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Monday, March 20, 2006

Le Passe-Muraille

Paris is full of whimsical surprises; it's one of the things I love about the city. One of these is located in Montmartre, and is based on a 1943 short story by one of France's most beloved storytellers, Marcel Aymé.

A modern day fairytale and social commentary, Le passe-muraille is the story of a man who discovers, quite by accident, that he can walk through walls. He uses his new power to avenge himself and for petty theft, eventually falling in love with a beautiful woman who lives in a tower. He uses his talent to woo and win her heart, but as all fairytales of this sort go, one day tragedy befalls him, leaving him trapped inside a wall.

Aymé died in October 1967 and is interred in the Cimetière Saint-Vincent, in Montmartre. The Place Marcel-Aymé, where this monument stands, is located at the corner of Allée des Brouillards and Rue Norvins, in Aymé's beloved Montmartre, where he lived most of his life. The sculpture is by the multi-talented French actor Jean Marais, and was erected in Frbruary of 1982. As the story goes, if one is in the square at night and very quiet, music can be heard playing to soothe the spirits of the man lodged in the wall. I seem to remember that to touch his fingers is also to bring good luck and grant wishes, but I could be remembering that incorrectly; I'll have to ask my friend Marie-Pierre to tell me the story again. :)

statue of Marcel-Aymé, entitled Le Passe-Muraille

Metro line 12, exit Abbesses, and ask the way to the Place Marcel-Aymé.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Munequita said...

I too have a blog, but I am also writing about the Passe-Muraille with the legend, can I borrow your photo?
If you want to see my blog is

http://munequita2002.blogspot.com/
Thank you,
MUNEQUITA

4:15 AM  

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