“NOTHING BEAUTIFUL IS INDISPENSABLE TO LIFE”
GAUTIER, Théophile. Mademoiselle de Maupin. Philadelphia: George Barrie and Sons, 1897. Two volumes. Octavo, early 20th-century three-quarter purple crushed morocco, elaborately gilt-decorated spine, raised bands, purple cloth boards, top edges gilt. $500.
Limited edition in English printed on Japanese vellum, number 970 of 1000 copies, with 19 engravings in double-suite. Beautifully bound.
Baudelaire dedicated Les Fleurs du mal to him in 1857. Mallarmé also proved “himself to be a faithful disciple of Gautier” (Hollier, 744). Intended to scandalize the French literary scene, Gautier’s novel explores a romantic triangle between two women and a man. Tellingly, his lyrical preface crystallized the trend toward l’art pour l’art by declaring its antiutilitarian desire to free art from the everyday. “I have a firm conviction,” he wrote, “that the ode is a garment too light for winter” (li). Engravings printed in double-suite, one of each suite on India paper and mounted.
Mild rubbing to spine and extremities. Near-fine condition.