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Lot n° 33

CLAUDEL Paul (1868-1955) AF 1946,...

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Autograph MANUSCRIT, Thank you for the presentation of my academician's sword in Brussels, [October 1946?]; 3 pages in-fol. with some erasures and corrections.
Thanks to the Belgian subscribers for his academician's sword.
[Claudel was elected on April 4, 1946 to the Académie Française; his sword of academician was given to him in Brussels on December 11, and his reception took place on March 12, 1947. This speech was probably given at an event organized by the Belgian newspaper L'Éventail, as indicated by an accompanying text in the hand of Claudel's son-in-law, Roger Méquillet].
"This old man all the same, this eternal evader who, from all the different soils he has touched, has kept only a grain of sand in his shoe, this Isaac Laquedem of diplomacy, all the same, as in the legend, it was time to stop him, it was time to put a handle on him, if I may say so, it was time to attach a handle to this drive, at once sinuous and rectilinear, of someone towards somewhere else. This is what this symbolic instrument provides, which you have agreed, my dear friends, to hang on its side and close to its heart. There are in Paris at this moment of skilful craftsmen who are at work on the cloth and the trimmings to transform me into a green olive tree "...
He pays homage to Belgium, a country to which he is so attached by its culture and its beauty " It is in Belgium that I ended my career, and it is by Belgium, can I say, that I began it. [And each time I returned from the depths of the yellow countries, I never failed to make a pilgrimage, I was going to say a cure, to the museums of Brussels and Antwerp to rinse my eyes and my soul in the contemplation of the Rubens and the Jordaens. You honor in me today a Catholic poet, I mean a man who, unlike his colleagues of the past century, has nothing to reproach to the work of the good God, who finds it good and very good [] And I in turn greet in Belgium a Catholic country, a country which realizes and which fecundates in a harmonious unity, at the mouth of two great rivers, the communion, I dare say the peaceful and holy communion, of two great races and two great civilizations [] Powerful Flanders has given you its great painters, but I, French, how could I forget this delicious Ardennes, the paradise of music and poetry, where the langue d'oïl, a language more than any other wet, penetrated by the soul, speaks its most exquisite tones, and which has given us our two greatest poets, Verlaine and Rimbaud. [...] My dear friends of Belgium, [] Paul Claudel says thank you. All the successive Paul Claudels who for so many years have haunted this beautiful country of Belgium.
L'Académie française au fil des lettres, p. 296-299.

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