Lot 79
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MANUSCRIPT autograph signed "J. Barbey dAurevilly", Un Nouveau Spectacle dans un fauteuil, [1881]; 3 pages cut out for printing and reassembled on strong paper, all bound in one volume in folio, red morocco with corners.
Beautiful manuscript of critic, with multicolored inks.
This article, written alternately in black and red ink, with a few words in gold ink, was published in the serial of the newspaper Le Triboulet (August 1, 1881); it was collected, with variants, in volume xxiV of Les Œuvres et les Hommes: Voyageurs et romanciers (Lemerre, 1908), in the second part of the chapter "Madame Paul de Molènes".
Barbey wrote a spiritual critique of Monsieur Adam et Madame
Ève (1881), the new novel by Mrs. Ange Bénigne, pen name of Mrs. Paul de MOLÈNES, née Louise Antoinette Alix de Bray.
The first paragraph (deleted from the book) mocks the "old French Theatre ox", and the nullity of the play, which gives the critic the opportunity to talk about "this new Spectacle dans un fauteuil, which today falls to us from the sky and from the pen of a woman of spirit [...] It is the soft, mellow, restful, comfortable armchair, the armchair of the home, in which Alfred de Musset establishes one day his fantasy, which is both enamoured and at the same time despised by the theatre...".
It is, with Mr Adam and Mrs Eve, "the long, eternal, amusing and sad comedy of marriage, which is at the heart of the human comedy, where all playmakers have been drawing since there are playmakers in the world, and which must however remain inexhaustible! Instead of the five acts that are the end of the longest comedies, this one has sixteen, which are chapters. ...] The comedy of marriage, played in these sixteen chapters, which we would like to be fifty, is a comedy à la Marivaux [...] Nothing delicious like this book!
Nothing more observed, more true, more meticulously true, more detailed and full of charming details! Every woman who is not a Bas-Bleus will want to read this book by a woman who is not a Bas-Bleus and immerse herself in this moss which has its bitter taste, since, it must be said! this comedy of marriage, which has inspired so many things and cruel laughter to great comedians and great moralists of all ages, is, at its core, the story of the disenchantment of two united hearts".... Etc.
And he concludes: "I have his book, and his book is enough for me to judge her. Whether it fits more or less well into the more or less worn-out combinations of the theatre, it nevertheless has for me the observation, the imagination and the style with which, when the art of theatre still subsisted, comedy was made in the past!".
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