VERLAINE(Paul). Sagesse. Paris, Société Générale... - Lot 173 - Ferri & Associés

Lot 173
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Result : 3 200EUR
VERLAINE(Paul). Sagesse. Paris, Société Générale... - Lot 173 - Ferri & Associés
VERLAINE(Paul). Sagesse. Paris, Société Générale de Librairie Catholique,1881. In-8, red half-maroquin, ornate spine, corners, gilt head, untrimmed, cover and spine, slipcase (Pagnant). ORIGINAL EDITION, very rare, of this collection, some of whose poems Verlaine composed during his imprisonment in Mons. The author spent nearly 600 francs on this publication, of which 500 copies were printed on wove paper. The work met with no success. Conversion in prison would dictate to Verlaine the admirable mystical poems of Sagesse, which inaugurated religious poetry in more traditional forms, giving way, "parallèlement", to secular volumes, satirical or sensual, even bawdy, where verse sometimes cousins with mirliton and is only too rarely "la chose envolée" (En français dans le texte, no. 301). A superb copy, in a fine, fresh contemporary binding (the fragile cover is in mint condition), with a beautiful autograph letter signed by Paul Verlaine, addressed to the publisher Alphonse Lemerre (who published Verlaine's first poetic works: Poèmes saturniens - Fêtes galantes - La Bonne Chanson...), dated: "Paris, 17 rue de la Roquette, 22 Janvier 1883" (2 pp. 1/2 in-8), relating to Les Poètes maudits and Jadis et Naguère. Les Poètes maudits was Verlaine's first volume of prose, and also the poet's first work to be published by Vanier: "I have a small favor to ask of you, first; then a large one. Could you give me 2 or 3 copies of each of my books published by you... I intend to publish two volumes as soon as possible, one of prose, the other of verse... both volumes are absolutely free of politics or debatable ideas, purely literary and artistic... Time must have softened incomprehensible resentments in a very small part of your current entourage. So has the heavy reproach of envy that you once sent me, and so unjustly that you must have since returned completely. As for politics, also reproached (as we know, after the Commune Verlaine had to go into exile successively in England and Belgium), without detaching myself absolutely from it today, first of all I've changed my way of looking at it completely, then I repeat to you that there isn't a scrap of it in the 2 volumes in question, I've kept, I'm honored to say, all my friends of yesteryear, with one exception that you know and that I, a good-natured and frank man, have yet to understand. You must understand that my latest book, Sagesse, required a special publisher, and I haven't bothered you with requests on this subject...". Verlaine's other works appeared with other publishers, mainly Vanier, so this letter did not persuade Lemerre to renew contact with the poet.
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