A collection of the personal effects of the celebrated poet who was one of the founding members of French Surrealism, including his leather agenda, Bibliothèque nationale reader’s card, military mobilization ID card, etc., as well as the notarized inventory of his belongings at the time of his death (books, artworks, ceramics, etc.) and typewritten correspondence between those responsible for his estate and its disposition. Benjamin PERET.
A collection of the personal effects of the celebrated poet who was one of the founding members of French Surrealism, including his leather agenda, Bibliothèque nationale reader’s card, military mobilization ID card, etc., as well as the notarized inventory of his belongings at the time of his death (books, artworks, ceramics, etc.) and typewritten correspondence between those responsible for his estate and its disposition.
A collection of the personal effects of the celebrated poet who was one of the founding members of French Surrealism, including his leather agenda, Bibliothèque nationale reader’s card, military mobilization ID card, etc., as well as the notarized inventory of his belongings at the time of his death (books, artworks, ceramics, etc.) and typewritten correspondence between those responsible for his estate and its disposition.
A collection of the personal effects of the celebrated poet who was one of the founding members of French Surrealism, including his leather agenda, Bibliothèque nationale reader’s card, military mobilization ID card, etc., as well as the notarized inventory of his belongings at the time of his death (books, artworks, ceramics, etc.) and typewritten correspondence between those responsible for his estate and its disposition.

Péret in Life & Death

A collection of the personal effects of the celebrated poet who was one of the founding members of French Surrealism, including his leather agenda, Bibliothèque nationale reader’s card, military mobilization ID card, etc., as well as the notarized inventory of his belongings at the time of his death (books, artworks, ceramics, etc.) and typewritten correspondence between those responsible for his estate and its disposition.

I. A collection of items which provides intimate details into Péret’s peripatetic life (1899-1959):

a. Péret’s leather agenda (135 x 90 mm.): Organized with alphabetical dividers and replete with the addresses and contact information for his friends and Surrealist collaborators in Paris, South America, and the United States, written in pen and pencil, including Victor Brauner, Manuel Alvarado, Berta de Battini, André Breton, Robert Benayoun, Geyser Péret (his son and crossed out), Roger Blin, Enrico Donati, Adrien Dax, Georges Duthuit, Max Ernst, Eugenio Granell, Robert Lebel, Wilfredo Lam, Pierre Matisse, Jehan Mayoux, Dwight Macdonald, Pablo Picasso, Wolfgang Paalen, Alfonso Reyes Ochoa, Man Ray, Maximilien Rubel, Ione Robinson, Kurt Seligmann, Toyen, Frank Smith, etc., etc.

Tucked in the pockets of the agenda are a number of business cards — Louis Pauwels, Miguel G. Vivancos, Pierre Daura, etc. — and scraps of paper Péret used to record addresses and notes. There are two envelopes containing the business cards of Isy Pront, a directeur technique at Paramount, on which Pront has written short letters of introduction on behalf of Péret addressed to “Monsieur Rozenberg” and “Monsieur Willemetz.” Also found in the agenda are portrait photographs of Péret, his son, Geyser, and an unidentified woman. Geyser has sent one of the pictures of himself and the reverse is dated “Rio 16-9-49" and reads “To Benjamin, from Gey. / P.S. I hope some day soon we can meet. Gey.”

b. Péret’s Bibliothèque nationale reader’s card issued in 1932 with a headshot pasted on and signed by Péret. Under profession he has written: “Homme de lettres Licenciées-lettres.”

c. Péret’s Livret de correcteur, issued in 1936, recognizing him as a professional copy-editor in Paris. [With]: booklet of rules and regulations for the union of correcteurs.

d. Péret’s mobilization booklet from 1917 assigning him to the 4th regiment of cuirrassiers stationed in Paris. With notes on his service and physical information. [Laid-in]: his Fascicule de Mobilisation issued on 15th April, 1935.

e. Manuscript paper sheet with additional addresses of those in Péret’s circle, such as Robert Amadou, René Alleau, Ferdinand Alquié, Maurice Blanchard, Robert Caby, Jean Degottex, Lise Deharme, Julien Gracq, Robert Lebel, Robert Mallet, Wolfgang Paalen, Francis Ponge, etc.

