L.A.S. "Jean C.", Palais-Royal December 20, 1955, [to Henry de MONTHERLANT]; 2 pages in-4 (crack in fold repaired).
Cocteau, newly elected, wants Montherlant to be admitted to the Académie française.
"I know these ostrich eggs on which one walks when my "confrères" meet. But there is a day that is worthwhile, it is when you smuggle goods over skulls and beards. And you are king in this exercise. You would have to allow me to negotiate this plot. They wanted me and they want you [...] Believe me, the strange dome is in your line [...] In my pious and loving hands you don't risk "running an adventure". Make the same maneuver as Claudel. I will say, for example, that I consider the sentences in which you agree to be one of us as a candidacy, since the word candidacy must be pronounced by trickery (and then you are free to orchestrate the situation once the fact is accomplished). May I beg you not to leave me alone on this glorious island of the Seine and have the honor of being one of your sponsors if things work out"...
The autograph draft of MONTHERLANT's answer is attached, December 23, 1955 (1 p. and a half in-8). reaffirming his position: "I accept to be of the Academy, I do not accept to run for it" [Montherlant will be elected in 1960.]
L'Académie française au fil des lettres, p. 304-307.