letters of Marcel Proust, whose missives are exceptional, showing how the writer made campaign to be published and to receive the prix Goncourt, will be auctionned in Paris on 7 October by the house Christie s. This sale comes at a time when we are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the awarding of the prix Goncourt to the writer.
” READ – Marcel Proust has been the Goncourt 100 years ago: two unpublished drawings exhibited in Paris
highlight of the sale (which will include a total of about 75 lots for a total estimate of approximately one million euros), a set of 16 letters by Marcel Proust to his friend René Blum, the then secretary general of the daily newspaper Gil Blas, very well introduced in the world of publishing. Dating from 1913 to 1916, the letters (estimated at between 200 000 and 300 000 euros) are home to over 90 pages. In the first, in February of 1913, Proust asks his friend to submit Du côté de chez Swann , the first volume of in search of lost time , to the editor Bernard Grasset, the publishing author.
To be sure that the book will be published as it sees fit, the writer proposes to pay himself the edition. “If Mr. Grasset publish the book at his expense, he is going to read it, making me wait, I suggest changes, make small volumes, etc…,” says Proust to justify his choice to publish the book at its expense and, therefore, its terms and conditions. In February 1913, while the publishing contract is not even signed, Proust already has plans to submit his novel to literary awards. “If it could give pleasure to Mr. Stifle, that I could present to a Goncourt prize in any way, I say this is a little random because I don’t know very well what it is that the prix Goncourt, Proust writes to his friend.
“In the shadow of young girls in flower” by Marcel Proust (1920), estimated at 120 000 euros. Anna Buklovska
René Blum would be able to convince Bernard Grasset to publish the first volume of the Research. Marcel Proust is crazy recognition. “Dear René Blum, it is crucial that you asked me any service because you will make me well pleased,” exclaimed he. In several letters, Proust does not hesitate to solicit close friends of literary circles (Jean Cocteau, Lucien Daudet, Louis Robert…) to provide him with the publicity of his book. When the NRF (the publishing house of Gallimard) shows interest in the publish, Proust seeks new René Blum for the help to get rid of its contractual obligations to Stifle.
An edition of Chef-d’œuvre inconnu and drawings in the Little Prince on sale
You know the rest of the story. In October 1917, Gaston Gallimard buys to Stifle the approximately two hundred copies of Du côté de chez Swann that have not been sold. It is a coverage of NRF before the relist. Re-editions by Gallimard of Du côté de chez Swann and In the shadow of young girls in flower will both be put up for sale after the war in June 1919. It is a winning move for the house Gallimard. On December 10, 1919, Marcel Proust receives the 17th Goncourt prize for In the shadow of young girls in flower , the second instalment of In search of lost time , the face of the great favorite Roland Dorgelès. An original copy of In the shadow of young girls in flower , with an autograph dedication to the critic and poet Henri Ghéon, will also be put up for sale by Christie’s (8.000-12.000 euro). The house will also be a deluxe edition with two “closets” (set of tests) of In the shadow of young girls in flower (80.000-120.000 euros) from the collection of pianist Alfred Cortot (1877-1962).
” READ – Proust, Goncourt, for a hundred years.
Among the other lots offered at auction on the occasion of this sale of rare books and manuscripts, we find an original edition of Champfleury (1529), the cornerstone of the history of typography and of the French language, estimated to be between 40,000 and 60,000 euros. Collectors will vie without doubt an edition of the Chef-d’œuvre inconnu de Balzac, illustrated with twelve original etchings by Picasso (40.000-60.000 euros). The sale will also include a set of original drawings from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry related to the Little Prince (40.000-50.000 euros).