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TABLE OF CONTENTS


Biographical Sketch

Scope and Contents

Restrictions

Index Terms

Administrative Information

Source:

Description of Series

Series I. Works, 1880-1934, nd

Series II. Correspondence, 1891-1921, nd

Series III. Personal, 1891-1918, nd

Series IV. Third-Party Works and Correspondence, 1839-1900, nd

University of Texas, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

Pierre Louÿs:

An Inventory of His Papers in the Carlton Lake Collection at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center



Creator: Louÿs, Pierre, 1870-1925
Title: Pierre Louÿs Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1839-1934
Bulk Dates: (bulk 1891-1919)
Abstract: Manuscripts, correspondence, and assorted personal and third-party papers make up the collection of the French poet and novelist Pierre Louÿs.
RLIN Record #: TXRC06-A18
Extent: 9 boxes (3.78 linear feet)
Language: All materials are written in French.
Note: We gratefully acknowledge the assistance of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, which provided funds for the processing and cataloging of this collection.
Repository: The University of Texas at Austin, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

Biographical Sketch

Pierre-Philippe Louis, a French lawyer, and his wife, the former Claire Céline Maldan, had temporarily fled to Belgium from political turmoil in France when their second son, Pierre-Félix, was born December 10, 1870, in Ghent. Pierre-Félix became an excellent student at the École Alsacienne, where André Gide was in the class ahead of him. The two boys grew to be close friends and together founded Potache-revue in 1889. In 1890 Pierre expressed his passion for classical Greek culture by changing the spelling of his name to Louÿs (in French the name of the letter "y" means "Greek i") and pronouncing the final "s" to give it a Greek flavor.

Louÿs had another early literary friendship with the poet Paul Valéry, who was still unknown when he and Louÿs became acquainted. Both young men were members of the poet Stéphane Mallarmé's circle. For several years Louÿs was also a friend of Oscar Wilde, although they eventually quarelled, as did Louÿs and Gide. Another artist who formed an early friendship with Louÿs was the composer Claude Debussy.

Louÿs's first book was a collection of poems entitled Astarte (1891). In 1895 he published what is today his best-known work, Les chansons de Bilitis (1895), which exemplifies the type of eroticism that his work is noted for. La femme et le pantin (1898) is often considered his finest novel.

Women, including prostitutes, played a large role in Louÿs's life. He married Louise de Heredia in 1899, but the marriage ended in divorce in 1913. Among his mistresses was the dancer Claudine Roland, who died in 1920. In 1923 he married Claudine's half-sister, Aline Steenackers, the mother of his two children. A third child was born shortly after Louÿs's death on June 8, 1925.

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Scope and Contents

Manuscripts, correspondence, and assorted personal and third-party papers make up the Carlton Lake Collection of the French poet and novelist Pierre Louÿs and shed considerable light on his professional and private life. The collection is arranged in four series: I. Works, 1880-1934 (3 boxes); II. Correspondence, 1891-1921 (5 boxes); III. Personal, 1891-1918 (.5 box); and IV. Third-Party Works and Correspondence, 1839-1900 (.5 box).

Louÿs's entire career is represented in the Works series, from juvenilia to posthumously published verse, although with more emphasis on his poetic than his prose works. Included are several versions of the manuscript of his first book, Astarte (1891), as well as numerous iterations of one of his most important poems, "Pervigilium mortis." Also present are Louÿs's manuscripts for a proposed work on Corneille that was turned down by publishers who were not amused at having previously been hoaxed by his claim that Les chansons de Bilitis was an authentic ancient Greek manuscript.

