L'Adieu à Raimu ("A Farewell to Raimu")

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Text written by Marcel Pagnol, speaking with his immediate feelings, on a bar table in the Fouquet's, on the day Raimu died, and immediately published in France-Soir, at that time ran by his friend Sam Cohen.

"You can not deliver a speech on the grave of a father, a brother or a son, and you were the three of them for me: I shall not speak on your grave. Besides, I have never been good at speaking, and Raimu used to speak on my behalf. Your great and moving voice has fallen silent, and my sorrow is my silence. In front of Delmont, who was crying unknowingly, Jean Gabin crossed your hands over your chest, I knotted your tie reverently, and every member of our profession came to say goodbye.

We pondered for a long time in front of the heavy statue of yourself. We discovered so noble a mask which life had concealed from us. For the first time you were not laughing, you were not shouting, you were not shrugging you large shoulders. Yet, you never had taken so much space, and this marble presence was crushing us by your absence.

Then we understood who you were. Journalists, filmmakers, actors were coming, crossing all borders. You, only a friend of us, and we suddenly realized that your genius was part of French heritage and that foreigners, who had never met you alive, cried as they saw you dead. There in front of our eyes, you took your suddenly widened place. And, men came and locked in a huge case so much laughter, so many fits of anger, so many emotions, so much glory, so much genius.

Fortunately, we still have films that keep your earthly reflection, the weight of your gait and the organ of your voice... So you are dead but you have not disappeared. You will play tonight in thirty theatres, and crowds of people will laugh and shed tears: you keep on practicing your art and doing your job, and today I can assess the acknowledgment brought to us by the magic lamp that lights up again extinct geniuses, that makes dead dancers dance again and that gives back to our tenderness the smile of lost friends."
September 1946