Soupirs pour une autre fois, ; about 905 pages in-fol. (about
34 x 21 cm) mounted on tabs and bound in 4 small in-fol. volumes, plus one volume of annotated folders, full sharkskin, black boards, spines and corners in four different colors for each volume (blue for the 1st, green for the 2nd, tan for the 3rd and red for the 4th); smooth spines with visible seams, nubuck endpapers in assorted colors, slipcases for each volume with titled mouse-gray box spine (J. de Gonet 2007).
Early version of the first two volumes of Féerie pour une autre fois, and unfinished draft of a sequel, all beautifully produced by bookbinder
Jean de Gonet.
Maudits soupirs pour une autre fois presents a preliminary version of Féerie pour une autre fois (published in 1952 by Gallimard, followed by the second part finally entitled Normance, published in 1954), plus a sequel that remained unfinished. The text, conceived in prison as early as August 1946 (with the title Au vent des maudits soupirs pour une autre fois) was elaborated in Denmark during 1947. Céline begins by evoking the memories of the last months spent in Montmartre, in his apartment on Girardon Street, before the exile; he receives a visit from Clémence Arlon, who has come to sign books; and he walks in his mind in this Montmartre that he loves and where he has so many friends, who parade here; he also walks in his memories: his childhood, the war....; then the bombing starts, and Céline has to think about preparing his departure; he takes refuge with friends in the cemetery... The text of Maudits soupirs pour une autre fois was published for the first time in 1985 by Gallimard, edited by Henri Godard, and reprinted in 2007 in the collection l'Imaginaire; a revised and completed transcription will be given in volume IV of the Romans in the Bibliothèque de la Pléiade, as versions
B and B' of Féerie pour une autre fois (p. 680- 858 and 963-1027)
The autograph manuscript is 905 pages long, with numerous superscripts and superscript numbers; it is abundantly corrected, there are nearly ten thousand corrections.
The details of the four volumes are given below.
I. 294 pages on 169 leaves, in black and blue ink. Continuous autograph numbering 1-139 bis. Nearly 300 additions.
II. 180 pages on 177 leaves (including 3 written r°-v°), including a draft letter entirely crossed out on the v° of the 1st page numbered 139 ter.
Autograph numbering from 139 ter to 1635.
III. 216 pages on 166 leaves in blue ink (including 1 p. of calculations on the v° of p. 16612).
Autograph numbering from 1636 to 238.
IV. 215 pages on 166 leaves in blue ink, including 7 drafts of letters and several leaves entirely crossed out. Autograph numbering from 239 to 400. 170 additions.
Volume "Working folders": 5 large cardboard folders with flaps (37 x 26,5 cm), two of which are orange and three bistre, numbered from 1 to 5 in pencil in the upper right corner. On the cover of folder 1: a strip of clear adhesive with the mention "1 to 132", another on the inside vertical flap with the mention "épuisés" and covered with numerous annotations, isolated words or locutions. On the cover of folder 2: numerous autograph inscriptions (imbrication, ramassis, crapules, charcutier, etc.), and in the lower corner a quotation from Socrates: "Celui qui us de termes impropres fait du mal aux âmes". On the cover of folder 3: in pencil in large characters "2nd juice in work", the words "chaloupée", "imbrication", "imbriquées" and the number "4" on a strip of adhesive. On the cover of folder 4: numerous autograph inscriptions, words and quotes, the inscription "stale" in red on a strip of adhesive in a cross to the top edge, and "Boulot I" in red on a strip of adhesive in the center of the cover. Numerous quotes on the back and on the flaps. On the cover of folder 5: numerous citations and on the inside vertical flap "Job 2" in red on an adhesive strip. - A brown cardboard folder with the inscription "1 to 67, 108, 132" in red pencil, and in black ink the mention "travail", the date "9 nov." and a quotation from Talleyrand: "Il faut se faire de la nécessité honneur"; on the reverse of the upper cover the address "A. Merçais 37 av. du Président Roosevelt Paris 8e". A grey-brown cardboard folder with flaps covered with numerous autograph inscriptions (words or groups of words.)
Let us quote the beginning of the text: "Here is Clémence Arlon. We are about the same age.
She does not come to see me often, nor her husband.
Her son Pierre accompanies her, a thin, pimply boy, a law student. He doesn't sit down, he stays leaning against the wall. He looks at his mother and then he observes me, without boldness, but without benevolence.