Marcel Ayme


October 20, 2021

Marcel Aymé (Joigny, March 29, 1902 - Paris, October 14, 1967) was a French writer, author of works of children's literature and humorous literature. Author of comedies, novels, children's stories and short stories, his works have inspired many films, television programs, comics and cartoons. His lyrics reflect a particular sense of humor and fantasy.


He was the youngest of six children. On the death of his mother, Marie-Odile Emma Monamy (1863-1904), his father, Faustin Joseph Aymé (1859-1947), a blacksmith in a regiment of dragoons, entrusted Marcel and his sister Suzanne to their maternal grandparents, Frances and Auguste Monamy Curie , who had a tile factory, a farm and a mill in Villers-Robert in the Jura. Here he lived a close relationship with nature for a few years and attended the village school. On the death of his grandparents, he was entrusted to his aunt, Léa Monamy, his mother's younger sister, who had no children and lived in a panoramic house in Dole. He took his middle school certificate in 1919, but was unable to graduate in mathematics from the "Victor Hugo" high school in Besançon because he fell victim to the Spanish fever. He was treated by his aunt, then did his military service in Germany and then moved to Paris, where he wanted to study medicine, but instead found employment as a journalist (another sister, Camille, encouraged him by letter, during his long convalescence, to write). In literary circles he made a name for himself with his first novel, Brûlebois (1926), but later Aller retour and Les Jumeaux du diable were less popular. With La Table aux crevés he obtained the Renaudot Prize in 1929. La Rue sans nom (1930) was well received by critics, but Le Vaurien (1931) was again a failure. Only with La Jument verte (1933) did he achieve true fame. In the same year, in fact, even the cinema became aware of his work and began a long series of adaptations (he also collaborated on some screenplays for Pierre Chenal, Louis Daquin and other directors). From 1928 he lived in Montmartre, published children's stories, novels, collections of short stories. He also published texts in the collaborationist organ Je suis partout, which he was later reproached. In the theater he achieved great success with Lucienne et le boucher (1947), Clérambard (1950), a farce that badly conceals a question about the existence of God, and another farce, La Tête des autres (1952), staged by André Barsacq, of which the only one not to laugh was the judiciary. In 1955 he collaborated with the pro-monarchical weekly La Nation française founded by Pierre Boutang and Michel Vivier. Marcel Aymé's style is truly classic. He analyzed, with spirit, the hardships of man and society. The vision of him may perhaps be gloomy. Hypocrisy, greed, violence, injustice, contempt appear in his works, as do comradeship, friendship, goodness, kindness and dedication. He described social structures very realistically, in the style of Balzac or Zola, while attributing an important role to the fantastic. His play La Tête des Autres was the first major advocacy against the death penalty to cause a scandal. He ridicules the judiciary and the prosecutors of the republic. The song Si la photo est bonne by French singer Barbara is inspired by both this opera and the anguish of a president's wife. Marcel Aymé did not recognize himself in any political current. Marcel Aymé is buried in the Saint-Vincent Cemetery in Paris, in the Montmartre district. In the same neighborhood there is a monument on Place Marcel-Aymé. The statue is based on his short story Le passe-muraille (The passamura).


Friend of Céline and Robert Brasillach, Marcel Aymé was accused of collaboration and anti-Semitism, mainly for taking the defense of his two friends after 1945 and for having signed texts (cultural articles and n

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