September 30, 2010

Fernand Fleuret : style and fantasy

Fernand Fleuret (1883-1945) grows up in Normandy, with his grandfather. He studies at various schools. Undisciplined student, he is sent to the Jesuits. Based in Paris, where he earns his living as a journalist, he begins his career as a writer by producing a stylish and fanciful poetry that appeals the literary and artistic circles of the time. He becomes friend with Guillaume Apollinaire, Louis Perceau, Gus Bofa or Raoul Dufy. Fleuret, an erudite, is also known for his pastiche work, notably by rewriting erotic poems of the Renaissance found at the National Library. Tired of his socialite life style, he settles in southern France. He marries the feminist Gabrielle Réval, 15 years his senior. Fleuret, eager to resume his bohemian life, finally returns in the capital. He nevertheless keeps a deep affection for Gabrielle Reval who supports him until the end. In 1935, Fleuret receives the Renaissance book prize for Echec au Roi, a historical novel that recounts the last 10 years of the reign of Henry IV. If his work is beginning to be recognized, the writer goes through many phases of depression and hallucinations. He sinks slowly into madness and is interned at St. Anne. He dies in 1945. Pascal Pia tells about him: "No trade has been more enjoyable or more productive than the company of Fleuret and his work . I should have said it earlier and I should have shown how, by an extraordinary encounter, erudition, humour and poetry made of Fleuret a character not so common to find, and as, perhaps, there had been none since Nerval."
(source :, Talvart)

Currently, the librairie Loliée offers various books by Fernand Fleuret :
  • [Collectif]. L'Enfer de la Bibliothèque Nationale. Bibliographie méthodique et critique de tous les ouvrages composant cette célèbre collection avec une préface, un index des titres et une table des auteurs par Guillaume Apollinaire, Fernand Fleuret, Louis Perceau. Paris, Bibliothèque des Curieux, 1919, in-8,. Erotic bibliography with a detailed catalogue done by Apollinaire, Perceau and Fleuret of 930 books of the National Librairy. Copy on satin vellum paper.
  • Les Derniers plaisirs. Histoire espagnole. Paris, Gallimard, 1924, in-12. First edition. Limited to 1000 copies. One of the 30 not to sell copies on Lafuma-Navarre vellum paper. With a dedication of the author to his friend, the writer Pierre Mac Orlan.
  • Histoire de la Bienheureuse Raton fille de joie. Paris, N.R.F., 1926, in-8, covers, binding by Alix. Édition originale. One of the 109 first copies reimposed on Lafuma-Navarre vellum paper.
  • Soeur Félicité. Récit orné de six images hors texte dessinées et gravées à l'eau-forte par Yves Alix. Paris, Au sans Pareil, 1926, in-12. First edition illustrated with six drawings by Yves Alix. Copy on Montgolfier d'Annonay vellum paper.
  • De Gilles de Rais à Guillaume Apollinaire. Paris, Mercure de France, 1933, in-12. First edition. One of the 22 copies on Montgolfier vellum, only deluxe paper.
  • Échec au Roi. Paris, Gallimard, 1935, in-12. First edition. One of the 37 first copies on vellum paper.

September 24, 2010

Claude Terrasse and Pierre Bonnard : a family spirit

Claude Terrasse (1867-1923) met the Bonnard family through the eldest son Charles, while doing civic service time. In 1890 he married Andrée Bonnard, also a musician. The couple moved to Arcachon where Terrasse is a piano teacher. He worked very early with his brother in law, the painter Pierre Bonnard. At that time, is published Petites Scènes Familières pour Piano (Familiar Little Scenes for piano). Pierre Bonnard takes pleasure in playing with the austere chromatic of lithography while Claude Terrasse already demonstrates his talent as a composer of light music with 'La fête au village" (the village party), set of four humorous partitions.
Appointed in Paris in 1896, Claude Terrasse uses the workshop adjoining his apartment to create the Théâtre des Pantins (puppet's theatre). All the Parisian artistic avant-garde is involved in this adventure. Claude Terrasse continues to work with Alfred Jarry for whom he has just composed the music for Ubu Roi, whose first representation made scandal. In 1898, is published Repertoires des Pantins (Puppet's repertory) which includes the songs created for the Claude Terrasse's puppet theatre. In this set of nine booklets, illustrated with six original lithographs by Bonnard, one can find the opening of Ubu Roi and the famous "Song of brainwashing" (full text here.)

