Lot n° 200
15000 - 20000
VIGNY Alfred de (1797-1863).
18 L.A.S. "Alfred de Vigny" or "Alfred", 1820-1830, to Victor
HUGO ; 56 pages in-8, addresses including several with wax stamps, mounted on tabs on wove paper leaves, the whole bound in a volume in-8 burgundy morocco, boards and spine with nerves decorated with nets and a romantic motif gilded with small irons, lining of morocco of the same tone set with a gilded fillet, guards of brocaded silk old gold, double guards, gilded edges (Marius Michel, A. &
Remarkable collection of Vigny's correspondence with Victor Hugo, a precious testimony of the fraternal friendship between the two great romantic poets.
[In 1820, Vigny met Victor Hugo, his younger brother by five years, through their common friends Émile and Antoni Deschamps. Vigny, who was following a military career, had not published anything, while Hugo was already famous. In December, the Conservateur littéraire, founded by the brothers
Hugo, will publish his first texts. We refer in square brackets for each letter to the 1989 edition of Vigny's Correspondence]. [Courbevoie] October 22 [1820. 20-2]. He congratulates "Monsieur Victor" for his Ode on the birth of the Duke of Bordeaux: "You have done a beautiful work on a subject where one always walks on the edge of vulgarity, and never has your foot slipped". He is ill.
"I do nothing, as you think, but dream of some projects for the future, and I have a singular pleasure in forgetting what I have done, I will return to it later to perfect it, but I love new countries. [...] I feel that my imagination is like Phaeton, it dies if it is not free"...
[Orleans February-March 1823. 23-4]. He did not go to embrace Victor before leaving, but (allusions to Eugene Hugo's madness, and to his own thwarted love for Delphine
Gay): "I was ashamed of all these miseries of the heart when I compared them to those great plagues with which we are struck by our own physical nature when it suddenly degrades long before death, and the soul goes away leaving the body standing and smiling like those horrible figures of Herculaneum. Han d'Islande fills his whole mind: "it is a beautiful and great and durable work that you made there. You have accomplished all that I expected when I had in my hands the first chapter.
You have laid the foundations of Walter Scott in France. Your beautiful book will be for us like the bridge from him to us and the passage of his colors to those of France"...
Bordeaux August 26. [23-13]. Comments on the 2nd issue of La Muse française, and Hugo's articles, especially the one on Walter
SCOTT: "I am mortally angry with him for deflowering our history in this way to dress up his noble features in the peasants of Scotland". Then he evokes his work on his poem Satan (which will become Eloa): "I thought, I wrote.
Satan is done, that is to say, in the style of my friend Girodet, I have only covered the canvas, everything remains to be retouched"...
[Bordeaux] October 20. [23-29]. On the death of the first son of the Hugos: "What can I say to you, my good friend, except that I weep like you? I do not know why the word "consolation" was created, when the thing does not exist. There is none for those who feel the misfortune completely, as strong as it is"...
May 22, 1824. [24-10]. After Hugo's laudatory article in La Muse française about Eloa, and the publication of the New Odes. "In spite of the illusions of your friendship, in spite of the too great praises of my work, yours is a very beautiful thing, my friend; I know nothing superior to your definition of meditation and inspiration. All the poets of the world owe you gratitude for having made known to the profane vulgar what their nature is [...] You have not looked far for your model, you have descended into yourself. You also found there this fraternal friendship of which you speak with so much charm and that I have also so well for you". Hugo must make "a beautiful article for the death of Lord Byron"...
[Oloron] July 25. [24-18]. On the scuttling of the review La Muse française. "I do not understand anything of what one writes to me, dear friend, but from the bottom of my mountains it seems to me that we make a foolishness. What the Muse would cease when it became a power? It would be better if men driven out of all the sea ports and exiled on the ocean would think of burning their ship". As for him, he works, "and I find myself happy to no longer see literature in order to better live with poetry". He would like to know what Chateaubriand thought of Eloa...
He concludes: "Let us always fight. We are both called Victor, which means victor in the classical language"...
Pau October 5. [24-27]. "Boredom surrounds me, I live alone, the Pirenees are before my eyes, and you can believe that I do not write! I do not stop thinking that to write all that would accumulate in my head. I have f
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