Le Condamné à mort.
Fresnes, September 1942. - Booklet in-8, 213 x 135 : (8 ff. last blank), printed cover. In sheets, filled cover.
Very rare first edition of Jean Genet's first book, published in September 1942 while he was imprisoned in Fresnes since May 15 of the same year following his conviction for theft.
It is a long poem dedicated "To the memory of Maurice Pilorge assasin (sic) of twenty years", a delinquent guillotined on February 4, 1939, who fascinated the poet and was the object of his fantasies described in the poem. Genet smuggled his manuscript out of prison, and had about 100 copies printed by a printer of forged food stamps whom he had met while in prison.
Precious copy enriched with dedications and an autograph calligram on two pages, addressed by the author to a certain Monique Auburn who in all likelihood refers to his close friend, the screenwriter and novelist Monique Lange (1926-1996), auburn certainly referring to the color of hair of the dedicatee:
On the title appears this dedication:
To my little // Monique // darling // her // little man // Jean Genet.
Inside the cover, covering the two back covers :
I have badly said // my tenderness : alas Monique, I am badly, // It is the talent of the pretty postcard sailors that I would like : "What I love, O treasure // is your beautiful golden hair "
On pages 7 verso and 8 recto is this calligram in the form of a male sex:
Jean // Genet for // Monique // Heaven I only want, golden this light so that, O fairy, between your teeth the lily of the valley, more frail saliva, and cut breaths the harvest, know (?) a slight shiver of air held to ignoble tackle hung on the threads by the bee hemmed in, I cannot believe in the (or one) only forgiveness the evening of the matches, it is necessary to sleep, I want every story is famous and tells my glory it is necessary to sleep!
On the back of the last sheet is finally this note :
Advice // for Monique Auburn // 1° To be used only in this form // 2° no secundo. // mark of affection : (drawing of a mouth)
The copy also includes 6 autograph corrections in the text.
It is enriched with a black and white reproduction of a photo of the author in his youth, bearing a dedication, also reproduced, to his "dear Violette", and a handwritten leaf in the hand of Mr. Michel Malvaux certifying to have sold the book on June 7, 1971.
The cover is stained and has small perforated dots that are also found on the last two leaves.
Tears on the spine.
Provenance: Monique Lange (?), with dedications from the author. - Michel Malvaux.