March 24, 2011

Le surréalisme, même : a major surrealist magazine of the postwar period

Published by the book-dealer Jean-Jacques Pauvert from October 1956 to spring 1959, Le Surréalisme, même constitutes a major surrealist magazine of the postwar period. André Breton seeks to give new impulsion to Surrealism and brings together different generations of surrealists or works with artists close to the movement (and Pierre Molinier, known for his photo-montage, makes the cover of the second issue).
The title of the revue, stopped after 5 issues - which makes  its rarity, is an allusion to the painting project of Marcel Duchamp, "La Mariée mise à nu par ses célibataires, même" (read a project description, in french, here). Note that the first issue, contains an extra: Les Détraqués by P.-L. Palau, a piece that fascinated Breton and to which he devotes several pages in Nadja (one can understand why the story seduced the founder of the Surrealism : a morphine addict teacher, prone to  homicidal madness crisis and sexual  perversion, runs wild in a college, among  girls decents in every ways.)

Actuellement, la librairie Loliée propose :

  • [REVUE]. Le Surréalisme, même. n° 1 (octobre 1956) à n° 5 (Printemps 1959). Paris, Librairie Jean-Jacques Pauvert,  5 volumes in-8 carré, brochés, couvertures illustrées. Collection complète de cette revue surréaliste majeure de l'après-guerre dirigée par André Breton.

March 03, 2011

The Last Flower by James Thurber

James Thurber (1835-1910), author and illustrator, was from 1927 to 1933 editor at  the famous magazine The New Yorker. He is well known for his humoristic articles and cartoons . In The Last Flower, translated by Albert Camus and published by Gallimard in 1952, James Thurber invites us to follow a strange adventure, a quite obvious "parable in pictures", as said the french subheading :

We are in the aftermath of the 12th World War. There are no more signs of civilization (houses, museums, art works, gardens, everything is destroyed). Men are inferior to animals and sit there doing nothing. One day, a young woman discovers the last flower in the world and finds it is dying. She warns the others and only one man pays attention to her concern. Both of them take care of the plant. The nature goes her way, with the help of a small bee,  and soon another flower seeds, then another, then another ... The woman and the man discover each other in the process. Love is reborn on earth. The next generation reinvents civilization : creating new houses, arts but also entering in new  arguments. War eventually breaks out again, leaving nothing except a young woman, a man and a flower ...

Currently, the librairie Loliée offers :

  • [CAMUS (Albert)] THURBER (James). La Dernière Fleur. Paris, Gallimard, 1952, in-4 oblong, red and illustrated publisher's binding. First french edition. Each page is framed with a pale green border which highlights the black and white illustrations.