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.