April 5, 2012
SLIDE SHOW: The private world of great writers
by Nick Davies
The website Apartment Therapy has posted a slideshow of fifteen writers’ bedrooms, many of which are an interesting reflection of the authors’ works and personalities. Victor Hugo’s apartment on Paris‘ luxurious Place des Vosges is lush and dramatic; as Apartment Therapy puts it, “all that you would expect from a writer heavily influenced by the Romanticism movement.” Henry David Thoreau’s 10×15-foot home is unsurprisingly sparse, with the barest of essentials. Marcel Proust, plagued by asthma and severe allergies, had every opening in his room sealed off or covered, and the walls and ceilings covered in cork to keep outside dust and noise from entering. And William Faulkner’s office is covered with his outline for the plot of The Fable, shellacked to preserve them.
You can see those examples and some others here–the full slideshow of all fifteen rooms is on Apartment Therapy.
Lush, luxurious, and ornate, Hugo’s bedroom is the epitome of the Romantic style with which he’s associated.
Victor Hugo’s Paris home
An exterior view of Hugo’s building on the posh Place des Vosges.
Henry David Thoreau’s tiny 10×15 home
The very image of transcendentalist self-reliance, Thoreau’s house was equipped with only a bed, a table, a desk, and three chairs.
Marcel Proust’s bedroom
Proust had his ceiling and walls covered with cork to seal off his room, to protect himself from dust and allergens.
Faulkner kept a bed in his office, and outlined the plot for The Fable on the walls–then shellacked those notes to preserve them.
The notoriously reclusive poet wrote most of her poetry at the little desk in her bedroom.
William S. Burroughs
Patti Smith, a friend of Beat writer Burroughs, sits on his bed in his apartment on the Bowery in New York.
The interior of Woolf’s bedroom at Monks House.
Hemingway’s sunny bedroom in his Key West home, complete with pineapple-shaped lamps.
Hemingway home exterior
Hemingway’s house in Key West, seen from the outside.
Nick Davies was a publicist at Melville House.