Lot n° 220
12000 - 15000
Result with fees
: 11 203EUR
SARTRE Jean-Paul (1905-1980).
autograph MANUSCRIT, [Midy notebook, 1924]; 47 pages in-12 (153 x 115 mm) on 44 ff. (plus 41 blank pages) in a notebook with green alphabetical tabs, placed under a black glazed calf binding with bands, two-sided boards in which are inlaid two narrow vertical plates of fluorescent yellow acrylic glass allowing the manuscript to be seen through, smooth mute spine; the notebook is placed between two transparent neutral leaves and mounted on a black glazed calf tab fixed to the spine by a flexible joint of the same leather; a separator base adapted to the volume and covered with black glazed calf is enclosed, as well as the instructions for use of this base, printed on a cardboard sheet lined with the same leather; the whole is placed in a black glazed calf slipcase on the boards, upper and lower edges covered with fluorescent yellow paper, title and name of the author gilded with white and green metallic foil on the spine adorned with 2 fine fluorescent glass rods (binding signed by Véronique Sala-Vidal, 2005).
Precious autograph notebook from his youth, the famous "Carnet Midy" where Sartre, at the age of 18, wrote down his thoughts, reading notes, projects, classifying them in alphabetical order.
Jean-Paul Sartre told how he found this notebook in the subway and wrote down his thoughts alphabetically, seeing in it an illustration of the theme of contingency. He filled out this little notebook during the first quarter of 1924, when he was in his nineteenth year and preparing for the competitive examination for the École normale supérieure. Of what Sartre wrote before this date, we know only fictional texts, most of which remained in draft form (only one tale from this period was published during his lifetime, L'Ange du Morbide).
The Midy Notebook, as he calls it, is the very first known manuscript in which the student records his personal reflections and lays the foundations of his future intellectual life.
It is an advertising notebook for the pharmaceutical brand Midy, bearing at the bottom of each beautiful page the printed mention Pommade & suppositoires Midy - Hémorroïdes, and at the top of each left-hand page Piperazine Midy - Anti-uric type. It is written in purple, black, and blue inks, with a few passages in pencil. The notebook was folioed in pencil (1, 4-46), the first few leaves having been lost in the process of writing as the last few pages (letters W through Z) were folded over to be used for letter A; letter B is missing entirely. These pages were missing, as was the cover, when Sartre gave the notebook to Michel Sicard, who edited it in Écrits de jeunesse de Sartre in 1990.
The entries in this mini-dictionary, which range from "Soul" to "Face," alternate between various notions and themes of reflection and numerous names of authors on whom Sartre gives comments or quotations. Among the thematic entries, let us quote: Love, Art, Aeroplane, Cinema, Easy, Swallows, Stories, Man, Infinity, Intelligence, Moon, Minutia, .../...
Moral, Montaigne, Movement, Music, Nature, Pride, Onanism, Professor, Parrot, Past, Rembrandt, Reforms, Rain, Landscape, Sublime, Superman, Tension, Feelings, Old man, Will, etc.
Alongside drafts of early works ("Subject of a short story: continuation of Jesus the Owl"), "Novel - Small subjects of a novel", or considerations on cinema that he was to use the same year in a dissertation on this subject, we find fundamental themes that would be developed later, for example "Images" and "Freedom". Under the entry "Art", the peremptory sentence: "The secret is to dominate one's art" stands out in purple ink on the first page in a striking way.
The caustic spirit of the student is manifested under the heading "Professor", the banality of whose appreciations he notes, or under the heading "Annoying terms" ("Snacking, Boycotting, The heady blond etc.")
Some entries cover personal considerations. It is then fascinating to see the young man indulge in an introspection that is still almost Gidian, which announces his great autobiographical work, Les Mots: "Me - I have sought my self; I have seen it manifest itself in the relationships with my friends, with nature, with the women I have loved. I found in myself a collective soul, a soul of the group, a soul of the earth, a soul of books. But my self proper, outside of men and things, my true, unconditioned self, I have not found."
Cultivating the form of the fragment, of the aphorism, the khâgneux peppers his pages with quotations without always citing his source or even resorting to quotation marks, as if to appropriate his vast readings: Cicero, Pascal, Poe, Malherbe, Nietzsche, Louise Labé, Jules Lemaitre and Brunetière, Goethe, Montaigne, Racine, Rabelais, Shakespeare, Sallustus, Shelley, Schiller, Mallarmé... Among the p
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