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2 Frivolous Utopia [CAHUSAC, J.-L de]. Grigri / Virtual Fair 106

€3,500.00

Description: Frivolous Utopia

[CAHUSAC, Jean-Louis de].
Grigri, histoire véritable. Traduite du Japonnois en Portugais par Didaque Hadeczuca, Compagnon d'un missionnaire à Yendo; & du Portugais en François par l'Abbé de ***, Aumônier d'un vaisseau Hollandois. Derniere édition moins correcte que les premières.

Nangazaki (Paris?), Klnporzenkru, seul imprimeur du très auguste Cubo, L’an du monde 59749 (=1739). 2 parts in one vol. 12mo. Contemporary mottled calf, gilt spine with title lettered in gold, marbled endpapers, blue marbled edges. XXIV, 167, (1 blank); (4), 221, (3 blank) pp.

First edition of an interesting utopian and erotic novel-length tale on the island Fortunée with as a central figure the youngster Grigri, written by 'Didaque Hadeczuca', anagram of Louis de Cahusac (1706-1759), French playwright and librettist, and a member of the Academy of science and literature in Berlin. The title of Grigri, his most successful work, states that the fairy-tale was originally translated from Japanese into Portuguese by Hadeczuca followed by a translation into French. The tale describes the idyllic society and the adventures of Grigri , a.o. his courting of the queen Améthiste, during which he is assisted by a fairy. The novel is of libertine and frivolous quality and was put on a police index in 1825 according to Gay-Lemonnyer.
A second edition appeared at Amsterdam, aux dépens de la Compagnie, 1745. According to Barbier and Querard the first edition was published in 1739. Gay-Lemonnyer mentions the year 1749 corresponding with 'L'an du monde 59749'.
"Grigri est un adolescent timide qui courtise la reine Améthiste. Pour le favoriser dans ses projets, une fée, sa marraine, lui a fait cadeau d'une montre qui sonne toutes les fois qu'il s'apprête à dire quelque sottise et d'un anneau qui lui serre le doigt lorsqu'il est sur le point d'en faire. On devine les scènes comiques et un peu libres qui découlent de cette donnée" (Gay-Lemonnyer, II-435).
De Cahusac was the author of a classic work on dancing titled La Danse Ancienne et Moderne ou Traité Historique de la Danse (The Hague, J. Neaulme, 1754) and he wrote a number of ballets and plays: most famous is he for his work with the composer Jean-Philippe Rameau. He provided the libretti for several of Rameau's operas,
Six editions of Grigri were printed till 1782 and a German adaptation was published in 1795: Grigi, eine Arabeske. Nach einem Französischen Meister kopirt, von Gustav Honig [d.i. F. Schulz] (Weimar, 1795).

Good copy, with engraved armorial bookplate of Dhyenville pasted on inside frontcover.- (Binding sl. rubbed, with wormhole in front cover and spine).
Barbier, II, 575; Gay-Lemonnyer, II-435; Querard, I, 158a; Rose, Register of erotic books, 2067 (ed. London, 1782); Cioranescu 15083; Mylne, p. 61; P.M. Conlon, Le siècle des lumières IV, p. 221; Alt Japan Kat. 267; Nipponalia, Suppl. 2656.
  • Number: 1060437 (A48AF501U79O)
  • Dealer: Speculum Orbis Nauticum