COCTEAU, Jean.

Lot 1333
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Estimation :
3000 - 4000 EUR
Result with fees
Result : 2 860EUR
COCTEAU, Jean.
The Infernal Machine (Life of Oedipus). Mystery in 4 acts, in prose.
Typescript of 215 ff. in-4 [272 x 195], with numerous autograph corrections and additions, with cover titled in the author's hand, in contemporary bradel-style cardboard, decorated with a vertical gilt fillet on the boards, and modern ivory parchment slipcase.
Inspired by Sophocles, the mystery was written in 1932 and performed for the first time on April 10, 1934 on the stage of the Comédie des Champs-Élysées, then directed by Louis Jouvet.
Set design by Christian Bérard and costumes by Coco Chanel.
PRECIOUS DACTYLOGRAM : IT OFFERS THE OLDEST STATE THAT ONE HAS PRESERVED OF THE FAMOUS PLAY OF JEAN COCTEAU.
As indicated by a note in the author's hand on the title, it is a copy made from the original manuscript. The latter had been offered to Marie-Laure de Noailles, Cocteau's childhood friend, to whom the play is dedicated. In a fit of anger, she threw it into the fire, probably in 1934. It is thus on this typescript, realized while the manuscript still existed, that the author reworked his play. It contains crossed-out passages, additions and numerous corrections. Act III is the one that has been most reworked. The whole contains indications that do not appear in the published version and thus proposes a larger piece with unpublished parts.
On the cover, Cocteau inscribed the title framed in blue pencil and these two notes: "Faute de copie : lire Tirésias partout et non Térésias" and "Commencer l'acte III page 138."
The author offered this precious document to Marcel Brille, with this dedication enriched with a beautiful drawing of a man in profile: to my dear // Marco Brille // with my // deepest // gratitude // memory // of // Jean // and // the messenger from Corinth
Marcel Brille (1892-1944), called Marco by his close friends, was a dental surgeon, friend of many artists and writers. He was deported on May 15, 1944 and murdered by the Nazis
. On the day of his arrest, his apartment was ransacked and the present typescript thrown into the wastepaper basket. His daughter recovered it, forgetting in her haste the last page, which has been replaced here by a modern copy.
The "messenger from Corinth" to which Cocteau refers in his dedication, refers to Marcel
Khill (1912-1940), the author's companion at the time and creator of the role of the messenger in the play. The face represented by Cocteau is probably that of Marcel Khill.
Spine rubbed, missing headpieces. Edges of several leaves chipped.
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