Lot n° 41
300 - 400
Autograph letter signed to Henri Parisot. 1 p. in-4. Tear (without missing) in the central fold. February 10, 1970
He answers her letter with delay because "perhaps you know that Elsa and I have been quite seriously ill for several months...". He answers her request. "For Lewis Carroll... I don't feel like refusing you anything, and yet I can't do otherwise: Dominique de Roux's conduct towards me has been such that to allow him to use my name would be like a cuckold beaten and happy [...]".
Henri PARISOT fonds (1908-1979)
Publisher and translator, fellow traveler of the Surrealists
The apologist of the golden age and the marvelous
Henri Parisot is one of those rare people who devote their entire lives to their passions, which in his case were literature and poetry. He was a ferryman who made known and propagated the works of the avant-garde writers and poets of his time whom he admired, a friend of most of those who counted in the French literature of the twentieth century, Artaud, Bataille, Breton, Char, Cocteau, Éluard, Gracq, Michaux, Péret, Prévert, Queneau, a great translator, known for his translations of Lewis Carroll, but who also translated Kafka, Samuel Taylor fiColeridge, Edgar Allan Poe, Edward Lear, John Keats, Nathaniel Hawthorne, an editor and director of collections, and finally a passionate lover of English literature and German Romanticism and more generally of the marvelous, the fantastic and the absurd
Born in Paris on April 23, 1908, into a family from Alsace and Lorraine, Henri Parisot was introduced to literature during his years of study at the Lycée Condorcet
After law school, he joined the legal department of the French company of automobiles in 1931 as an inspector.
This activity gave him the opportunity to meet Max Jacob, victim of a cab accident
It also allowed him to devote his afternoons to visits to booksellers, particularly José Corti: it was there in 1933 that he met René Char, with whom he became friends and who introduced him to André Breton and the other Surrealists...
He also assiduously frequents at this time the store of the bookseller and printer Guy Levis Mano. The painter and draftsman Mario Prassinos, with whom he is friends, makes him read texts of his young sister Gisèle, aged 14. Henri Parisot is immediately enthusiastic about the profoundly surrealist character of these texts and their inventiveness and gives them to André Breton to read, who at first thinks that it is Henri Parisot who wrote them.
To remove the doubt and introduce her to the other surrealists, Henri Parisot invites Gisèle Prassinos to read her short stories in front of Breton, Char, Éluard and Péret. This reading session will be immortalized by the famous photo of Man Ray that accompanies the publication by GLM in 1935 under the title La Sauterelle Arthritique of the said short stories of Gisèle Prassinos. Henri Parisot will become thereafter the most ardent supplier of texts of the young poetess to numerous reviews or publishers: Cahiers du Sud, Minotaure, Cahiers des poètes, Cahiers GLM
In January 1936 Henri Parisot met Henri Michaux; he had Guy Levis publish Mano Peintures, the first book showing Michaux's work as a painter, with Parisot and Michaux agreeing to buy part of the print run
In 1937, GLM published his first translation of Kafka, La Tour De Babel, with a drawing by Max Ernst, who was to become his friend. From 1938 onwards, he financed his own collection Un Divertissement in which texts by Chirico, Savinio, Arp, Péret, Carrington, Scutenaire and Gisèle Prassinos were published.
His collection Biens nouveaux entered the GLM catalog and then Les Romantiques allemands at Mercure de France. oeIn 1944 he met Jean Cocteau. Together they put together the complete works of Cocteau for the Marguerat publishing house in Lausanne.
In October 1945, having just taken over the management of the Pléiade bookshop at the request of Gallimard (a position he would hold for four years), he asked Antonin Artaud for permission to publish some of the letters Artaud had sent him to complete Journey to the Land of the Tarahumaras; these letters were published in April 1946 under the title Lettres de Rodez by GLM. In order to help Artaud financially, Parisot obtained from Guy Levis Mano not only an important remuneration for Artaud but also the printing of a unique copy on Japon with the original manuscript intended to be sold at the highest possible price
Then came the famous reviews: Les Quatre Vents (1945-47) which he will direct, K, Revue de la poésie (1948-49), and collections such as L'envers du Miroir (Éditions Robert Marin 1948-51), L'imagination poétique (Arcanes 1952-53), L'Envers (L'Herne 1971-72)
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