Friday, 8 September 2017

Major New Addition: Ten-volume anthology of Romanticist Satire from 1831 !

Le Livre des Cest-et-un (The Book of a Hundred-and-One). (1831) First Edition. Ladvocat: Paris. Frontispiece by Henry Monnier. Paperback Octavo in Ten Volumes, 421 pp. each.

Volume 5
This panoramic Romanticist view of Parisian life during the movement's period of most intense activity is not only a rich literary and historical resource, but also a testimony to the breadth, diversity, cameraderie and solidarity of the movement.

It was not until later in the 19th Century that experimental and avant-garde writing as such developed its own market, and dedicated publishers have become (sometimes) able to design business models to focus exclusively on such work's publication (keeping in mind that the mimeograph revolution, which would allow small runs to be published at a low overhead to be distributed as gifts or in trade, was 130 years in the future). Until then, publishers were forced to hedge financially risky experimental work with sure-thing mainstream publications to absorb the losses usually incurred by avant-garde books. Anything could disrupt this delicate balance: an unexpected flop, fines from government censors, a sudden change in public taste (not yet controlled by the still-nascent media industry), or personal tragedy could bankrupt a publisher, especially one dependent on cutting-edge literature.

The Romanticist publisher François-Pierre Ladvocat was one of the leading publishers of Romanticist and experimental French literature between 1821 and 1840, as well as translations of British and German Romanticism. He was described as an intellectual whirlwind, and while he supported writers from a wide variety of camps, he was firmly committed to the Romanticist cause. He was first involved with publishing work by the Arsenal group: Charles Nodier, Victor Hugo, Vigny, Lamartine, Saint-Beuve, and others, many of whom are represented in this archive. Throughout his publishing career, he braved the vagaries of a still-emerging and unpredictable literary market and consistently took chances on new writers and experimental work. His bookshop and reading-room was also an important meeting-place for the Romanticist community, and he stocked most of the small journals and reviews that made up the literary underground of the period.

Ladvocat was also a dandy; unlike the aristocratic dandies of the Jockey Club but like many Romanticist dandies such as Alfred de Musset, Roger de Beauvoir, and Charles Baudelaire, his income was not sufficient for his habit. Between his personal debts and his financial risks on progressive literature, compounded by the strains of increasing literary censorship, he was forced into bankruptcy in 1833. In response, dozens of writers from across literary camps came together to organise a campaign to save the press. (Here's a contemporary article on the situation and review of the anthology.)

It took the form of this project: a massive, multi-volume anthology in which the whole panorama of Parisian society and daily life – including the underground network of intersecting subcultures – would be chronicled from a satirical and generally (though not exclusively) Romanticist perspective. A glance through the voluminous tables of contents below indicate how detailed and diverse this survey was; the set constitutes a treasury of potential translation and research. Reactions were also diverse, and those by English reviewers indicate that Romanticism, in its self-declared and militantly experimental French form, was even more threatening to mainstream anglophone readers than to their counterparts in France (a situation which has never ceased to be the case).

The collection was successful (though Ladvocat went out of business around 1840), and went on to a second series of ten further volumes. There was some criticism close to home: the Romanticist-dandyist journal Le Dandy, in a semi-satirical review, not surprisingly praises the Ladvocat press and bookshop to the skies, but nonetheless accuses the anthology of sacrificing quality for quantity – facetiously worrying that he might end up asking mythical gnomes and salamanders to write for him, or – worse – the fashionable writer Ancelot, who had recently premiered a play parodying Dandyism.

This rare full set of the initial 10-volume series was almost certainly originally owned by somebody fully engaged within the Romanticist community, for all of its over 4,000 pages have been cut, and therefore presumably read. The books are large, dense paperbacks, which implies that their owner was, moreover, not particularly wealthy, though they were well-taken care of. A substantial enough proportion of the intended readership was in the same situation that Ladvocat designed and printed elaborate wraps for the spines. Though some of these wraps are peeling and some of the bindings beginning to loosen, the volumes are in surprisingly good condition overall, for neatly two-century-old paperbacks that have been thoroughly read.

Only one image has posted here; each volume's cover and spine are identical with the obvious exceptions of volume numbers. The full table of contents of each volume is listed below:

Vol. 1
  1. Jules Janin, "Asmodée" ("Asmodeus)
  2. E. Roch, "La Palais-Royal" ("The Royal Palace")
  3. A. Bazin, "Le Bourgeois de Paris" ("The Paris Bourgeois")
  4. Auguste-Marseille Barthélemy & Joseph Méry, "Le Jardin des plantes" ("The Garden of Plants")
  5. Gustave Drouineau, "Une Maison de la Rue l'École de Médecine" ("A Mason of Medical-School Street")
  6. Charles Nodier, "Le Bibliomane" ("The Bibliomaniac") This story, still current in French bibliographic circles and worthy of translation, exerted an important influence on avant-garde bibliography and archiving through its melding of Frenetic Romanticism,  Roman-à-clef, and sociological treatise. Nodier was, among much else, director of the Arsenal Library, the second-largest in Paris.
  7. A. Jal, "Les Soirées d'Artistes" ("The Artists' Parties) This essay, worthy of eventual translation, surveys the emergence, in the wake of the 1789 and 1830 Revolutions, of new ways that artists organised themselves socially.
  8. Philarète Chasles, "La Conciergerie" ( "The Conciergerie Prison")
  9. P.L. Jacob (Paul Lacroix/Bibliophile Jacob), "Les Bibliothèques Publiques" (The Public Libraries") A disciple of Nodier who would later fill his role as head of the Arsenal Library, Bibliophile Jacob, as he was often known, was the foremost Frenetic Romanticist bibliographer and archivist, as well as a novelist of historical Gothic Fiction and historian of Medieval culture, collaborating as researcher for Hugo on Notre Dame de Paris (known in English as The Hunchback of Notre Dame). 
  10. Béranger, "Chanson à M. Chateaubriand" ("Song for Mr. Chateaubriand")

