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    Sale 5309

    Fine Printed Books & Manuscripts

    2 June 2008, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 333

    CÉLINE, Louis Ferdinand Destouches (1894-1961). Two autograph letters signed ('L-F Céline' and by Lucette), in French, to [Théophile Briant], 'le 10' [?November 1948] and '2' [?March 1949], 4 pages, folio.

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    Estimate

    CÉLINE, Louis Ferdinand Destouches (1894-1961). Two autograph letters signed ('L-F Céline' and by Lucette), in French, to [Théophile Briant], 'le 10' [?November 1948] and '2' [?March 1949], 4 pages, folio.

    Playful letters from one of the most influential writers of the twentieth century, to his friend, the Breton poet Théophile Briant (1891-1956), the second letter sent c/o Maitre Mikkelsen, Céline's Danish lawyer. Addressing Briant by his pseudonym, St Ideuc, Céline chastises Briant for not caring, for creating poetry with ease, yet without creating anything new. He alludes to the the temples of Angkor and to the misfortunes of writers whose efforts are repaid with the stick, gun or with prison. He ends,'"Le coeur du monde bat sans bruit... " Tu es sûr?' - an allusion to Briant's poem, Neige de minuit published in his newspaper, 'Le Goéland' in 1948. The second, equally provocative letter, opens, 'Alors, jouisseur, fainéant, planqué, gaulliste, barde-à-poux, t'as rien à dire?'; Céline taunts Briant on his secretive trip to Egypt, with allusions to Max Jacob, Alfred Dreyfus and the French symbolist poet Paul-Pierre Roux (Saint-Pol-Roux), and comparing the 'Goéland' with a pirate. Together with: a copy of a typed transcript of a letter to 'Mon vieux X' [Theo], 4 June 1947, concerning his imprisonment in Denmark. (3)


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