Lot 561: French writer who won the 1916 Nobel Prize for literature. ALS in French, four pages on two adjoining sheets, 5.5 x 8, January 10, 1933. Letter to an unidentified gentleman. In part (translated): "I'm sorry to tell you that you were the victim of an impudent 'error.' That manuscript was never nor could it ever have been by me:
l. because the handwriting (as you can ascertain) doesn't remotely resemble mine;
2. because l was never the "correspondent" of the Journal de Geneve;
3. because on the date of July 31, 1914 I was in Switzerland…not in Paris…The 'error' is so gross that I wonder if…another manuscript was substituted…Furthermore, your manuscript is signed with the initials: P.B., almost certainly Pierre Bernus who was and still is the French correspondent of the Journal de Geneve. I'm sorry you were taken advantage of in this manner.
4. because the ideas expressed are totally opposed to mine; the renunciation made by Gustave Hervé (French pacifist and anti-militarist turned ultra-nationalist who founded a form of French fascism), his conversion to nationalism, always inspired the most profound contempt in me." After his signature Rolland adds a brief postscript which reads, "For want of a fake autograph, here at least is an authentic one." A central horizontal fold, show-through from writing on reverse, and some light toning and foxing to edges, otherwise fine condition.
RR Auction's Fine Autographs And Artifacts Auction 471
Wednesday, 9th March 2016
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