rayner heppenstall, restaurant critic

“From Vitrac’s account of his visit, it would appear that, by 1926, Roussel was already accustomed to receive visitors at Charlotte Dufrène’s apartment in the Rue Pierre-Charron, a practice which M. Leiris’s account might have led us to think Roussel only adopted later (perhaps because not until later, when he was living in a disreputable hotel, did he take to receiving even old friends at Mme. Dufrène’s). At any rate, although Roussel was apparently still resident with the Elchingens at Neuilly, Vitrac was received at ‘l’appartement d’une femme‘, and it was clearly in a turning off the Champs-Élysées, as the Rue Pîerre-Charron is. This little street is nowadays best known to men of letters as that in which stands the maison internationale of the P.E.N. Club, flanked on one side by a night club called Le Sexy and facing The Chickens Self, a restaurant no doubt specialising in barbecued chicken and operated on self-service principles.”

(Rayner Heppenstall, Raymond Roussel: a critical study, p. 13)

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