jeudi 16 octobre 2014

Si le grain... et Corydon en édition hors commerce

Spécialiste américain des auteurs et des ouvrages traitant de l'homosexualité, Elysium Press propose à la vente des rares éditions hors commerce de Si le grain de ne meurt et Corydon. A des prix qui atteignent des sommets...

GIDE, André 
Si le Grain ne Meurt

Paris [L'Imprimerie Sainte-Catherine, Bruges] (1920-1921). 2 volumes. 8vo., 220pp.; 166pp. The first, privately issued edition of Gide's influential confessional memoir, issued four years prior to the first published edition, limited to twelve copies. Cyril Connolly, who included the book on his list of the 100 key books of the modern movement wrote that "Gide's autobiography is a work of art or rather the true portrait of the artist as a young man, for his horizon was much larger than Joyce's and he writes with an electric excitement". This first printing includes explicit passages suppressed in both the first published edition (1924) and the first English-language edition (New York, 1935) and was extremely controversial for its description of his sexual encounters with boys in North Africa. Considered one of his greatest works (certainly his most personal and revealing), the memoir recounts Gide's sexual awakening while on a journey to Algeria in 1893-94, where he met Oscar Wilde and Lord Alfred Douglas, who shocked him with their boldness. In Tunisia he lost his virginity at the age of twenty-three to Athman, a fourteen-year-old Arab boy, and came to accept his own homosexuality. Henceforth his published works invoked the never resolved tensions between a strict artistic discipline, a puritanical moralism, and the desire for unlimited sensual indulgence and abandonment to life. The memoir covers the first twenty-six years of his life Gide was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1947, the first openly gay man to have received the award. In the presentation speech offered at the award ceremony, the Swedish Academy stated "The significance of these memoirs thus is indicated in the mysterious Biblical quotation of the grain of wheat which here represents the personality: as long as the latter is sentient, deliberate, and egocentric, it dwells alone and without germinating power; it is only at the price of its death and its transmutation that it will acquire life and be able to bear fruit." Si le Grain ne Meurt was placed on the Catholic Church's list of prohibited books in 1952, the year after Gide's death. A lovely example bound in full green crushed violet morocco by Martin, raised dentelles, gilt decorations, all edges gilt, each volume is housed in a chemise and slipcased. The first volume (this example is #12) was issued in an edition of twelve copies and the second volume (#7) was issued in an edition of thirteen copies. Very small chip to the head of one chemise, spine of chemise lightly browned, otherwise fine, original wrappers present. Light wear to marbled boards of slipcase. Provenance Raoul Simonson, with his bookplate laid into the book. Laid into the book is a 1pp. ALS from Gide to Donald Allen, dated 1947. A beautiful example of an important twentieth century document.

Price: $30,000.00

GIDE, André
C.R.D.N. (Corydon)

[Bruges: The St. Catherine Press Ltd.] [1911] (187 x 120 mm). 8vo.

Item #7203

Considered by Gide to be the most important of his books, this slim, exquisitely crafted volume consists of four dialogues* on the subject of homosexuality and its place in society. Gide began to write the work after the notorious Eulenberg scandal erupted in Germany, which drew public attention- and much ridicule- to the subject of homosexuality. (The affair also seems to have been one of the precipitating reasons that Proust began his own epic.) See Eribon, Insult and the Making of the Gay Self @148-151. Corydon was published anonymously in an edition of only twelve copies which were consigned to a locked drawer for a number of years. Gide's reticence to publish the book commercially (or to publicly acknowledge his own authorship) was largely based upon the anticipated reaction of his wife Madeleine (See, Sheridan, Andre Gide: A Life in the Present @373-75). He eventually released a revised version, again anonymously, in 1920, consisting of 21 copies distributed to friends, but a commercial edition with his name attached "came out of its cage" only in 1924. The book created a controversy in some circles, but was generally praised by the Parisian intelligentsia. It has remained in print in numerous editions and translations since that time. The book is organized as a series of dialogues using a variety of arguments to argue that homosexuality is natural and that it pervaded the most culturally and artistically advanced civilizations. Gide uses this evidence to insist that homosexuality is more fundamental and natural than heterosexuality, which he believes is merely a union constructed by society. Corydon is one of the foundational books in the study of twentieth century homosexuality and is crucial in understanding how perceptions have changed so dramatically over the course of the last century. Gide remained proud of the book and declared that it was "de plus grand utilté, de plus grand service pour le progré de l'humanité." Bound in a lovely signed full morocco binding by Jansen, raised bands, gilt edge, original wrappers bound in. One of only 12 numbered copies printed on Vergé de Hollande van Gelder. A near mint copy. Talvart 27A, L'hermitte 273.

Price: $28,000.00

* Dans cette édition hors commerce, Corydon ne comporte encore que deux dialogues et demi, comme le souligne Claude Courouve dans les échanges récents du groupe e-gide de Facebook. Voir aussi son article Les vicissitudes de Corydon.

2 commentaires:

Bibliothèque Gay a dit…

Il s'agit des deux exemplaires qui sont passés en vente à Paris le 30 avril dernier qui avaient déjà atteints des prix, me semblait-il, astronomiques, respectivement 15 625 € et 13 750 €.

Fabrice a dit…

Merci pour votre commentaire. Je n'avais pas repéré cette vente ! Si le prix augmente ainsi à chaque traversée de l'Atlantique, surveillons le retour sur le vieux continent...

Heureux de vous lire à nouveau sur votre blog.