Vol. 2
  1. A. Bazin, "La Chambre des Députés" ("The Chamber of Deputies")
  2. Népomusène Lemercier, "Candidats académiques et Politiques" (Academic and Political Candidates)
  3. Ernest Fouinet, "Un Voyage en Omnibus, de la la barrière du Trône à la barrière de l'Étoile" (A Trip on the Bus, from the Barrier of the Throne to the Star)
  4. André Delrieu, "Les Enfants-Trouvés" (The Abandoned Children) On the chronic problem of infants abandonned at Parisian orphanages STATS FROM 'YOUTH AND HISTORY
  5. Auguste Luchet, "Le Salon de Lafayette" (Lafayette's Salon)
  6. Charles Saint-Beuve, "Des Soirées Littéraires, ou Les Poètes entre eux" (Literary Soirées, or the Poets Amongst Themselves) The leading mainstream Romanticist critic presents a history of literary collectivity in France, culminating in the Cénacle Group, of which he was a central member. Conspicuously missing is any mention of the Petit-Cénacle group, which was at the height of its activity and influence at the time but against whom Saint-Beuve was leading a critical campaign.
  7. Charles Nodier, "Polichinelle" (Punchinello)
  8. Jules Janin, "L'Abbé Chatel et son Église" (The Abbé Chatel and his Church)
  9. Amédée Pommier, "Charlatans, Jongleurs, Phénomènes vivants, etc." (Tricksters, Jugglers, Freaks, etc.)
  10. Casimir Cordellier-Délanoue, "Un Atelier de la Rue de l'Ouest" (A Studio on Rue de l'Ouest) The editor of the ultra-Romanticist mouthpiece Tribune Romantique here describes the studio of an avant-garde artist, in an entertaining story that warrants translation and could be usefully compared with O'Neddy's description of Jehan Duseigneur's studio and Gautier's descriptions in "The Bowl of Punch" and other stories from The Jeunes-France. 
  11. Alexandre Dumas, "Le cocher de cabriolet" (The Cabby) In this rambling tale, Dumas (at this time just beginning to grow into his fame) describes a conversation with a Parisian cab-driver about the work of his friends and enemies, providing a tongue-in-cheek glimpse into how the Romanticist-Classicist war was perceived and discussed by average Frenchmen.
  12. Le Comte [Alexis?] de Saint-Priest, "Les deux Saint-Simoniens" (The Two Saint-Simonians) In this extremely clever satire, a follower of the Duc Louis de Saint-Simon (the aristocratic courtier and memoirist), and a disciple of the Comte Henri de Saint-Simon (founder of the proto-Socialist movement at the height of its influence in 1831) meet via a quite fiunny vaudevillian conversation of mutual misunderstanding, which becomes the pretext for a satirical meditation on how these two coincidentally-namrd figures signify the socio-economic shifts as France was self-consciuosly entering the Modern age.
  13. Charles Dupeuty, "Un Conseil de Discipline de la Garde Nationale" (A Bit of Advice on the Discipline of the National Guard)
  14. La Comtesse de Bradi, "Un Bal chez le comte d'Appony" (A Ball at the Count of Appony's)
  15. Castil-Blaze, "Les Musiciens" (The Musicians)
  16. Auguste Hilarion de Kératry, "Les Gens de Lettres d'autrefois" (The Men of Letters of Yesteryear)

