Lot n° 244
3000 - 4000
VIAN Boris (1920-1959).
AUTOGRAPHIC MANUSCRIPT, Série Blême, ; 78 pages in-4 (1st leaf unstained, with edge a bit frayed; binder holes).
Complete manuscript of this detective play in alexandrines, in three acts.
"Série Blême" was the title of a sister collection to the Série Noire, to which Vian collaborated extensively. "A slaughterhouse tragedy, Série Blême shows us a dozen murders, perpetrated by the same assassin, but each using a different method (explosives, poison, stabbing, asphyxiation, hanging, tongue-pulling, etc.); when the curtain falls, forty other people are sure to be killed. The hero of the play and executor of these high works is James Monroe, author of the Black Series and brother of Marilyn Monroe" (Noël Arnaud, Les vies parallèles de Boris Vian, p. 359). Monroe is withdrawn in his country cottage of high mountain (as Marcel Duhamel liked to do it), with his dumb servant Machin, and, provided with the Small Treaty of the perfect criminal of Marcel Duhamel, he eliminates all the embarrassments.
The manuscript, in violet ink, on the front of squared sheets torn from a spiral notebook, and overloaded with erasures and corrections (on perforated sheets of a file), with additions, sometimes written on the opposite page. The first page gives the list of characters. At the head of Act I, a sketch of a cylinder; page 21, a drawing of a closed hand with the thumb raised. Act I (pp. 1-29); Act II (pp. 30-52); Act III (pp. 53-78).Among the corrections, we note that Vian has corrected James's language, making it more slangy (coin/coinstot, danser/guincher, danse/java...). The hero's original name is "Citerne", corrected to "Monroë". Let's quote the beginning of the play and James' tirade: "Ah, what's-his-name, this is the least ugly day of my life
I'll be able to satisfy at last the desire I had to come to this lost corner
To escape from the annoyances that never left me.
Yes, just admiring the white peaks of the Alps
I am close to a java of the scalp! "...
The play was published in 1970 in the unpublished Theater at Christian Bourgois; it was created in Nantes on October 24, 1974, in a direction of Georges Vitaly, with Dominique Paturel in the role of Monroe, and André Torent in that of Machin.
The corrected typescript, with numerous autograph corrections (81 p. in-4) is attached; plus 2 other typescripts, first version before corrections, bearing the same autograph addition concerning the set (83 p. in-4 each). Plus a l.a.s. from Marcel DUHAMEL to Boris Vian (1 p. in-8), written from his cottage Les Choucas in Saint-Gervais, about Vian's translations for the Série noire.
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