Literary Birthday – 20 February – Pierre Boulle

Pierre Boulle was born 20 February 1912, and died 30 January 1994.

Five Quotes

  1. There’s always some further action to take.
  2. But once an original book has been written-and no more than one or two appear in a century-men of letters imitate it, in other words, they copy it so that hundreds of thousands of books are published on exactly the same theme, with slightly different titles and modified phraseology.
  3. As my gorilla walked past me again, having finished his rounds, I tried by every means to attract his attention. I tapped on the bars; I made sweeping gestures, pointing at my mouth, with the result that he condescended to resume the experiment. Then, on the first blast of the whistle, and well before he had waved the fruit, I started watering at the mouth, watering at the mouth in fury, in frenzy – I Ulysse Mérou, started watering at the mouth, as though my very life depended on it, such pleasure did I derive from showing him my intelligence.
  4. Serious gentlemen taught us the art of blowing up a bridge, attaching explosives to the side of a ship, derailing a train, as well as that of dispatching to the next world – as silently as possible – a night-time guard.
  5. Merci. (Boulle is said to have given the shortest acceptance speech in Academy Award history)

Pierre Boulle was a French novelist best known for The Bridge Over the River Kwai and Planet of the Apes. Both were made into award-winning films. Boulle‘s works were largely set in Southeast Asia, where he spent eight years as a planter and soldier.

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 20th February 2015