GIDE André (1869-1951).

Lot 87
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Result : 13 839EUR
GIDE André (1869-1951).
AUTOGRAPHIC MANUSCRIPT, Du Narcisse, [1890]; 32 leaves, that is to say 6 ff. in-4 (of which 2 recto-verso) and 26 ff. in-8 written on the recto, mounted on tabs on in-4 sheets of laid paper, the whole bound in an in-4 volume, midnight blue jansenist morocco, spine ribbed, filleted edges, lining of black morocco, endpapers of grey moire, edges gilt. Precious manuscript of André Gide's second work, the first signed with his name, Le Traité de Narcisse. During their first meeting in Montpellier in December 1890, at the instigation of Pierre Louÿs, Paul Valéry and André Gide walked in the botanical garden and paid their respects in front of the tombstone of Eliza Narcissa Young, daughter of the English poet, bearing the inscription : Placandis Narcissae manibus. She had inspired Valéry to write his sonnet Narcisse parle, before giving rise to Gide's Narcisse. At the age of twenty-one, the young Gide published Le Traité du Narcisse, subtitled "Théorie du Symbole", on January 1, 1891 in the journal Entretiens politiques et littéraires, and later in the year had a print run of 12 copies on large paper and a few others on ordinary paper, at the Librairie de l'Art indépendant. The original title of the present manuscript, Du Narcisse, can still be found in the proofs that have been preserved. His first work, Les Cahiers d'André Walter, knew in the same time two editions, one on February 27, 1891 at Perrin, distributed in service of press but not put in the trade, and one on April 25, 1891 at the Bookshop of the independent Art. The review edition of the Traité du Narcisse was thus Gide's very first publication, and one of the most important manifestos of the symbolist doctrine in France. In this poetic art, Gide proposes an ambitious definition of Symbolism, of which he was one of the young authors, partly inspired by his admiring readings of Schopenhauer, based on the oblivion of the self in favor of the Idea. However, he partially uses a distanced narrative form and, ironically, frees Narcissus from his enchantment at the end. The manuscript shows erasures and corrections ("Monsieur Mallarmé, notre maître", written and then crossed out), and a very large number of variants in relation to the edition, including some paragraphs that were not kept afterwards; conversely, it does not include the first two printed paragraphs. The manuscript is cleaned up, mainly with violet ink, on lined sheets of paper. It is prepared for the edition, with a false title Du Narcisse, bearing on the back the mention: "In preparation: Le petit traité de la Contingence"; the title with the dedication to Paul VALÉRY: "à mon ami Paul Ambroise Valéry avec qui j'ai fait un tel rêve", the epigraph taken from Virgil, the address of the publisher Librairie de l'Art indépendant, and the date 1891, bearing on the back the justification of the printing of 12 copies, 5 of which on China paper, and 7 on Holland paper; and then the Declaration: "No need for a preface. I write this only for those who have already understood". The text is divided into three parts, numbered I to III in red pencil; it is followed by the manuscript of the note a. It ends with the leaf "Completed printing etc.". I "There are no more banks nor source; no more metamorphosis and no more mirrored flower; - nothing but the only Narcissus, therefore, that a dreaming Narcissus and isolating himself on grays"... II "If Narcissus turned over, he would see I think some vast bank, a sky perhaps"... III "The Poet is the one who looks. And what does he see? Paradise"... Exhibition : André Gide, Bibliothèque nationale, 1970, n° 152. Provenance : sale Beaussant Lefèvre, 13 November 2009, n° 16.
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