Lot n° 76
500 - 600
FRANCE Anatole (1844-1924) [AF 1896, 38e f].
autograph MANUSCRIT with L.A.S. "A. France", [April 1903], to Robert de FLERS; 5 pages and a quarter in-fol. with erasures and corrections.
500 / 600 €
Reaction to the criticism of his play Crainquebille in the form of an interview with Robert de Flers.
[The play was first performed at the Théâtre de la Renaissance on March 28, 1903, with Lucien GUITRY in the title role. Robert de Flers' article, incorporating Anatole France's text, appeared in Le Figaro on April 6, 1903 under the title "Critique des Critiques"].
In his letter of dispatch, which serves as a cover, France asks R. de Flers "to interpose in this text your questions with the development and the turn that you will judge suitable. It is a conversation, and I have not allowed myself to make you speak"; he also thanks him for his beautiful article "What can I say to you, my dear de Flers! Certainly, I read the critics, those at least which could instruct me or amuse me". But what he writes himself does not interest him anymore. Moreover "the praises put me badly at ease": the blames bother him much less, "as for the insults, I admit my weakness: the insults flatter me". He is angry not to have received any this time, but he makes up his mind: "I recognize that Crainquebille did not deserve immoderate insults" Although he is not a playwright he finds "that today in the theater, the profession kills the art. [You too, my dear Robert de Flers, feel what is wrong with replacing observation by purely mechanical arrangements. You feel it because you make excellent theater. He adds that he has always "adored the simplicity of the Greek theater and the theater of Guignol", even if he admires "the other forms of dramatic art". He finally comes back on the denouement of Crainquebille, and the staging and the interpretation, "above all praise".
We join a L.A.S., Thursday (1 p. in-8), thanking Robert de Flers of "what you said with so much grace of your old colleague".
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