Paris: G. Masson: P. Asselin (1886). Alexandre Lacassagne (1843-1924) was a professor of forensic medicine at the Faculty of Medicine of Lyon and wrote extensively about issues related to homosexuality. This work is an extract from Dechambre's Dictionnaire encyclopédique des sciences médicales (série 2, tome 22, 1886) and became an important milestone and was praised by Havelock Ellis among others. The article is inscribed by the author to his colleague Dr. Charles Vibert, very good in later plain wrappers.
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Londres: Siegle, Hill & Co. (1909). 34pp. A quite uncommon collection of homoerotic poetry printed in England, but distributed by Messein in France. The collection includes a number of erotic poems, including 'Adolescents", "Corydon", "l'Éphèbe" and "Sonnet pour un Androgyne". An attractive publication with a Beardsley-esque frontispiece of a faun's head and decorative covers. The author died quite young in a bus accident, but produced several similar collections and contributed to Pan: Revue Libre and Mercure de France. The introductory poem is by Paul Roba, a poet to whom the collection is dedicated. Very good in wrappers. e: Albert Messein succ. Paris), Undated (1909) (12.8x15.5cm. - circa) 34pp. Brooch. Pink cover. First dish decorated with an Art Nouveau floral frame. "Decadentist" frontispiece representing a head of fauna in a taste close to the rare Viennese Secession ORIGINAL EDITION printed on Holland paper. These sonnets “proceed from inclinations analogous to those of a Jacques by Adelsward Fersen and elegant homosexuals among whom Jean Cocteau made his debut” (ref. - “Dictionary of erotic works” 444). This collection is dedicated to the Belgian poet Paul Roba, who signs the initial sonnet. Francis Latouche died at the age of 28 in a bus accident when he left Henry Durand-Davray's home (translator and close friend of Wilde), of whom he was the secretary. Jacques Adelswärd-Fersen paid tribute to him in the review Pan, in 1913. Jacques Vaché (one of the inspirers of Surrealism) liked to evoke the tragic fate of Paul Roba (strangled around the age of 20) and Francis Latouche, whom he welcomed the "stanzas of a raucous paganism.
Paris: Urbain Canel (1826). 226pp. One of a series of novels that appeared within a few years of each other, all of which relate to varities of "impossible love". This novel, as well as another with a similar name by the Duchesse Claire de Duras, are said to relate to the broken engagement of the homosexual Marquis de Custine to Claire de Duras (daughter of the writer) in 1818. The anonymous novel created a scandal on several counts–because of its allusion to sexual "impotency" and the other to the fact that the true authorship of the work was a matter of considerable gossip. Many believed that the author was in fact the Duchesse de Duras and Latouche himself declared at the time that he was not the author, either. Duras had read aloud her novel Olivier ou le Secret in her salon in 1825 and challenged her listeners to accept the unconventional elements of the story, but the novel remained unpublished until 1971. The story of the Marquis de Custine is a fascinating one–he lived openly with his homosexual partner and was nonetheless at the center of Parisian society in post-Revolution France. Latouche (1785-1851) was the author of several rather controversial books and was friends with both Balzac and Stendhal. See Gross, The Scar of Revolution–Custine, Toqueville, and the Romantic Imagination. A very good example of the first edition in contemporary patterned paper boards, marbled endpapers, small bookplate. Rare.
Lisboa: [Rio de] Janeiro: Portvgalia . The only work of poetry by the openly gay amateur philosopher who joined Pessoa's circle of modernist writers in 1915. Leal is best known for his Sodoma Divinisada, published in 1923, but he also dabbled in the occult and was briefly involved with Aleister Crowley ("Met Leal. Don't like him. There's something definitely wrong about him." See Castro, Fernando Pessoa's Modernity Without Frontiers: Influences, Dialogues, Responses.) He was also involved for a time with Gabriele d'Annunzio and Filippo Marinetti and other "ultra- Futurists" and was the founder of a Paracletian Church, with himself as the self-designated Henoch, prophet of the Holy Ghost and Divine Paraclete. See da Silva, Ultra-Futurism, Occultism and Queer Politics. This collection of poems relates to the demonic powers and the force of darkness that became subjects of interest to the surrealists. Very good, light wear and yellowing to covers, spine is fragile with partial splitting, light spotting, photographic frontispiece of the author. Rare.
Elysium Press (1999). Soft cover. A previously unpublished work in which the author constructs a compelling tale of two boys, escorted by their mother and their cousin, and the hidden emotions that guide them on their journey through the Swiss Alps. One of 100 copies bound in marbled paper wrappers. There is also a harbound edition of 75 copies available (bound in wool flannel) @ 150.
