BARLATIER (Pierre), MARKER (Chris).
First edition. 12mo., 285pp., numerous b&w illustrations with glossy printed adverts for Éditions du Seuil titles such as Le Cinema and Petite Planète laid inside, in the original colour illustrated paper wrapper. French text. Paris, Éditions du Seuil, 1954.
Spine and the upper corner a little creased and the back portion of the wrapper lightly rubbed.
A fascinating small book discussing French popular song in the Postwar period, with contributions from songwriters, musicologists and folklorists. Short essays on subjects such as song in literature, or tips on leading a choir, are interspersed with the lyrics and scores for traditional songs. A rather scarce gem produced by Chris Marker during his time as editor at Éditions du Seuil in Paris. This book was published in the same year that Marker began the collection of travel guides Petite Planète and belonged to a similar pocket series Collection Peuple et Culture. Marker’s handling of typography and page layout constantly loops back to its subject, mimicking a jaunty form of musical notation. A photograph of singer Lily Fayol on tour in Africa, imagery from folklore or a cartoon of singing animals feel not merely illustrative but serve to illuminate their subject. The tone is playful even in its colophon, crediting author Barlatier as ‘Choir Leader’ with Marker responsible for ‘decorations’ alongside ‘collaborators’ Edith Piaf and Gérard de Nerval.