"A MAJOR IMPACT ON THE ARTISTIC IMAGINATION IN THE 20TH CENTURY": HANDSOME 24-VOLUME SET OF MAETERLINCK'S PLAYS AND ESSAYS, TWICE SIGNED BY HIM
MAETERLINCK, Maurice. The Plays and Essays. New York: Dodd, Mead, (1907-22). Twenty-four volumes. Octavo, contemporary full burgundy polished morocco gilt, raised bands, top edges gilt. $3200.
"Autograph Edition" of Maeterlinck's collected plays and essays, twice signed by Maeterlinck—on a tipped-in leaf in the first volume of Essays and again in the first volume of Plays—handsomely bound in full morocco-gilt.
The Belgian symbolist writer Maeterlinck won the 1911 Nobel Prize for literature. "He made his reputation with his allegorical and romantic plays, mostly produced at the Théâtre de l'oeuvre, the nursery of the Symbolist drama" (Harvey & Heseltine, 435). In 1905, "Maeterlinck enjoyed one of his greatest theatrical successes with L'Oiseau Bleu (The Blue Bird). Like most of Maeterlinck's early symbolist dramas, it was inspired by several fairy tales, and more particularly by J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan… With Pelléas and Mélisande, it contributed to earning Maeterlinck the Nobel Prize in literature in 1911 as well as everlasting fame… His influence was considerable on French and world literature. His deep spiritual inclination; his probing of man's inner world of dreams, desires, and anguish; and his ability to use fairy tale structure and motives, rather than classical myths, to express the collective unconscious have had a major impact on the artistic imagination in the 20th century" (Pribic, 250). While some works Maeterlinck wrote and published after 1922 are not included in this set, it is complete as issued.
A very handsome twice-signed set in fine condition.