Coleridge and Cubism.
COLERIDGE, Samuel Taylor. The Rime of the Anciyent Marinere in Seven Parts...now spelled in modern style & embellished with designs by André Lhote. Paris: Emile - Paul Brothers, 1920.
8vo., original black wrappers with rafia netting and paper label; some pages unopened; illustration by André Lhote; pp. [iv], 45, [iii]; little light spotting and browning, otherwise a very good copy, preserved in custom-made chemise and slipcase.
First edition, Copy "B" of only nine lettered copies printed on India paper with two extra suites of the engravings, one in black and one in blue, from a total edition of 776 copies. Although printed in Paris the text is in English.
This unique edition of Coleridge's longest poem is a typical livre club style of French bibliophily from the early twentieth century. The text is taken from the revised edition of 1817, after critics, complaining that the archaic style of the original 1798 version was too difficult to read, demanded marginal notes. Many have argued that the poem was directly inspired by James Cook's second voyage of exploration (1772–1775) of the South Seas and the Pacific Ocean, due to the fact that Coleridge's tutor, William Wales, was the astronomer on Cook's flagship. In Biographia Literaria, Coleridge writes of his work:
"My endeavours should be directed to persons and characters supernatural, or at least Romantic; yet so as to transfer from our inward nature a human interest and a semblance of truth sufficient to procure for these shadows of imagination that willing suspension of disbelief for the moment, which constitutes poetic faith. ... with this view I wrote The Ancient Mariner."
André Lhote (5 July 1885 – 24 January 1962) was a French Cubist painter of figure subjects, portraits, landscapes and still life. Originally influenced by the works of Gauguin and Cézanne,he joined the Section d'Or group in Paris, where he worked alongside Gleizes, Villon, Duchamp, Metzinger and Picabia. It was only after serving in the army during the First World War that he moved more determinedly towards a Cubist style, in which he worked for the rest of his life. As well as teaching at the Académie Notre-Dame des Champs, he travelled extensively to Belgium, Italy, England, Brazil and Egypt, the latter in which he used the pyramids as inspiraton for some of his work. Although it might have been intended that the illustrations for Coleridge's text should be influenced by Lhote's abstract and fragmented style, the engravings in this edition are relatively classic, with nautical themes.
Scarce with the additional set of plates.