BARBEY D'AUREVILLY Jules (1808-1889).

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BARBEY D'AUREVILLY Jules (1808-1889).
MANUSCRIT autograph signed "J.
Barbey d'Aurevilly", L'Académie sans candidats, [1873]; 3 fol. pages in brown, red and green inks, cut out for typesetting and reassembled on vellum paper, bound in red half-maroquin, title-piece on upper cover.
Amusing polemical article against the French Academy
.
Published in Le Gaulois of May 19, 1873, the article will be collected in Dernières Polémiques (1891). Barbey d' Aurevilly had already brocaded the French Academy in Les Quarante
Médaillons de l'Académie (1864).
Barbey notes this fact, as inexplicable as it is comical: since the election of VIEL -CASTEL, the Academy has no more candidates! "The French Academy, this Republic of Forty, created by the caprice of a despotic cardinal, who unfortunately had Trissotin under his red robe, and who found it funny to found on the number and the vote this literary government which was not to govern anything at all, well before our love of political governments was put on it, the French Academy is, for the moment, as embarrassed as the conservative Republic of M. Thiers, and threatened not to be preserved any more!"...
With a lot of verve, Barbey comments this situation, while ridiculing the usual shenanigans of the candidates: "There are however still in France some more or less depraved witty people - they are sometimes, these wretched witty people, - who smelled the chair and had the fantasy of it, but this jump (without any calembourg) of M. de Vieil-Castel, who like a dazzling clown, however dull he may be of the rubber of the Revue des Deux Mondes, has passed over their bodies and heads with such insolent ease, has chilled them terribly... I no longer hear of M. About, nor of M. de Pontmartin, nor of M. Arsène Houssaye, nor of anyone else. All gone, like free sparrows, these Academy pickers! [...] It is true that since it lacks witty people, it will have to rely on fools as candidates for the Academy, and if the fools themselves, who are now old and worn out, no longer want to bite into the Academy's grapevine, it will have, as a last resort, women, who are already lurking for it with lust"... How many low-blooded to make the change of the least of the candidates?...
And to finish with a direct political attack: "Poor Academy! Fallen in distaff, enjupponed, finished, dead on foot, for lack of candidates! It is sad, but it would be cheerful, wouldn't it? if the other republic, like this one, discredited, depopularized, under the use of the public contempt, was going to perish too, for lack of candidates!"
The manuscript, with multicolored inks, presents erasures and corrections. It closes on a spectacular signature, with initials in volutes.
Ph. de Flers, Th. Bodin, L'Académie française au fil des lettres, p. 234-241.
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