"Entre Chtaura et Beyrouth" n.d., ca. 1920? Original unpublished holograph poem on recto only of single sheet of ruled paper (21x13cm.); faint horizontal fold, light wrinkling and a few tiny chips to extremities, else Very Good and fresh. Item #1236
Unpublished holograph poem by Charles Robert Richet (1850-1935), winner of the 1913 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine for his work on anaphylaxis. Composed en route from Chtaura, Lebanon, to Beirut, the poem reflects upon the brigands and stagecoach robbers of yore ("chercheurs d'aventures" - seekers of adventure). Theirs was a happier time than the present, described here as "un siècle moins débonnaire" (a less debonnaire century), when the brigands have traded their hiding spots in the woods for office buildings and are now themselves seen in the stagecoaches, rubbing their hands together with malice.
As can be seen from this poem, Richet's interests ranged far from experimental physiology, and included writing poetry and plays though today he is perhaps best known for his research of paranormal activity, coining the term "ectoplasm" in 1894. He later turned to the study of eugenics, and served as the head of the French Eugenics Society from 1920 to 1926.