Tag Archives: French

Edmond Rostand Was Born on This Date

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Balzac’s Bill of Goods Backfires

On this date in 1842, Honoré Balzac’s play Les Ressources de Quinola opens to an empty house. The author had tried to spread a rumor that tickets were scarce. Fail.

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Gides Ghost Gibes Claudel

Nobel Laureate André Gide died on this date in 1951. Several days letter, a telegram bearing his signature appeared on a bulletin board at the Sorbonne. It read “Hell doesn’t exist. Better notify Claudel.” Paul Claudel, who was a Catholic … Continue reading

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Descartes Dream

On this date in 1619, French philosopher and mathematician Rene Descartes awakens from the dreams that inspire his Meditations on First Philosophy.

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Sartre Declines the Nobel Prize on This Date

On this date in 1964, Jean-Paul Sartre declines the Nobel Prize for Literature, stating: “A writer must refuse to allow himself to be transformed into an institution.”

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“Nobody Has Read Everything of Dumas”

On this date in 1802, Alexandre Dumas, père, was born. The author of The Three Musketeers and The Counte of Monte Cristo often used ghost writers for his formula novels, which caused Dumas to claim, “Nobody has read everything of … Continue reading

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Zola Flees France

On this date in 1898, French novelist Emile Zola fled France following his libel trial over his letter, J’Accuse . . .! In the letter, which was published on the front page of Paris’s L’Aurore, Zola accused the French Army … Continue reading

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Flaubert Busts De Maupassant

On this date in 1878, French novelist Gustave Flaubert busts his protégé, Guy de Maupassant: “You must–do you hear me, young man?–you MUST work more than you are doing.”

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Symbolist Poet Shoots Boy Toy Paramour

On this date in 1873, after a brief, passionate affair, French symbolist poet Paul Verlaine shoots his lover, fellow French poet Arthur Rimbaud. Rimbaud was slightly injured in his wrist; Verlaine served two years in prison for his crime.

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Victor Hugo Died on This Date

Victor Hugo died in Paris on this date in 1885. He was hailed as a national hero and buried in the Panthéon.

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