” We wanted people to have the impression of holding in their hands the original manuscript of their favorite author. There is a genuine interest to show the secret lab of a writer, to enter into his intimacy. “When they speak of their olni, their objects, literary non-identified, Jessica Nelson, and Nicolas Tretiakow, the two co-founders of editions of the Holy Fathers, are also endless and passionate.

More artistic than scientific,

It must be said that what they are doing daily, between Normandy, Paris, London and New York, does not resemble anything known so far on the big little planet literary. A bet a little crazy, and yet crowned with success : to edit the same manuscripts of the great names of world literature. Their last-born, the manuscript original of the Portrait of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, their worth of the articles praise both in the Guardian and in the New York Times. “We’re more in an artistic approach than a scientific one,” says Nicolas Tretiakow. Give the impression of having the original work in the hands has a genuine emotional dimension, especially in an era where all the objects are standardized to meet production requirements. “

Here, there is no standard format of rules copied from book to book : each work, each manuscript is unique. “There is not a quest that looks similar to the previous one. “And the hunting of the originals is sometimes closer to an episode of Indiana Jones as a pure work of a librarian : find the trace of the works, convince to have rights and conservatives is only the beginning of a quest that may take three years for a single manuscript. “We have thirty steps,” says Jessica Nelson. We have the chance to do this business, to offer works of art which affect people, discover them, make them talk. “”Each new edition is very unique and poses different challenges,” stresses associated with it. Which will appear first, or even ever ? Nothing is ever written in advance. “It often happens that the manuscripts that our get to be in a very bad state. Prior to editing, each manuscript page is restored to its original brilliance. Each image is processed by a team of designers, who is going to restore it as one restores a painting worn out by time. The Journey to the end of the night CĂ©line was supposed to a year and a half of work to restore it, as it was in a poor state. But, sometimes, one just does not know where are the manuscripts ! For The Flowers of evil by Charles Baudelaire, we published the corrected proofs, because the poems have been lost, probably destroyed. And we can see very well on these tests at what point it was difficult to leave his work. He was never satisfied of his poems. “

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the metamorphosis of The madeleine

At the bottom, there are few writers to have taken care of their work, not to mention their descendants. “The awareness of the importance of the paper came with Victor Hugo,” explains Jessica Nelson. This was one of the first writers to give it a value ; he traveled with a large canteen, which he entrusted sometimes to Juliette and her sister. Conversely, Simone de Beauvoir threw her manuscripts in the trash of Sartre, and the friends of the couple who took some without his knowledge. These manuscripts are the survivors ! “

But some deserve to be considered as works in their own right, such as the notebooks of Proust. “These are books, offered by a friend of his mother, in which he noted everything. She saw in him someone special, and offered him these small notebooks thin and long, slide in the pockets. He had illustrated and the trimballait everywhere to take notes, especially when he was young people he was in love. These are really the first fruits of The Research ! “Research of the editions of the Holy Fathers have contributed to change the vision of a specific detail : the mythical madeleine de Proust ! “When we published Proust, les mĂ©tamorphoses de la madeleine were not known to the public,” explains Nicolas Tretiakow. This was a toast, a cracker, a slice of toast… Our edition, has helped to bring to the attention of the general public. It is a true joy to say that we were the bearers of this type of story. We have had articles in the world about it. “

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editions are bilingual or even trilingual

The manuscript’s favorite Nicolas Tretiakow ? “For the Glory of my father Marcel Pagnol. I had an intimate relationship with this novel as a child. And to this may be added the incredible conditions in which this happened. We went into the house of Pagnol, remained intact, with his grandson Nicolas, who opened his office. It was his brother and he began to understand the interest that there was in these archives, there are a dozen of years. Imagine : his work includes 80 000 sheets of paper, shirts, sorted by work, with marked Complete, Incomplete… ”

And now ? The Holy Fathers are launching an international, faithful to their favourites, with manuscripts in English, French, German… “The manuscript remains in its original form,” explains Jessica Nelson. But we strive to offer editions are bilingual or even trilingual, as The Mystery of Jean the bird-catcher, Jean Cocteau or the last notes of Mozart. In the United States, we had the chance to get the permission to publish the manuscript of The Great Gatsby , preserved at Princeton. And Baz Luhrmann, the director of its adaptation, we wrote a text of preface beautiful and very personal ! But the true first, it is Lewis Carroll and his Alice in wonderland,written in English, so indispensable, and illustrated by the author. We started by going to see the British Library, where it is kept with the manuscript. What we have done has really liked it and, a few months after the publication in France, the head of the department asked us to go for a very special project : Jane Eyre. Imagine a paved, 1 200 pages, 3 volumes, a manuscript of 7 kilos… The British Library trust us, it is important that an institution such as this one you follow, as a questioner, as he accepts to work with a small publisher like us. “

An editor who dares to suggest different books, with a different model. “We are free, and we would like to stay as free as possible in terms of the operation. It is also for this reason that we have opted for a distribution via the Internet. This allows you to work in a short circuit, and, more importantly, to stay accessible. We wanted everyone to be able to obtain these manuscripts. Recently, school children are assessed by putting 10 euros each to offer one to a friend ! “Evidence that with the Holy Fathers and the culture has no price.


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