Vol. 3

  1. Victor Ducange, "Un Duel" (A Duel)
  2. Jean-Nicolas Bouilly, "Les Jeunes Filles de Paris" (The Young girls of Paris)
  3. Louis Desnoyers, "Les Béotiens de Paris" (The Boeotians/Uncouth of Paris)
  4. François Andrieux, "Le Prix Montyon" (The Montyon Prize) This prize was given by the Académie each year for work improving the effect of industrialisation on the working class, and was a fore-runner of the Nobel Prize.
  5. Eugène Briffault, "La Nuit de Paris" (Night in Paris)
  6. Félix Bodin, "Le Juste Milieu et la Popularité" (The Jet-Set and Pop Culture)
  7. J. Bousquet, "La Cour d'Assises" ("The Criminal Court")
  8. Casimir Bonjour, "Les Comédiens d'autrefois et ceux d'aujourd'hui" (The Actors of Yesteryear and Those of Today)
  9. Maximilian de Villemarest, "Le Barrière du Mont-Parnasse" (The Montparnasse Gate)
  10. Marceline Debord-Valmore, "Un Élève de David" (A Disciple of David) A satirically bathetic portrayal of a Classicist painter, a rare bit of humorous prose from the frenetic Romanticist female poet, a major influence on Jarry. Worth translating.
  11. Paulmier, "Une Séance de Sourds-Muets" (A Session With Deaf-Mutes)
  12. L. Montigny, "Paris, Ville de Garnison" (Paris, Garrison Town)
  13. Éduard Mennechet, "La Cour de France en 1830" (France's Heart in 1830)
  14. Jules Janin, "Les Petits Métiers" (The Minor Trades)
  15. A. Bazin, "Nécrologie" (Necrology)
  16. Alphonse de Lamartine, "Les Révolutions" (The Revolutions) 
Vol. 4
  1. Camille Ladvocat, "Au Public" (To the Public)
  2. De Peyronnet, "Vincennes" (Vincennes Prison)
  3. A. de la Ville, "Les Semainiers du Théatre-Français chez le Ministre de l'Intérieur" (The Weekly Managers of the Théatre-Français in the Minister of the Interior)
  4. Ernest Fuinet, "Une Maison de la Cité" (A House in the City)
  5. Charles Nodier, "Les Monuments expiatoires" (The Expiatory Monuments) Nodier, who was spearheading a massive campaign to save the remnants of France's medieval past from complete destruction in the face of the 'modernizing' mania of the time, here suggests monuments of past social crimes and rejected ideas.
  6. The Hermit of the Antin Street, "L'Église, le Temple et la Synagogue" (The Church, the Temple, and the Synogogue)
  7. Amédée Pommier, "Les Fêtes publiques à Paris" (The Public Festivals in Paris)
  8. Eugène Roch, "Le Cimetière du Père Lachaise" (Père Lachaise Cemetary) Now arguably the most famous cemetery in the world, in 1832 it was still relatively new, and its park-like design a novelty.
  9. Paul David, "L'Ouvreuse de Loges" (The Green Room Attendant)
  10. Jacques Arago, "Une Maison de Fous (Maison du Docteur Blanche)" (A House of Fools [House of Dr. Blanche]) Here, Arago describes the mental hospital run by the alienist Esprit Blanche, a leading proponent of experimental psychology. Blanche had strong connections with the avant-garde, and his asylum would host Jeunes-France cofounder Gérard de Nerval, musicians Fromental Halévy and Charles Gounod, and the Decadent/Realist novelest Guy de Maupassant. His grandson was the avant-garde painter Jacques-Émile Blanche. The author, Arago, came from a prominent intellectual family, and was best-known for his drawings and memoir of a scientific expedition in which he circumnavigated the globe. The year before his death, in 1853, he forshadowed Oulipean texts by nearly a century when he wrote and published a travel memoir without using the letter A once. A text quite worth translating.
  11. Sophie Gay, "Les trois Lecteurs: The Three Readings". Sophie Gay, later Sophie Girardin, was one of the leading female Romanticist poets and 'fought' at the 'Battle of Hernani'. Here she describes the differences in readings of prospective plays at three different Parisian theatres.
  12. Armand Marrast, "Sainte-Pélagie: détention politique" (Saint-Pélagie Prison: Political Arrest)
  13. Alexandre Duval, "L'Apprenti Journaliste" (The Apprenticed Journalist)
  14. Michaud & A. Bazin, "Constantinople et Paris" (Constantinople and Paris)
  15. Alexandre Soumet, "L'Archevèque de Paris" (The Paris Archivist)
  16. Prospectus for new journal: Répertoire Historique, edited by Eugène Roch.
Vol. 5
  1. Émile Deschamps, "Une Matinée aux Invalides" (A Matinee at the Paris Veteran's Hospital")
  2. Victorine Collin, "Les Jeunes personnes sans fortune à Paris" (Young People Without Fortunes in Paris")
  3. Étienne-Jean Delécluze, "De la Barbarie de ce Temps, 1832" (On the Barbarism of our Times, 1832) A contentious manifesto on art theory, worth a full read.
  4. James Rousseau, "Monsieur de Paris" (Sir of Paris)
  5. Astolphe de Custine, "Les Amitiés Littéraires en XDCCCXXXI" (Literary Friendship in 1831) Coustine was particularly well-situated to write this essay: he was heavily involved with Romanticist subculture and his vacation home, built the year of publication, hosted many prominent members of the movement, while his mother had been a close friend of Madame de Staël and immersed in the first emergence of Romanticism in France two decades earlier. Worth translating.
  6. Pierre-François Tissot, "Les Convois" (The Convoys)
  7. Maurice Pallut, "Une visite à Charonton" (A Visit to Charenton Asylum) 
  8. Amable Tastu, "Les migrations du Port Saint-Nicolas" (The Migrations of the Saint NicholasHarbour)
  9. Henry Monnier, "Le Manie des Albums" (The Mania for Albums)
  10. Félix Pyat, "Un Café de Vaudevillistes en MDCCCXXXI" (A Vaudevillians' Café in 1831) Pyat, who here portrays the culture surrounding the working-class popular entertainment industry, was a major force for most of the century both as a chronicler of Bohemian and other Parisian subcultures, and as a leading Socialist activist and politician.
  11. Saint-Marc Girardin, "Paris il y a Mille Ans" (Paris a Millennium Old)
  12.  Goethe, "Les Naturalistes Français" (The French Naturalists)
  13. The Count Armand d'Allonville, "Les Maisons de Jeu" (The Gambling-Houses)
  14. Bert, "Le Typographe" (The Typographer)
  15. Louis Desnoyers, "Les Béotiens de Paris: 2e Série" (The Boeotians/Uncouth of Paris: Episode 2)
  16. J.-T. Merle, "Mademoiselle Montansier, son Salon et son Théatre" (Miss Montansier, her Salon and her Theatre) Montansier, one-time directress of the Théatre-Française, had hosted an important salon before, during, and after the French Revolution.
  17. A. Bazin, "Le Choléra-Morbus à Paris" (The Cholera-Morbus in Paris)
  18. Arago, Jouy, Villemain, & Geoffroy Saint-Hillaire, "Les Obsèques de M. Cuvier" (The Obsequies for Mr. Cuvier) The French paleontologist Pierre-François Cuvier had died very recently.

