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BARNEY, Natalie Clifford.

Aventures de l'Esprit.

Paris: Éditions Émile-Paul Frères, 1929 Stock Code: 146058
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Presentation copy inscribed to Paul Valéry

First edition, first impression, presentation copy inscribed on the half-title "À Paul Valery, 'Ce n'est pas vivre que vivre sans objections, sans cette résistance vivante, cette proie, cette autre personne, adversaire, reste individué du monde... intelligence rivale, irrépressible - ennemi le meilleur ami, hostilité divine, fatale, - intime.' l'Amazone". This is a superb association copy.

In her inscription to the poet Paul Valéry, Barney quotes his own work, roughly translating as "living is not to live without objections, without this resistance, this prey, this other person, adversary, personified rest of the world... rival, irrepressible intelligence - the best friend enemy, divine, fatale, - intimate- hostility". Taken from his Monsieur Teste (1896), this quote follows his admission that his "solitude - which is only the long-term lack of lengthily and profoundly seen friends; of strict conversations, dialogues without preambles, without finesse but the rarest ones, costs him a great deal".

This collection of short sketches of well-known writers includes the recipient, who was apparently only interested in his own portrait: his chapter, pp. 129-72, being the sole one opened.

According to Jean Chalon, this was Barney's favourite among her own works. "The first half, devoted to men, describes Barney's encounters with Oscar Wilde, Anatole France, Remy de Gourmont, Marcel Proust, Gabriele D'Annunzio, Max Jacob, and others. The second part, devoted to the women who took part in the Académie des Femmes, contains several essays that originally served as introductions to her guests. This segment begins with two short pieces about Barney by Aurel and Lucie Delarue-Mardrus Other writers presented in these essays include Djuna Barnes, Mina Loy, Gertrude Stein, Anna Wickham, Colette, Rachilde, and Romaine Brooks Several of these include Barney's French translations of passages from English works. The volume also contains tributes to Renée Vivien and Marie Lenérue, the latter contributed by Magdeleine Marx Paz" (Orlando).

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Octavo. Original buff wrappers printed in red and black, untrimmed, mostly unopened.


Folding frontispiece featuring Barney's map of an imagined "salon de l'Amazone".


"P.V." in blue crayon to spine and "P.V. P.129" in red crayon to front wrapper. Vertical creases to spine, a touch of wear to foot of spine, front joint expertly stabilized, light water stain to upper front wrapper and through to frontispiece, first blank expertly reattached, light toning to contents as usual, else internally clean and unmarked; a very good copy.


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