Les Mouches. Drame en trois actes.

(Paris), Gallimard, (1943).

Bound with the original printed wrappers, also the backstrip, in a contemporary (no later than 1955) beautiful, very elegant grey half morocco binding with five raised bands and gilt title to spine (Gemet&Plumbelle). A beautiful, near mint copy.

The seminal first edition, presentation-copy for Claude Gallimard, one of 15 large paper copies, of Sartre's groundbreaking play, "The Flies", which constitutes his very first play as well as the only one he himself characterized as a "drama".

The first edition appeared in 15 copies on pur fil and 525 regular copies. The 15 copies on pur fil are not numbered (presumably because the issue was so small and there were no other copies on fine paper made), but the back wrapper states ("EXEMPLAIRE SUR PUR FIL/ 60 francs"). "Gallimard, [1943]. 145 pages. 15 exemplaires pur fil et 525 exemplaires reliés Héliona dont l'achevé d'imprimer est de décembre 1942. Volume mis en vente en avril 1943." (Contat & Rybalka, p. 88).

The magnificent presentation-inscription which reads as thus: "A Claude Gallimard/ en hommage amical de/ JPSartre" ("Gallimard" is vague, as someone (presumably Gallimard himself, or his family, when selling the copy) has tried to erase it, as is often done with identifiable names when trying to hide the provenance, but it is still fully legible) is for Sartre's publisher, Claude Gallimard (1914-1991), the son of Gaston Gallimard. Claude Gallimard worked in the family publishing company since 1937.

"The Flies" counts as Sartre's most important play as well as one of his most important works. It is a dramatical exposition of his central philosophical themes and a main exponent for his existentialism. As such it is also one of the most important plays of the 20th century. It is in 1943, with "The Flies" and with "l'Étre et le Néant" (same year) that Sartre's ideas become fully developed, and of the two, "The Flies" had, by far, the greatest impact on contemporary thought, philosophy, and literature. The work thus constitutes one of the most important and influential works of the period.

Following its premiere (June 3rd 1943) in the "Théatre de la Cité" in Paris, the play was censored by the German military administration. Almost immediately after the war, the play was performed again, in Germany as well as in France.

Contat & Rybalka: 43/35 (pp. 88-89).

Order-nr.: 44574

DKK 88.000,00