Correspondence is the largest series in the collection. It is divided into outgoing and incoming groups and arranged alphabetically by correspondent. The largest single correspondence is with Louis Loviot, friend and fellow man of letters. Other correspondents are Louÿs's half-brother Georges Louis, the historian and novelist André Lebey, writer Claude Farrère, writer Natalie Clifford Barney, actress and journalist Musidora, Wilde biographer Robert Harborough Sherard, and his mistress Claudine Roland, whose letters are bound in a single volume together with his letters to her. Also present is correspondence with Marthe Du Bert, a woman whose fascination for Louÿs led her to impersonate a journalist, forge letters, and concoct an imaginary lesbian relationship in order to attract Louÿs's attention. The collection includes several of her forged letters as well as an untitled memorandum by Louÿs (in the Works series) giving an account of the affair for possible legal prosecution.

The Personal series contains items such as classroom notes, a pocket engagement book, an admission card to view Egyptian monuments, and a copy of a newspaper left by composer Camille Saint-Saëns on a café table, retrieved and documented by Louÿs.

The Third-Party Works and Correspondence series includes the handwritten manuscript of Natalie Clifford Barney's Tis: Cinq petits dialogues grecs, several manuscript poems by André Lebey, and a published copy of Henri Legrand's 1839 book Los Angeles: Una hija, which is printed in a mock-Arabic script that Louÿs claims, in a note laid in, to have deciphered. (In the Works series there is also a folder of Louÿs's notes on Legrand.)

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Restrictions

Access:

Open for research

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Index Terms

Correspondents
Barney, Natalie Clifford.
Blanche, Jacques-Emile, 1861-1942.
Bracquemond, Félix, 1833-1914.
Du Bert, Marthe.
Erlanger, Camille, 1863-1919.
Farrère, Claude, 1876-1957.
Heredia, Louise de, 1878-1930.
Lebey, André, 1877-1938.
Louis, Georges, 1847-1917.
Loviot, Louis
Moulié, Charles, b. 1890.
Musidora.
Quillot, Maurice.
Roland, Claudine.
Sherard, Robert Harborough, 1861-1943.
Subjects
Legrand, Henry, 1814-1876.
Novelists, French.
Poets, French.
Document Types
Page proofs.

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Administrative Information

Acquisition:

Gift of Carlton Lake, 1973

Processed by:

Monique Daviau, Richard Workman, and Catherine Stollar, 2004

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Source:

Brosman, Catherine Savage. "Pierre Louÿs."Dictionary of Literary Biography, Volume 123: Nineteenth-Century French Fiction Writers: Naturalism and Beyond, 1860-1900. http://www.galegroup.com (accessed May 25, 2004).

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Pierre Louÿs Papers--Folder List

 

Series I. Works, 1880-1934, nd

Box-Folder
168.5 A-C
Volume
bv11 Astarté, handwritten workings, drafts, and final versions with proofs interbound, 1890-1891
Box-Folder
168.6 "Les chansons de Bilitis de Mr Pierre Louÿs mises en vers français par le lieutenant La Touche de l'Escadrille Br. 66, Les Eperviers, au front français, 1917-1918," typed manuscript with handwritten note by Louÿs, 1917-1918
Box-Folder
169.1 D-K
Box-Folder
169.2 Les derniers vers, handwritten manuscripts, drafts, and fragments, 1914-1922
Box-Folder
169.3 Examination papers, Lycée Janson de Sailly, handwritten manuscripts, 1887-1888, nd
Box-Folder
169.4 Le gallant rendez-vous, handwritten manuscript with revisions, bound, nd
Box-Folder
169.5 Histoire de la littérature romaine, handwritten manuscript in notebook, nd
Box-Folder
169.6 L-O
Box-Folder
169.7 "Lettre-préface," handwritten signed manuscript, bound, 1901
Box-Folder
169.8 Notes on Legrand, handwritten, typed, and typed carbon copy manuscripts and clippings, nd
Box-Folder
170.1 P
Box-Folder
170.2-3 Pages préliminaires sur Corneille le grand, handwritten manuscript and letters to Charles Moulié, 1919-1921, nd
Box-Folder
170.4 Pastille, par Mme. la comtesse de Ségur, unfinished handwritten manuscript in notebook, nd
"Pervigilium Mortis"
Box-Folder
170.5 Handwritten drafts and fragments with revisions, nd
Box-Folder
170.6 Typescripts and carbon copies, with clippings, 1933-1934, nd
Box-Folder
170.7 Poems and fragments, handwritten manuscripts, 1880, nd
Box-Folder
170.8 Poèmes inédits en vieux français, handwritten manuscripts with revisions, bound, nd
Box-Folder
170.9 Poems, notes, and rejected lines, typescripts and carbons, nd
Volume
bv12 Les poësies de Meleagros, handwritten manuscript, bound, 1893
Box-Folder
170.10 "Premiers vers," typescripts with printer's markings, nd
Box-Folder
171.1 Q-Z
Box-Folder
171.2 Qui l'ignorait?, three handwritten manuscript drafts, bound, nd
Box-Folder
171.3 Scènes de la vie des courtisanes, handwritten manuscript with alterations, bound, 1892
Box-Folder
171.4 Vers, handwritten manuscript drafts and fragments, 1890-1894
Box-Folder
171.5 Miscellaneous prose fragments and notes, handwritten, nd
Box-Folder
171.6 Unidentified and untitled works, handwritten, 1890, 1917, nd

