TRISTAN BERNARD

Writer

Terribly busy

Tristan Bernard was a novelist and playwright; he was mostly known for his humoristic pieces and mischievous crossword definitions. In July 1912, he was invited in Deauville for the inauguration of the Hotel Normandy and new casino. This stay was the first of many.

For over 35 years, he was a summer figure in Deauville. His roundish silhouette and long beard thrilled the time’s cartoonists. In 1912, Sem depicted him, swimming off the coast, his beard floating on the water. He found Deauville’s beach so vast and so far away at low tide that he pronounced this (now famous) sentence: “Deauville, close to Paris, but far from the sea!”. In 1919, he talked about his stay in Deauville to his friend Pic: “In Deauville I lead a calm yet terribly busy existence. In bed by dawn, I get up at ten to noon. The splendor of the sun at midday is a sight that all lazy man must contemplate when he wakes up. Then, while an animated crowd rushes to the beach, I dwell in the calm waters of my bathtub… In the Potinère now, there is no time to idle. There are friends and acquaintances to greet, that have not been met since the previous night and that will not be seen before the next two hours, at the racecourse. Then, a distressing question arises: eating. Where are we going to eat?” …
On August 15th 1948, eight months after his death, Deauville inaugurated a street in his name, situated between the Hotel Royal and the Point de Vue.