First edition of the Poésies by Furetière.
An attractive copy, preserved in its contemporary limp vellum.
Furetière. Poésies diverses.
Paris, Guillaume de Luynes, 1655.
4to [215 x 172 mm] of (8) ll., 222 pp., (1) l.
Limp vellum. Contemporary binding.
First edition of the “Poésies” by Furetière, an adversary of all things romanesque and precious.
Tchemerzine, III, 393 ; Brunet, II, 1426.
“This collection comprises of 5 satires, stances, madrigals, epigrams and enigmas. The satires are about merchants, prosecutors, poets, etc.” (Tchemerzine)
Born in Paris in 1619, Antoine Furetière was a lawyer who went on to be the fiscal prosecutor of the abbey of Saint-Germain, abbot of Chalivoy and prior of Pruines.
In the name of reason, Furetière displays a profound contempt for the poetry in fashion at the time, what we could call coquette poetry. He makes fun of the collections by de Sercy and de Chamhoudry and laments, in his “Poésies diverses” of 1655, “the unfortunate trend” that reunites, in so-called collections of the best poems of the era, such bad poetry.
A permanent hostility opposes Furetière and Sorel. It appears before the “Roman bourgeois”, in Furetière’s “Poésies diverses” from 1655. Sorel is assuredly the target in the verses written against the authors that come to fashion by learning the titles of a great number of old books and gothic manuscripts. If we acknowledge that the hatred of erudition is proper to the Cartesians, that Furetière is a friend of the Cartesian Boileau, we can wonder if the quarrel between Furetière and Sorel is not yet another episode in the war between Cartesians and Gassendists. (A. Adam, Histoire de la littérature française au XVIIe, II, p.470)
The “Poésies diverses” of 1655 clearly portrayed in an exaggerated fashion Gui Patin and Charles Sorel. Furetière wishes for literature to go back to its quest for truth by ridiculing the bourgeois. Celebrating a sort of inauguration of realism, Furetière describes humble and insignificant lives and mocks great and precious characters.
“Furetière played a commendable role as an adversary of all things precious and romanesque.” (Jacques Patry)
“The “Poésies diverses” of 1655 signal, to his contemporaries, Furetière’s entrance in literature.” (Fabienne Gégou)
An attractive copy preserved in its contemporary limp vellum.
Tchemerzine (III, 393) only mentions one copy in modern roan : “Backer, basane moderne, 380”.
Provenance : hand-written ex-libris “Congreg. St-Mauri” and seal from the library “Seminarium Genomanense” on the title leaf.