December 24, 2009

Comte de Gobineau : wachful eye of his time

Remarkable man by his abundant literary production, Joseph Arthur de Gobineau (1816-1882) entered in politics with the support of Alexis de Tocqueville who made him Chief of Staff to the Foreign Ministry. He eventually led a diplomatic career posted to Persia, Greece, Brazil and Sweden. Gobineau wrote many poems, articles, novels, short stories. He attracted the admiration of some contemporaries, notably Richard Wagner. But public recognition did not come. it's his Essay on the Inequality of Human Races which brought him posthumous fame. European Racist movements from the late nineteenth century seized the book and borrow away a large part of Gobineau's ideology who is marked, de facto, as one of the founding fathers of racial thinking. That tarnishes the reputation of his work which is, however, rather diversified. More than a historian, Gobineau has emerged as a lyric writer and a romantic, close to Stendhal or Mérimée.

Currently, la librairie Loliée offers :
  • Gobineau (Comte de). Céphanolie, Naxie et Terre-neuve. Souvenirs de voyage. Le Mouchoir rouge - Akrivie Phrangopoulo - La Chasse au caribou. Paris, Plon, 1897, in-12, original covers and back, binding (Vermorel). First edition.
  • Gobineau (Comte de). Essai sur l’Inégalité des races humaines. Paris, Firmin-Didot et Cie, 1884, 2 volumes in-12, binding. Second edition.
  • [Gobineau (Comte de)] - Dreyfus (Robert). La Vie et les Prophéties du Comte de Gobineau. Paris, Cahier de la Quinzaine, Seizième cahier de la sixième série, 1905, in-12, bradel bradel. Copy with a dedicace from the author to Marcel Bontemps.
  • Gobineau (Comte de). La Fleur d’or. Paris, Grasset, « Les Cahiers Verts », 1923, in-12. Copy on vergé bouffant paper.