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Auguste Poulet-Malassis (1825 - 1878)

Related: Charles Baudelaire - publisher

Les Epaves frontispiece (1866) - Félicien Rops [detail]

In 1866 Félicien Rops produced the frontispiece for Baudelaire’s Epaves published by Poulet-Malassis


September 1863 – May 1871

Poulet-Malassis, coquin de l’édition, a édité pendant sept ans des ouvrages interdits en France à cette époque.

Et cela en notre noble capitale [Brussels].

L’intérêt de développer l’histoire des contrefaçons du XIXème siècle est double:

D’une part, ce site facilitera le travail des bibliophiles et d’autre part, il permettra à tous, d’entrer dans cet univers aux multiples facettes que forme ces éditions “portant outrage à l’ordre public”. --http://www.bib.ulb.ac.be/Memoires/Poulet_Malassis/ [Sept 2004]


Outre Poulet-Malassis, il a suivi à la trace des franc-tireurs comme Henry Kistemaeckers, Jules Gay et René-Louis Doyon. --http://www.histoires-litteraires.org/archi-cr/arch-auteurs-dtol.htm [Sept 2004]

Charles Baudelaire [...]

In December 1856, when his relationship with Michel Lévy, the publisher of his Poe translations, was going through a difficult period, Charles Baudelaire suddenly turned towards Auguste Poulet-Malassis, a young printer at Alençon, in Normandy. The poet entrusted his future friend with the task of printing and publishing a book of verse, largely made up of pieces put together during the previous five years, and which had up until that point only appeared in periodicals.

Poulet-Malassis had the reputation of being an honest publisher and also — what was to be the deciding factor — an elegant typographer. The object was to make a book together, insisted Baudelaire, 'a volume of good, if little, material, which would look substantial and well shown off'.

Since the manuscript, prepared by a copyist, has disappeared, along with almost the complete set of corrected galley proofs, which were probably too soiled to be retained, these page proofs are today the only document which allows us to reconstruct the genesis of Les Fleurs du mal, from the withdrawal of the first dedication to Théophile Gautier, on March 8, 1857, until the last corrections after mid-May. Circulating back and forth between Alençon and Paris, they attest to the attentive care taken by the author to the spelling (moderatly traditional), to the punctuation (according to the meaning, but also to the 'declamation'), and to the layout. They record Poulet-Malassis' questions and his entreaties (angrily crossed out by Baudelaire) to correct and quickly return the last galley proofs. Moreover, the poet’s notes and recommendations are evidence of his tension at this crucial period, and of the anxiety which made him indifferent towards the exasperation of the publisher whom he had chosen, as he reminded him, because they both shared the idea 'that in any kind of production, nothing else was admissible except perfection'. ---http://www.bl.uk/gabriel/treasures/country/France/fr01.html [Sept 2004]


Poulet-Malassis publie les Epaves, un recueil rassemblant les poèmes censurés des Fleurs du Mal. Rops en réalise le frontispice et conçoit, dans ce même « espace du rêve baudelairien », La Mort au bal, La Mort qui danse et autres Mors syphilitica. Il illustre par ailleurs un ouvrage phare de la littérature belge de langue française : La Légende et les aventures d’Ulenspiegel et de Lamme Goedzak de son ami Charles De Coster. A Paris, il rencontre Edmond et Jules de Goncourt, auxquels il dédiera en 1867, sa Parisine, d’après Manette Salomon, héroïne du roman des deux frères. Il s’immerge de plus en plus dans le milieu littéraire de Paris qui le captive. Il en deviendra en quelques années l’illustrateur le plus demandé. --http://www.fondationrops.org/biorops.htm [Sept 2004]

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