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Le Passe-Muraille

The man who could pass through the walls

While you are in Montmartre district, with a bit of help from the map of Paris, you would be able to locate Rue Norvins. That's where you will be able to meet the hero of this post- Le Passe-Muraille or the Man who could pass through the walls!

In this poignant story written by Marcel Aymé (pronounced 'aay may'), our hero, Mr. Dutilleul is a simple and unassuming man. Working as a third rank clerk for the Minister, his life is in for various turns when he discovers his unusual gift of being able to pass through the walls.

Not very attached to his unique ability, he seeks support from a doctor for diagnosis. After being convinced of the truth of his client's admission, the doctor prescribes some pills and over exertion in work as treatment. Dutilleul does not follow it through. Leading an uneventful existence until provoked to display his uncanny ability to his colleagues and an overbearing boss. Going through with a chain of events, the story ends in a bitter drama with the protagonist falling in love. As is the undoing of the most of us, Dutilleul falls in love and finds his trappings in the wall.


Panel in Montmartre telling the story of the Passe-Muraille  

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  The Man Who Walked Through Wall Photo by Albertus Teolog
Panel in Montmartre telling the story of the Passe-Muraille       The Man Who Walked Through Wall
Photo by Albertus Teolog


Le Passe Muraille by Marcel Aymé, was first published in 1943 as a short story. The English title is The Man Who Walked Through Walls. Aymé (1902-1967) was a French novelist, humour writer and a playwright. Le Passe Muraille is one of his famous works. It was adapted into a movie in 1951 and again in 1977.


Related Links:
  1. Movie Le Passe-Muraille (1951)
  2. Movie Le Passe- Muraille (1977) TV
  3. Based in Toronto, Canada, 'Theatre Passe Muraille' is a theatre dedicated to developing alternative artistic talents -"we passe through walls by working collaboratively with fresh voices and new partnerships". www.passemuraille.on.ca
  4. Pyaasa at Theatre Passe Muraille
  5. http://www.stresscafe.com/translations/pm/index.htm (in English)
  6. http://palf.free.fr/nouvelle/passe_muraille.htm (in French)