Currently, the librairie Loliée offers :
  • Bonnard (Pierre) - Terrasse (Claude). Petites Scènes familières pour piano. Illustrations de Pierre Bonnard. Paris, Fromont, s.d., huge in-4, half-levant binding, folder and case (Alain Devauchelle). Rare music sheets by Claude Terrasse, illustrated with 19 charming original lithographs by Pierre Bonnard.
  • Bonnard (Pierre) - Jarry (Alfred) - Franc-Nohain - Terrasse (Claude). Répertoire des Pantins. Musique de Claude Terrasse. Lithographies originales de Pierre Bonnard et Jarry. Paris, Mercure de France, 1898, 9 booklets in-4, folder and case. 6 original lithographs by Pierre Bonnard et 3 by Alfred Jarry illustrate the music of Claude Terrasse.

September 16, 2010

Utrillo : the brush and the bottle

Maurice Utrillo (1883-1955) grew up in the school of life, that of the Butte Montmartre in Paris. Disturbed and already alcoholic teenager, Utrillo was raised by his grandmother. Uncontrollable, he regularly stayed in a psychiatric clinic. His mother, Suzanne Valadon, earns his living as a model for Renoir, Toulouse-Lautrec or Degas. She managed to make a career and become an artist herself. She introduced her son the art of painting and found a way to curb, at least, his misconduct.
Francis Carco described the legendary figure of bad boy that Utrillo was :
"What mattered that he was a great painter! He knew it. He did not need anyone to tell him so. And after? Paying for a drink? Good. That was all he claimed. Enough of stories, ok? Enough clap-trap. Money is better and quickly! To rush to the pub, get drunk and argue. [...] He dearly loved the alcohol! In back streets [of Utrillo compositions], I always find a stubborn expectation, a hope, the perpetually and eager suffering to retain the image of his torture. This feeling dominates everything. It makes a silent drama and the sky appears as through vials of a counter where you do not want a drunken man."
(source : National Library of Netherlands)

Currently, the librairie Loliée offers :
  • Utrillo (Maurice) - Carco (Francis). La Légende et la Vie d’Utrillo. Lithographies originales de Maurice Utrillo. Paris, Marcel Seheur, 1927, in-4, in leaves, covers, 2 folders in one case. 10 original and full-page lithographs and a frontispiece in colors by Maurice Utrillo, a portrait of the artist (orginal lithograph) by Suzanne Valadon. Triple suite of the lithographs on Japan and China paper.

September 09, 2010

François Coppée - Alexis Orsat : a long friendship

Francois Coppée (1842-1908), poet who first knew success as a playwriter, lived during his lifetime recognition of his peers. Archivist at the Comédie Française, he entered the Académie Française in 1884. Mocked by the "poètes maudits" who denounced his classic, simple and populist style, François Coppée was nevertheless appreciated by the little people he liked to describe lives.
Bachelor who stayed with his mother, Francois Coppée was a socialite. Little wonder then that he befriended Alexis Orsat (1837-1906), a civil servant as Coppée used to be. The poet dedicated to Orsat the poem "A Son" in one of his first collections, Les Humbles (the Modests), published in 1872. Coppée also made him meet with J.-K. Huysmans with whom Orsat liked to go to diners of the parisian suburb. Alexis Orsat is well known in the universe of bibliophilia because a lot of the authors from the period - Zola, Barbey d'Aurevilly, Maupassant, autographed some of theirs first editions to him.
For the funeral oration of his friend, Françoise Coppée wrote:
"Orsat was, you know, a very useful and conscientious servant of the state (...) But, I'm not afraid to say it, our friend was superior to his fate, and it is a pity that his faculties were not be deployed in a larger and more free space. Everywhere, he could have been part of the elite, especially in the letters he loved with passion and which gave him the greatest joys of life. "

Currently, la librairie Loliée propose :
  • Coppée (François). Les Récits et élégies. Récits épiques - L’Exilée - Les Mois - Jeunes Filles. Paris, Alphonse Lemerre, 1878, in-12, covers. Edition with some texts published for the first time. Copy with a autograph dedication to Alexis Orsat.
  • Coppée (François). Paroles prononcées par M. François Coppée sur la tombe de son ami Alexis Orsat. S.l. [Paris], s.é [Lemerre], 8 novembre 1906, booklet in-8, covers. First edition of this text pronounced by Coppée at Orsat's funeral.