Lot 19
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Estimation :
8000 - 10000 EUR
Autograph MANUSCRIT signed "JC", Le Baron Lazare, 1920; 157 sheets in-fol. or in-4 written on the front, under autograph folder (margins freed on the very first sheets). Complete manuscript of this play in three acts, one of Cocteau's first dramatic essays. The last page of the manuscript bears the date: "Bassin d'Arcachon le 30 septembre 1920". The play was written in the summer of 1920, during a stay at Le Piquey with Raymond Radiguet, with whom Cocteau wrote at the same time the libretto for the comic opera Paul et Virginie, and the play Le Gendarme misunderstood. He then wrote to his mother that he was working on "a big play in three acts for the boulevard. It looks like Bernstein (better written)." This piece was never published or performed during Cocteau's lifetime. It was only in 2003 that we were able to read the text (unfortunately amputated of its end) in the edition of the Théâtre complet de Cocteau in the Bibliothèque de la Pléiade. The first two acts were carried out in 1913. Baron Alfred Lazare, a rich industrialist and an enlightened art lover, maintains an aging actress, Gladys Rubis, "bad actress and great courtesan". She is in love with a gigolo opiomaniac, Jacques Touraine, who wants to leave her to marry Rosine, the Baron's daughter, who is absolutely opposed to it. One evening, when he was unwell on his way home, the baron was taken in by Alice, a young prostitute. Encouraged by her pimp André dit Dédé, she will attract him into her nets. When the curtain rises on the third act, it is 1919, after the war. The Baron married Alice and, frowned upon by high society, retired to Maisons-Laffitte. He accepts the gigolo Jacques as his son-in-law, after he has demonstrated his righteousness in war. But Dédé's return, who continues to see and exploit Alice, opens her eyes to her true feelings and the Baron ends her life. The play is interesting in more than one way, in addition to the situation of some of the characters
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