Le Passe-Muraille, The Man Who Could Walk Through Walls

Take a couple of minutes to walk away from throngs of tourists and the artists of Place de Tertre, Montmartre and into Rue Norvins to find a rather unusual bronze sculpture: The Man Stuck In The Wall by Jean Marais (1943-1998) which was commissioned to celebrate Le Passe-Muraille, The Man Who Could Walk Through Walls, a work of fiction by novelist and playwright Marcel Aymé (1902 – 1967). This story is of Dutilleul, a clerk at the Registration Ministry who shortly after his 42nd birthday discovered that he had the power to walk through walls.


Uninterested in this new-found ability, Dutilleul continued his mundane daily routines and his work at the Ministry or that is, until Monsieur Mouron suddenly appears and disrupts his peaceful existence. Dutilleul seeks revenge and takes revenge and the story develops twists before the introduction of “The Lone Wolf”, a mysterious character who burgles jewels, banks and the wealthy. As would be expected, there is a stay in La Santé prison but with unusual goings-on, an escape and re-arrest as Dutilleul sips wine at the Café du Rêve in Rue Caulaincourt.

If the story was penned today, the Café du Rêve would remain a perfect choice for the backdrop; an authentic, postage stamp sized Parisian bistrot with a chalkboard menu of traditional French bistro dishes with an extensive and well priced wine selection, not forgetting to mention the cluttered, polished bar with its vintage coffee machine. This bar is high on my lunchtime list of places to visit and I will certainly be there prompt at midday to guarantee a seat.


Dutilleul escapes once again, only to meet a pretty lady and with whom he falls in love and to his own dire consequence… Follow this link to read the translated story and to learn of his fate...

Café du Rêve
89 Rue Caulaincourt
75018 Paris

Tel: 01 42 58 70 07
Merto line 12, Lamark-Caulaincourt