Lot n° 157
1500 - 2000
Result with fees
: 1 383EUR
MONTHERLANT Henry de (1896-1972).
Autograph drafts of his Reception Speech to the French Academy, ; 18 pages in-4, plus autograph folder.
Drafts and drafts of his reception speech at the Académie Française.
[Elected on March 24, 1960, to succeed André SIEGFRIED, Montherlant was received without ceremony, and without any audience other than the Academicians and Siegfried's family, on June 20, 1963, in the usual session room and not under the Dome]. These pages, abundantly rewritten and crossed out, with blanks, correspond to three successive layers of writing, and the pagination is not continuous.
Most of them are written on the back of letters addressed to the author between February and June 1960. Montherlant dated these drafts "May 1960".
Montherlant comments on the custom of thanking colleagues, ironizes on the non-election of great writers such as Molière, Pascal, Balzac, Baudelaire and Verlaine, and underlines the insincerity that one brings to this "exercise in rhetoric" that is the praise of his predecessor... He pays homage to André SIEGFRIED, "with Alain, the best listened French professor of his century", who speaks with enthusiasm about the gift of the word, "according to us fatal"... He quotes some sentences about realism and cynicism... He also writes, then erases, reflections on the symptoms of an approaching death in "the great literary old men": a tendency to let go of everything, a "macabre feeling" of impunity: "each one becomes his own caricature.
Such a one winks, such a one lifts his leg, such a one whistles the word rosse, hiding his face behind his hand. [...] The curtain falls. The dance of death is over"...
6 autograph drafts of letters to Mrs. André Siegfried (5) and to Maurice Genevoix (1), 1960-1963, concerning the preparation of his reception speech; plus 2 l.a.s. from Paule Siegfried and one l.a.s.
from Maurice GENEVOIX to Montherlant; and a l.a.s. of congratulations from Marie NOËL to Montherlant after his reception (Auxerre June 22, 1963).
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