French Dutch English German Spanish

Menu

APOLLINAIRE

Writer

The getaway to Deauville

Deauville established itself in 1912 - with the inauguration of the Hôtel Normandy and the casino - as the place where artists and lovers of shows and music move in the summer. Comœdia, a famous artistic magazine of the time, commissioned in July 1914, Guillaume Apollinaire, recognized art critic and André Rouveyre, painter and caricaturist, to cover the third major cultural season in Deauville.

Arrived in Deauville, on July 25, they take board at the Hôtel de l'Europe (today Hôtel Continental).
Apollinaire, registers at the game tables, walks the beach and lingers on the terrace of La Potinière. The Café where everyone shows up and meets.
The watchful eye Apollinaire attends and comments on astonishing scenes:
« On the morning of the 31st, a marvelous negro, dressed in a shades of changing colors, silver blue and aurora pink, cycled through the streets of Deauville. We saw him walking towards the beach, walking the rue Gontaut-Biron. He finally reached the sea where it seemed to us that he was sinking. Soon we saw only the green turban of water which merges with the bitter wave ».

On July 31, general mobilization was proclaimed. Apollinaire and Rouveyre return to Paris as quickly as possible.
From this stay, there are correspondences, several poems included in Calligrammes.
All the details on the stay in Deauville are developed in a text written on October 5, 1914 and published under the title Memories of the great war, but also in The Missed Party, chronicle written for Comœdia on August 1, 1914, published only on August 1, 1920. This last text is reused by Apollinaire at the beginning of a novel in project, The White Woman of the Hohenzollerns. The poet's final foray into resort rituals before the war made him a soldier hired in the French army in December 1914… Guillaume Apollinaire died of the Spanish flu on November 9, 1918, at 38, 2 days before the 'armistice.

My travel book