18 November 2011

Passy Cemetery / Cimetière de Passy, 16th arrondissement, Passy, Paris, France: Literary Île-de-France #26

Octave Mirbeau (1848—1917) was an avant-garde writer, an influential journalist and an art critic whose views caused a great deal of disturbance to defenders of the status quo.

He was an atheist, pacifist, and anarchist who railed against a large number of institutions: the family, education, the Catholic Church, capitalism, the political system, etc.

Today Mirbeau is remembered most for his novel Le Journal d'une femme de chambre (Diary of a Chambermaid) (1900), which Luis Buñuel very successfully filmed in 1964. This novel and two others — Le Jardin des supplices (Torture Garden) (1899) and Les Vingt et un Jours d'un neurasthénique (A Neurotic's 21 Days) (1901) ­—attacked bourgeois 'respectability', and all caused something of a scandal.

Date of photo unknown.

Maurice Genevoix (1890—1980) is noted for his regional novels (Solange, and the Loire valley), his nature poetry, and his writings on World War I. He won the Prix Goncourt in 1925 with Raboliot.

The childhood of Marie Bashkirtseff (1858—84), who was born into the Ukrainian aristocracy, was nomadic and took her across Europe. She was a painter and sculptor who is noted for her Journal (1887), started at the age of fifteen, which was written in French.

Her grave is an artist's studio, and has been declared a historic monument. Around the door, many of her artistic works are engraved in the stone.

Bashkirtseff's name and the dates of her short life (she died at 25) framed by painting palettes.

Jean Giraudoux (1882—1944) was mainly a dramatist, noted for La Guerre de Troie n'aura pas lieu (1935) and Amphytryon 38 (1929).

Gabriel Marcel (1889—1973) was a Christian existentialist philosopher and playwright, amongst whose important philosophical works are Being and Having and The Mystery of Being (1951).

Dramatist and journalist Édouard Bourdet (1887—1945) was born in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, and his first wife was the poet Catherine Pozzi. He became a major writer of boulevard plays in the interwar years. Fric-Frac (1936) was a big commercial success, and adapted into a cinematic version in 1939. Arletty called it one of Bourdet's great plays.

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