Montmartre was once home to many of France’s celebrated figures; from actresses to essayists, singers to writers. Just metres away from our hostel is the cemetery where many of these famous artists were laid to rest. Here are 5 more famous writers you can find at the Montmartre cemetery.
Émile Zola was a French playwright, novelist and journalist. The most renowned practitioner of Naturalism; Zola was nominated for the first and second Nobel Prize in Literature. In addition to his legendary collection of novels, Zola helped exonerate the falsely accused army officer Alfred Dreyfus. Considered to be the catalyst in France’s political liberalisation, Zola was also an influence on new-journalism. A biography of his life, The Life of Emile Zola, won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1937. While Zola’s grave is actually on display on the cemetery, Zola’s remains are actually in the Pantheon.
Claude Simon was a renowned French critic and novelist. Simon was also a member of the French resistance, after being captured by the Germans and eventually escaping. He subsequently completed his first of his 21 novels Le Tricheur after the war in 1946. He was awarded the Prix Médicis in 1967; an award given to an author who’s fame does not match their talent. Later, in 1985 was awarded the prestigious Nobel Prize in Literature.
Georges Feydeau was a French playwright from Paris. A writer of over 60 plays, Feydeau’s work would influence Vaudeville. Feydeau’s plays were farcical and noted for their wit and complex plots. His most famous play, a Flea in Her Ear, is still popular in theatres across the world to this day. Among has plays, almost half have gone on to become films, in multiple languages.
Alfred Victor de Vigny was a poet, writer and one of the leaders of the Romantacism movement. Vigny was born into wealth and later became a second lieutenant in the French army. Becoming bored of military life, Vigny settled in Paris and wrote France’s first great historical novel, Cinq Mars. He would later go on to notably translate many of Shakespeare’s works into French and became a prolific poet. Becoming a member of the academie francaise in 1845, he embraced Buddhism and retreated from public life. The French government made him an Office de la Legion d’honneur in 1856.
Henri Murger was a French poet and novelist. Born into poverty in Paris, Murger wrote for whatever market he could find. His first success, Scènes de la vie de bohème came in 1851 and later became a popular as a play in the theatre, film and opera. However, this would sadly be after Murger himself had passed away. His later works could never match the acclaim of his first and he died penniless at age 35. The French government paid for his funeral in 1861. Scènes de la vie de bohème would later be the inspiration for the popular Broadway musical Rent.
The Montmartre cemetery is a mere two minute walk from our hostel. Book now and discover a world of history at your footsteps!u