Lot 113

Africa - COMBES (Charles). Les Cahiers Coloniaux (35 consecutive years in Africa). The Legend lived under the magic. Typewritten manuscript. Ivory Coast], 1956 (January 13).
In-4 (27 x 21 cm) of 34 pp.; in sheets.
French sculptor and painter, Charles Combes (1891-1968) arrived in Ivory Coast in the early 1920s. In 1923, he set up his sculpture workshop in Bingerville, the former capital of the colony near Abidjan. Between 1927 and 1941, he composed, in Toumodi and Bingerville, twenty notebooks of fantastic tales, where personal memories and African legends mingled, whose recurring themes were magic and witchcraft.
These notebooks, mimeographed, printed in small numbers and edited at the author's expense, each contained 10 to 20 pages of text. The book was divided as follows: The wall of magic (notebooks 1 to 3). - The Mask with Living Eyes (No. 4). - Visions d'art (n° 5). - N'Da (n° 6, 7, 8, 9). - Midnight rendezvous (no. 10). - Some stories (n° 11). - The strange novel of a village (n° 12 to 20).
This typewritten copy contains passages from this book: Preface by the author. The Wall of Witchcraft and Magic (pp. 1-21, in 3 chapters which seem to correspond to the first three booklets). - Les Reflets du mur (pp. 21-27, corresponding to the 4th book). - Some Stories (starting title, p. 27, probably an excerpt from the 11th notebook). - Of Men (pp. 28-29). - Step by step in the bush (p. 29). - The Dance of the Wolves (pp. 30-31). - L'Enfer des N'Da (pp. 31-32; perhaps an excerpt from books 6 to 9). - Hunting Story (pp. 32-34).
This curious manuscript was typewritten on the back of headed sheets of the Compagnie de Mokta. Founded in 1865, this company operated mines in various African countries, notably the manganese mines of Grand-Lahou near Abidjan. In 1986, it became a subsidiary of Cogéma, which was integrated into the Areva group in 2001.
A very rare document, not mentioned in the BnF or CCFr catalogues.
Enclosed: DESANTI (Dominica). Ivory Coast. Typewritten manuscript. S.l.n.d. [1962]. In-4 of (2) and 118 pp.; in sheets, manuscript addition at the bottom of p. 7, table of contents on last page.
Famous journalist, historian, biographer and novelist Dominique Desanti spent six weeks in the Ivory Coast in 1961-1962. On this occasion, she composed the present report, divided into two parts: the account of the journey itself (pp. 1-89), and a "documentary", a sort of explanatory appendix (pp. 89-118). Between these two parts was to be inserted a "Panorama" or photographic report, which is not present here. The story contains many economic and political considerations about Côte d'Ivoire in the aftermath of its independence. This manuscript was published in the collection "L'Atlas des Voyages" of the Editions Rencontre (Lausanne, 1962, in-4, 286 pp.).
Also enclosed: Extension de l'Hôtel Ivoire (original title). S.l.n.d. ca. 1968], in-4 of 8 pp. handouts (paginated 91-98). Extract from a brochure concerning the works in Abidjan, including the second bridge and the new Abidjan - Port-Bouët terminal.
Interesting together on Côte d'Ivoire.