Roussel, Raymond

BORN 20 Jan 1877, Paris: 25 Boulevard Malesherbes - DIED 14 Jul 1933, Palermo, Sicilia: Grand Hôtel des Palmes, room 224
CAUSE OF DEATH overdose of sleeping pills
GRAVE LOCATION Paris: Père Lachaise, Rue du Repos 16 (division 89)

Raymond Rousell was admitted to the Conservatory in Paris to study piano when he was fifteen. One year later he inherited a fortune from his father. He started to write poetry in addition to his musical compositions.

He was already in a mental crisis when his poem "La Doublure" (1896) failed and he went to see the psychiatrist Pierre Janet. He lived like a dandy, published his own writings and staged his own plays. His work has often been compared with that of Proust.

From 1920 until 1921 he travelled around the world. He continued his writings afterwards. When he ran out of money he went to the Grand Hôtel des Palmes at Palermo, where he tried to kill himself by cutting his throat and his left wrist. His driver found him and he was saved, but he died two days later from an overdose of sleeping pills. It was probably not his intention to kill himself at that time.

During his life his work was admired only by a small circle, among them Marcel Duchamp. In the 1950s it was rediscovered by a larger public.

Related persons
• was admired by Duchamp, Marcel


The grave of Raymond Roussel at Père Lachaise, Paris.
Picture by Androom (19 Nov 2006)


L'Evenement de Jeudi, S.A. Les Editions de Jeudi, Paris
Raymond Roussel - Wikipedia

Rouvière, Philibert

Published: 08 Feb 2008
Last update: 26 Jan 2022