Les Repoussoirs - Manuscrit autographe signé complet sur 18 feuillets
s.d. (1866), reliure et étui : 23x28,5cm / feuillets : 17,8x23cm, 18 pages sur 18 feuillets, en feuilles.
n.d. (1866), binding and slipcase: 23 x 28.5cm / leaves: 17.8 x 23cm, 18 pages on 18 leaves, in leaves.
Complete autograph manuscript signed by Emile Zola entitled “Profils parisiens - Les Repoussoirs”, 18 pages written in black ink on mounted 18 lined leaves. Many crossing-outs and corrections. This text had been published for the first time on 15 March 1866 in Marseille in the magazine La Voie nouvelle
and was then published - with three others that make up the Esquisses parisiennes
[Parisian Sketches]- following the novel Le Vœu d'une morte
[A Dead Woman's Wish], published with Achille Faure in November 1866.
Later binding (20th
century) in half green morocco, spine with a lengthwise gilt title, marbled paper boards, marbled paper slipcase lined in slightly cracked morocco.Beautiful yet fairly unknown text from Zola's early years, one of the first published by the writer, then twenty-six years old and earning his first stripes in the literary world.
This chronicle, half-way between the novella and the philosophical tale, tells the story of the “vieux Duranteau” “old Duranteau”'s project, a bold and opportunist entrepreneur who wants to set up an agency of “repoussoirs” “turn-offs”, in other words, ugly and available women for rent, supposed to enhance the beauty of the female customers using their services: “Avouez que vous avez été pris au piège et que parfois vous vous êtes mis à suivre les deux femmes. Le monstre, seul sur le trottoir, vous eût épouvanté ; la jeune femme au visage muet vous eût laissé parfaitement indifférent. Mais elles étaient ensemble, et la laideur de l'une a grandi la beauté de l'autre. Eh bien ! Je vous le dis tout bas, le monstre, la femme atrocement laide, appartient à l'agence Duranteau. Elle fait partie du personnel des Repoussoirs. Le grand Duranteau l'avait louée à raison de vingt francs la course.
” “Admit that you were entrapped and that sometimes you began to follow the two women. The monster, alone on the pavement, would have frightened you; the young women with the silent face would have left you perfectly indifferent. But they were together, and the ugliness of one increased the beauty of the other. So? I tell you in a whisper, the monster, the excruciatingly ugly woman, belongs to the Duranteau agency. She is part of the Repoussoirs staff. The great Duranteau had rented her for the fare of twenty francs.”
Our manuscript is consistent with the version published in La Voie nouvelle
. Emile Zola's signature at the end of the first leaf is evidence that it is unquestionably the copy that he sent to the Marseille newspaper, especially as the text published in Le Vœu d'une morte
contains some variations. Henri Mitterrand highlights the rarity of Zola's manuscript articles and chronicles; Zola was nevertheless an extremely prolific literary journalist and published close to a hundred short fictions: “Tous les manuscrits de ces « papiers » sont perdus, sauf ceux, autographes, des « Confidences d'une curieuse »” “All the manuscripts of these “papers” are lost, except those, handwritten, of “Confidences d'une curieuse””. (H. Mitterrand, Zola
, T. I) It must be said that the young Zola had just left his position as an errand boy at the Librairie Hachette to finally take up a career as a writer. This work, as well as paying the bills, showed him the inner workings of the publishing world and contributed to the publication of his first works: Contes à Ninon
[Stories for Ninon] and La Confession de Claude
We already detect cynicism and the Zolian revolt in Les Repoussoirs.
The writer manages, through the synthetic literary genre of the novella, to address a good number of the themes that will soon resurface in the great social epic that will make up the twenty volumes of the Rougon-Macquart.
17 000 €
Réf : 82169