Vol. 6
  1. Charles Dupin, "Les Monuments d'Italie a Paris" (The Italian Monuments in Paris)
  2. Nestor de Lamarque, "Les Catacombes" (The Catacombs)
  3. Auguste Hilarion, Comte de Kératry, "Les Gens de Lettres d'aujourd'hui" (The People of Letters of Yesteryear)
  4. Eugène Sue, "Le Parisien en Mer" (The Parisian at Sea)
  5. Un Flaneur, "Le Flaneur à Paris" (The Flaneur in Paris)
  6. Régnier Destourbet, "Les Demoiselles à marier" (Young Women to Wed)
  7. Gustave Planche, La Journée d'un Journaliste (The Journey of a Journalist)
  8. Élise Voiart, "L'Église des Petits-Pères a Paris"
  9. Jean-Pons-Guillaume Viennet, La Vie d'un Député" 
  10. Ernest Desprez, "Les Grisettes a Paris"
  11. Alphonse François, "Une Audience de Justice de Paix" 
  12. Narcisse-Achille de Salvandy, "La Place Louis XV"
  13. Louis Desnoyers (Derville), "Les Tables d'hôte parisiennes" 
  14. Guilbert de Pixérécourt, "Le Mélodrame"
  15.  Jean-Pierre Lesguillon, "Les Vices a la mode"
  16.  Alphonse de Lamartine, "Épître à Walter Scott" & "Homage à l'Académie de Marseille" 
Vol. 7
  1. Prospectus for forthcoming book: Paul Robert, ou, Mémoires d'un Fils de famille, published by Jules Mayret.
  2. Charles Lenormand, "Du Costume Parisien, et de son avenir" (On Parisian Dress, and its Future)
  3. Léon Guérin, "Les Comités de Lecture" (The Reading Committees) The theatrical reading committees were in charge of determining whether submitted plays would be produced; they were notoriously contemptuous of writers and tended to be aesthetically conservative.
  4. Étienne-Jean Delécluze, "Les Barbus d'a-présent et les Barbus de 1800"
  5. N. Brazier, "Les Sociétés Chantantes" (The Singing Clubs)
  6. G. d'Outrepont, "Le Gamin de Paris"
  7. Benjamin Constant, "Portraits inédits" (Unpublished Portraits)
  8. Ernest Fouinet, "Un Jour de paiement de rentes au Trésor" (A Day of Paying Revenues to the Treasury)
  9. Edmond Mennechet, "Les Théatres de Société" (The Classy Theatres)
  10. Félix Bodin, "Une Scène de Magnétisme" (A Scene of Magnetism)
  11. Jal, "La Faction des Ennuyés"
  12. Dupin Ainé, "De l'Improvisation" (On Improvisation)
  13. Gaillardet, "La Rue des Postes"
  14. A. Fontaney, "Un Magasin de modes"
  15. Peyronnet, "Ham"
  16. Victor Hugo, "Napoléon II"
Vol. 8
  1. Prospectus for forthcoming book: La Chronique de France (The Chronicle of France), ed. Eduard Mennechet, and adverts for other new titles on Ladvocat. 
  2. Frédéric Soulié, "L'Écrivain public" (The Popular Writer) 
  3. Victor Ducange, "Une Demoiselle de Paris, en 1832" (A Young Lady of Paris, 1832)
  4. Émile Deschamps, "Les Appartements a Louer" (The Rooms for Rent)
  5. Léon Gozlan, "Le Napoléon Noir" (The Black Napoleon)
  6. Amédée Pommier, "Les Musées en plein vent" (The Open Air Museums)
  7. Jules Mayret, "Les Filles d'actrices" (The Actresses' Daughters)
  8. Loève-Veimars, "L'Hôtel Carnavalet"
  9. V. Schoelcher, "Les Amours de diligence" ( Loves of Exactitude / Hasty Loves)
  10. A. Félix Joncières, "Le Luxembourg" (The Luxembourg Gardens)
  11. Jules Janin, "Le Marchand de chiens" (The Dog-Seller)
  12. Victorine Collin, "Deux Ménages Parisiens" (Two Parisian Households)
  13. Charles Liadières, "L'Élève de l'École polytechnique" (The Engineering Graduate)
