April 16, 2009

From Jean Cocteau to Jean Marais

On 27 April, at Drouot, will be sold personal proterty of Jean Marais, which includes books, autographs and manuscripts. One of the most important and most touching piece is the correspondence of Jean Cocteau to Jean Marais. This exceptional group covers over 25 years until Cocteau's decease in 1963. Reading these letters, we are amazed by the power of the love the author brings to the young actor, met in 1937, and for whom he writes in 1938:
"My beloved Jeannot I have come to love you so strongly (more than anything in the world) that I order myself to only love you as a dad and I want you to know that this is not because that I love you less but more. "
"Jeannot stupidity of lovers is immense, vegetable, animal, astral. What to do? How can I make you realize that I no longer exist besides you."

In 1942, Jean Marais meets actress Mila Parély on the filming of Le Lit à colonnes. He falls madly in love and works again with Mila on the filming of La Belle et la Bête in 1945 under the direction of Cocteau. The author, in a letter dated from February, does not burden himself with this passion between the two actors and says:
"Mila is convinced that you will marry her - after all it would not be so bad. She said :" I have to know because then I would change my life "(with a very serious air )...".

Over the years, the letters keep the same intensity:
"My Jeannot you can imagine my happiness to have spent a few days with you. I waited until the plane disappeared over the mountains with the heart in the throat. And then, in the car, I wanted crying ... " (July 11, 1952)
"My good angel I am back to repeat "l'Aigle". "I did not want to replace the irreplaceable, which would be a ridiculous attempt. I try to tame a young unknown [...] How to reach you? Your Jean." (June 4, 1960).

Succession of Mister Jean Marais
Consultant for books, manuscripts and autographs : M. Erwan de Kerangué - Librairie Loliée
Public exhibitions : Friday 24 April and Saturday 25 April from 11h00 to 18h00.
Auction : Monday 27, april at Drouot.

For the catalogue, please contact Fraysse & Associés : +33 (0)1 53 45 92 10.
Photo : Studio Sebert.

April 09, 2009

George Barbier's costume dramas

"George Barbier is one of the most valuable and most significant artist of our time, yet so rich in all kinds of talents and minds of any origin. When our time will be fallen like so many others in the dust of dead things, when today's flame will be ashes and dust, it will just take a few watercolors, drawings of Barbier to revive the same taste and spirit of the years that we are living [...] When I look at George Barbier's costume dramas, I have the impression that the characters of those magical stories come to life before me and tempt my imagination. " Edmond Jaloux - in Preface to Vingt-cinq Costumes pour le théâtre

Costumes created for Lysistrata written by Maurice Donnay
left : Agathos - right : a warrior.

Currently, the librairie Loliée offers :
  • Barbier (George). Vingt-cinq Costumes pour le Théâtre. Préface par Edmond Jaloux. Paris, Bloch, 1927, in-4, illustrated cover. Rare book illustrated with a portrait engraved by Charles Martin and 25 plates by George Barbier, emphasized with watercolors and silver. Limited edition to 300 copies on blue-gray paper.

April 02, 2009

Under the eye of BIEF

The return to power in 1958 by General de Gaulle, following the Algerian crisis, is seen as a fascist coup d'état by the surrealist movement. Under the guidance of André Breton, his faithful collaborator, Gérard Legrand mobilizes the new guard - including Jose Pierre, Jean Robert Benayoun and Schuster, to create the journal BIEF, a surreal junction destined to express the positions of the movement. "In the locks of Surrealism, that is to be understood once and for all that water that goes down and up stays the same, yet always renews itself: BIEF attempts to identify each month, a reflection of that water." (issue No. 1 - November 15, 1958).
On can discover, over the pages, some political articles, as the text by José Pierre published in the issue No. 5 - March 15, 1959 and entitled " A People falling apart." The author is concerned about the "passive disgust" of the youth, a part of which just comes back from Algeria and protests: "We must stop to continually blow up out of proportion Joan of Arc, campaigns of Louis XIV or Napoleon! That the few persons who are not rotten provide youth a true intellectual and revolutionary education. All is not yet lost. "
also offers literary and artistic criticism as well as a section maintained by Joyce Mansour who uses a nicely and provocative tone. Note that the cover of issue No. 9, published on December, 1th 1959, is devoted to Benjamin Péret, deceased a few months earlier, and who contributed to the journal.

Currently, the librairie Loliée offers :
  • [REVUE] BIEF. Jonction surréaliste. N°1 à N°12, november 1958 - april 1960. Paris, Le Terrain Vague, 11 stapled booklets, in-4, case. Complete collection, in deluxe edition, of this surrealist journal with illustrations by Benjamin Péret, Hans Bellmer, Jean-Jacques Lebel, Robert Lagarde, Arshile Gorky, Toyen, Mimi Parent, Wolfgang Paalen, etc. Texts by Legrand, Breton, Arp, Mansour, Legrand, Schuster, Péret, etc.