Lot n° 1313
1000 - 1500
Result with fees
: 2 528EUR
CÉLINE, Louis Destouches, dit Louis-Ferdinand.
Bagatelles pour un massacre. Paris, Denoël, 1937.
Fort in-8 [227 x 140] of 379 pp, (1) f. : paperback, covers printed in red and black.
First edition: first state copy, on edition paper.
First part of the pamphleteer and anti-Semite triptych that Céline published from 1937 to 1941. The cursed face of the writer is revealed without any faintness.
AUTOGRAPHIC SENTENCE SIGNED:
To Georges d'Esparbès // his young colleague // with great admiration //LF Celine
Popular writer, once a member of the Hirsutes group at the Chat Noir,
Thomas Auguste Esparbès, known as Georges d'Esparbès (1863-1944), was a champion of the grognard and of the Napoleonic epic.
Esparbès loaded his copy with notes in pencil and ink.
All along, they are laudatory notes, thrown in the fever of reading.
On numerous occasions, Georges d'Esparbès compares Céline to Rabelais and to
Léon Bloy, sometimes to Balzac: Du Rabelais furieux, le frère de Bloy, Rabelais en 1938...
Up to this injunction: Rabelais embrace him! Elsewhere, this summary: Le cri du dieu
Satan. Page 201, he wonders: Will this admirable and bewildering vocabulary continue? Can it? There are hardly any critical comments.
Once, however, a formula displeases him: False language, he notes.
But, obviously, he likes what he describes elsewhere as the style of a nightmare or the panting of a lion.
At the end of his reading, Georges d'Esparbès swapped the pencil for a pen and wrote on the last page: Satan leaves the Underworld to go and see France, this first city of the world. He stops in the rue de Charonne - or elsewhere - in front of a small lace merchant - or whatever - and this child of the Communale teaches him French. The Demon, soon after, knows enough to say or write what he has just seen and heard. He will tell it in direct language, breathless, furious, stripped of all grammar.
He speaks: Céline. Unheard of!
This annotation from a reader of the time says a lot about the reception of the book and its success in pre-war France. Even the crudest or most odious rantings of the anti-Semitic pamphleteer did not put off the dedicatee, whose hastily written notes and countless pencil strokes speak of his amazement.
Some tears and soiling to the cover. Browned leaves.
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