Manuscrits de l’extrême, the exhibition at Paris BnF

The Bibliothèque nationale de France or France National Library (François Mitterand site) houses from April 9 to July 7, 2019 an exhibition called “Manuscrits de l’extrême. Prison, passion, péril, possession” [Manuscripts of the extreme. Jail, passion, peril, possession].

They were called André Chénier, Napoleon I, Alfred Dreyfus, Guilllaume Apollinaire or Nathalie Sarraute. They also are anonymous soldiers, prisoners. Their common point? They wrote a text in a complicated situation: they wrote on a ticket, greasy paper and sometimes with their own blood.

These Manuscripts of the extreme show peculiar and difficult writing contexts. They often haven’t been very well preserved. And yet, gathered in this unique exhibition of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France (site François Mitterand), they are highly moving.

Because they are authentic testimonies and disturbing to the tears. An example among others, showing the courage of some of them; this anonymous quote written during the German Occupation: “But I keep my pen and notebook I defend at personal risk. This small notebook that holds a proof of my sad life”.

We also find the crabbed handwriting and damaged pages of Pascal, Sade, Marie-Antoinette, Auguste Blanqui, Stéphane Mallarmé, Henri Michaux, Marie Curie, Antonin Artaud, Arthur Adamov, Germaine Tillion and Jean-Dominique Bauby.

A precious and fiendishly moving exhibition. Don’t forget your glasses (and your tissues)!

Maïlys C.
Last updated on 9 January 2019

Practical information

Opening Time
From 9 April 2019 to 7 July 2019

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    Location

    Quai François-Mauriac
    75013 Paris 13

    Prices
    tarif réduit: 7 €
    tarif plein: 9 €

    Recommended age
    For all

    Official website
    www.bnf.fr

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