Le côté de Guermantes II

1921140 x 195 mm

nice autograph letter signed to Regismanset.

5 000 



In Search of Lost Time Volume IV: The Guermantes Side II. Sodom and Gomorrah I.

FIRST EDITION with a printout dated April 30, 1921.
Fictitious mention of 2nd edition.


"To Monsieur Régismanset with the envy
the author of these compact books and
for your deep and profound sparks that make
catch fire all around,
your grateful
Marcel Proust"

Charles Henri Eugène Régismanset (1873 - 1945), a doctor of law and a graduate of the Ecole Libre des Sciences Politiques, was for a large part of his life a senior civil servant employed by the Ministry of the Colonies. Wounded in the battle of the Somme in 1916, after enlisting in March 1915, he received the Croix de Guerre and then the Légion d'honneur in 1917. Elected to the Academy of Colonial Sciences in 1922, he was appointed Director of the General Agency for the Colonies between 1924 and 1926, then Director of Economic Affairs at the Ministry of Finance before being seconded to the Bank of Indochina.
In parallel to his ministerial career, Charles Henri Eugène Régismanset was a prolific writer, editor of Mercure de France for some twenty years, he published from 1900 to 1939 nearly thirty works ranging from colonial reportage to Perfume Philosophy (1907), from a collection of poems to a novel. His literary fame, to his great displeasure, remained very limited and, according to Léautaud, Régismanset entrusted Marie Dormoy : "It's amazing, Valery has only published one book, everyone talks about it. I've published more than twenty volumes and no one's ever said anything about it. 
Regismansand yet knew a certain recognition thanks to the series entitled Contractions, short works composed of maxims, also short and striking, like this one published in the first volume by Sansot in 1906:

"Tell me who you hate, I'll tell you who you haunt. "

Proust's enigmatic dispatch is a subtle allusion to the Contradictions of which the 4th series had just been published. appear. Playing with the contrast between the volumes of the Search for lost time, "compact and little-read books"and the maxims of the Contradictionsthese "deep sparks that set everything on fire", Proust allows a certain irony to shine through. This irony is even more evident when we learn, in the journal Léautaud, that Régismanset had "believed to have the Goncourt Prize"that Proust had won two years earlier.

The Contradictions were published in five volumes between 1906 and 1939, and many of these maxims are still found in dictionaries of quotations.

After reading this volume, Régismanset wrote an article published in  Book review of the Colonial dispatch 4-5 September 1921: "[...] Choderlos de Laclos, writing at the beginning of the 19th century to his delicious young wife who was complaining of being a little overweight, gallantly declared: " Of you, my dear friend, he can never have too much! I would gladly say the same of Mr Marcel Proust, of his work, that is to say, which is a real treat for the mind.. […] Is it my fault, too, that Marcel Proust has such an original talent that he captivates even the snobs, and that he writes books that are memoirs rather than novels, and whose diversity and plasticity escape the methodical and banal account. [...] "
Proust wrote Régismanset on October 14, 1921, for the "thank you for your [sound] superb article in the Dépêche Coloniale" : "It would have been great fun for me to complete my Guermantes side, as you do, with a hundred anecdotes like yours about the post-war Guermantes. I remember, when I was very young, hearing M. d'Haussonville parody a maxim of La Rochefoucault, saying that the false nobility was a tribute that the bourgeois paid to the real nobility."

Régismanset had already published articles on Marcel Proust in the same section, on 21-22 September 1919 and 14 December 1920. It would publish another on 24 October 1922, entitled "The mind of Marcel Proust"..

Philip Kolb, Correspondence by Marcel Proust, XX, n°290 ,494-495.
Proustian newsletter, Unpublished works from the exhibition Proust du temps perdu au temps retrouvé, No. 42 (2012), pp. 177-184 (8 pages).

Paris,Published by the New French Review,1921.In-12, Softcover140 x 195 mm,282 pp .

Spine is unstained. Faded cover.


Marcel Proust

Marcel Proust, born in Paris on July 10, 1871 and died in Paris on November 18, 1922.

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