December 27, 2006

Le Bal du Comte d'Orgel

The brief work of Raymond Radiguet compils a poetry collection named Les Joues en Feu, published in 1920, and two novels : Le Diable au corps and Le Bal du comte d'Orgel from which, dying of tiphoid in december 1923, he never saw the publication. Radiguet, who leaves school to begin a carrier as a reporter, assiociates with artistic circles. It's his encounter with Cocteau, in1918, which reveals the birth of this prodigal author. Avant gardist, close to the the Surrealists, Radiguet acquires however a classical style, notably in Le Diable au Corps.

Le Bal du comte d’Orgel is novel often connected with La Princesse de Clèves de Mme de La Fayette because of the deep psychological analysis. The novel mixed the sharp classicism of Radiguet, chastened with the easy going experience of Cocteau who, after the death of the young man, collaborated to the print corrections.
Speaking about Raymond Radiguet, Cocteau wrote in a article intitled This pupil who became my master (Les Nouvelles littéraires, artistiques et scientifiques - 5 juin 1952) : "Il est une plante qui parle, en quelque sorte. Dans Le Diable au corps, cette plante raconte le mystère de ses racines. Dans Le Bal du comte d’Orgel, cette plante donne sa fleur, et son parfum est parole." - Analyse du Diable au Corps par Clémence Camon

Currently at the Librairie Loliee :
- Le Bal du comte d'Orgel, Paris, 1924, in-12, broché , chemise et étui. One of the ten first copies.

December 13, 2006

Mac Orlan, the many skills writer

Pierre Dumarchey, alias Mac Orlan, is born in 1882 in Péronne. He has a only brother who will be a legionnaire. Their mother dies when they are still young and Mac Orlan is educated by his mother's family in Orléans. Teenager, he goes to the "Ecole Normale Supérieure" of Le Havre to become a master. But, not interested in teaching, he runs to Montmartre, the famous area of Paris, to take his chance as a painter. Montmartre will remain his harbord between severals trips to London, Belgium, Italy. The cabaret named «Le Lapin Agile» welcomes Mac Orlan and at the same time Max Jacob, Apollinaire, Carco, Dorgelès, Picasso, Vlaminck. In 1910, Mac Orlan tries to sell some comic drawings for the review «Le Rire». Gus Bofa, the editor, prefers the commentaries of the drawings than the drawings in themselves. He spurs Mac Orlan on writing stories which become successfull and allow him to release, en 1912, La Maison du retour écoeurant, his first novel with strange and humorous adventures. That's the beginning of a vivid career.
Mac Orlan writes marvelous stories, loves to portray cosmopolitan and unconventional worlds as in the novel La Bandera (1931). He writes also stories that set in familiar places : Montmartre, Rouen, or Le Havre as in Quai des Brumes, notorious because of the movie adaptation by Marcel Carné. In the last part of his life, Mac Orlan becomes famous with realistic lyrics he composes (La fille de Londres, La chanson de Margaret, Rose des bois, Nelly) and which are interpreted by big names of french song. "Poet of the adventure", creator of the "marvelous and social", radio producer, song writer, member of the French Academy, Goncourt award winner, Mac Orlan never stopped working, till his end, in 1970.
Sources : -

Currently, at the librairie Loliee, you can find original edition ....
- Petit Manuel du parfait aventurier. Paris, La Sirène, 1920, in-8,.
- Malice. Crès et Cie, 1923, in-12.
- La Venus Internationale. Paris, N.R.F, 1923, in-8.
- Les Pirates de l'avenue du Rhum (reportage). Paris, Sagittaire, 1925, in-12.
- Rue Saint-Vincent. Images Italiennes et Françaises. Paris, Editions du Capitole, 1928, in-8.
- Rhénanie. Paris, Emile Paul Frères, 1928, in-8.
- Chroniques de la fin du monde. Paris, Emile-Paul frères, 1940, in-8. well as illustrated books :
- L'Inflation sentimentale. Paris, La Renaissance du livre, 1923, in-4, original watercolors by Chas-Laborde.
- Boutiques de la Foire, Paris, Marcel Seheur, 1926, petit in-4, original lithographies by Lucien Boucher.
- Le Tombeau de Pascin, 1944, in-8, original engravings by Pascin.

December 05, 2006

La Russie en 1839, a major political piece of Marquis de Custine

Born in the middle of the French Revolution ( March the 18th, 1790), The Marquis Alfonse de Custine had a fitful lifestyle. Originally from a rich and aristocratic family, he was the grandson of General de Custine who led the Army of North in 1793 and was decapitated by the Jacobins.

The Marquis de Custine is early attracted by literature, no doubt under the influence of the writer Chateaubriand who was the lover of is mother, Delphine de Sabran, for twenty years. He travelled a lot, in England, Switzerland, Italy (1811-1822), Spain(1835) and in Russia (1839), taking notes of his impressions and reflections. If his travelling records were succesful, especially La Russie en 1839, his others books, novels and plays, were less regarded.
Refined and acute spirit, sometimes conflincting and disgraceful, the Marquis de Custine, between 1832 and 1857, maintained a patron reputation by inviting the whole artistic Paris : painters, musicians and above all writers. Stendhal, Honoré de Balzac, Georges Sand, Victor Hugo ou Barbey d'Aurevilly took part in the sumptuous nights at the house of the street de la Rochefoucault and frequented the inner diners of the castle of Saint-Gratien. (Source :

In La Russie en 1839, several volumes presented as letters sent to parisian friends, the Marquis de Custine describes and analyses Russia by the prism of his own society, the post revolutionary France. The Marquis stayed three months in Russia, during the summer of 1839, went places as Saint-Petersburg or Moscow. He was introduced to the Csar Nicholas but talked also with dissidents as the philosopher Pyotr Chaadaev.
In the foreword, the Marquis de Custine makes a lucid balance, based on his aristocratic, liberal and moralistic point of view :
"Il me semblait qu'en disant la vérité sur la Russie, je ferais une chose neuve et hardie : jusqu'à présent la peur et l'intérêt ont dicté des éloges exagérés ; la haine a fait publier des calomnies : je ne crains ni l'un ni l'autre écueil. J'allais en Russie pour y chercher des arguments contre le gouvernement représentatif, j'en reviens partisan des constitutions."
La Russie en 1839, major book who was republished six times, is as important in the political literature as his equivalent, the essay of Tocqueville Democracy in America.

Currently at Loliee's bookshop :
La Russie en 1839
, Paris, d'Amyot, 1843, 4 volumes, in-8, contemporain binding.