Première visite de Marcel Proust, suivi de quelques lettres inédites de Marcel Proust

Year: 1948

Author: Paul Morand (1888 - 1976)

Publisher: Club des Bibliophiles

Première visite de Marcel Proust, suivi de quelques lettres inédites de Marcel Proust, title page

The deluxe book- 'livre de luxe'- was hugely popular in France during the 1920s. The number of bibliophile societies grew along with this popularity. They came in all shapes and sizes, like the Société des Bibliophiles Français, which was founded in 1820.

There were associations based on specific professions (the Société des Médecins Bibliophiles), cities (Cercle Lyonnais du Livre), car ownership (the Bibliophiles de l'Automobile-club de France) and gender (Les Cent Une: Société de Femmes Bibliophiles). One of the last societies to appear- in the 1950s and 1960s- was more of a commercial book club: the Club des Libraires de France. Most of these associations have disappeared by now.

The bibliophile societies were not founded only to discuss books with each other. Nearly each one of them published books as well, usually on the basis of average tastes. The same held true for the typography, for the illustrator and also for the selected text. Although the products are usually average, they still provide interesting material for collectors due to the care that went into the editions, which were usually only printed in limited numbers.

The Club des Bibliophiles, which asked Paul Morand to publish his memories concerning Marcel Proust, apparently had no more than 150 members. The edition is attuned to this. In addition to Morand's account, the book contains eleven letters from Marcel Proust from 1916-1917, which appear here for the first time in print. The carefully designed typography may be termed neo-classical but for the fact that in this copy the red-printed text is crooked in relation to the other text. The society's logo shows a winged horse, Pegasus.

The letters are extremely polite. Morand wants to invite Proust to dinner, in the company of the Princess Murat, but not just yet, because he is too busy - and this in so many words that they can fill a page.

Bibliographical description

Description: Première visite de Marcel Proust, suivi de quelques lettres inédites de Marcel Proust / Paul Morand. - [Genève] : Club des bibliophiles, 1948. - 57 p. ; 26 cm

Printer: André Kundig

Edition: 171 copies

This copy: Number 130 of 171 on Montval

Typeface: Garamond

Bookbinder: Fred Beumer (Koninklijke Bibliotheek)

Shelfmark: KW Koopm A 224


  • Raymond Hesse, Le livre d'après guerre et les sociétés de bibliophiles 1918-1928. Paris, Grasset, 1929