Lot n° 254
10000 - 15000
ZOLA Émile (1840-1902).
MANUSCRIT autograph signed "Emile Zola", Profils parisiens. Les Repoussoirs; 18 pages in-4 (23 x 17.8 cm), mitered and interleaved with green paper, all bound in one volume in-4 dark green half-maroquin with corners, case.
Complete manuscript of a short story.
Published in La Voie nouvelle of March 15, 1865, this short story was collected in November 1866 in the Esquisses parisiennes following the novel Le Vœu d'une morte (Achille Faure, 1866).
The manuscript, in brown ink on the front of lined paper sheets (paginated 1-17, plus a f. 6 bis), presents numerous erasures and corrections.
Durandeau imagined a lucrative business, in his "Agence des Repoussoirs": he rents to not very beautiful girls girls even uglier than them, so that, by comparison, they appear pretty. "In Paris, everything is sold: foolish virgins and wise virgins, lies and truths, tears and smiles", so begins this text divided into six chapters (I-VI). And Zola concludes cynically: "But what does it matter to progress if a poor soul suffers? Humanity is moving forward. Durandeau will be blessed by future ages because he has put into circulation a commodity that has been dead until now, and because he has invented a toilet article that will facilitate love throughout the world.
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