“SOME OF THE FINEST AND MOST MUSICAL LYRICS IN THE FRENCH LANGUAGE”
VERLAINE, Paul. Oeuvres Poétiques Complètes. (Paris): Editions Vialetay, (1955-56). Five volumes. Octavo, original full dark green morocco, top edges gilt, uncut. $1600.
Limited edition of Verlaine’s complete poems illustrated with original color lithographs by French artists Vertès, Gaston Barret, Georges de Sainte-Croix, Valentine Hugo, and Simon Goldberg, number 762 of 2500 sets printed on Rives and bound in morocco.
Verlaine was associated first with the French Décadents, and then with the early Symbolists. Best known for his influence upon and his affair with poet Arthur Rimbaud, he nevertheless "wrote some of the finest and most musical lyrics in the French language… [and] had a considerable influence on French prosody. He did not countenance all the Symbolist innovations, such as le vers libre, but chose at most to employ the freed alexandrine" (Harvey & Heseltine, 738-39). Each volume contains 12 original color lithographs by one of the contributing artists: Vertès (Volume I), Gaston Barret (II), Georges de Sainte-Croix (III), Valentine Hugo (IV), and Simon Goldberg (V). Each volume also includes four facsimiles of Verlaine's manuscripts in an appendix, for a total of 20 facsimiles, along with detailed notes by Yves-Gérard le Dantec. Text in French.
Slight rubbing to spine heads of Volumes IV and V only. A lovely illustrated set in near-fine condition.