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Requiem
1962. First Edition . COCTEAU, Jean. Le Requiem. (Paris): Gallimard, (1962). Small quarto, original printed paper wrappers, glassine, uncut and unopened. $3000.First trade edition of this collection of poems, CocteauÂ’s final book, published just a year before his death. This copy warmly inscribed at length by Cocteau and signed by him with his characteristic star flourish to his good friend Maurice Goudeket, who was married to CocteauÂ’s dear friend Colette until her death in 1954.Above the half title, Cocteau has penned the name “Maurice Goudeket.” Below he writes, “Mes amis très cheres, jÂ’ai à peine envoyer ce fleuve des morts dans lÂ’autre bonheur. Avec tendresse, Jean.” In 1920, following publication of her succès de scandale, the novel Chéri, Colette entered the world of modern poetry and painting revolving around Jean Cocteau, who was later her neighbor in Jardins du Palais-Royal. They became great friends, and over the years, both often referred to each other, directly and indirectly, in their books. In 1935, Colette married Maurice Goudeket, whom she described as a “saint,” and who cared for her during her later years. She died in 1954.Goudeket remarried after ColetteÂ’s death. His second wife, the actress (and widow of couturier Lucien Lelong) Sanda Dancovici, bore Goudeket a child when he was 71 years old, about two years before the publication of Le Requiem. Perhaps this is the “bonheur” referenced by Cocteau in his inscription. Cocteau wrote the poems contained in Le Requiem while convalescing from a severe hemorrhage. “Cette perte de sang,” he writes in the Preface, “mÂ’en lassait juste assez pour vivre et pour faire la planche sur le fleuve des morts.” The entire book deals with his hallucinatory near-death experience and his drawn-out recovery, which perhaps also contributes to the somewhat apologetic tone of his inscription. Issued at the same time as 125 numbered copies printed on hand-made paper. Text in French. Small perforated stamp “SP” to margin of final signature and rear free endpaper.Very nearly fine condition, entirely uncut and unopened, warmly inscribed by Cocteau to his close friend.
      [Bookseller: Bauman Rare Books]
Last Found On: 2017-04-03           Check availability:      Biblio    

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