13 September 2015

Paris 2015: Stéphane Hessel, Cimetière du Montparnasse #14

Stéphane Hessel (1917–2013) is perhaps best known for his thirty-two page essay Indignez-vous ! (2010), which proved to be a great success near the end of his life. It denounced an economic system based on huge inequalities of wealth, and sold several million copies worldwide. He followed this up with Engagez-vous ! and Le Chemin de l'espérance (both published in 2011). There is now a Place Stéphane Hessel in the 14e arrondissement.

Stéphane Hessel's mother was Helen Hessel, who translated Nabokov's Lolita into German in 1960, but is better remembered for the representation of her played by Jeanne Moreau in Truffaut's Jules et Jim (1962). The famous triangular relationship in Jules et Jim is based on Helen's relationship with her husband Franz and their friend Henri-Pierre Roché, who wrote the novel on which Truffaut based his scenario.

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