ELUARD, Paul. Donner a Voir.

Regular price
Sale price
Tax included. Shipping calculated at checkout.

ELUARD, Paul. Donner a Voir. Paris: Gallimard, 1939.

8vo., recently rebound in half calf over marbled boards; five raised bands ruled and lettered in gilt to spine; pp. [ix], 12-213, [ix]; pages evenly toned, else near-fine.
First edition, warmly inscribed by the writer: "á Renée / á René / tant de bons souvenirs communs qui reprennent corps et douceur" (To Renee and to Rene, so many happy memories together encompassing body and tenderness.")
Eluard was, along with the French poets Louis Aragon and André Breton, one of the founding fathers of the Surrealist movement of poetry which developed throughout Europe in the aftermath of WWI, although his poetry at the end of the 1930s was beginning to dwindle from the style which made him famous. It was the Spanish Civil War re-ignited his passions and in 1939 he was again called to military service. During the German occupation of France, he was part of the underground resistance movement, where he penned the first collection of poetry published in occupied France, Le Livre ouvert (1940, 1942). The British Royal Air Force dropped copies of his poem "Liberté" into Europe as part of its anti-Nazi propaganda campaign, and other poems were broadcast clandestinely on pro-Allies radio stations.
It was during this time that he met fellow comrades Renée and René Laporte. Together, they delivered secret papers and assisted in the publication of clandestine literature. René Laporte was a publisher, writer and novelist who by the age of 19 had co-founded Editions Cahiers Libres, a vehicle for many Surrealist texts. Under German Occupation he co-published for the banned Editions Kra, as well as monitoring German radio broadcasts. The street where he lived during the war was renamed Place René-Laporte. After Eluard’s Poésie et Vérité (1942) was denounced by the Germans, the poet and his wife were forced to move to a different residence every month. In flight from the Gestapo, he took refuge in the psychiatric hospital of Saint Alban, and from there continued to exchange letters with the Laportes.
A beautifully bound copy with a fascinating association.