Architect Aude Bruguière is once again responsible for design of the entire Hôtel Littéraire, assisted by interior decorators Aleth Prime and Virginie Darmon. The former took care of designing the common areas, choosing to illustrate the novels called “de la campagne” – La Vouivre, Les Contes du chat perché or La Jument – with a country decor in the breakfast room. At the entrance, the wall of the reception is a tribute to the Passe-muraille and several hints evoke new Montmartroises like Les Bottes de sept lieues and Les Sabines.
The Hôtel Littéraire team continued to appeal to the talent of Jean Aubertin who painted the original watercolours of each of the hotel’s 39 rooms. He also designed the headboards where he played with a mosaic of vignettes symbolising aspects of Montmartre and the universe of Marcel Aymé. In the basement, our artist illustrates some pages of La Vouivre and offers a series of watercolours inspired by Contes du chat perché.
At the corner of a staircase, you should come across the sculpture of the cat Alphonse. Is it the one imagined in Les Contes du chat perché or the real cat that belonged to Marcel Aymé? It’s up to you to find out by questioning the shadow of the writer facing it.
A little further, two engraved tiles from the Tuilerie, the farm of Villers-Robert in Franche-Comté where the writer spent his childhood, were kindly offered by Jacques Sennepin, president of the Society of Friends of Marcel Aymé. His help and that of the association have been very valuable throughout the project of this Hôtel Littéraire.
The theme of each floor is based on a place referred to in Marcel Aymé’s books: Montmartre, Paris and Franche-Comté. You then go to the floor of Contes du chat perché, then to that of magical realism – expression of the critics to designate the fantastic universe of Marcel Aymé – and ending with the writers friends.
Each room is personalised around a character, a short story, a novel, a tale or a friend of Marcel Aymé, decorated with a watercolour and accompanied by quotes to make you want to read more. You can choose to go to sleep in the atelier of Gen Paul, Uranus, Delphine et Marinette, Derrière chez Martin or Antoine Blondin.
As in each of the Hôtel Littéraire, a multilingual library of 500 books is at the disposal of visitors who wish to benefit from their stay or a cultural break for (re)reading some lines of a short story, novel or column. On the shelves, the friends of Marcel Aymé find their place: Roger Nimier, Antoine Blondin, Kléber Haedens, Jean Anouilh and Louis-Ferdinand Céline. Because Marcel Aymé is an author who has been widely translated, we are slowly putting together the best of these translations so that all our guests can read in the language of their choice, wherever they come from.
For bibliophiles, rare editions and original bindings of Marcel Aymé’s works are exhibited in showcases: Contes du chat perché illustrated by Nathalie Parain, La Table-aux-crevés (1929), La Jument verte (1933) Le Passe-muraille (1943), La Traversée de Paris (1946), Uranus (1948), etc.
Not to mention his plays such as Lucienne et le boucher (1947), Clérambard (1950) or La Tête des autres (1952).
As in each of the Hôtel Littéraire, we offer visitors some educational material so that they can enter the world of the writer. An illustrated chronology is available at the entrance of the hotel, summarising the life and work of Marcel Aymé. A booklet containing each watercolour and texts displayed in the rooms is in your room, ready to be taken home. The film adaptation of the La Traversée de Paris starring Jean Gabin, Bourvil and Louis de Funès is broadcast continuously so that you can enjoy another artistic experience.
The district of Montmartre is a particularly lively district full of cultural initiatives, which encourages us to make the Hôtel Littéraire Marcel Aymé a radiant place for literature, books and art in all its forms. Events are organised regularly to punctuate your cultural stay with various activities and offer the opportunity to discover the hotel, an evening or an exhibition.