To write and to publish, anybody must find some innovative theme. With the one year younger Maxime Du Camp, Gustave explores Brittany from May to July 1847, walking with backpack. This province where the coasts are superb is not yet fully civilized : the two hikers can think about the origins and evolution of civilization.
Upon returning the two authors set to work with a new method. The essay entitled Par les champs et les grèves (Voyage en Bretagne) will follow the trip but it is shared : Gustave takes the odd chapters and Maxime the even. Through several months they prepare their parts in the same room at Croisset, exchanging ideas and impressions.
When the work is complete, two full copies are made and each writer retains his autograph draft. At this point they wisely forgo publication, going to the evidence that the text would require deep changes before being able to interest some readers in their observations and digressions.
The first manuscript written by Flaubert shows that the creation was not linear. The real purpose of their work was the literary perfection : erasures and changes are countless. The later manuscripts of Flaubert will keep this obsession up to the extreme limit of illegibility.
This manuscript of 277 folio pages is signed by Flaubert and dated January 3, 1848. This date indicates a decision of completion by the authors but it is quite possible that some reworks are later. This Flaubert document which obviously does not include the even chapters by Du Camp will be sold by Pierre Bergé et Associés in association with Sotheby's in Paris (Drouot) on November 8, lot 351 estimated € 400K.
SOLD for € 430K before fees