Lot 236
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Entretiens sur des faits-divers.
Portrait of the author by André Lhote. Paris, Société des Médecins bibliophiles, 1930.
In-12 : marbled paper boards à la Bradel, green morocco title page, entirely untrimmed, cover and spine preserved (Alfred Farez).
First edition: it is decorated with a portrait of the author by André Lhote reproduced in the frontispiece.
Numbered copy on vellum tinted from Rives.
Amusing autograph letter signed on the frontispiece portrait: to Paul Eluard, if he wants to give me eyes.
21.3.1942 Jean Paulhan
In fact, Paulhan's eyes in the drawing appear to be blind.
Three signed autograph letters from Jean Paulhan to Paul Eluard are enclosed, including an important one on the maintenance of the Nouvelle Revue française during the Occupation.
The three letters were written during 1943 (envelopes retained for each; 27 January, 24 March and 5 November).
The most important is the first one, in which Paulhan justifies the permission he granted to some friends to collaborate with the NRF:
It would have been pretentious and a bit ridiculous to refuse them this permission, which they wanted to have. I gave it to them, as quickly as possible.
Among them were Marcel Jouhandeau, Marcel Arland and - it would not be accurate to call him my friend - Jacques Chardonne.
In my place, would you have refused? I have often wondered what would have happened if I had.
On the other hand, I have never lost contact with Drieu and Jouhandeau. I always told them very clearly what I thought of their articles. (And it was by supporting his denunciation with a letter from me to Marcel J. that Caryathis later wanted to have me arrested.)
No, you would not have refused, since at that time you were collaborating - as were Gide and Valéry, as Mauriac declared himself ready to do - in the review. You changed afterwards, like them - but not, I think, for the same reason. For Gide and Valéry, it must have been the protests of their friends; for you, Russia's entry into the war.
That's where I vaguely fear that we'll part one day. I am against the A's even if they become C's. Perhaps you are for the C's even if they became Germans.
But I embrace you. We came back from your place all warmed up.
Paul Eluard's commitment to communism is obviously the breaking point: Paulhan remains anti-German, even if the Germans became communists.
In this letter are the beginnings of the Letter to the Directors of the Resistance.
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