Born to a Jewish family of Italian nationality in Cairo, Jabès published his first book of poetry, Illusions Sentimentales, at the age of eighteen. During the 1930s, 40s, and 50s, Jabès published books of poetry along with poems in French and Egyptian literary journals. When the Egyptian government expelled Jews in 1957, following the Suez Crisis, Jabès immigrated to Paris, becoming a French citizen in 1967. He continued to publish poetry, becoming a member of publisher Gallimard’s collection “blanche”. Over the course of his career, Jabès wrote 27 books of poetry and prose, and was awarded Le Prix des Arts, des Lettres et des Sciences de la Fondation du Judaïsme français (1982), Le Grand Prix Nationale de Poésie (1987), and was appointed Chevalier of the Légion d’honneur in 1952.
Houghton’s collection, compiled over 20 years by Roger Stoddard, Jabès bibliographer and retired Curator of Rare Books at Houghton Library, includes nearly all publications by Jabès, many of which have inscriptions by and close associations with Jabès and his collaborators, fugitive works, collaborations with artists, and other material. No comparable collection of this rarity exists anywhere in the world, including the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris.
The material in this collection will become available in HOLLIS as it is accessioned.
The Edmond Jabès by Modern Books and Manuscripts, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Terms and conditions beyond the scope of this license may be available at blogs.law.harvard.edu.