CHODERLOS DE LACLOS, Pierre Ambroise François.
The Dangerous Liaisons. First [-fourth] part. Amsterdam and is in Paris, chez Durand neveu, 1782.
4 volumes in 2 volumes in-12 (162 x 98 mm) of 248 pp. for volume I; 242 pp., 1 white f.n.ch. for volume II; 231 pp. for volume III; 257 pp. for volume IV; calf skinned, cold-filleted frame, spine ribbed, title and tomaison parts in red morocco and olive respectively, marbled edges (contemporary binding).
Original edition, first print run.
Copy corresponding to all the details given by Brun, who corrected Ducup's mistakes, especially with regard to the false titles, which end well with a full stop (and not with a comma), and the errata, printed on the back of page 257 and not on an individual sheet.
"Bible of libertinage for some, the book stands out as one of the most abstract and intelligent novels. The ideologue in Laclos is fascinated by the mechanisms of intelligence and will that he never sees better at work than in these perfectly polished villains, poisonous flowers of the refined and decadent society of the dying Ancien Régime. Thus the audacity of
Dangerous Liaisons consists neither in the easy debauchery of crude language, nor in perversity in the first degree, nor in the enjoyment of doing the evil proper to Sade, but in the art of saying it, or rather of writing it, for an admiring and somewhat vexed connoisseur, placed in the position of voyeur like the reader. The artilleryman has combined the ballistics of these letters which aim at the heart, the artist, arranged the interweaving of a learned polyphony (...). This libertinage of spirit finds its antidote and its defeat in the already Stendhalian tenderness of the president, sister of Julie d'Etange and Marie-
Soulange. This libertine novel is also a love novel where one dies of love" (Laurent
Versini, In French in the text ).
A fine copy despite a paper defect pp. 83/84 of Volume II, with a reading impairment.
Ducup de Saint-Paul, edition A1; Brun, edition I; In French in the text, 174.
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