ELUARD, Paul, & Max Ernst.
Les Malheurs des immortels.
Second edition, inscribed by Eluard on the first blank “à Monsieur et Madame Edwin Sisler, ce livre dont je n’ai fait qu’un tiers, Paul Eluard,”* and additionally signed below by Max Ernst. An intriguing message, and at the risk of taking a surrealist at his word, one that might allude to a third force behind this landmark work, Ernst and Eluard’s second joint-publication and their first genuine collaboration: for Répétitions, published earlier the same year as Les Malheurs (1922), Eluard simply chose the collages that best suited his poems, whereas here the pair worked in “near-perfect symbiosis” to produce a work interrogating such themes as “the relationship between painting and poetry, the role of the image as icon of psychic processes, and the ambivalent status of the scopic function – or the reversibility of blindness and revelation”, anticipating Bréton’s vaunted Manifeste du surréalisme (1924) by two years ( (Assa, The French Review, Vol. 64, No. 3, 3 February 1991, p. 643). The first edition of Les Malheurs was printed in an unspecified “small number of copies” (rear of volume); this second edition comprised 1860 lettered or numbered copies (in addition to a “few” copies not for sale), of which this is number 558. Inscribed copies are rare.
Octavo. Original cream light card wraps printed in green black. With the glassine dust jacket as issued. Frontispiece and 20 plates after collages by Ernst. Contents toned as often. An excellent copy.
Bibliography: * "This book, of which I only did a third"Don't understand our descriptions? Try reading our Glossary