Lot 702: French surrealist writer and ethnographer (1901–1990). Five ALSs in French, signed "Michel," totaling six pages on five sheets, dated from September 22 to October 30, 1955. Letters to his wife, Zette, written during his trip to Beijing as a member of the delegation of the Association of Franco-Chinese Friendship. In his first letter, Leiris describes stopping in Russia en route to China, where he saw Swan Lake in Moscow and met with Bulganin and Khrushchev. After arriving in China, he writes, in part (translated): "Yesterday for dinner thirty dishes were offered to us in a famous restaurant in Beijing by the Vice-Minister for Cultural Relations. The amazing thing in China is decidedly that it is absolutely right at home, despite all the exoticism of the decoration. This is because people with the reports are perfectly normal and not what they are in African and Caribbean countries. This afternoon we will visit the Forbidden City, which is the most beautiful part of the city."Another, in part (translated): "Here I am this morning in Manchuria and that changes a lot because it's cold enough…Unlike Beijing, this region makes it a little piece of the world and it is quite amazing."On October 5, he writes: "This morning with two of my colleagues, we went to the local work of Troop #3 of the Beijing Opera and the reception was overwhelming: acclamations by the whole troupe more machinists, etc….forming a double guard of honor on our way, driving demonstrations before us, magnificent stage show, giving gifts and bouquets of flowers."Prior to leaving, he describes another reception: "As the party tomorrow approach is more beautiful: a huge crowd outside had to spend at least a good part of that last night, watching the youth groups to practice dancing. We had a banquet last night of about 2,000 covered chaired by Chou En-lai, with toasts repeatedly while the orchestra played alternately Chinese tunes and European tunes (one Viennese waltz and the Opening of Carmen). I could have lunch with Sartre and Castor and it is likely that we will be together in Shanghai." In overall fine condition. Accompanied by all five original mailing envelopes, each addressed in his own hand.
RR Auction's Fine Autographs and Artifacts Auction 456
Wednesday, 15th July 2015
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