  14. Éduard Anglemont, "L'Ouverture de la Chasse aux environs de Paris" (The Opening of the Hunt in the Vicinity of Paris)
  15. Charles Duveyrier, "Le Ville Nouvelle, ou le Paris des Saints-Simoniens" (The New Town, or the Paris of the Saint-Simonians)
  16. Jacques Raphael, "Le Portier de Paris" (The Paris Doorman)
  17. Al. Donné, "L'Étudiant en Médicine" (The Medical Student)
  18. René de Chateaubriand, "Le Naufrage" (The Shipwreck)
Vol. 9
  1.  Cormenin,"Napoléon au Conseil d'État" (Napoleon to the State Council)
  2. A. de Latour, "Le Sorbonne" (The Sorbonne University)
  3. A. Luchet, "Une représentation a bénéfice" (A Benefit Performance)
  4. A. Barginet, "Le Pont-Neuf et L'Isle-aux-Juifs" (The Pont-Neuf Bridge and the Isle-aux-Juifs)
  5. Jules de Rességuier, "Les chevaux de poste" (The Postal Horses)
  6. A. Gratiot, "Le bois de Boulogne" (The Forest of Boulogne)
  7. Un Prévenu (A Defendant), "La Force" (Force)
  8. N. Brazier, "Le Boulevard du Temple" 
  9. Henri Martin, "Un visite à St.-Germain" (A Visit to the Saint-Germaine-de-Près Neighbourhood) 
  10. Merville, "La vie de café" (Café Life)
  11. James Fenimore Cooper, "Une Vision (Point de bateaux a vapeur)" (A Vision: Steamboat Stop)
  12. A. Fontenay, "Une séance dans un cabinet de lecture" (A Meeting in a Reading-Room). Many people took their daily news from public reading-rooms, which stocked numerous newspapers and journals, and which were often the scene of spirited political debates, speeches, and planning.
  13. Léon Halévy, "L'agence dramatique" (The Theatrical Agency)
  14. Frédéric Soulié, "La Librairie à Paris" (The Paris Bookshop)
  15. Le Bon Pasquier, "Éloge historiques de G. Cuvier" (Historic Elogies of G. Cuvier)
  16. The Editor of the Cent-et-un [Ladvocat], "Dix heurs au chateau de Ham" (Ten Hours in the Ham Mansion)
Vol. 10
  1.  Dupin Ainé, "Le Révolution de Juillet 1830" (The Revolution of July 1830)
  2. A. Kermel, "Les Passages de Paris" (The Paris Alleyways)
  3. de Pongerville, "Épître au Roi de Bavière" (Epistle of the King of Bavaria)
  4. Dufau, "Les Jeunes Aveugles" (The Young Blind People)
  5. d'Hervilly, "La Roulette" (Roulette)
  6. Dumersan, "Le Cabinet de Médailles" (The Cabinet of Medals) 
  7. O. Le Roy, "Un Élève de Ducis à Paris" (A Graduate of Ducis) A satire of Classicism, starring a student from the studio of the Classicist painter Louis Ducis. Worth a read.
  8. Arnold d'a-Costa, "La Place Royale" (The Place Royale Square)
  9. Sophie Pannier, "Un Jeune Républicain en 1832" (A Young Republican [hard-Leftist] in 1832)
  10. Hennequin, "Le Commissaire de Police" (The Police Superintendent)
  11. Rey Dussueil, "Le Siècle au Bal" (The Century at the Ball) 
  12. Marceline Desbordes-Valmore, "Souvenirs du Couvent des Capucines à Paris" (Memories of the Capuchin Convent of Paris)
  13. Jacques Arago, "Les Chevaliers d'Industrie" (The Knights of Indistry)
  14. Comte Alexandre de Laborde, "Paris Municipe, ou Chronique de l'Hotel-de-Ville" (Municipal Paris, or Chronicle of the Hotel-de-Ville Mansion)
  15. Félix Pyat, "Le Théatre Français" (The French National Theatre)
  16. Andrieux, Casimir-Delavigne, & Chateaubriand, "Lettres sur Mlle Cotte" (Letters on Miss Cotte)
  17. Mlle. Cotte, "La Jeune Fille Mourante: Mon dernier chant" (The Young Girl Dying: My Final Song)

