August 27, 2010

When Brassaï tells us the Story Of Mary

Brassaï (1899-1984) found interested in everything, seizing with a camera lens, a brush or a pen, a society in which he never was tired of walking. As his friend Henry Miller wrote in the preface to Histoire de Marie (Story of Mary), Brassaï had "the skill to place himself at the same level of anyone. There is no activity or occupation with which he is not familiar, not an area in all Paris that he has not thoroughly explored, not a subject with which he has some privacy".
Who is this Mary that Brassaï decided to tell us the story? Just his housekeeper. The book, divided into two parts, "About Mary" and "The Trial of Mary", offers a compendium of ideas declining a mixture of humor and distress. The book concludes with a list of Mary's keywords that makes us kindly smile. Quoting again the words of Henry Miller about the book, "Brassai outlined everything that is worth to be reported of a nobody, of a man of street life".

History of France
I like History.
I like all of what have happened.
History of France. History of the Kings. History
of the Queens. History of the Crusades.
But I never go to the movie theater.
I don't like what makes people laugh.
Laugh, I found no interest in it!

Currently, the librairie Loliée offers :
  • Brassaï. Histoire de Marie. Avec une introduction de Henry Miller. Paris, Les Éditions du Point du Jour, 1949, covers. First edition. Limited to 2600 copies. One of the 26 first copies with an original etching by Brassaï.