II. Documents related to Péret’s death and his belongings (presented chronologically).

a. A sequence of eight typewritten signed letters from Robert Lebel to Jean Louis Bédouin on letterhead of the “Association des Amis de Benjamin Péret.” Founded in May 1963, Lebel is indicated as Président of the organization and Bédouin as Secrétaire Général.
–15th October 1965 – Lebel regrets missing Bédouin’s trip to Paris but looks forward to seeing him at the end of the month. Lebel mentions that André Breton has donated 3,360 francs to the association
–3rd February 1966 – Lebel discusses their collaboration on a history of Surrealism.
–7th February 1966 – Lebel asks Bédouin to postpone this work after receiving a warning from his editor.
–17th February 1966 – Lebel thanks Bédouin for his letter received on the 10th and informs him that his editor has said it is ok to proceed with the history of Surrealism. Lebel provides answers to questions sent by Bédouin about the presentation of their chronology of Surrealism and Lebel’s perspective on events. He also mentions that he has seen Vincent Bounoure, Breton, with whom he spoke about his book and who seems tired but “plus brillant et plus lucide que jamais,” and Brauner, who is in poor health.
–31st March 1966 – Lebel has just returned from the United States and offers to have a look at what Bédouin has written so far. He mentions that he went to see Eric Losfeld about Bounoure’s next book and that it seems to be in limbo. Lebel adds that his son Jean Jacques has just published a book on happenings and that one will take place at the Théâtre de la Chimère, 42, rue Fontaine.
–13th June 1966 – Lebel reports that there is little progress on the publication of Péret’s writings and adds that Losfeld must move his bookshop. He hopes that Bédouin can send him the end of his chronology for review.
–28th June 1966 – Lebel thanks Bédouin for the two letters and the rest of the Surrealist chronology. He is also confident that Bédouin can make the chronology more than a simple list of events and people.
–16th July 1966 – Lebel states that they are nearing the end of writing the chronology. He provides Bédouin with some feedback.

b. A typewritten letter dated 6th March, 1967 from Jean Louis [Bédouin] to Elisa [Breton]
regarding Péret’s death and his belongings. Bédouin informs her that at the time of Péret’s death: Péret was staying with him and only lived in a single room; owned close to nothing besides books and a few pieces of art; and was unable to pay his hospital bills. He describes the journey of Péret’s things and offers the latest information on their locations. He also mentions that, with Jean Schuster, he composed a detailed list of objects, which he then gave to Elisa’s husband, André (who died 28th September, 1966). Bédouin states that the list of Péret’s books only exists in a single manuscript copy and that it must be among André’s effects. He advises Elisa to ignore Geyser’s immoderate requests for “souvenirs” of his father.

c. A typewritten inventory entitled “Inventaire des Meubles, Livres et Tableaux ayant appartenu à Benjamin Péret, fait avec J. P. Lasalle, muni de la procuration de M. André Breton,” 11 leaves, typescript on rectos only, a few manuscript annotations. The majority of this inventory consists of Péret’s library, including books by Baudelaire, Rimbaud, Mayoux, Toyen, Jarry, Kafka, Georges Bataille, Gracq, Louys, Gautier, Crevel, Lenin, Breton, Pauwels, Freud, de Chirico, Mallarmé, Joyce Mansour, Arp, Borgès, Benayoun, Césaire, Masson, Trotsky, Prévert, Maurice Blanchot, Eluard, Lévi-Strauss, etc., etc. Also listed are several exhibition catalogues, Surrealist periodicals, such as Médium, Bief, and Konkretion, political broadsides (many concerning “le problème algérien”) and several Spanish dictionaries.

d. A folder from the law firm of Dominique Destrem with date “17 juillet 1968“ with a notarized document concluding the disposition of Péret’s belongings and leaving them to his son, Geyser, living in Sao Paulo.

All in a fine state of preservation.

Price: $9,500.00

Item ID: 6753