Pierre ALBERT-BIROT.

Lot 31
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Pierre ALBERT-BIROT.
Le Premier Livre de Grabinoulor composed between 1918 and 1920. Paris,
Éditions SIC, 1921.
In-8 : green half-maroquin à la Bradel, smooth spine, metal boards covered with a thin strip of wood, untrimmed, cover and spine preserved, case (Mercher, 1966).
First edition.
One of 4 first copies on China paper (nº 3).
Signed autograph address under the justification:
To Jean Petithory this number 3 of the first essay of Grabinoulor
Paris 1966
P. Albert-Birot
Pierre-Albert Birot was to die the following year.
Publisher, bookseller and gallery owner, Jean Petithory, with his wife Chantal, ran Les Mains libres. Seven other books come from their library (cf. nos. 32, 34, 57, 80, 190, 198 and 199).
A superb copy. It is enriched with the following original documents:
- Poème sacré. Autograph calligram on a folio sheet (verso of a large envelope) with, on the reverse, this note signed by Arlette Albert-Birot: "Pre, pre-original of the "poem to the flesh" in the form of a phallus, taken from Grabinoulor chapter VIII First book. The only mention ever made of 'Sacred Poem'. Autograph manuscript."
- Grabinoulor (fragment). No place or date [1918]. Autograph manuscript signed, 1 page folio (on the back of an envelope with Kundig bookstore letterhead addressed to the poet). A proof of the printed version from SIC is enclosed.
- Printed subscription announcement for The First Book of Grabinoulor, Four Love Poems and six other books from SIC Publishing [ca. 1920-1921].
- Autograph letter signed to a publisher [Gaston Gallimard?] Paris, March 20, 1924. 1 ½ p. in-4. The poet recalls his career, the creation of SIC, the only performance of Les Mamelles de Tirésias, the first publications of Drieu La Rochelle, Philippe Soupault, Raymond Radiguet, Louis Aragon, then proposes Grabinoulor. He recalls that a fragment appeared in SIC in 1918 and the first book in 1920 [sic]. "I have been thinking since then and I have come to the conclusion that it is a bit regrettable to make an almost underground edition of a work that can be not only the book of a time but one of the books of the time, provided that I find the editor: I thought that you could be that editor. [...] I beg you not to displease me by considering the suppression of punctuation marks as a desire for originality and to see it only as a necessity of my style." (The work was published in 1933 by Denoël and Steele.)
- Two signed typed letters from Gaston Gallimard on the letterhead of Éditions de la NRF (May 26 and June 2, 1924). The publisher acknowledges receipt of the First Book of Grabinoulor, which he promises to read without delay, while regretting not having received the unpublished part announced by the poet. These may be answers to the previous letter.
- Printed announcement of the publication of Grabinoulor, epic by Éditions Denoël & Steele [1933].
- A caricature of the poet, his forehead girded with laurels: "The new literary giant Atlas Birot who wears a sky of laurels on his skull." Next to it, "Grabinoulor, what crimes have been committed in your name." And, on the next page, a second caricature of a pear-shaped face dedicated to the poet.
- Chronological Bibliography of the Editions of Grabinoulor [1966?]. Autograph manuscript signed in red and blue bic for Jean Petithory.
- A photographic portrait of the poet [1960s].
- Printed thanks from Arlette Albert-Birot following the death and burial of the poet. Envelope with the Petithory's address preserved.
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