SIGNED LIMITED FIRST EDITION IN ENGLISH OF BAUDELAIRE'S INTIMATE JOURNALS, ONE ONLY 50 COPIES SIGNED BY THE AUTHOR OF THE INTRODUCTION, ACCLAIMED BRITISH POET T.S. ELIOT
(ELIOT, T.S.) BAUDELAIRE, Charles. Intimate Journals. London and New York: Blackamore and Random House, 1930. Octavo, original gilt-stamped cream silk, top edge gilt, uncut. $4500.
Signed limited first edition in English, first printing, of Baudelaire's influential journals, number 12 of only 50 copies (out of a total edition of 650 copies) handsomely printed on handmade paper at the Westminster Press, specially bound in silk, and signed by the author of the Introduction, T.S. Eliot, with eight lithographic illustrations after Baudelaire's own drawings.
This work represents an attempt at "piling up his angers in a book of which he said: 'it has become the true passion of my brain and will be something else than Jean-Jacques' famous Confessions which will seem pale'" (Andre Durand). The section titles are: "Squibs and Crackers," "My Heart Laid Bare," and "A Selection of Consoling Maxims Upon Love." In the Introduction, T.S. Eliot writes that Baudelaire "was in some ways far in advance of the point of view of his own time, and yet was very much of it… He had a great part in forming the generation of poets after him." Victor Hugo "said that Baudelaire introduced a frisson nouveau into poetry—an exacerbated sensibility that quickens only to a beauty containing the elements of corruption. His prosody was classical in its perfection, but he was a precursor of modern poetry by his perception of the symbolic correspondences of scents, colors, and sounds, by his exploration of the musical possibilities of language and, above all, by his remarkable evocative power" (Reid 44-45). Interestingly, Christopher Isherwood translated Intimate Journals from the original French. Isherwood secured the commission through W.H Auden, who told the publisher than Isherwood was an expert in French. Isherwood was not. This original 1930 translation contains several of what Isherwood called "howlers," which were subsequently revised in the 1947 edition (with an Introduction by Auden rather than Eliot). The illustrations include four self-portraits; a portrait of a dancer; a portrait of Baudelaire's French-Haitian mistress of 20 years, Jeanne Duval; "A Specimen of Antique Beauty"; and "Unidentified Woman." Without scarce glassine and slipcase. Gallup B18.
Interior fine, a bit of wear to extremities mostly affecting spine ends. A beautiful signed copy.