Paul Melki
Paul Melki - “To see my soul, you need to forget the tubular body that though rotten is my frame. Behind the moldy beams, behind the collapsed roofing, behind the broken windows hides a pure treasure, living and fairly preserved from the absence of communication for many livid years of words and afflictions.”  


  Paul was born on October 14, 1986 in Paris to Jane Watts and Lucien Melki.
Multiply handicapped (CP = Cerebral Palsy), he can neither walk, nor speak.


Against all odds, his parents strove to give him motor and intellectual education. They travelled with him to Denmark, England, and Hungary in search of adapted educational methods. Paul’s intelligence quickly appeared in his understanding of the languages of the countries they visited, with a perfect understanding of English and French in particular. Paul attended specialized institutions from 1991 to 2000 (two years at Croix Faubin in Paris and seven years at Les Papillons Blancs, in Paray-le-Monial).


On May 24, 1998, Paul,” a film directed by André Pascal Gaultier and produced by Françoise Castro (BFC), was aired on the French public television station France 2. The film depicts Paul’s life between the ages of 3 and 12. It has since been aired several times in France, Portugal, Belgium, Switzerland, and Denmark.


In 1998 Paul tried an orthophonic procedure consisting in helping him by holding his hand over a computer keyboard: Paul began writing immediately, with as only background the exceptional cultural education provided by his parents. More than 100 poems, short stories, an autobiography, and a novel have sprung forth since 1998. In 2000, Paul attended a class in the French village of Suin in the Burgundy region to get some primary-school education. Due to the level of his writing, in September 2002 he moved directly to auditing high-school classes at the Lycée Wittmer in Charolles, where he remained for five years. While there, he was deputy editor-in-chief for the school paper, Le P’tit Wittmeuh, and wrote plays for the students.


October 2001 and October 2002: Exhibition of poems, presented at the Mâcon Book Fair (Burgundy, France).

June 2003: Release of his book of poems: Le cheval de mer, (The seahorse) published by Les pas perdus.

In November 2003, Paul was invited to the Rencontres de la Villette at the Grande Halle de Paris, for a reading of his book Journal de bord d’un détraqué moteur (Diary of a motor-deranged guy).

June 2003: First prize in the short-story contest at the Saint-Malo Étonnants Voyageurs Festival.

September 2004: Journal de bord d’un détraqué moteur was published by Éditions Calmann-Lévy.

In November 2004, Paul was invited to the Rencontres de la Villette for the European Year of Culture, for a reading of his book Journal de bord d’un détraqué moteur.

In December 2004, he won the Guy Crescent award.

December 2005: 2nd prize in the “Artistic Creation” contest organized by the Saône-et-Loire département council.

In 2005, Journal de bord d’un détraqué moteur was published in paperback form by Livre de Poche.

In 2006, Journal de bord d’un détraqué moteur was translated into Italian by Lucia Corradini Caspani and published in Italy by Casa editrice Corbaccio as Diario di bordo di uno scoordinato.

In April 2007, Calmann-Lévy published C’est la nuit de ma vie où je réalise ce que le jour m’interdit… (It’s the night of my life when I accomplish what the day denies me).

In August 2008, his first novel, Au Paradis de Candide (Candide’s Paradise), was published by Éditions Calmann-Lévy.

On February 7, 2009 the Comédie Française gave Shahrokh Moshkin Ghalam and Laurent Stocker “carte blanche” to stage Paul Melki’s texts at the Vieux Colombier Theater (see Theater section).