MALLARMÉ, Stéphane (1842-1898)

Autograph card signed “Stéphane Mallarmé” to Aurélien-François Lugné-Poe
Paris, [11th] February [1895], 1 page 1/2 in-12

“You give me the pleasure of hearing you in advance…”

EUR 1.300,-
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MALLARMÉ, Stéphane (1842-1898)

Autograph card signed “Stéphane Mallarmé” to Aurélien-François Lugné-Poe
Paris, [11th] February [1895], 1 page 1/2 in-12

With his exquisite calligraphy, Mallarmé agrees to advise Lugné-Poe on the reading of a theatrical performance


“Mon cher ami,
Vous vous en tireriez si bien seul 1 ; mais, puisque vous me donnez ce plaisir de vous entendre par avance, voulez-vous que ce soit, à la maison, un peu avant neuf heures du soir, par exemple lundi prochain le 19 2. Vous serez revenu de la Haye 3 et j’aurai juste fini quelque chose qui m’occupe ces jours-ci.
Toutes nos amitiés, votre main
Stéphane Mallarmé”


1- Lugné-Poe had written that he had offered Allys Arsel to say “Le Corbeau” on his scheduled morning on Poe (scheduled for 25 February), and asked to see Mallarmé for not being “too offside”.
2- Sic, for Monday 18
3- Where he was going to play Rachilde’s L’araignée de cristal, Regnier’s La Gardienne and Courteline’s La Peur des coups.

The very contents of this letter is illuminated by the letter of Lugné-Poe to which Mallarmé replies :

“Mon cher maître,
J’ai offert à ma camarade Arsel de dire le “Corbeau” à sa matinée sur Poe. — C’est une heureuse responsabilité q. je prends. — Je pars demain à La Haye, je serai de retour à Paris d’ici 4 jours. Auriez-vous dans la quinzaine quelques minutes pour que je ne sois pas trop à côté? —
La matinée doit avoir lieu le 25. — Je fais cette chose parce qu’elle me plaît, le reste ne me regarde point. — Mon souvenir respectueux à Madame Mallarmé. —
Tout à vous, cher Maître,

A. F. Lugné-Poe”

It must be understood that it was Lugné-Poe who offered to read “Le Corbeau“. So he wanted to ask Mallarmé for advice on how to read properly.
Allys Arsel was an actress who had been reading Jean de Mitty’s literary talks at the Bodinière since December 15, 1894. The session devoted to Mallarmé had taken place on January 10, 1895, this session (talk and readings) had displeased Mallarmé. On 15 February, Lugné-Poe wrote to Mallarmé that he would no longer know whether the morning dedicated to Poe was still relevant, having no more news from Allys Arsel.The “something” that occupied Mallarmé at the time of writing this letter was probably the second of the “Variations sur un sujet“, entitled “La Cour“, which was to be published in the Revue Blanche of March 1st, 1895.

Lugné-Poe (1869-1940) is a French actor and theatre director. Founder of the theatre of the Work, he is, with André Antoine, the architect of a revival of Parisian theatre at the end of the 19th century.

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Provenance :
Novelist Robert de Flers, one of Marcel Proust’s closest friends.
The card is kept in an envelope bearing an autograph mailing from Henri Mondor to Robert de Flers and an ex-dono autograph signed by Robert de Flers.

Correspondence, 2316 p. 1305

We would like to thank Bertrand Marchal for his contribution to the elaboration of the aforementioned description.