12, quai d’Orléans
House where the poet Arvers was born
Atget - 1907/1908
Who would not like to live quai d’Orléans? … Indeed, it is pretty much difficult nowadays to understand the characters of “In Search of Lost Time” written by Marcel Proust and living at
same time than Atget. Neither Odette could not understand “ Swann's continuing to live in his house on the Quai d'Orléans, which, though she dared not tell him so, she considered unworthy of him”, nor Proust’s parent who was longing
to see Swann’s antiques in his old house “but which stood on the Quai d'Orléans, a neighbourhood in which my great-aunt thought it most degrading to be quartered”. (Swann’s way – Marcel Proust).
in the days of Atget, this house located 12, quai d’Orléans looks so elegant with its balcony !
Felix Arvers, poet and playwright, famous in his time and now largely forgotten was born in 1806 in this house. He is mostly famous for
a poem he wrote, aged 25, which expressed his unrequited love for a woman :
My soul its secret has, my life too has its mystery,
A love eternal in a moment's space conceived;
Hopeless the evil is, I have not told its history,
And the one who was the cause nor knew it nor believed.
Alas! I shall have passed close by her unperceived,
Forever at her side, and yet forever lonely,
I shall unto the end have made life's journey, only
Daring to ask for naught, and having naught received.
For her, though God has made her gentle and endearing,
She will go on her way distraught and without
These murmurings of love that round her steps ascend.
Piously faithful still unto her austere duty,
She will say, when she shall read these lines full of her beauty,
"Who can this woman be?" and
will not comprehend.
--translated by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow