Jean COCTEAU. Autograph manuscript, "Before... - Lot 244 - Conan Belleville Hôtel d'Ainay

Lot 244
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400 - 500 EUR
Jean COCTEAU. Autograph manuscript, "Before... - Lot 244 - Conan Belleville Hôtel d'Ainay
Jean COCTEAU. Autograph manuscript, "Before the Two-Headed Eagle". 3 pp. in-4. Presentation of the film L'Aigle à deux têtes (The Eagle with Two Heads), shot in 1947 and released in September 1948, a film adaptation of the play created in Brussels in October 1946 and in Paris on December 22, 1946 by Edwige Feuillère and Jean Marais. At the head of the manuscript, Cocteau noted: "(if it is necessary for me to speak)". In his film, Cocteau declares that he wanted to "suffocate the intellect under the action and make my characters act their thoughts more than they speak them. I pushed this method to the point of inventing for them an almost heraldic psychology, that is to say, so far from the usual psychology that, on the coats of arms, the animals represented therein bear little resemblance to animals as they exist. For example a smiling lion, a unicorn kneeling in front of a virgin, an eagle carrying a banner in its beak. This does not mean that this psychology is false, but that it expresses itself more truly, more violently than usual [...]". After the "mechanism of the souls", he comes to his work with Christian Bérard to recreate "a whole atmosphere proper to these royal houses where what one names decadence at the poets and which is not other than their particular step expresses itself by a certain madness, by a naive fight against the conformism and the received uses. [...] Only one thing has been borrowed from history - the final stab and the fact that a famous empress was able to walk for a long time with this knife stuck under her shoulder blade. The rest (be it the places, the characters and the acts) is my imagination alone. An autograph envelope from Cocteau addressed to Madame de Gonzague-Frick is enclosed.
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