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Manuscript of Robert Desnos' sleeping fit of 16 October 1922, under the questioning of André Breton and his friends. "Without turning pale Desnos has caused many desires to die on his pale." Under the dictation of Rrose Sélavy, Desnos speaks of himself only in the third person... Many of the pieces that would later be published in Corps et biens [Without Trace] are collected in this session dated 16 October (1922). The figures of Cendrars and Cravan appear, after a section in which Desnos describes, apparently very quickly (as the text written in script testifies), a dreamlike place in which four clans appear, commanded respectively by Breton, Aragon, Duchamp and Picabia. This says a lot about the authority and power games within the group in 1922, even if Desnos' personal enmities may have influenced the concealment of someone or other (Éluard, in particular). [Atelier André Breton website, 2005] First period of sleeping fits, 16 October 1922. - 4 large pages in-4° handwritten by Breton in black pencil and blue pencil inserted in a subscription form for the newspaper Le Soir and dated by Breton. The two pages in black pencil are puns copied by Breton, difficult to convey in English: "Sans pâlir Desnos a fait mourir sur son pal bien des désirs" [Without turning pale Desnos has caused many desires to die on his pale]. "Monté à l'échelle, Drieu La Rochelle pour étonner Dieu" [Climbing the ladder, Drieu La Rochelle, to astonish God]. "Tristan Tzara, triste en rasta" [Tristan Tzara, sad flashy foreigner]. "Benjamin Péret ne prend jamais qu'un bain par an" [Benjamin Péret never takes more than one bath a year]. The two pages in blue pencil in Breton's hand are marked: "Desnos, Monday 16 October", indicating the session of that date. "The man who has a pun for a name, his life, and these acts was to come this evening. "Duchamp, he has an amazing watch. The numbers constantly go around the dial." (Frayed margins). [Auction Catalogue, 2003]
Creation date16-oct.-22
Physical descriptionMs - crayon noir

Bibliothèque littéraire Jacques Doucet, Paris : BRT 161

Method of acquisition and collectionBibliothèque littéraire Jacques Doucet, Paris, don Aube et Oona Elléouët
Breton Auction, 2003Lot 2026
CategoriesManuscripts, Surrealists Manuscripts
Set[Manuscripts] Sommeils
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