. His style became less eccentric. Desnos develops then a poetry closer to the harsh reality marked by the Second World War. From this period dates Etat de veille (literally "standby state"), which reflects this form of narrative poetry specific to Desnos.

"Poser sa tête sur on oreiller
Et sur cet oreiller dormir
et dormant rêver
A des choses curieuses ou d'avenir,

Rêvant croire à ce qu'on rêve
Et rêvant garder la notion
De la vie qui passe sans trêve
Du soir à l'aube sans rémission.

Ceci est presque normal,
ceci est presque délicieux
Mais je plains ceux,
Qui dorment vite et mal,

Et, mal éveillés, rêvent en marchant.

Ainsi j'ai marché autrefois,
J'ai marché, agi en rêvant,
Prenant les rues pour les allées d'un bois.

Une place pour les rêves
Mais les rêves à leur place."
Rêves - in Etat de veille - 1944

Currently, the librairie Loliée offers first editions of Robert Desnos :
  • Deuil pour deuil. Paris, Editions du Sagittaire, les Cahiers Nouveaux, 1924, in-16. Copy on Rives paper.
  • Corps et Biens. Paris, N.R.F., 1930, in-8. One of the 109 first copies on Lafuma paper.
  • Etat de Veille. 10 gravures au burin par Gaston-Louis Rond. Paris, Pour mes Amis, 1943, in-4, en feuilles, chemise. 10 full page original engravings by Gaston-Louis Rond. One of the 20 copies on Arches paper including one original drawing, 1 suite of the engravings on China paper and 5 refused engravings.
  • Mines de rien. Paris, Broder, 1957, in-12, in leaves, publisher's case. 4 full page originals engravings in color by André Masson. Limited to 130 copies on Rives signed by the illustrator.
  • Mines de rien. Paris, Broder, 1957, in-12, beautiful binding by Semet et Plumelle. 4 full page originals engravings in color by André Masson. Limited to 130 copies on Rives signed by the illustrator. Un des 10 copies not mentionned in the limited edition, including a suite in black of the engravings, each engraving justified an dsigned by Masson.

February 11, 2009

Poems by Debordes-Valmore

In the 19th century, poetry is a genre reserved for men and few women publish under their real name. The best known of them, Marceline Desbordes-Valmore (1786-1859) is a self-taught. Coming from the petty bourgeoisie ruined by the Revolution, the young woman survived becoming an actress and an opera singer. After a failed marriage and the death of her first son, she married actor Prosper Lachantin, said Valmore, with whom she has three children. She published, in 1819, a first collection, Elégies, Marie et Romances. The poetess, then, never stopped writing and put an end to her theatrical career in 1823. She quickly earned the admiration of his peers including Balzac, Victor Hugo and Sainte-Beuve. Her inventiveness, which dusts off the conventionel meter, greatly influenced Verlaine.
(sources : wikipédia, Larousse).

"Quand je t'écris à l'ombre du mystère,
Je crois te voir et te parler tout bas;
Mais, je l'avoue, en ce lieu solitaire,
tout est tranquille, et mon cœur ne l'est pas,
Quand je t'écris.

En vain j'écris : quand l'âme est oppressée,
Le temps s'arrête; il n'a plus d'avenir.
Non, loin de toi, je n'ai qu'une pensée,
et mon bonheur n'est plus qu'un souvenir :
En vain j'écris.

Je n'ai plus d'espérance :
Mais je ne voudrais pas, pour tout mon avenir,
perdre le souvenir! "

Le Billet
- in Poésies, Boulard, 1830

Currently, the librairie Loliée offers :
  • Desbordes-Valmore (Marceline). Poésies. Paris, A. Boulard, 1830, 2 volumes in-8, binding by Mercier. First general edition, with vignettes from Deveria, Henri Monnier, Tony Johannot and Pujol. One of the few copies on thin vellum paper including 4 plates figures in 3 conditions,and the engraving on vellum paper. Joined : two handwritten paper sheets of Desbordes-Valmore (the fist one, a poem and the second, a letter regarding her daughter Ondine).

February 05, 2009

Max Bucaille's daydreamings

At first mathematician, Max Bucaille (1906-1992) joined the surrealist group in 1947. Collagist and poet often overshadowed by Max Ernst, he built a major work. In The Dream Scanner, one of his better knowns books published by G.L.M. in 1950, the poet Jean Laude, writer of the preface, presents the work of the artist:
"Max Bucaille, since it's him we speak about, takes a pair of scissors and glue. He takes old illustrated books and, for our pleasure, daydreams. [...] Who will watch, who will dreams of these images, will maybe better supported in the real world those objects that are composed here. "

Currently, the librairie Loliée offers :
  • Bucaille (Max). Le Scaphandrier des Rêves. Preface by J. Laude. Paris, GLM, 1950, in-12. First edition with 13 collages, with the cover, by the artist. Limited to 500 copies on vellum paper.
  • Bucaille (Max). Entre le Sommeil et le noir. Paris, Le Nyctalope, 1982, thin in-12, brochée. First edition with 7 collages, by the artist. Limited to 333 copies on Arches paper.