Albert Camus rare books and memorabilia

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2015-06-26 11:13:20

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Albert Camus rare books and memorabilia

Albert Camus rare books and memorabilia are collectible items relating to French author and philosopher Albert Camus (1913-1960).

Brief History/biography

Famed for his staunch philosophical views, opposition to communism and totalitarianism, and development of absurdist theory, Camus is considered to be among the greatest French writers. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1957. His best known works are the novels L’Etranger (1942), La Peste (1947), La Chute (1956), and his non-fiction essay L’Homme Révolté (1951).

Types of rare books and memorabilia

Books

Christie’s

  • La Peste(1947), first edition, signed, sold for 75,400 euros in June 2009.
  • L’Homme révolté (1951), first edition, sold for 6,250 euros in June 2009.
  • La Chute (1956) ,first edition, signed presentation copy, sold for $7,800 in December 2005.
  • Le Minotaure ou La Halte D’Oran (1950), first edition, sold for 4,250 euros in April 2010.
  • La Peste (1947), first edition, signed presentation copy, sold for $5,175 in October 1995.
  • L’étranger (1942) first edition, sold for $4,600 in October 1995.

Sothebys

  • L’Homme Révolté (1951), first edition, signed presentation copy, sold for 85,200 euros in October 2006.
  • La Peste (1947), first edition in stunning binding and slipcase by Pierre-Lucien Martin, sold for $92,500 in December 2011.
  • La Peste (1947), first edition, sold for 54,000 euros in June 2007.
  • La Chute (1956), first edition, sold for 43,200 euros in October 2006.
  • L’Etranger (1942), first edition in Pierre-Lucien Martin binding, sold for 18,000 euros in June 2007.

Documents, Autographs and Photographs

Bonhams

  • One handwritten and one typed letter signed by Camus, 1948 and 1955, sold for $2,074 in April 2011.

Christie’s

  • Autograph manuscript and typescript for E’Etat de siege (1948), sold for F59,800 in December 1999.
  • Handwritten manuscript signed, of Sur une philosophie de l’expression’, a critical essay on Brice Parain’s writings on language, circa 1944. Sold for $5,175 in November 1996.

Sothebys

  • Original typescript of Les Possédés (1958) with handwritten corrections. Sold for 48,250 euros in Novemebr 2007.
  • Manuscript of Voyage en Amérique du Sud, signed. Sold for 47,900 euros in June 2002.
  • Handwritten manuscript study of some of La Peste, mid 1940s, sold for $37,500 in December 2011.

Guide for collectors

Camus is, of course, most popular with French collectors. He also transcends the gap between collectors of literature and collectors of philosophy.

Many Camus first editions were bound by Pierre-Lucien Martin or Jean de Gonet, two of the most brilliant and interesting binders of the 20th century. One of these bindings make a first edition Camus much more valuable.

Handwritten and typed documents signed by Camus, and letters to his contemporaries, are highly prized items of memorabilia. These often relate to philosophy, and various significant events in political, philosophical and literary history, discussing topics such as communism, absurdism, existentialism, etc. Particularly valuable are items linking Camus and Jean Paul Sartre, whose friendship and then falling out over disagreements about communism is of significant interest.

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