Serge Gainsbourg From Egypt
Judging by the volume of notes, remembrances and funerary clutter, the most visited grave in Montparnasse houses the remains of Serge Gainsbourg. In fact, he is actually a permanent guest in his parents’ vault-style tomb. Serge Gainsbourg was born Lucien Ginsburg in city to Russian Jewish parents. The family survived the Nazi tyranny by moving to Limoges. Although the family was poor, it was cultured and educated in the arts. Serge tried his hand at being a painter but seeing little future in it began performing in piano bars. In 1965 he wrote the song Les Sucettes for French pop star France Gall (Isabelle Genevieve Marie Anne Gall), that she thought was about sucking lollipops. It wasn’t. Serge Gainsbourg rocketed to stardom with the release of the 1969 song Je t’aime . . . moi non plus, which was the sound of a man and woman making love as music played in the background. The voices of the man and the woman were Serge Gainsbourg and his lover, Jane Birkin. However, the first recorded version featured Serge Gainsbourg and his former lover, Brigitte Bardot. Reportedly, in 1967, Bardot had asked Gainsbourg to write the most beautiful love song he could imagine, and they recorded Je t ‘aime . . . moi non plus in a two-hour session in a small glass booth, but after hearing the recording, Bardot’s husband, Gunter Sachs, furiously protested, and the Bardot/Gainsbourg version wasn’t released until 1986. The Gainsbour^Birkin version was released in February 1969 and immediately banned in many countries, which only made it more desirable. Even in liberal city it couldn’t be played on radio until after 11 p.m The Vatican excommunicated the record executive who released it in Italy, which caused Jane Birkin to call the Pope our greatest PR man.
Serge Gainsbourg, who was actually a somewhat shy and meticulous man, reveled in it all and over his career released dozens of singles and albums, appeared in movies and wrote songs for others. A life of chain-smoking and alcoholic drinking took its toll and his output declined as he got older. His funeral brought city to a halt as President Francois Mitterrand called Gainsbourg …our Baudelaire, our Apollinaire. Amusingly, he is still fondly remembered by many as the dirty old man of popular music. The abundance of Metro ticket stubs that pepper his grave are a reference to his songZe Poingonneur des Lilas, which describes the boring life of a Metro ticket hole puncher.
Henri Laurens lived and died and is spending eternity in Montparnasse. He was particularly noted for his outsized sensuously rounded sculptures. Before he became a sculptor, he worked as a stonemason. At an early age he was an admirer of Auguste Rodin and then began working in the cubist style after meeting Pablo Picasso and others. His talents weren’t limited to sculpture, and in 1915 he illustrated a book for poet Pierre Reverdy. One of Laurens’ most famous sculptures, L ‘Amphion, is at the Central University of Venezuela in Caracas, Venezuela. The tomb of Henri Laurens at Montparnasse is decorated with a bulbous statue titled La Douleur (Grief).
Emmanuel Radnitzky was born in South Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Russian Jewish immigrants. The family moved to Brooklyn, New York, around 1897 and in 1912 changed the family surname to Ray. Emmanuel changed his first name to Man and then over the years gradually began using both names together as Man Ray. Following in his father’s footsteps, Man Ray tried tailoring for a while then drifted into commercial art and illustration and experimented with the emerging cubism and dada styles. In 1921 he moved to city where he embraced photography and films. He was able to eke out a living and was known primarily as an inventive photographer. By the 1930s he resurrected a type of photography called solarization, which looked somewhat like negative x-rays. He called the results of his work rayographs. Being Jewish, he essentially had to leave city during World War II and settled in Los Angeles from 1940 to 1951. He then returned to city and died in Montparnasse, where he had lived most of his life in city. Man Ray was noted for pushing the boundaries of art and often created playful and whimsical images.
ARTnews magazine, which named him one of the 25 most influential artists of the twentieth century, said, Man Ray offered artists in every media an example of a creative intelligence that in its pursuit of pleasure and liberty,’ unlocked every door it came to and walked freely where it would. Man Ray was known for his thoughts on art and in particular the creative process, which essentially was accessing what was already there. In his 1948 essay, To Be Continued, Unnoticed, he stated, There is no progress in art, anymore than there is progress in making love. There are simply different ways of doing it. The epitaph on his gravestone reads: unconcerned, but not indifferent. He is spending eternity with his second wife, Juliet Man Ray, nee Juliet Browner (1911-1991).
