Sims Reed Rare Books×

Proverbe. Feuille Mensuelle. Nos. 1 (1er Février 1920) - 5 (1er Mai 1920) + No. 6 (Also L'Invention 1, 1er Juillet 1921). (All Published)

Proverbe. Eluard, Paul (Ed.)

Paris. 1920–1921
A rare complete and unsophisticated set of this Dada periodical.

Edited by poet Paul Eluard, the focus of 'Proverbe' is far more seriously linguistic, although it retains the playfulness to be expected from Dada, than many other periodicals of the period. Although the typical elements of Dada typography are present - the variable font, different register, differing colours, the ruling and the use of different angles of printing to the plane of the page - here it is the word that reigns. In fact, only one of the issues is in any sense illustrated: issue 4 contains a reproduction of a drawing by Picabia, the 'Machine de bon mots', but even here Picabia's concern is at least as semantic as visual.

The first article of the first issue makes the aim of 'Proverbe' clear: 'Syntaxe' by Jean Paulhan with its urge to reinvigorate language is followed by pieces by Phillipe Soupault, Tristan Tzara, an aperçu by the Marquis de Sade and an editorial page of aphorisms, mottoes, advertisements and instructions. Perhaps the most memorable of these latter is the reassuring announcement concerning Picabia's '391': '391 ne contient pas d'arsenic. On peut le prendre en toute sécurité et en secret sans rien changer à ses habitudes.'

The second issue saw the arrival of additional contributors and the editorial board of Louis Aragon, André Breton, Paul Eluard, Jean Paulhan, Francis Picabia, Maurice Raynal and Philippe Soupault was expanded to include Georges Ribemont-Dessaignes. Issue 4 - the only illustrated issue - was printed on the recto only of the sheet but with an excised circular hole (Picabia again) incorporated into the issue and titled 'Bracelet de la Vie'.

The contributions for issue five were published anonymously while issue 6, printed after a delay of nearly a year, was titled additionally 'L'Invention' and gives only the initials (readily identifiable) of each of the contributors. On the final page of issue 6 the contributors are listed as: 'la Canule de verre, Rides propres, la Nourrice des étoiles, le Grand serpent de terre, le Mandarin citron, l'Homme à vapeur, la Pissotière à musique et l'Homme à la tête de perle'.

'Je m'appelle maintenant tu. Tzara, fou, vierge. / Tristan Tzara est un idiote vierge. Francis Picabia. / Et il n'y aura jamais de faux Dada. Paul Eluard.' (Proverbe No. 3, 1920).

' ... a delicious melange of quotations from Picabia, Paulhan, Aragon, Dermée and others ... '. (Ex-Libris Cat. 2).
[Single folded sheets of newspaper stock; issue 3 printed in red, issue 4 printed vertically with no outer text, 6 issues. (221 x 139 mm). Issue no. 4 with a printed illustration 'Machine de bon mots' after a drawing by Francis Picabia and the printed stamp in red on outer unprinted wrapper: 'PROVERBE / n'existe que pour / justifier les mots.' Single printed folded sheets as issued.

Other Items

La Revolution et les Intellectuels. Que...
Benjamin Péret's copy of Pierre Naville's renowned manifesto highlighting the tensions between Trotskyist Surrealists and Stalinist Surrealists.
Naville, Pierre / André BretonLa Revolution et les...1926–1927
Hémisphères / Hemispheres. Revue Franco-Americaine de...
Complete set of this exile revue published in Brooklyn by Yvan Goll, bringing together the work of the exiled French Surrealists with that of American Surrealists and sympathisers.
Seligmann, Kurt, George Barker, André Masson, Yves Tanguy et al. Goll, Yvan (Directeur / Editor)Hémisphères / Hemispheres. Revue...1943–1945
Action. Cahiers Individualistes de Philosophie et...
The complete series of the scarce literary and artistic review 'Action' with a focus on Individual Anarchism, Cubism, poetry and art.
Picasso, Pablo, Juan Gris, André Derain et al. Fels, Florent & Marcel Sauvage. (Directeurs)Action. Cahiers Individualistes de...1920–1922
STYX. Bulletin Skupiny Lacoste. (All Published)
The very scarce Czech samizdat Surrealist review 'STYX'.
Czech SurrealismSTYX. Bulletin Skupiny Lacoste...1966–1969
Envoi Surréaliste. Nos. 1 - 2...
A very scarce late Surrealist review published in Caen.
Envoi SurrealisteEnvoi Surréaliste. Nos. 1...May 1971–June 1971
Marie. Journal Bimensuel pour la Belle...
An excellent complete set of the scarce Belgian Surrealist review 'Marie', including the truly rare final number 'Adieu à Marie'.
Magritte, René, Paul van Ostayen, Man Ray, Marcel Lecomte et al. E[douard].-L[éon].-T[héodore]. Mesens (Ed.)Marie. Journal Bimensuel pour...1926
Paris. No. 1. Novembre, 1924. (All...
Pierre Albert-Birot's important and very scarce single issue Apollinairean Surrealist review.
Albert-birot, Pierre & Roch Grey (Baronne Hélène d'Oettingen)Paris. No. 1. Novembre,...1924
Les Malheurs des Immortels révélés par...
Presentation copy of the first edition of the seminal collaboration marking the boundary between dada and Surrealism.
Ernst, Max. Eluard, PaulLes Malheurs des Immortels...1922
Le Mouvement Perpetuel. Poèmes. (1920 -...
The first edition of Aragon's second poetry collection, with original manuscript 'pensée'.
Morise, Max. Aragon, LouisLe Mouvement Perpetuel. Poèmes...1926
Salvo for Russia. A Limited Edition...
Nancy Cunard's very scarce and early Surrealist portfolio, a centrepiece of English Surrealism.
Cunard, Nancy and John Banting (Eds.)Salvo for Russia. A...1942. 1942