I read the short story “Le Passe-muraille” (luh pass muireye), by Marcel Aymé, in university and thoroughly enjoyed it. Here’s a translation of it in English: “The Passer-through-Walls.” It was adapted as a film comedy in 1951 under the title Mr. Peek-a-Boo.
The story takes place in Paris’ Montmartre neighborhood. A man named Dutilleul discovers that he has developed the ability to walk through walls. He’s not a bit pleased and tries to find a cure – that is, until his new boss starts to get seriously on his nerves. Dutilleul uses his special skill to drive his boss crazy – literally. Then he turns to a life of crime, each time signing his name “The Werewolf” in red chalk. But being an anonymous criminal isn’t enough for him; Dutilleul allows himself to get caught. Once in prison, he simply leaves when he wishes. Then he falls in love with a married woman whose husband goes out every night and leaves her locked in her bedroom. Dutilleul begins to “pay her calls.” One day he has a headache and takes some “aspirin,” except it isn’t, it is medicine his doctor had prescribed while Dutilleul was looking for a cure. As he is passing through the wall after visiting his lady-love, he realizes that he is no longer able to move. Dutilleul ends up trapped in the wall.
If you visit Montmartre, look for la place Marcel Aymé (the corner of rue Norvins and Allée des Brouillards) and you will find the statue of la Passe-Muraille. He’s still half in and half out of the wall, frozen in time.