Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Le Passe Muraille et des Fesses Mystérieuses

One of the first books I read when I came to France almost twenty years ago was Le Passe Muraille (The Walker-Through Walls), a short story written by Marcel Aymé which tells the story of a forty-two year old man, Dutilleul who suddenly discovers that he can pass through walls with the greatest of ease. Initially he doesn't really take advantage of this ability, but gradually starts to exploit it for less than honourable purposes. Then one day as he was passing through a garden wall, he suddenly felt resistance half way through the wall. He became immobilised and imprisoned...

'He is there to this very day, imprisoned in the stone. When people go walking down the Rue Norvins late at night after the bustle of Paris has died down, they hear a muffled voice which seems to come from beyond the grave; they think it’s the sound of the wind whistling through the streets of Montmartre. It’s Lone Wolf Dutilleul lamenting the end of his glorious career and mourning his all too brief love affair.'*

Le voila, Dutilleul trying to squeeze his way out!






Every body likes to take his hand and try and pull him through.


The other day when I was walking up rue Norvins I noticed that Dutilleul has a companion. Could it be his amoureuse?

'The young woman was waiting for him, full of impatience aroused by her memories of the previous night; that night they made love until three o’clock in the morning.'*


Des fesses mystérieuses ! Some mysterious buttocks!


It is probably worth mentioning the the statue of Dutilleul passing through the wall is much larger than life.

A translation of the Le Passe Muraille can be found on this here (The Stress Cafe). At the bottom of the translation are further links to the original French version and some additional information about the Author, Marcel Aymé.

* Extracts from the translation by Karen Reshkin.

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