Suzanne Fernande Muzard
26 September 1900
Aubervilliers, Paris, France
|Died||15 January 1992 (aged 91)|
|Spouse(s)||Emmanuel Berl (1928–1936), inter alia|
Suzanne Fernande Muzard was born on 26 September 1900 in Aubervilliers, a suburb of Paris, into a working-class family. At 18 she was a boarder in a training school, but left to work in the la Ruchette brothel, on the rue de l’Arcade. Whilst working there she fell in love with a young nobleman, but his family forbade him developing a serious relationship with her. After this disappointment she moved to Lyon, where she had friends. Her friends introduced her to a new protector. In about 1924 she returned to the la Ruchette.
At the beginning of November 1927, at the Café Cyrano, the rendezvous of the surrealists, Berl introduced Muzard to Andre Breton. It was love at first sight. Breton and Muzard decided to leave Paris and spend a fortnight in the south of France, although she did not want to separate from Berl. Back in Paris in mid-December, Breton added a third part to his novel Nadja, celebrating his new love affair with Muzard. Muzard pressurised Breton to divorce his wife, Simone, which he did. However Muzard ended their affair and married Berl. This caused resentment from Breton and the Surrealists.
The marriage was a tempestuous one. Breton wrote a surrealist poem about Muzard in 1931, L'Union libre (The Free Union). In 1934 she had an affair with Frederic Megret whilst in New Caledonia. On 26 October 1936 Muzard and Berl divorced.
After the divorce, Muzard moved to Tahiti, where she met photographer Jacques Cordonnier. Muzard and Cordonnier married in 1940 and stayed together until Cordonnier died in 1961.
Muzard wrote, under her married name of Cordonnier, an autobiographical essay entitled La passagère insoumise (The Rebellious Wanderer) in 1974.
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