CÉLINE Louis-Ferdinand (1894-1961)

Lot 45
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80 000 - 100 000 EUR

CÉLINE Louis-Ferdinand (1894-1961)


Rigodon, autograph manuscript [January 1960 - June 1961]. 806 ff. Ballpoint pen rectos, all mounted on tabs. All bound in 6 large volumes, with 3845 autograph corrections. Half black morocco with corners, spine with nerves set with cold netting, title and tomaison piece, paper plates created in red and black by Claude Braun's workshop, linings and endpapers of the same paper, cases lined with black morocco and decorated with the same paper (Loutrel).
Vol. 1: 135 pp. in-4 (including 41bis) on 136 ff. of yellow and blue vellum. Autograph numbering 1-135. 315 words or groups of words crossed out and corrected, 140 additions and 285 deletions by the author's hand.
Vol. 2 : 136 pp. on 136 ff. of yellow and blue vellum. Autograph numbering 136-271. 440 words or groups of words crossed out and corrected, 210 additions and 240 deletions by the author's hand. Vol. 3: 128 pp. on 128 ff. of yellow and blue vellum. Autograph numbering 272-399. 330 words or groups of words crossed out and corrected, 180 additions and 285 author's cross-outs. Vol. 4: 136 pp. of 136 ff. of yellow and blue vellum. Autograph numbering400-535. 190 words or groups of words crossed out and corrected, 85 additions and 88 cross-outs by the author. Vol. 5: 137 pp. on 137 ff. of yellow and blue vellum. Autograph numbering 536-672. 340 words or groups of words crossed out and corrected, 155 additions and 110 deletions by the author's hand. Vol. 6: 134 pp. of 134 ff. of yellow and blue vellum. Autograph numbering 673-806.
Precious complete manuscript, the only one known of Rigodon, Celine's last novel completed in the year of her death. The author had a premonition of her imminent death and feared not to be able to finish it, as we can read in a passage of the novel: "I'm rambling, I'm going to lose you, but it's the instinct that I don't know if I'll ever finish this book [...] we only have one life, it's not much, especially me, my case, that I feel the Fates scratching my thread...".
On June 30, 1961, her book is finished, but Céline won't have time to make the clean copy. The present manuscript is the only one that exists, and it's from it that the edition will be made, after the death of the novelist. But a rigodon, in military language, is also a shot on goal, a successful shot. And if Celine chose the word, it's probably because he was aware that he had written a masterpiece. After D'un château l'autre (1957) and Nord (1960), Rigodon, an autobiographical novel, concludes the series of three novels, often referred to as the "German trilogy", which tells the story of Celine's escape in 1944 through Germany devastated by Allied bombings. Rigodon takes up the story where Nord had left her and tells the tale of Celine's equipment as she tries to reach Denmark, always accompanied by his wife, Lili in the novel, the actor Robert Le Viguan (La Vigue) and the cat Bébert.
Rigodon will be published by Gallimard in 1969.
A copy of an autograph sales certificate signed by Lucie Destouches, widow of Céline, née Lucette Almansor, dated "23.2.91" is attached to this set, authenticating this manuscript as the one "having been used by Gallimard for the edition of Rigodon".
Exceptional.
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