2 December 2011

Jean Cocteau and Pierre Giffard in Maisons-Laffitte, Yvelines, France: Literary Île-de-France #46

As well as Jules Vallès, Jean Cocteau and Pierre Giffard have plaques marking their former residence in Maisons-Laffite. (As does Arthur Koestler, although the tourist bureau could only direct me to Cocteau's place: there's a point where tourism of the literary kind just becomes too obscure for the tourist industry, and that point is very soon reached.)
So here we have Cocteau's birthplace.

'Ici est né

le 5 juillet 1889
Prince des Poètes'

Also in the town is Pierre Giffard's former house.

This has two plaques, and the weatherbeaten one (which bears two date discrepancies, one of them saying that he lived here a year after his death) provides additional information that he founded the paper Le Vélo and was the godfather of the Petite Reine.

The later plaque tells us that this place was known as 'The Grotto', which this other weatherbeaten photo shows.

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