Paris, N.R.F., 1926.
4 volumes 8vo of : I/ 57 pp. including 2 full-page engravings; II/ 60 pp. including 3 full-page engravings including 1 hors-texte; III/ 48 pp. including 2 full-page engravings; IV/ 65 pp. including 3 full-page engravings including 1 hors-texte. A total of 10 engravings.
Publisher’s embossed paperboards with different polychrome decoration for each volume, with a cameo lithograph in medallion on each upper cover.
190 x 138 mm.
Illustrated edition with 32 original etchings of this first collection of short stories, much admired by Marcel Proust.
Limited edition. One of 300 numbered copies on Hollande Van Gelder.
Valéry Larbaud invites us to rediscover the vivid sensations of childhood, through evocations that are often heartbreaking, and very apt. Short and hard-hitting, Valéry Larbaud’s short stories take us by surprise.
Tome I : Le Couperet, Rachel Frutiger: illustrated by Jeanne Rosoy.
Tome II: Dolly, Devoirs de vacances: illustrated by Germaine Labaye.
Tome III: Rose Lourdin, Eliane: illustrated by Halicka.
Tome IV: L’heure avec la figure, La Grande époque: illustrated by Hermine David.
In these eight short stories, each dedicated to a friend of Larbaud’s, he gives himself over entirely to the spell of a childhood that is still very much alive, translating with great stylistic clarity the melancholy of evocations of the past and the impression of time’s irretrievable flight.
The present collection “contains eight short stories in which the author not only recaptures the enchanted atmosphere of childhood, but also brings the reader back to it through the precision of detail and the accuracy of tone. Because he places particular emphasis on certain facts that ‘grown-ups’ consider insignificant, but which are of capital importance to the child; it is as a child that he evokes events, whether real or imaginary, with the same intensity and presence […].
In this book, Valéry Larbaud gives himself over entirely to the bewitchment of an ever-present and living childhood, and particularly to the bewitchment of the memory of childhood loves; if he succeeds in making this life present to the reader, it is through the limpidity and freshness of his style and the striking accuracy with which he rediscovers the paths of the past and of childhood.” (Dictionnaire des Œuvres, II, 593).
The superb illustration features a total of thirty-two etching compositions, including 10 full-page, 8 headpieces, 8 lettering and 6 tail pieces by Jeanne Rosoy, Germaine Labaye, Halicka and Hermine David.
A precious, well-preserved copy in the superb publisher’s illustrated boards.