Les minutes de sable mémorial / par Alfred Jarry.

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Accession number: 
PML 198464
Jarry, Alfred, 1873-1907.
[Paris] : Editio[n] du Mercure de Fra[n]ce, xv, rue de l'Échaudé, MDCCCXCIV [1894]
[6], ix, [5]-210, [3] pages, [9] leaves of plates : illustrations ; 15.5 x 12.2 cm
Purchased for the Robert J. and Linda Klieger Stillman Pataphysics Collection on the Gordon N. Ray Fund, 2019.
Curatorial Comments: 

Jarry is most renowned for his subversive satiric play Ubu roi and the legend of its uproarious premiere at the Théâtre de l’Œuvre in 1896. The company’s director, Aurélien Lugné-Poe, had first taken an interest in Jarry based on his avant-garde books and magazines, including the writer’s first collection of poetry, prose, and plays, Les minutes de sable mémorial. The imaginative universe of Jarry’s book design reflects the unfettered nonconformity he brought to bear on all aspects of his life. In place of the unity of text, illustration, and type, he welcomed disjointedness, obscurity, and anachronisms, while appropriating existing words and images as his own.
The Symbolist author Remy de Gourmont, who mentored Jarry in the art of the book, initiated a house style for the Mercure de France that included issuing a small number of copies of each edition on pastel-colored papers. Jarry, who referred to the papers as “absurd,” chose one of the nineteen special copies to present to Lugné-Poe.


Printed on mauve paper.
Illustrations by the author: 7 prints : woodcut, monochrome ; full-page. Four are printed in dark bluish green, 2 in dark burgundy and 1 in black. Two additional full-page prints are reproductions of early woodcuts.
Visual typographic design on title page, with large letters "M" and "AR" in title and author and "D," "R," "E, " "X" and "V" in imprint representing letters in more than one word; "V" is doubly used as letter and number.
"Il a été tiré CXCVII exemplaires sur carré vergé d'Arches et XIX sur petit raisin Ingres vert, rouge et jaune."
Library's copy one of 19 on colored paper--"petit raisin Ingres rouge."
Printed by Charles Renaudie (his device, designed by Léon Bloy, reproduced in colophon).

3/4 dark brown leather with marbled paper sides, spine lettered and stamped 1896 (sic) in gold, by Alfred Farez (his stamp); with original black wrappers decorated with gold escutcheon design bound in.

Inscribed by the author on recto of first ornamental leaf: Exemplaire offert à [Aurélien] Lugné-Poe, amicalement, Alfred Jarry.

Presentation inscription to Lugné-Poe; Collection Geneviève & Jean-Paul Kahn; their sale, Pierre Bergé, 7 November 2019, lot 26.