Vers libres by Raymond Radiguet and Rojan (1936?)
Radiguet, Raymond. Vers libres. Illustrated by R[ojan]. Nogent: Au Panier Fleuri [Paris, between 1936 and 1939]. Kinsey Institute Library: 841.8 R12 v5 1935b
In his “free verses,” the young prodigy Raymond Radiguet (1903-23), author of the acclaimed novel Le Diable au corps [The Devil in the Flesh] (1923), often mingles innocence and inchoate sexuality. The pornographic poems depict young girls who lose their virginity, indulge in Sapphic behavior in public, or are suggestively chastised by older men. The first, posthumous edition of the collection was clandestinely published by René Bonnel, in 1926, that is, three years after Radiguet’s death. The edition exhibited here, illustrated with thirty-two lascivious drawings watercolored by Feodor Rojankovsky (better known under the pseudonym Rojan, 1891-1970), was issued sometime between 1936 and 1939. Radiguet’s authorship of the poems was contested by his family and friends, including Jean Cocteau, and the writer’s true identity remained shrouded in mystery for many years. The family acknowledged that Radiguet had indeed penned these verses only after Cocteau’s death. This volume was seized by U.S. Customs on August 2, 1951, and released to the Kinsey Institute on March 1, 1958, following the Federal Court case United States v. 31 Photographs.