*Leon Bloy. L.A.S., Bagsvaerd by Lyngby (Denmark) June 21, 1891, [to Louise Read]; 4 pages in-8 very full of tight handwriting.
Long letter on his resounding trial against Sa'r Péladan, on Huysmans and on Barbey d'Aurevilly. In May 1891, Josephine Péladan wrongly claimed that Léon Bloy and Louise Read had let Barbey d'Aurevilly die without the assistance of a priest. Léon Bloy reacted virulently in La Plume and accused Péladan (driven by "ignoble greed") and Barbey d'Aurevilly's friend Madame de Bouglon (simply referring to her as a "titled slut") of having murdered the writer in an attempt to appropriate the manuscripts of the dying man. Péladan then sued Bloy, who, with the help of the great lawyer Prince Urusov, won the case in October 1891]. He was astonished not to have received his friend's thanks, after having taken it upon himself to make "to Mrs de B [uglon] in Péladan an impossible fate. ...] It is my very calculated imprudence, I beg you to believe it, which has had this infinitely precious result for you to give yourself the beautiful role of covering your adversaries with ignominy, whatever the outcome of the conflict may be for me". He was able to "force Coppea to speak, which his proverbial cowardice would certainly have forbidden him to do. ...] His strict duty, the day after Péladan's interview, was to immediately give this perfectly funny man the most striking denial [...] poor Coppée is not a paladin, he is even sometimes astonishingly cowardly [...] that is why, no doubt, he was put in the Academy. However, when he is given notice to give his testimony verbally, he tells the truth that crushes your enemies as well as mine.... We must
not worry about the consequences of the trial: "My only fear is that this blessed scandal, which I have prepared so carefully, will be aborted. Know that I look upon Péladan as my benefactor and that this trial seems to me to be the most favourable thing that has happened to me in years". He has a famous lawyer "who spontaneously offered his services out of admiration for me (because there are people who know that I am a writer) who will come from Moscow to Paris on purpose to defend me"... As for his article on Huysmans, it is "incredibly moderate. ...] I did not stop being Huysmans' friend, but on the contrary, it was Huysmans who walked away from me against all justice, despite my efforts to hold him back, because I was stupid enough to forgive him for the atrocious harm he did to me. His clumsiness was extreme. He could paralyze me by continuing his grimaces of affection of which I would have been the generous dupe. He did not do so when his abominable book appeared, nothing could hold me back any longer, so I told the whole truth. Thank God for that. As for the malicious or foolish gossip that may be charged to you on my account, you would be very kind to spare me. You are not unaware of the valour of my contempt that I care nothing for the opinions of the convenience of
a certain world whose ideas or feelings are to me like mud. ...] But I have the right to demand of you, as I would have demanded of Mr. d'Aurevilly himself, that my character and my independence as a writer be exactly respected. ...] When
I write about the author of the Married Priest, be sure in advance that I will consult only my conscience, that no consideration of
cowardly expediency or narrow wisdom will act on my will. ...] You know as well as I do that M. d'Aurevilly was the easiest man to deceive (evidence Péladan, A. Hayem, etc.) and consequently completely incapable of defending himself, especially towards the end. It was therefore necessary to say this to express the infamy of the trio of assassins. ...] I have always shouted my thoughts from the rooftops. ...] I have always shouted my thoughts from the rooftops. Those who approve or admire me for fear of showing their feelings are for me dogs, dumb dogs, as Isaiah says, and I will bless any opportunity to treat them as such. ...] In short, I ask you only to be fair to me, as much as you were good not to treat me like a little boy: this is the way to get much from me, the only way. You know very well how I love you, why I love you and how much I love you. That can't be erased. But it is necessary to accept the evidence that I do not belong to your worldly prejudices, which I surely escape every time someone wants to grab me with the grappling hook of propriety. We must accept Leon Bloy as he is, with his cruel heavy hand, if you like, considering that this hand is after all only the extension of a generous heart bubbling against injustice...".
Location of the item France - 75016 Paris