Du coté de chez Swann

Autore PROUST, Marcel (1871-1922).
Tipografo Grasset
Dati tipografici Paris, 
Prezzo Venduto/Sold
Du coté de chez Swann

Inscribed by the author to Henri Bataille

8vo (183x112 mm). [4], 523, [1], [8] pages.Publisher's wrappers preserved. Near-contemporary dove-grey morocco Jansenist binding by Marcellin Semet and Georges Plumelle. Spine with five raised bands, title lettered in gold on the second compartment; pastedowns in lilac leather, framed with a gilt fillet, guard leaves in ivory silk. Gilt edges. Half dove-grey morocco chemise, preserved in a case signed ‘Semet e Plumelle'. An excellent, handsomely bound copy, complete with Grasset's catalogue printed on pale-green paper. Provenance: presentation copy, inscribed by the author ‘A Henri Bataille/Homage d'admiration profonde/Marcel Proust'. The presentation inscription is inserted on different paper stock from the rest of the book, as is usual for this title (Très Beaux Livres Anciens & Manuscrits, sale Pierre Bergé & Associés, 25 June 2004, lot 345).

FIRST EDITION, first state and presentation copy of the first novel in the series of Proust's masterpiece, À la recherche du temps perdu, printed in Paris between 1913 and 1927.

“Proust's Search is the most encyclopaedic of novels, encompassing the essentials of human nature… His account, running from the early years of the Third Republic to the aftermath of World War I, becomes the inclusive story of all lives, a colossal mimesis. To read the entire Search is to find oneself transfigured and victorious at journey's end, at home in time and in eternity too” (B. Taylor. Proust. The Search, New Haven & London, 2015, p. x).

The necessary first issue points are all present: the wrappers dated ‘mcmxiii', the title-page dated 1914, the intrusive bar in the publisher's name, and the imprint dated ‘le huit novembre mil neuf treize' on p. [524] (cf. M. Brun, Contribution à l'étude des premiers tirages de l'édition originale de ‘Du côté de chez Swann', in: “Le livre et l'estampe”, Bruxelles, 1966, nn. 45-46, pp. 5-39).

The recipient of the present copy was the French poet and playwright Henry Bataille (1872-1922), an important stylistic reference point for Proust, as attested by the grateful address. Bataille's name frequently appears in Proust's correspondence, particularly in a letter addressed to Jacques Copeau, in which the author asks for advice regarding the title of the first volume of The Search. Proust had originally intended to title the volume Les Intermittences du coeur, although had begun to doubt the correctness of this formulation, and considers it here against Bataille's (too) liberal use of language: “Et j'avais remplacé le deuxième titre (le sous-titre) par celui-ci: Du côté de chez Swann (dans le sens où on dit à la campagne, j'ai été me promener du côté de chez M. Copeau [...]. Mais je l'ai tellement entendu dans ma tête que je me demande sans pouvoir me répondre s'il est ‘français', s'il n'y a pas impossibilité à dire cela. Nous avons été d'accord pour trouver que Bataille n'avait pas raison d'écrire: ‘mon coeur pantelant d'éternité!' Je n'aimerais pas écrire ainsi. Croyez-vous que je puisse dire ‘Du côté de chez Swann' comme titre du premier volume?” (Kolb, XII, 110).

  • Du coté de chez Swann
  • Du coté de chez Swann
  • Du coté de chez Swann
  • Du coté de chez Swann