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Aventures de L'Esprit - Natalie Clifford Barney


BARNEY, Natalie Clifford. 
Aventures de L'Esprit

First edition. 278pp in white printed card wrappers. Folding map detailing the “salon de l’Amazone”. Paris: Emile-Paul Freres, 1929.
Pages a little browned, water-stained at one edge and with red pencil marks to the wrapper.   

A collection of essays on friendship and writing by Natalie Clifford Barney. The book acts partly as a memoir for the regular salon hosted within a classical building known as the ‘Temple à l'Amitié’ in her garden at 20 Rue Jacob, Paris. In the frontispiece Barney drew a diagram of the Salon populated with names of over a hundred guests who had attended over the years, including Ford Madox Ford, Blaise Cendrars, Virgil Thompson, Wyndham Lewis, Isadora Duncan, Peggy Guggenheim and Collette. In 1927 Barney founded an Académie des Femmes, harking back to an earlier vision of establishing a community of women poets on the island of Lesbos. Aventures de L'Esprit begins with reminiscences of male writers Barney had met over the years while the second section of the book includes a chapter for each member of her Académie des Femmes including Colette and Mina Loy. 

This copy includes a ten-line presentation inscription to Paul Valery from Barney: ‘A Paul Valery, Ce n'est pas vivre que vivre sans objectives, sous alte resistance vivante, alte proie, alte autre personne, adversaire, reste individue du monde... intelligence rivale irrespressible -- ennemi le meilleur ami, hostilite divine, fatale, - intime - l'Amazone’. The book is entirely unopened apart from the chapter on Valery.

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