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BAUDELAIRE, Charles

Bibliographie Ch. Baudelaire

[Paris], 1862

MANUSCRIPT BIBLIOGRAPHY THAT BAUDELAIRE HAD ESTABLISHED WHEN HE STOOD FOR ELECTION TO THE ACADÉMIE FRANÇAISE.

ALL BAUDELAIRE IN TWO AUTOGRAPH PAGES : AUTOGRAPH MIRROR OF HIS WORK

SIGNED AUTOGRAPH MANUSCRIPT

2 pages in-4 (249 x 191mm). 46 lignes dont 5 ratures à l’encre brune

TRANSCRIPTION :

“Bibliography Ch. Baudelaire. Salon of 1845. Salon of 1846. La Fanfarlo. Short Story. Histoires extraordinaires d’Edgar Poe. Nouvelles histoires extraordinaires d’Edgar Poe. Aventures d’Arthur Gordon Pym. Les Fleurs du Mal 1st edition (6 pieces condemned). Les Fleurs du Mal 2nd edition (enhanced by 35 new pieces). Les Paradis artificiels (opium and hash). Théophile Gautier. Richard Wagner and Tannhauser in Paris

[barred :] Pieces reproduced in the Revues. Delacroix à l’Exposition Universelle. Ingres à l’Exposition Universelle. Méthode de critique

In the magazines. Delacroix à l’Exposition Universelle. Ingres à l’Exposition Universelle. Méthode de critique. Caricaturistes étrangers

Foreign caricaturists. [barred :] Morale du Joujou. De l’essence du rire. Morale du Joujou. Salon of 1859. La Genèse d’un poème (Le Corbeau, with the commentary). Eleonora (Edgar Poe). Un événement à Jérusalem (Edgar Poe). Philosophie de l’ameublement (Edgar Poe). Philibert Rouvière. Victor Hugo. Théophile Gautier (2). Marceline Desbordes Valmore. Pétrus Borel. Auguste Barbier. Leconte De Lisle. Pierre Dupont (1). Pierre Dupont (2). Théodore de Banville. Peintures morales d’Eugène Delacroix. Poèmes en prose. [barred :] Madame B. Gustave Flaubert”

In July 1861, Baudelaire planned to apply for entry into the Académie Française : “Several people are encouraging me to take advantage of the current vacancy (Scribe) or the probable subsequent vacancies to put in my application as a candidate of the Académie” (letter to his mother of July10).

That year, 1861 was a time of particularly ambitious projects for Baudelaire. The second edition of Fleurs du Mal enhanced by thirty-five poems had just been published. Through the summer, he worked on an illustrated edition of the same collection and began writing his poems in prose. In 1861, the bad memory of the trial had started to fade. Baudelaire aspired to a more settled life : “To be part of the Académie is, according to me, the only honor a true man of letters may solicit without blushing” (letter to his mother of July 25).

It was only in December 1861, after the death of a second academician, the Dominican Lacordaire one month earlier, that Baudelaire took any real steps to enter the Académie Française. On December 11, 1861, he presented his candidacy to the Permanent Secretary, Abel Villemain, recalling the few works which allowed him to seek such consecration :

“allow me to remind you of a book of poetry which made more noise that it wanted to ; a translation which popularized a great unknown poet in France, a sever and meticulous study on the pleasures and dangers contained in Excitants ; finally a large number of brochures and articles on the principal artists and men of letters of our time”.

In the eyes of the Academicians, Baudelaire had written almost nothing, if not for a censured book which was judged immoral. One of Baudelaire’s main objectives from then was to make known that he was not the author of just one book. At the turn of winter 1861-1862, he sought various sources of support, tried to meet the Academicians individually and freely gifted them copies of his works. He accordingly addressed Vigny (a member of the 1846 Academie) a letter accompanied by two brochures of Richard Wagner and Théophile Gautier, a copy of Paradis artificiels and a copy on holland of Fleurs du mal. He also solicited the support of Lamartine, Flaubert and Sainte-Beuve so they could make use of their relationships. He assembled his troops : in the front row were Charles Asselineau, Arsène Houssaye and Auguste Poulet-Malassis.

In January 1862, in his Revue anecdotique Poulet-Malassis published a bibliography of the works of the poet, introduced by a few sentences not devoid of humor :

“the somewhat Dominican profile of Mr. Baudelaire [in reference to Lacordaire] continues to shake up academic chairs. Their peaceful possessors are wondering, for the most part, what such a reckless candidate could have done to put himself under the invocation of Balzac and Gautier. Holy ignorance ! Does it prove that we write too much or that we no longer read enough ? The fact remains that the list of works of their unknown is long. Here it is, guaranteed by a Quérard of our friends”.

The printed bibliography followed, corresponding word for word to these two autograph pages of Baudelaire. We don’t know if Baudelaire gave them to Poulet-Malassis or kept them for himself as an aide-memoire. The letters addressed to Poulet-Malassis at this time don’t appear incomplete of a manuscript of a Bibliographie de Ch. Baudelaire. The very likely hypothesis is that Baudelaire handed this bibliography personally to Poulet-Malassis. They actually saw each other around this time to discuss future publications and Baudelaire’s candidacy for the Académie : “for some reason I cannot go out. Could you come to my hotel at dinner time ? You would spare me the fatigue of a long letter ?” (letter from Baudelaire to Poulet-Malassis, end December 1861 or beginning 1862).

Baudelaire gave up his candidacy in February 1862, faced with the certain refusal of too many academicians to receive him among them. The posthumous publication of his Œuvres complètes (1868) would finally bring him the fame that he thought he would find under the dome of the académie. These Œuvres complètes would exactly comprise the titles written on these two autograph leaves. This bibliography constitutes a summary of Baudelaire done by himself, at the time when he judged himself worthy to be recognized as immortal : all of Baudelaire on two pages.

Every great artist creates, at some point, the manuscript mirror of his work to keep an eye on the payment of his rights like Dickens or to fix the classification of a work destined for posterity, like Mozart. Stefan Zweig was able to acquire the famous Verzeichnüss aller meiner Werke (British Library, Zweig MS 63 : http://www.bl.uk/manuscripts/FullDisplay.aspx ?ref=Zweig_MS_63) which this manuscript of Baudelaire undeniably brings to mind.

We know of another self-bibliographic note of Charles Baudelaire, on a single page. It was featured in the catalogue of the Louis Barthou sale (Cat., II, 1935, n° 815, p. 158).

REFERENCES : Charles Baudelaire, Correspondance, Paris, 1973, II, pp. 193-194 -- Revue anecdotiquedes excentricités contemporaines, première quinzaine de janvier 1862, p. 18