The Duckling Street

There is a little street which you may take during a walk between the Saint-Germain-des-Prés Church (see previous posts here) and the Saint-Sulpice Church (see previous posts here).

Actually, this little street hade the name of rue Saint-Soulpice, later rue Neuve-Saint-Sulpice, until the middle of the 17th century, when it got its present name, rue des Canettes, meaning the Duckling Street, because of the decoration you can still find on the front of no. 18 – see top picture. You can find four ducklings in different positions.

In the preceding post I talked about Marcel Proust (1871-1922). I discovered that there is something to be said about him also here. A lady, Céleste Albaret (1894-1984) - who was Proust’s secretary, housekeeper, factotum, for the last 8 or 9 years of his life - later, with her husband (who originally was Proust’s favourite taxi driver) and daughter, were during some twenty or thirty years running the hotel which now is named  Hotel La Perle. She was very much appreciated by Proust and she was, with Proust’s brother, present when he died… Proust who knew that he was dying had wished her to be the one to close his eyes. Here we can see a photo of her and what obviously was the last page of “In Search of Lost Time” (see “end – “fin”) - she talks about it in an interview made in 1962 for the French Television - you can see it here - in French - minutes 41:40-55:30. And there is also a little poem he wrote to her.

Here are some other views from the little narrow street, with a number of shops and places for eating and drinking.

We can see that the street poles also here have been decorated by CyKlop. I wrote about him e.g. here.  … and on the corner of rue Guisarde, we can see another “duckling” dressed like the comedian and actor Coluche (1944-1986) – I talked about him here and here.   


Anne in Oxfordshire said...

Love this little street, not been down it, but very interesting. Take care. Tha ks for all your amazing posts.

Anonymous said...

I like ducks so much. So, full of expectations, I enlarged your photos to have a little peek. But, what a shock when I saw them! Those "duckies" seem to have the same genetics as the Notre Dame's gargoyles...

And I can imagine how exhausted that author must have been when he could finally write The End. Can you imagine? After writing all those endless books...
Poor Monsieur Proust!

As always, I'm enchanted by your photos. Love the Saint Germain area.
Thank you, Peter.

Maria Russell

claude said...

Quelle belle découverte ! Très originales les fenêtres de la photo 1; J'aime bien Coluche en canard.