Lot n° 189
8000 - 10000
Francis PICABIA (1879-1853).
MANUSCRIT autograph signed "Francis Picabia", Ennazus Cerf-volant. September 13, 1946; small notebook in-4 (22 x 17,5 cm) of 40 leaves (plus 8 blank ff), that is 79 pages, in brick hardcover with autograph title and drawing.
Final manuscript of the poem Ennazus, with a drawing on the cover.
Written in black ink on the front and back pages of a small squared paper notebook, it is dated at the end and signed: "Rubingen 13 September 1946/Francis Picabia".
Picabia composed this collection of poems, which has long remained unpublished, during a vacation in Switzerland, in Rubingen, with his wife Olga's family; these texts reflect Picabia's tumultuous love affair with his mistress Suzanne Romain (Ennazus is the reversal of Suzanne) [on this affair, see Carole Boulbès, Picabia with Nietzsche. Love letters to Suzanne Romain (1944-1948), Les Presses du réel, 2010]. Picabia drew up a typed version of this on September 13, 1946, entitled Ennazus, which was addressed to Christine Boumeester, and which was published as an appendix to Lettres à Christine (Gérard Lebovici, 1988, p. 201-246), before being collected in Écrits critiques (Mémoire du Livre, 2005, p. 625-671). This manuscript gives the final version, obtained by fusion and collage, or more exactly braiding of the various poems. It is on this manuscript, which presents erasures and corrections, that will be established the dactylogram (very faulty) having served later for the edition. It should be noted that Picabia finished his work five times, before taking it up again and extending it five times.
The cover shows, in addition to the title, a pen drawing: a kite to which is attached a snake that bites its tail.
 Title and dedication: "francis PicaBia /ÉNNAZUS/cerf-volant /Preface Par/J. I dedicate this book to my friend Alvaro Guevara /in memory of our evenings in Bern./ Publisher ???" [This manuscript makes it possible to restore the name of the dedicatee, the Chilean painter Alvaro Guevara (1894-1951)]. On the verso, a series of six epigraphs, signed F.P., except for one G.S.
[2-3] Preface, with addition on the back of f. 2; the signature J. Caspar Schmidt has been crossed out, except for the initials.
[3 v°] Ennazus, with some corrections: "While I am writing this little book, a naked Spanish woman is sitting on my bed"... [4-5 v°] The Survivor: "Everything is haunted,/like a ghost"... [5 v°-23] Last days: " You who plunged your eyes/to the bottom of my heart "... In addition to numerous corrections, we note a continuation of eight lines crossed out.
[23-35 v°] Farewell : " I knelt on the sand,/I thrust my arm under the grate/and felt the feet of the women "... A first ending was envisaged [34 v°] after these last sentences in prose: "The owner of the hotel was talking with a newcomer who had a blue suitcase with the initials S.B.A. placed next to her"; Picabia wrote the word END, and: "Finished in Rubigen on September 7, 1946", then "I don't care if others are and have the same things as me. F.P."; he then carefully crossed out the whole thing, and continued his prose poem: "Ennazus had left his family"... At the end of the poem, he again wrote and crossed out: "Finished in Rubigen on August 7, 46/Francis Picabia".
[35 v°-37 v°] Return: "In the spiritual field/the one who knows best/how he goes"... A first end is envisaged after : "Ennazus put his two hands/in mine"; Picabia inscribed the word end, and: "Finished in Rubigen on September 7, 1946/Francis Picabia", then crossed out and continued his poem. After the last lines, a new final note, with date and signature, is crossed out again.
[38-40] The poem Kite is preceded by a carefully crossed out text whose first words can be deciphered: "By writing this little book, I thought of taking part in the construction of the kingdom of the ideal... Follows Kite: "Think carefully;/and decide if you will write/on your kite/'freedom'"... New end crossed out (same date) after the lines: "would know how to live in a house / correction", then the poem continues again until the final end: "said the scarecrow of the cat-booted / the bogeyman". Picabia writes the date: "Rubingen [7 corrected] 13 September 1946", and signs. Then he adds this final quatrain, which he signs F.P.: "Nothing makes us so small as a great pain.
Man is an apprentice of life, His weakness is his master".
Provenance : Francis Picabia. A collection (Ader, December 13, 2012, n° 68).
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