UNIVERSITY of GLASGOW

The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: Mallarmé, Marie
Record 22 of 40

System Number: 03866
Date: [March/April 1893][1]
Author: Stéphane Mallarmé[2]
Place: Valvins par Avon
Recipient: JW
Place: [Paris]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler M200
Document Type: ALS[3]


Valvins par Avon (Seine-et-Marne)

Jeudi

Cher ami

J'ai honte de vous écrire de la campagne. Un troisième accès d'influenza et le conseil donné par le médecin d'essayer d'un changement d'air, m'ont, l'autre jour, fait partir en quelques heures. Nous[4] y voici tant que durera la période de soleil.

Le jardin de la rue du Bac[5] eût si bien suffi, et vous devinez mon mécompte en [p. 2] recevant la gentille invitation à la salle de porcelaine[6]. L'atelier, que je perds! Une journée de charme entière..

Quant au portrait[7], dont il faudrait que la reproduction fût excellente, un Gillot[8] spécial, on devrait inscrire, au dessous, qu'il est extrait du livre Vers et Prose[9], si le Harper's[10] le présentait. Mais je laisse à vous seul cette décision, préalablement; car vous seul au monde voyez clair et savez.

Nos amitiés à Madame[11], mes regrets et la main

SM


This document is protected by copyright.


Translation:

Thursday

Dear friend

I am ashamed to be writing to you from the countryside. A third attack of influenza and the advice given by the doctor to try a change of air, resulted in my departure the other day, within hours. We will be here as long as the sunshine lasts.

The garden at rue du Bac would have served this purpose equally well, and you can imagine my discontent on receiving the kind invitation to the porcelain room/hall. How I am missing out on the studio! An entire day filled with charm..

As far as the portrait is concerned, of which the reproduction must be excellent, a special Gillot, we ought to write, beneath it, that it is taken from the book Verses and Prose, if Harper's were presenting it. But I am putting this to you alone, before any decision is taken; for you are the only man in the world who sees clearly and knows.

Our greetings to Madame, my regrets and a handshake

SM


Notes:

1.  [March/April 1893]
Dated by reference to publication (see below). 'Jeudi' indicated a Thursday; the date was likely to have been either the 23, 30 March, or 6, 13 April 1893.

2.  Stéphane Mallarmé
Stéphane Mallarmé (1842-1898), Symbolist writer and poet [more].

3.  ALS
Published in Barbier, Carl P., ed., Correspondance Mallarmé-Whistler: Histoire de la grande amitié de leurs dernières années, Paris, 1964 [GM, A.28], no. CXVII, pp. 205-6.

4.  Nous
That is, Mallarmé, Marie Mallarmé (b. 1835), née Gerhard, wife of Stéphane Mallarmé [more], and their daughter Stephanie Françoise Geneviève Mallarmé (1864-1919), later Mme Bonniot [more].

5.  rue du Bac
JW's house at 110 rue du Bac; the studio was at 86 rue Notre Dame des Champs.

6.  salle de porcelaine
JW and his wife collected oriental porcelain, particularly blue and white china.

7.  portrait
Stéphane Mallarmé (C.60)

8.  Gillot
Veuve Gillot et fils, print and photograph publishers, Paris.

9.  Vers et Prose
Mallarmé, Stéphane, Vers et Prose; Morceaux Choisis ... [par] Stéphane Mallarmé, Paris, 1893.

10.  Harper's
An inferior portrait of Mallarmé was reproduced in Arthur Symons, 'The Decadent Movement in Literature', Harper's Monthly Magazine, vol. LXXXVII, November 1893, pp. 858-67, instead of JW's lithograph reproduced by Gillot. See JW to W. Heinemann, 2 April 1893, #08470.

11.  Madame
Beatrix Whistler (1857-1896), née Beatrice Philip, artist [more].