Lot n° 793
15000 - 20000
SAINT-EXUPÉRY Antoine de (1900-1944) aviateur et ecrivain.
MANUSCRIPT autograph, [Letter to the French, 1942]; 31 sheets in-4 written on the front in black ink on watermarked American Esleeck Fidelity Onion Skin paper.
First unpublished version of the Letter to the French calling on the French to unite to save France . Saint-Exupéry, exiled in the United States, finds himself in a delicate situation: he doesn't want to choose between Vichy and De Gaulle, while at the same time wanting to fight Nazism and Hitler's Germany. Choosing De Gaulle is difficult for him, while the general is not recognized by the American government. After the occupation of the "free zone" on November 11, 1942, wanting to bring together the French living in the U.S.A. and convince America to intervene in the war, he wrote an appeal to the French for a radio address broadcast on November 29, 1942 on American radio stations transmitting in French and widely reproduced in the press, collected in Un sens à la vie, now published under the title Lettre aux Français (Pléiade, t. II, pp. 69-73)]. This text is a first draft, with erasures, corrections and marginal additions, with discontinuous pagination, of the Letter to the French, very different from the definitive text. We will quote only brief excerpts from it here. "As a Frenchman from my country, I have long refused to address you. ... I feel French. France is not one. I am not France. I am from France. ...] This war, Frenchmen, we had the honour of fighting it against the reason of the logicians. We thought it was high time we stood up against Nazism. We were advanced sentinels. We looked around us and saw nothing to lean on. The problems facing our generation are inextricably contradictory.... A time without clear boundaries. The border runs across the nation. Sometimes through family. Always through man. ...everything could crack if our border cracked. ...we were carrying on our shoulders a weight heavier than 1914. Of course we were against the armistice. It was a rite of so
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