Sunday, 20 August 2017

New Release: REVENANCE journal, Issue 2!

Rêvenance: A Zine of Hauntings from Underground Histories. Issue 2.
–ed. Olchar E. Lindsann

Revenance 2 cover

is the flagship journal of the Revenant Archive and the Revenant Editions series, dedicated to the forgotten or untold histories of 19th Century avant-garde and other countercultures. It includes essays, translations, and many experimental forms of historical writing and research that connect those traditions to continuing radical communities today.

This issue includes essays on experimental historiography by Olchar E. Lindsann and Gleb Kolomiets, poems by Arthur Cravan, Marceline Debordes-Valmore, Ivan Gilkin, and Francis Vielé-Griffin (the latter from a manuscript previously unpublished even in French), an 1832 satire of the avant-garde political radicals the Bousingot, the preface to Roger de Beauvoir’s 1840 book about the 18th Century black musician and revolutionary soldier the Chevalier de Saint-Georges, a biography of a 17th Century female scam artist known as The German Princess, a 1912 review of Arthur Cravan’s proto-Dada journal Maintenant, transductions by O. Lindsann of poems from the Chat Noir group, and images by Célestin Nanteuil.

Featuring: Olchar E. Lindsann, Gleb Kolomiets, Elizabeth Birdsall, Raymond E. André III, Marceline Desbordes-Valmore, Arthur Cravan, Célestin Nanteuil, The Chat Noir, Ivan Gilkin, Roger de Beauvoir, Fernand Clerget, Albert Sérieys, Francis Vielé-Griffin, “The German Princess”, Alphonse Karr, Charles-Henry Hirsch, Charles Whitehead, John Payne, & Léon Gozlan.

add to cart
36 pgs on folded 8.5”x14”. Sept., A.Da. 100 (2016).
$5.50 + 1.00 s/h or FREE DOWNLOAD

Saturday, 5 August 2017

New Addition: Champfleury's 'The Faïence Violin' in English translation

Champfleury, The Faïence Violin. 1895. trans. Helen B. Dole. Thomas Y Crowell & Company: New York.

Read Online (in English)
As both novelist and theorist, Champfleury was one of the principle formulators and organisers of the Realist movement and in both literature and the plastic arts – he ghost-wrote Courbet's most important manifestos.  Although Realism is typically reductively explained as a straightforward "rejection" or "attack" on Romanticism, it should be noted that Champfleury was mentored by the arch-Romantics Gautier and Nerval, and was one of the first group of avant-garde historians to take on the mission of recording the rapidly-vanishing history of avant-garde Romanticism; he wrote the first book on Romanticist illustration, a translation of Hoffman's fantasy stories, several biographies and studies of underground Romantics including Nerval and Houssaye, and Gavarni, one on marginalised "eccentrics" of Paris,  and a series of studies of the history of caricature and cartooning (this archive contains his History of Caricature During the Republic, Empire, and Restoration and his children's book Mr. Tringle – see the Historiography & Literature tabs).

Despite his importance to both literary and art history and the huge range and extent of his writing, Champfleury is virtually unheard-of in the English-speaking world today. This is one of the few translations of his work available. It tells the story of an obsessed collector of antique violins, whose pursuit of a prize instrument leads him into various quandaries. It is part of a tradition of French literature written about and for archivists, bibliophiles, and collectors, of which Charles Nodier and Bibliophile Jacob were major early figures (see the archive's copy of Bibliophile Jacob/Paul Lacroix's My Republic in Literature, for instance). This copy is well-read, its cheaply-produced soft leather binding chipping apart and its cover detaatched; the interior remains strongly bound and readable.

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

New Addition: 1925 "Les Annales" Magazine.

Les Annales politiques et Littéraire: Revue Universelle, Illustré, Hebdomadaire. ed. Adolphe Brisson. (Aug 23, 1925). Paris. Paperback Quarto. 26 pp. With Sheet Music Supplement: La Musique des Annales. Paperback Octavo, 8 pp.
Les Annales politiques et Littéraire: Revue Universelle, Illustré, Hebdomadaire. ed. Adolphe Brisson. (Oct. 11, 1925). Paris. Paperback Quarto.
Les Annales politiques et Littéraire was a journal of literary and cultural history edited by Adolphe Brisson, and had been founded by his father. Brisson had pronounced right-wing leanings, and although the magazine itself was ostensibly apolitical in mandate, the fact that it took such a continuous interest in Romanticism throughout its long existence (see the 1903 issue focusing on Hernani, also collected in the Revenant Archive) is evidence of the extent to which the legacy of the movement's mainstream – and to a certain extent its more radical forms as well – had been pacified and co-opted by bourgeois culture by century's end, to the extent where fanfic about Romanticist subculture in the 1830s is included alongside a nationalistic text by Maurice Barrés,whose parodic "trial" had recently been the pretext for the dissolution of the Paris Dada group, and a racist pro-colonial article by the contemptible ethnologist Gustave le Bon (whose personal copy of Gautier's History of Romanticism, used to research his published attacks against the avant-garde, is held in the Revenant Archive; see Historiography).
These issues include episodes 4 and 12 of an illustrated serial novel, Les Enfants d'Hernani (The Children of Hernani) by Tancrède Martel, a spirited and light-hearted saga of young Romanticist writers and artists. Essentially Romanticist fanfic avant le lettre, it is packed with references, in-jokes, and trivia regarding the subculture, and the Romantics themselves would no doubt appreciate its local colour. It boasts a huge cast of characters, including historical avant-gardists such as Petrus Borel, Gérard de Nerval, Camille Rogier, Frédéric Lemaitre, Devéria, Hugo, d'Angers, Vabre, etc. etc. etc. In fact Martel, one of the most respected historical novelists of his day, had been close to many of the Parnassian and older Decadent writers such as Théodore de Banville, Jean Richepin, Barbey d'Aurevilly, and with the aging Hugo himself. The novel never seems to have published on its own, which is a shame.

Additionally, the August Issue includes a supplement of sheet music containing three short songs, One, La Ronde autour du monde (The Ring Around the World), contains lyrics by the Symbolist Paul Fort (see his manuscript poem and inscribed copy of Hélène en fleur et Charlemagne held in the Revenant Archive). Another has passed through so many translations and adaptations that six musicians and writers share credit – La Veuve joyeuse (The Joyous Widow), by Franz Lehar, with G.-A. de Caillavet, & Robert de Flers, after Meilhac, Victor Léon, & Léo Stein. The last is Premier Amour (First Love) by G. Michiels.

