Lot n° 64
1000 - 1200
COCTEAU JEAN (1889-1963).
MANUSCRIT autograph "Jean Cocteau", Un Conte vrai, ; 4 pages in-4 in blue ballpoint pen with erasures and corrections.
This short tale appeared in January 1955 in the magazine Amis des bêtes, preceded by the caption "Un conte vrai, inédit de Jean Cocteau". It was integrated into the third volume of Cocteau's diary, Le Passé défini, and included in the Pléiade edition of the OEuvres romanesques complètes under the title La Chatte de M. X.
Although addressed to the large public of the "Friends of animals", Cocteau does not however pour one moment in the mièvrerie, and has fun to take his readers with the wrong brush: "It is right, in spite of the desire which I had to write some kind text, that I note this history for the friends of the animals and that once more it proves to them the terrible violence which hides under the softest furs".The tale relates the adventure of Mr. X., The story is about the adventure of Mr. X., a man with no history who leads a quiet and solitary life in the company of his adorable cat, "neither Siamese, nor Persian, nor anything else suitable for a medal unless the court considers that grace, cleanliness, decency, and a velvet paw deserve to prevail over certificates of high nobility. This one is his only company, his only love... "Mr. X. was crazy about his cat and the cat seemed to return his love, never leaving him, sleeping near his pillow, eating only if he had prepared his food and purring from morning to night on his shoulder". Mr. X having received a dispatch announcing the death of a relative, he explains to his cat that he must abandon her for a few days. Here is the spectacle that the neighbors will discover shortly after: "Mr. X. was lying in his bed, the cat clinging to his throat. This open throat, ploughed by the claws, was still streaming with blood. The man's hands had not even tried to defend him. They were hanging on the cloths. No one would have dared to approach the monstrous clump, which, one was sure, would die on its victim, would not move from there. And what made the spectacle unbearable was the certainty that the jealous cat had played a charming scene and had let the unfaithful one [get] into bed".
Provenance: Carole WEISWEILLER.
Attached is an autograph MANUSCRIT signed "Jean", ; 1 1/2 pages in black ink, on two sheets, signed on the back of the 1st sheet, with this indication on the back of the 2nd sheet: "For the record".
Reflections on the poetic inspiration. Text intended to accompany the release of the vinyl disc 25 cm Poems of Jean Cocteau said by the author, published by Pathé-Marconi in 1954. Cocteau read several of his works, of which L'Ange Heurtebise, a poem on Manolete and extracts of his theater. "It is not enough to have an idea. It is still necessary that this idea has us - occupies us - haunts us - becomes to us unbearable and cumbersome so that we expel it and that it starts to live of an existence which is clean to him". The role of the poet is "of moral order [...] To write, as far as the poet is concerned, is to change the night into light. It is, in a way, to bring night into the day. Nothing is more complex nor more mysterious than this work. [...] All in all, our job (and PICASSO used to say to me: "The job is what you can't learn"), our job is that of an archaeologist. Since we should not say inspiration but expiration - that our works pre-exist and that our business is to excavate our soul". The cinematograph and the disc, by their great circulation, multiply for the poet "the chances of touching some people that the poet did not meet formerly or met in the long run and after his death. The struggle that the poet leads during his lifetime is a paradox because it is posthumous. France has always killed its poets. The list of its victims is long. And this is a good thing.
A poet must die several times before living"... Etc.
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