Au Temps du Boeuf sur la Toit.
SACHS Maurice (1939)
£300.00 [First Edition]
First edition. 8vo., original pictorial wrappers. Editions de la Nouvelle Revue Critique.
The best known work of one of the most picaresque and unpleasant figures of twentieth century French literary history, a jewish Nazi, a homosexual in holy orders, a black marketeer, a collaborator, and a failed writer. This book, an unreliable memoir of artistic Paris, marked his descent from creative writer to memoirist. To add a couple of further layers of unreality to his life story, he was born Maurice Ettinghausen, and lived in Paris at the same time as Maurice Ettinghausen the great (if that's an allowable statement for one of his ilk?) antiquarian bookseller, and befriended Terence Rattigan when he was translating (what else?) French for Beginners, into French.
Inscribed on the half-title, "To Terence Rattigan. Mon cher Terry, Ce petit livre est je l'espère le premier pas vers un retour à la prosperité qui me permettra de régulariser une situation qui me pèse. Recevez le donc comme l'annonce d'un espoir, et acceptez ce qu'il vous porte d'amitiés de la part de Maurice Sachs". The onset of the war meant he never had the opportunity to repay the debt which may be implied in the inscription. Sachs didn't have a good war, most of which he spent in Hamburg in a forced labour factory, later being promoted to informer and sending at least several resistance fighters to their death. Even the Germans finally had enough of his treachery and imprisoned him: it was widely believed that he had been killed by his fellow prisoners and fed to the dogs, but in fact he was shot by the Germans when he couldn't keep up the pace of the retreating march ahead of liberation. He would surely have faced trial as a collaborator anyway.
Wrappers coming loose at the spine, first few pages loose, some wear to the extremities. A good copy.
Stock Code: 132474