The October Issue, in addition to the episode of the novel, includes the article by Le Bon mentioned above, a short story by Colette, and an article on the theatrical riot at the premier of Wagner's Tannhauser in 1861. There seems no way to recover it short of tracking down and acquiring every issue, but some parts of it can be found in issues online at Gallica HERE.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Exciting New Addition: Annotated Working Scripts of a Theatrical Set-Designer from the 1820s

Omnibus of annotated working scripts of an unidentified production designer of a provincial French opera house. Hardbound Octavo; spine reads "Théatre / 7 / Opéra". Containing: Gioachino Rossini, Jean-Baptiste d'Épagny, & Auguste Rousseau, La Dame du lac (The Lady of the Lake). 1825. First Edition. Hautecoeur-Martinet, Paris / Castil-Blaze, La Forêt de sénart, ou La Partie de chasse de Henry IV (The Sénart Forest, or The Hunting Party of Henry IV). 1826. First Edition. Castil-Blaze, Paris. / Bujac & G. Onslow, L'Alcade de la Vega. 1825. Libraire des Spectacles de sa Majeste: Paris. / Castil-Blaze, T. Sauvage, & Karl-Maria Weber, Robin des Bois, ou Les Trois Balles (Robin Hood, or The Three Bullets). 1825. First Edition. J.-N. Barba: Paris. / Eugène Scribe, G. Delavigne [sic. Casimir Delavigne?] & Daniel Auber, Le Maçon (The Mason). 1825, First Edition. Aimé André: Paris. / Paul de Kock & Frédéric Kreube, Les Enfans de Maître Pierre (Master Pierre's Children). 1825. First Edition. J.N. Barba: Paris. With heavy marginalia, stage and blocking directions, production notes, and handwritten pasted-on redactions.

This bound volume is a potential treasure-trove of insight into the working practices of French opera at the end of the Bourbon regime: it collects the first printings of six opera libretti from 1825–26, all of them the working copies of an identified scenographer or production designer of a provincial French opera house.

Most plays and operas in France premiered in Paris; the official libretto would be printed almost immediately, copies of which would be used by provincial opera houses in the country's other major cities as their working scripts, at least for those (such as scenographers) who needed to work only with lyrics and dramatic action rather than the music. Unfortunately, it has not yet been determined in which city the owner worked. (See the handwritten notes on the frontispieces below giving the dates of the provincial premiers, underneath the printed dates of the Paris premier.)

The six libretti bound together here contain hundreds of pieces of marginalia indicating stage directions, blocking, musical cues, set design, and other production notes. Unfortunately, pamphlets of various sizes have all been trimmed to the size of the bound omnibus, cutting off some marginal notations.

Even the physical nature of the marks betray the many hectic working conditions involved, and the progressive stages of thinking and re-thinking the production's details.

These scripts were clearly used both in the studio or office, and on the set itself; some extensive written marginal notes in pen result from careful planning and contain directions for the stage and set design or other production elements:
Meanwhile, in other places on-set decisions, changes, and notes are scrawled hastily and awkwardly with pencils or broken pens, using brackets and a personal short-hand of symbols, as if made while the owner was in the midst of another task or perched atop a ladder:
Rips, tears, smudges of dirt and grime sometimes remind us of the physical conditions of stage production.

Throughout the scripts, we find numbered blocking instructions, indicating which quadrant of the stage each character moved to at key moments in the production. 
What played successfully to cosmopolitan Parisian audiences might not always fly in the provinces, and even the original productions might have departed from the published version by the end of their run due to audience response.  The copy of The Alcade of de Vega contains heavy redactions that reflect the changes made by the opera house for their production.

These redactions were hand-written in fine, small hands by professional copyists, meticulously cut and and pasted into as many copies as necessary for the cast and crew involved – a labour-intensive, collaborative version of the operation now encoded into word-processors. 

The idea of the composer's and librettist's authority over their production was still fairly new and weakly encoded in the law. As a result, some of the redactions and re-writings are quite extensive, consisting of entirely re-written scenes (as below) and the insertion of songs by other composers.

Other cuts, like the one below, are hastily slashed out with what seems to be either a bad pen or an awkward writing position, and were probably made last-minute or even post-premier under pressure of production conditions or early feedback.

Such redactions were typical. In his Robin des Bois (Robin Hood), Castil-Blaze largely collaged his whole opera together out of music from various other composers, underpinning a new libretto.

Here he was following a standard practice, for musicians had been treated as hired craftsmen until within living memory, and intellectual property was a concept still struggling for acceptance. Castil-Blaze made much of his living adapting, re-orchestrating, redacting, abridging, and splicing music for the Parisian and provincial stage. Attitudes were changing, however, and Hector Berlioz and Carl Maria von Weber, among others, rebuked him for his appropriations in this and other plays; Castil-Blaze responded that he was popularising the music through his interventions. In response to Robin Hood, Weber made a legal arrangement to protect his next opera from a similar infraction, constituting an important precedent for the copyright.
I am happy to transcribe, describe, consult, or (when facilities become available, soon) scan passages of the book for researchers; there may be a slight time-lag depending on my teaching schedule. I can be contacted at (NOT as a blog response, please – I may not see it for months)

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

New Addition: Biographies of Famous Outlaws!

