[Title on upper wrapper of catalogue]: Les Livres Surréalistes ainsi que les Publications Surréalistes sont toujours en vente à la Librairie José Corti…

Lisez / Ne Lisez Pas

[Title on upper wrapper of catalogue]: Les Livres Surréalistes ainsi que les Publications Surréalistes sont toujours en vente à la Librairie José Corti…

Cover illustration by Max Ernst & 12 photographic closeups of authors, printed on both sides of six sheets of coated paper, tipped-in. 15 pp. 8vo (220 x 130 mm.), orig. printed paper wrappers. Paris: J. Corti, [1931].

A rare bookseller’s catalogue issued by one of the principal distributors of Surrealist works in Paris. The famous chart of authors prescribed and invalidated by the Surrealists “Lisez / Ne Lisez” appears for the first time in print on the lower wrapper of this catalogue. The Librairie José Corti on the Rue de Clichy served as the occasional headquarters of the collective imprint Editions Surréalistes. Ernst’s steel-engraved collage on the cover was specially made for the bookstore.

The catalogue offers for sale the works of Maxime Alexandre, Louis Aragon, André Breton, René Char, René Crevel, Salvador Dali, Paul Eluard, Max Ernst, Benjamin Péret, Tristan Tzara, Pierre Unik, and Luis Bunuel. Most of the portraits tipped-in are reproductions of photographs taken by Man Ray. Each author is given one page, with their works listed with prices and noted when “épuisé.” Below the listings are excerpts of contemporary reviews and and commentary on the authors and the Surrealist movement as a whole. Breton and Eluard’s “L’Immaculée Conception” is offered on page 9, followed by reviews of the work.

Very good copy, top of lower wrapper a trifle sunned.

❧ Georges Sebbag, Les Editions Surréalistes: 1926-1968 (1993), p. 199-200 (in trans.)–“Methodical, a bibliography has a cognitive aim. Descriptive, a bookseller or auction house catalogue has a commercial end. The Corti catalogue of 1931…transcends these two goals. On the one hand, it participates in the campaign to launch Editions Surréalistes and led to the unification of the group…A surrealist object, theoretical and visible, the catalogue is a model of Edition Surréaliste [publishing].” In the bibliography cited above, “Annexe II” describes the evolution of the “Lisez / Ne Lisez Pas” chart. The cover of the present catalogue is reproduced on the cover of Sebbag’s work.

Price: $1,250.00

Item ID: 6582