Beloeil [Auguste Poulet-Malassis: 1867]. 75pp. A collection of witty and scandalous anonymous verse by the seventh Prince de Ligne, a soldier-diplomat, belle-lettrist, and notorious seducer. His subjects range from sharp reminiscences of court and military life to a lament on the difficulty of rhyming the French for “buggerer”. Despite his history of fathering numerous illegitimate children, the Prince exalts male companionship and sexuality: for example, the first poem is an ode to the virtues of masturbation, while the second is an assault on an old colonel who prevented the Prince from going on break with his young fellow officers, and the fourth is an epitaph for someone “whose ass suffered diseases that his cock escaped” and who “prayed at the brothel but got a hard-on in church.” A brief note by the Prince introduces each poem, and occasional editorial footnotes are scattered throughout. His poems are followed by a supplement from the filthy 1728 satire Histoire du prince Apprius by Pierre-François Godard de Beauchamp; an editor’s note informs us that it was read in secret by the Prince de Ligne in his adolescence. The satire’s original preface has been transposed to the end by the editor, providing this publication’s title, which, given the contents, might be better translated as Ass-backwards. This book was published in 1867 by Poulet-Malassis, a friend of Baudelaire, from one of two then-surviving exemplars of the final volume of the Prince’s light verse, privately printed ca. 1782. An interesting editorial foreword justifies its publication “for the sake of bibliophiles and learned men” while excusing the scandalous content as the kind of youthful vices “to which the entire history of polite society attests.” The colophon notes the original book was printed “without title, author, place, or date”, but in this re-edition, the still-anonymous author’s identity is only thinly disguised: Beloeil, the given place of publication, is the ancient manor of the House of Ligne. Published in an edition of 70, of which this is one of 16 on Hollande with wide margins. An exceptionally rare survival: only one institutional copy appears on WorldCat, held at the Bibliothèque nationale de France. (Thanks to Connor Wood for the description). Réf. Vercruysse 213. - Launay, "Impressions, publications, écrits d'Auguste Poulet Malassis", Bulletin du bibliophile, 1982, II, pp. 185-208 (cit. p. 190, n° 330). - BGL III:1094 -1095. - Pia 1224. - Pas dans Drujon. - Prov. Comte Sosthène de la Rochefoucauld (note dactylogr.). - Baron de Spandl (vente Simonson, Brux., 8-04-1978, n° 6. Very good in 3/4 morocco boards, marbled endpapers, top edge gilt, half-title has a corner missing, light wear to edges. Laid in is a 1 p. typed note indicating the book was purchased in 1951 from the Comte Sosthene de la Rochefoucauld.
1st Edition. Hardcover. From the Introduction: "These two stories about youths and youth were written more than half a century ago, when I was twenty-six years old, almost at the end of an overly prolonged and troubled adolescence. The undue length of this adolescence may have been caused in part by traumatic experiences encountered as a soldier during World War II, in which my role, though largely peripheral, was nonetheless personal enough to inflict psychic shocks that distress me still today. The grim, sadistic subject matter of both stories may, perhaps, be construed as a delayed reaction to those shocks. All the other writing that I did throughout this early period, none of which I wish to preserve, is more or less similar in content and feeling. "George Sickes, The Boy Who Wrote NO, makes his aggressive and irreverent declarations of dissent specifically against business, banking, conventional social manners, the law, the family, and, most offensive of all, against religion. His punishment is the worst society in its self-righteous outrage can impose: death in life. The young boy, Dan, introduced in The Lizard, takes a decisive step toward manhood and independence through his experience of the symbolic unity between death and sexuality, cruelty and purity, blindness and discernment. "Although I began to write in childhood and have spent my life at it since leaving the army, these stories were my first writings to be published. The Lizard appeared in Points, a literary review edited in Paris by Sindbad Vail (summer issue, 1949); The Boy Who Wrote NO in Horizon, a literary review edited in London by Cyril Connolly (Nos. 120-121, December 1949-January 1950, a double issue and the final one), reprinted in The Golden Horizon, a volume published in London in 1953 by Weidenfeld and Nicholson, containing Connolly's selection of works that had appeared in his review which he deemed worth preserving in book form." James Lord is widely known for his several volumes of memoirs, as well as his definitive biography of the artist Albert Giacometti. Stories of Youth is limited to 200 signed and numbered copies bound in handmade paper boards with a linen spine (ISBN # 1-893450-11-2). Fine as issued in the second state of the binding.
Paris: La Connaissance (1928). The rare biography of Pallavicino (1615-1644) the controversial priest who authored a number of provocative satires on the Roman curia and the house of Barberini. He was also reputed for some time to have authored the controversial treatise on sodomy, Alcibiade Enfant a l'Ecole. After a price had been put on his head, he was eventually betrayed and beheaded. A lovely copy in the original wrappers, bound in a full leather binding with red morocco spine-lable. One of 500 hand numbered copies. Uncommon.