ROUSSEL, Raymond.

Lot 1594
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Estimation :
1500 - 2000 EUR
Result with fees
Result : 2 780EUR
ROUSSEL, Raymond.
New Impressions of Africa. Work decorated with fifty-nine drawings by H.-A. Zo. Paris, Alphonse Lemerre, 1932. In-12 [192 x 141] of (2) ff, 313 pp, (3) ff. the last one blank : paperback, filled cover, in a plexi window case showing a painting composed by A. Goy, representing a golden oval in which a blue composition has been drawn. First edition: it is illustrated with 59 full-page black compositions by Henri-Achille Zo (1873-1933). Copy on japanese paper, offered by the author to Jean Cocteau, bearing this beautiful autograph signed letter: page 311 // "Forming an innumerable line, // Strong and new workers // Come out of the suburbs of the city // To continue the work." // Very friendly written for // Jean Cocteau by his great // grateful admirer // Raymond Roussel // October 1932 The verses that the author quotes are taken from the poem L'Âme by Victor Hugo. The unclassifiable billionaire writer did not achieve the universal fame he had hoped for. Nevertheless, he was noticed by the surrealists and above all he obtained a kind of consecration thanks to Jean Cocteau who, once again, had deployed his antennas to reveal the misunderstood genius in the pages of the NRF, in 1933. Indeed, a few months after the book was sent, Jean Cocteau published a very beautiful article on the New Impressions of Africa, an article that was reprinted in Monstres sacrés: "Raymond Roussel is reminiscent of the architect bee, the only one in the hive if I am not mistaken, who, at a glance, calculates the construction of a cathedral four times higher than the Eiffel Tower would be in relation to man. Impressions of Africa, the honey is delectable, but it seems little, once the book is read, when we see all the veins and all the cells, the exquisite and terrible geometry of the whole? [...] His last book is disconcerting because of its profound purity. I am talking about this purity of soul which does not decide the choice of an illustrator, next to whom any other would seem to be an artist, by supreme taste, by subtle refinement, but because it tastes him and finds him good. To let illustrate the New Impressions in this way, one must be either a master of finesse, or a loustic, or a pure spirit." The meeting of the two opium addicted poets goes back to 1928, during a detoxification treatment in a luxurious clinic in Saint-Cloud. Very nice copy as issued.
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