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Apollinaire, Guillaume

9, 500 



“One day I expected myself

I said to myself Guillaume it’s time for you to come

And with a lyrical step those I love came forward

Among which I was not”.

First edition of Apollinaire’s first great poetic collection.

An attractive copy, preserved in publisher’s wrappers, with Apollinaire’s portrait by Picasso, of this indispensable work, often described as the literary equivalent of Cubism.


Apollinaire, Guillaume. Alcools. Poèmes.
Paris, Mercure de France, 1913.

12mo of 204 pp., (1) l., (1) bl. l., untrimmed copy, publisher’s yellow wrappers.
185 x 117 mm.

First edition of Apollinaire’s first great poetic collection.

Copy belonging to the first thousand, numbered 638, with a cubist portrait of the author by Pablo Picasso reproduced on the frontispiece.

This is Guillaume Apollinaire’s first collection, which brings together most of his fifteen-year production: ambitious youthful essays, images of Germany, love poems or rather, in his own words, “end of love”, great lyrical pieces, fantasies, in a flexible prosody of extreme diversity (En Français dans le texte).

Alcools contains some of Apollinaire’s most beautiful poems, including La Chanson du mal-aimer, Le Pont Mirabeau, and Zone.

Particularity of these poems, the author decides to delete all the punctuation on the first proofs.

He wrote to Henri Martineau: “As far as the punctuation is concerned, I only removed it because it seemed useless to me and it is in fact, the very rhythm and the cut of the verses are the real punctuation and it is not at all. need another one.”

Michel Butor would say “The verse becomes for him again this ‘perfect line’ of which Mallarmé spoke, the auditory, oral unit, naturally transposing itself in the volume into a visual or reading unit”

While constituting the most complete document on the poetic activity of an entire era, Alcools is also among the perfect works in which French literature prides itself. No one today disputes the genius of a poet who brought to the poetry of his adopted country a very new and at the same time traditional accent.

In Alcools, Apollinaire’s poetry reaches its highest and purest peak, such sincerity and authenticity in the emotion we feel.

An attractive copy preserved in its publisher’s yellow wrappers, rare and sought-after in this condition.

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