11 September 2017

Paris 2017: Cimetière du Père-Lachaise #6: André Pieyre de Mandiargues

We searched fruitlessly for the tomb of André Pieyre de Mandiargues (1909–91) for some time last year. This year, though, I managed to find it by a process of deduction: I had flimsy evidence to go by in the circumstances – just one photo copied from the internet  and the name on the grave is now unreadable. Plus, there was a ceramic cross in the photo I had. And then I saw the cross on the tomb next to the one I was puzzling over: it was clearly obscuring the inscription, therefore not in its right place: some idiot had moved it. I moved it back to its proper place.

André Pieyre de Mandiargues was an experimental writer whose novel La Motocyclette (1963) was adapted to film (starring Alain Delon and Marianne Faithfull) by Jack Cardiff in 1968, with the English title The Girl on the Motorbike, and the American title Naked Under Leather. He is perhaps most known for his Goncourt-winning La Marge (1967), which was also adapted into a(n erotic) film in 1976 (by Walerian Borowczyk, also called Emmanuelle 77 and starring Sylvia Kristel and Joe Dallesandro). Mandiargues prefaced the works of  Pierre Louÿs, and according to Wikipédia also had an impressive collection of pornography: old photos, vibrating toys, etc.

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