The Comtesse Louise de Pillot de Coligny-Chatillon Letters (VMF031)


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Table of Contents

Collection Outline

Descriptive Summary

Restrictions

Administrative Information


Collection Outline

Sunday night. [1914: Dec.]

Friday night. [1915] Feb. 5.

3 p.m. 1915: May 11.

Paris. [1915] Aug. 14.

[1915] Sept. 12. Sunday.

[1915] Sept. 17 (May 17,1915 as per 5/17/82 letter from Willard Bohn, see mss. file 1). Monday.

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Descriptive Summary

Creator: Coligny-Chatillon, Louise de Pillot de
Title: Coligny-Chatillon, Louise de Pillot de, comtesse, 1881-1963. Letters,
Dates: 1914-1915.
Identification: VMF031[Accession: 1201]

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Information on Louise de Coligny-Châtillon may be found in the numerous critical studies of Apollinaire, in particular Guillaume Apollinaire, by Scott Bates, Twayne, 1967, pp.46, 135. In addition see Apollinaire's Poèms á Lou, avec deux textes d'Andre Rouveyre, Pierre Cailler, 1955. See also Lettres á Lou, edited with Preface and notes by Michel Décaudin, Gallimard, 1969 for Apollinaire's letters to her.

Guillaume Apollinaire, 1880-1918, met Louise de Coligny-Châtillon in Nice in September 1914 and a flamboyant affair began almost immediately. Lou was a member of one of the most illustrious families in Europe, a descendant of the famous Admiral Coligny. Initiallly she was amuned and fascinated by the poet, but not impressed. In anger and frustration Apollinaire joined the army, writing her on December 5, 1914 that he was leaving for the barracks at Nimes the following day. Within a few days she had followed him there. The evidence found in later letters and poems shows that they spend their time there in a frenzy of eroticism. The liaison lasted but a few months; but, they continued to correspond after their affair, having agreed to describe to each other everything, including the intimate physical details, concerning their future involvements. The posthumously published Poèmes á Lou have given us a revealing glimpse into the association. The present letters enhance that view considerably.

A translation of these letters done by Shirley M. (Tuck) Loui is included with the originals.

Gift of Shirley M. (Tuck) Loui, Feb. 19, 1980.

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Restrictions

Collection is open to research.

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Administrative Information

Source

Purchase, 1970. Bertrand Rota

Processed: July, 1970

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Box/folder
2/Coligny-Chatillon

Sunday night., [1914: Dec.] (1 item (1 p.): ALS)

Written from Hotel du Midi, Nimes. Declares her love for him. Letter is torn on second fold and first fold has been badly repaired.

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Box/folder
2/Coligny-Chatillon

Friday night., [1915] Feb. 5. (1 item (1 p.): ALS)

[Nice] Opening of letter refers to a poem [by Apollinaire] titled [The Dream] in which a child is repeatedly beaten. Lou elaborates upon this scene and declares her passionate longing for him in explicite physical detail. Evidences interest in flagellation. Page is very large.

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Box/folder
2/Coligny-Chatillon

3 p.m., 1915: May 11. (1 item (2 pp.): ALS)

Describes her recent activities and feelings. Quotes lines [unidentified] from verse he has [written to her]

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Box/folder
2/Coligny-Chatillon

Paris., [1915] Aug. 14. (1 item (2 pp.): ALS)

Informs him of change of address and relates her recent travels in an auto. Asks him to write her at new address.

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Box/folder
2/Coligny-Chatillon

, [1915] Sept. 12. Sunday. (1 item (2 pp.): ALS)

Reaffirms her devotion and passion and discusses briefly Apollinaire's beliefs in the importance of the couple and the symbolic significance of their union. (For interesting explication, see BATES, p. 135)

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Box/folder
2/Coligny-Chatillon

, [1915] Sept. 17 (May 17,1915 as per 5/17/82 letter from Willard Bohn, see mss. file 1). Monday. (1 item ( 2 pp.): ALS)

Remarks upon the verse he sent her. Discusses his development toward a more optimistic outlook and despairs the possible return of an unpleasant pessimism.

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