He called his poems, novels, stories, memoirs and plays, with the humor that characterized him, "Obaldiableries".

René de Obaldia, writer, man of theater and academician, died at the age of 103, said Thursday the French Academy, of which he had been a member since 1999.

Born in 1918 in Hong Kong, he was a poet, playwright, and had published shortly before reaching his 100th birthday 

Perles de vie

(Grasset editions), where he notes the proverb: “To become a centenarian, you have to start young.


Biting humor

This son of a Frenchwoman and a Panamanian, a diplomat in the city under British control, grew up in Amiens, in his mother's region, then in Paris, where he demonstrated his literary skills very early on.

A prisoner during the Second World War, he then became a jack-of-all-trades writer, with a biting humour, cultivating detachment.

“I have always had this derisory side in me, which allowed me to put certain things at a distance”, he declared to


in 2009.

An “existence rich in metamorphoses”

In 1959, he published

Le Centenaire

, a long romantic monologue by an old man who dwells on a multitude of memories.

His theatrical work earned him worldwide fame, with plays such as

Du vent dans les branches de sassafras


Monsieur Klebs et Rozalie


La Rue Obaldia


In his introduction to 

Perles de vie

, he congratulated himself on an “existence rich in metamorphoses: poems, novels, theatre, memoirs”.


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