Lives and Exploits of the Most Noted Highwaymen, Robbers and Murderers, of All Nations, Drawn From the Most Authentic Sources and Brought Down to the Present Time. (Undated, c. 1850) Silas Andrus & Son: Hartford. Cloth-bound Sextodecimo, 287 pp. Inscribed "Thos. England / Lowell / [?????] / 18?9" & stamped "Thomas England".

Since time immemorial, people who have disenfranchised from their dominant culture economically, culturally, or intellectually have enjoyed tales of outlaws, robbers, pirates, and other criminals outwitting the avatars of power; examples include the cunning thievery of Odysseus, the voyages of Sinbad, the adventures of Robin Hood, the exploits of privateers and pirates, Billy the Kid, Bonnie and Clyde, gangster rap, and on and on.

As literacy spread over the course of the 17th and 18th Centuries, popular outlets for this folklore took the form of lurid pamphlets reporting the details of sensationalised murder, banditry and piracy trials; these spawned hundreds of chapbooks presenting embroidered biographies of famous criminals, collected in books such as Defoe's influential General History of the Pyrates, and eventually evolved into the famous Victorian "penny dreadfuls".

This anthology of biographies of famous British outlaws is a testament of this tradition, complete with the rather rough wood-cuts that adorned the ephemeral press of the day. It also highlights the strange mass-psychology through which this pride in the a-moral underdog becomes enmeshed with a sense of nationalist superiority: though the title proudly announces as its subject the most noted criminals "of All Nations" and all time, in fact all but one entry describe English criminals of the prevous century or two, and the  opening of the one french criminal includes an apology to the reader for seeming to imply that a single one of the greatest criminals in history might not be English, then goes onto "claim" him for the English since most of his crimes were committed in the British Isles. Though unsigned, a pencil annotation in the copy in the University of California Library (linked to above) attributes the text to the writer Charles Whitehead.

Appropriately enough, this book was itself an illegal pirate edition printed in the US from a British (obviously) original; in fact the publisher, Silas Andrus, began as a bookbinder but built his career on pirated European literature. The copy belonged to Thomas England of Lowell, Massachusetts, about whom little is known except that he served as a Sergeant in the 30th Massachusetts Infantry during the entire span of the Civil War and died in New Hampshire.

Monday, 29 May 2017

New Addition: Early Keepsake Book w/Hand-coloured illustrations

Le Petit Volage Fixé à Paris. Author and Artist uncredited. Undated, 1809. Janet & Madame de Musique: Paris. Bound with: Souvenir des Dames. Undated, c. 1809. Janet: Paris. 1813 Printing. Hardcover 64mo. with hand-painted etchings.

This is a forerunner of the Keepsake book, a mainstream format that later ended up, in the hands of this very publisher, exercising an important influence on Romanticism. Originating in England late in the eighteenth century, the original keepsakes were lavishly produced volumes designed to show off every aspect of the bibliographic craft. They typically included elaborate typography, page design and ornamentation, with finely-printed engravings tipped-in throughout, printed on high-quality paper and often finely-tooled and gilt bindings, though the latter varied since most books were bound individually by their owners.

Although this book lacks the anthological character of the Keepsake, instead presenting a self-contained series of anonymous emblem poems, and its original owner evidently could not afford an ornate binding, it does exhibit many of the qualities that would later lead its publisher to the keepsake format: elegant typography and design, copious tipped-in illustrations (in this with the engravings hand-tinted in watercolour), and an evidently female intended audience.

In fact, the differences themselves make this book match the name "keepsake" better than the format to which it was applied: it is meant to be used, written in, personalized, and kept as a memento. Technically, the copy consists of two books bound together, but they were marketed and sold as a bound pair beginning in 1809.

The first half, Le Petit Volage Fixé à Paris (The Little Butterfly Stuck in Paris), consists of twelve iconographic emblems of Cupid (the titular "butterfly") engaged in various activities and scenarios, each accompanying a poem that explicates the image. The etchings are executed in neo-classical style and each is finely hand-tinted in watercolour, usually in four or five colours. Neither the artist nor the poet are identified.
The second-half, Souvenir des Dames (Ladies' Memory), is essentially a planner to keep track of recurring salons, meetings, etc. with a blank page for each day of the week, followed by a page for each month of the year (topped by a zodiacal emblem) in which to record important life events for future remembrance–thus, keepsake.

At the end are several blank pages, followed by a fold-out chart of the Saints Days for the year 1813, signalling that this copy is a re-issue for that year. It was not used, unfortunately, and these pages remain blank.

This copy is cheaply bound in simple green cardboard, implying that the 22-franc price stretched their budget; but the inside is beautiful. On every page, text and image are presented together through engraved borders either shaped and shaded or hand-enhanced in colour; the italic typeface is headed by titles in engraved cursive in elegant lines; verses are ornamented with patterns of abstract flowing swirls. Twenty years later, under Janet's son, the press would continue its concern with design to become the most extreme champion of Romanticist typography and design, including that in the annual Annales Romantiques anthologies, many of them collected in this archive. 

Throughout its existence, Janet seems to have devoted much attention to building and serving a female readership, and published a number of feminist texts (in this archive for instance, see both of the (different) books entitled Le Mérite des femmes, (the other is listed HERE) and the Le Livre de beauté in 'Anthologies, as well as the many female writers published in the Annales Romantiques anthologies.

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