Le Passe-Muraille is the title of a story by Marcel Aymé about a man named Dutilleul who discovers that he can (you guessed it) walk through walls. The statue is. After a year then, he still retained the ability to pass through walls, but he .. Statue of le Passe-Muraille by Jean Marais, Place Marcel Aymé, Montmartre ( Paris). Marcel Aymé was a French novelist, children’s writer, humour writer, screenwriter and theatre playwright. His writings include The Man Who Walked Through.

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One reason, according to Graham Lord, may have been that “critics were particularly nonplussed by the ease with which [he] moved between reality and fantasy. See, for example, J.

In contradiction to the implications of its title, “The Walker-Through-Walls” starts with two elements that are indicative of a traditional story: This is immediately marrcel, however, by the information that Dutilleul, the main character, a “third-grade clerk at the Ministry of Registration,” finds out one day that he can walk through walls. This quick shift to the supernatural, done in a very matter-of-fact manner and combined with Dutilleul’s lack of reaction to his “special aptitude,” gives a dimension of reality to the story.

Not only can Muraolle walk through walls, but he does it “without experiencing discomfort”; the implication is that others may have already walked through walls and did experience discomfort from doing so. Possibly Dutilleul is better skilled muralle others, or his gift may be more “complete.

The Passe-Muraille (Walker-Through-Walls) – Histories of Montmartre

The discovery of Dutilleul’s ability to walk through walls is treated by both doctor and patient as if it were a mere headache, as if two pills could take care of it. Passs does not affect Dutilleul, who has “little love for adventure” and is “non-receptive to the lures of the imagination.

Mouron, his superior at the Ministry of Registration, is replaced by M. This rather ordinary event murailke referred to as “extraordi-nary,” and it is going to “revolutionise” Dutilleul’s life. The discovery of his “special ability” has not provoked the slightest stir in his imagination, but M. Lecuyer’s “far-reaching reforms” “calculated to trouble the peace of mind of his subordinate” will. To Dutilleul’s horror he is required to change the formula that he used for years and to start letters with one that is shorter and more “trans-Atlantic.


The crisis is such that Dutilleul ends up brooding over it for “as much as a quarter of an hour” before going to sleep. The caricature is now complete. Dutilleul, the civil servant, is shown as thoughtless, lacking any intellectual substance, robotlike, and unimaginative.

He uses as an murialle what is viewed in French society as the epitome of repetitiveness: Although imagination the “queen of the faculties,” according to the French poet Baudelaire did not disturb Dutilleul’s life, pride over a very trivial item does. It causes him to be marcek when the discovery of his ability to walk through walls has failed to do so. Mruaille, surprisingly and ironically, “sanguinary thoughts” pop into Dutilleul’s mind, and in a facetious mhraille Dutilleul sticks his head through the wall of the little room where he has been relegated as a punishment for his “rebellion” so that he appears in M.

Lecuyer’s office like an insulting “trophy of the chase. After two weeks of this treatment M.

Le Passe-Muraille, Paris: Address, Le Passe-Muraille Reviews: 4/5

paese Lecuyer, extremely disturbed, both physically and mentally, is taken to a mental home. A new life starts for Dutilleul. He now feels a “yearning,” “a new, imperious impulse”—”the need to walk through walls,” to which the narrator also refers as “the call of the other side of the wall,” using an animalistic terminology. In an msrcel philosophical tone that enhances the irony, the narrator acknowledges that walking through walls does not constitute an end in itself; as a beginning it calls for a reward.

In search of more inspiration Dutilleul turns to the “crime column” of the newspaper. Then, without any kind of transition, the narrator very casually announces the “Dutilleul’s first burglary took place in a large credit establishment on the right lw of the Seine. This amazingly rapid transformation of Dutilleul into a burglar adds a new dimension to the world of the narration and to the satire.

Cool Stuff in Paris | Le Passe-Muraille – the Passer-Through-Walls in Paris, France

Not only is the whole Parisian population now in awe of his exploits, but any woman “with romance marcrl her heart” lusts for him. And two ministers have to resign as a result of their failure to arrest “the werewolf.

After having finally “allowed himself to be arrested” in order to prove to his colleagues that he is the “genius,” Dutilleul has the opportunity to fulfill his career, that is, to experience prison walls. As the narrator declares, “No man who walks through walls can consider his career even moderately fulfilled if he has not had at least one taste of prison.


He undergoes a complete metamorphosis. But, ironically, the drastic transformation simply consists of changing the four elements the narrator used earlier on in the story to identify the character: Dutilleul has shaved his black tuft of beard, substituted horn-rimmed spectacles for his “pince-nez,” started to wear a “sports cap and a suit of plusfour in loud check,” and changed his apartment.

Now comes the moralistic aspect of the tale. He meets his fate, however, in the person of a ravishing blond who is immediately seduced by him since “nothing stirs the imagination of the young women of the present day more than plus-fours and horn-rimmed spectacles. As a result of their transports Dutilleul suffers from a severe headache that will, ironically, cause the cessation of his ability to walk through walls.

Instead of taking aspirin, Dutilleul takes two pills of the “tetravalent” that he had negligently thrown into a drawer.

After sensing “friction” and “a feeling of resistance” on the third night of his going through the walls to meet with his lover, Dutilleul finds himself “petrified in the interior of the wall. However shocking and horrifying, the ending is treated in the same matter-of-fact manner encountered at the beginning. Here again, the extraordinary occurrence appears realistic. Dermuche, the criminal who has metamorphosed into a baby, is executed for a crime that he has not committed because, as his transformation went on, the crime came undone.

Antoine, the poor little boy, and not his richer companions of “The Seven-League Boots” was finally given the magic pair, and he finds himself “at the end of the earth”—”in ten minutes. Cite this article Mrcel a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

Retrieved December 31, from Encyclopedia. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list. Because each style murail,e its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia. Print this article Print all entries for this topic Cite this article. Learn more about citation styles Citation styles Encyclopedia.

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