On Paris Cemetery

Other than that Nixon can't spell cemetery (cimetiere) in French, he has at least one too many people buried there, Victor Hugo. There is a Hugo family tomb in Pere-Lachaise, but the great man has rested in the Pantheon since his death in 1885.

Much to the disgust of the French and tourists who discover it, the grave of Jim Morrison has become the daily haven for drugged and drunken fans who have covered his tomb, bust and the surrounding area with graffiti.

First-time visitors should stop at the gatehouse and buy the inexpensive mimeo map because it is more accurate than even the new Michelin "Paris" guide. Cobblestone roads and narrow passageways really require good walking or sports shoes to get through the underbrush to see Sarah Bernhardt (mismarked in Michelin), Moliere or Chopin. And opera buffs won't find Maria Callas there anymore. As the diggers like to say gleefully, "She has flown!" Her ashes were finally scattered at sea around Greece.

A. R. L. Bell

professor of English and

medieval studies

Cal State Long Beach

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World