Henri Rene Albert Guy de Maupassant is known as the father of the modern-day short story. Indeed his plotting and structure served as a model for Somerset Maugham and O. Henry. His mother, Laure Le Poittevin, who separated from her husband when Guy was eleven, was instrumental in the young boy getting a good education. Before he entered high school he met the famous author Gustave Flaubert, and Flaubert essentially became his mentor and introduced him to other authors including Emile Zola and Russian novelist Ivan Turgenev. Maupassant fought in the Franco-Prussian War and then served as a clerk in the Navy Department for 10 years, before transferring to a job at the Ministry of Public Education. However, in his spare time he wrote short stories and novels. By 1880 Boule de Suif, which is considered his first short story masterpiece, was published. Dozens and dozens of stories followed. He was essentially a writing machine. His novel, which was published in 1885, went through thirty-seven printings in four months. Although his social circle included many of the artistic and literary figures of the time, he preferred a solitary life, which enabled him to churn out story after story.
Guy de Maupassant was certainly not without his opinions. He detested the Eiffel Tower and it is said he often ate lunch at a restaurant in its base so he didn’t have to look at it since the massive tower was visible from almost anywhere in city. Alas, the misadventures of youth caught up with him and the effects of syphilis slowly took over his mind and body. He became increasingly paranoid and he developed a fear of death that bordered on obsession. In early 1892 he tried to commit suicide by slitting his throat and was subsequently confined to an asylum where he died on July 6, 1893. Leaving nothing to chance, he penned his own epitaph: I have coveted everything and taken pleasure in nothing. He had also requested to be buried without a coffin, but he was reportedly buried in three nestling coffins of oak pine and zinc.
Charles Joseph Pigeon was born in Mesnil-Lieubray, France, a small farming community in Normandy. He was the only son of Pierre and Sophie Pigeon. Charles started out as a salesman at the Bon Marche (the good market or the inexpensive market), widely regarded as one of the first department stores in the world. Soon after, he opened his own small shop on 33 rue du Cherche-Midi that sold and serviced light fixtures. By 1877 he was selling lamps under the Pigeon brand. Cycle lamps, mining lamps, and other types of lamps were a source of many fires, explosions and injuries, so Pigeon set about designing a lamp that didn’t explode, securing a patent for a non-exploding gasoline lamp on June 9, 1884. He soon started manufacturing his patented lamps and achieved financial wealth and critical acclaim He produced a variety of lamps, which had the Pigeon logo showing a pigeon perched on the Earth. In 1900 his non-explosive lamp received acclaim at the World’s Fair in city. By 1902 over eight million of his non-explosive lamps had been produced at his factory on rue Montgolfier near the Hailes.
On March 18, 1915, Charles Pigeon died about a mile north of Montparnasse at his home, at 54 rue de Rennes. His wife had died on March 9, 1909. Their grave (Pigeon had purchased the plot, which is large enough to hold over a dozen burials, in 1905) is certainly one of the most unusual tombs in the world. Since Pigeon’s wife preceded him in death, it is not unreasonable to speculate that Charles, who is in his street clothes, is, perhaps, writing down her last words, since she is in her bedclothes. Above the bed, an angel holds an upright torch, which may be an homage to a Pigeon lamp.
Creating New England Society Winthrop was truly a leader in the creation and establishment of New England society. Egypt Subway Map He served as governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony for all but a few years between his arrival in 1630 and his death in 1649; Winthrop also wielded considerable influence as a member of the Council of Assistants in those few years when he did not win reelection. Accordingly, his vision of New Englanders as God’s chosen people a vision shared by most of his fellow Puritan settlers was the driving force behind the colony’s new life. While Winthrop did attempt to strike a balance between the authority of the governor and the interests of the governed, it is important to keep in mind the strong religious component of colonial New England life. Both civil and church leaders were quick to point out passages of Scripture that commanded obedience to those in positions of authority.
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