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Lot n° 50


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The Poems. Translation by Stéphane Mallarmé. Brussels, Deman, 1888. Large in-8, bradel orange half-percaline, black title page, finial on the spine, untrimmed, cover (Binding of the period). First edition of Mallarmé's translation. Edition at 850 copies, this one on Hollande paper, bearing the printed mention Tiré pour M. S. Mallarmé. A precious copy offered by the poet to his muse Méry Laurent, with a dispatch in the form of a quatrain dedicated to Paon, the nickname Mallarmé used to give him. The justification is an original drawing by Mallarmé of a peacock. The quatrain evokes a stay of a few days in August 1888 at the Splendid Hôtel de Royat with Méry Laurent and Dr Evans. Méry Laurent (1849-1900), a famous demi-mondaine, had a literary salon frequented by Stéphane Mallarmé, Émile Zola, Antonin Proust, Marcel Proust (who made her one of Odette's models), Henri Gervex, James Whistler and Édouard Manet, who painted several portraits of her. It was in Manet's studio that she met Stéphane Mallarmé in the mid-1870s, who dedicated several poems to her and reworked Mary Summer's Indian Tales for her. He found poetic inspiration in her, both a powerfully erotic earthly woman and an ideal literary creature (Mallarmé et les faunes, Musée Mallarmé, 2011).

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