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Series II. Correspondence, 1891-1921, nd

Outgoing
Box-Folder
172.1 A-F
Box-Folder
172.2 G-L
Box-Folder
172.3 Lebey, André, 1909, nd
Box-Folder
172.4 Louis, Georges, 1895-1912
Loviot, Louis
Box-Folder
172.5 1909-1915, bound
Box-Folder
172.6 1910-1911, bound
Box-Folder
172.7 1913, nd
Box-Folder
173.1 M-Z
Box-Folder
173.2 Roland, Claudine (includes incoming correspondence), 1914-1919, bound
Box-Folder
173.3 Unidentified, 1892-1919, nd
Incoming
Box-Folder
174.1 A-E
Box-Folder
174.2 Barney, Natalie Clifford, 1899-1917
Box-Folder
174.3 Blanche, Jacques Emile, 1892-1901
Box-Folder
174.4 Bracquemond, Félix, 1895-1911
Box-Folder
174.5 Business correspondence, 1893-1921
Box-Folder
174.6 Du Bert, Marthe, 1913-1914
Box-Folder
174.7 Erlanger, Camille, 1900-1911
Box-Folder
174.8 F-L
Box-Folder
174.9 Farrère, Claude, 1913-1918
Loviot, Louis
Box-Folder
174.10 1908-1909
Box-Folder
174.11 Jan.-June 1910
Box-Folder
174.12 July-Oct. 1910
Box-Folder
175.1 Nov.-Dec. 1910
Box-Folder
175.2 Jan.-May 1911
Box-Folder
175.3 June-Nov. 1911
Box-Folder
175.4 Feb.-Dec. 1912
Box-Folder
175.5 Jan.-Dec. 1913
Box-Folder
175.6 1914-1917
Box-Folder
176.1 M-Z
Box-Folder
176.2 Musidora, 1915-1918
Box-Folder
176.3 Quillot, Maurice, 1891
Box-Folder
176.4 Sherard, Robert Harborough, nd
Box-Folder
176.5 Unidentified, 1900

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Series III. Personal, 1891-1918, nd

Box-Folder
177.1 A-Z
Box-Folder
177.2 Engagement book, 1894
Box-Folder
177.3 Notes taken in rhetoric class, nd
Box-Folder
177.4 Miscellaneous notes, correspondence, and documents, 1891-1918

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Series IV. Third-Party Works and Correspondence, 1839-1900, nd

Box-Folder
177.5 A-Z
Box-Folder
177.6 Barney, Natalie Clifford, nd
Heredia, Louise de
Box-Folder
177.7 Correspondence, 1899, nd
Box-Folder
177.8 Pocket diary, 1900
Box-Folder
177.9 Legrand, Henri, 1839

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