Régnier manuscript fragment

   [...] (and I am speaking only of the language) and a great deal of Flaubert's influence. Successive sentences with the imperfect and the past historic and much influence from Flaubert. In short the 17th century furnished him with half the material for this book, the rest coming from his deep reflections about himself, his exquisite sensuality etc. Even though I cannot understand how one can write other than from one's own self, I must recognize that in this way they all have a preferred and chosen expression, that differentiates them (France etc.) Of course in the best things by Régnier there is a little stiffness, a little arrogance disguised as timidity and striving to exaggerate a line even though deep down perhaps we doubt whether it is very good, and so because we indulge ourselves in it and have fun with it at home... There is in him this stiffness that hides the best of intentions beneath an air of irony which has a little bit of awkwardness about it [...] one day Lorrain wrote an insulting article about me over which I went to fight a duel [...]


From a single page manuscript. Auction of the possessions of Jacques Guérin, Drouot, 24 November 1986, lot 147. Extract from the sales catalogue reprinted Bulletin d'informations proustiennes, no 18, 1987, p102, Les Ventes.

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