We navigate the tree-lined pathways of Cemetery Père Lachaise. The quiet, the foliage, and the unstudied orderliness promote a sense of peacefulness, but the cemetery also gives rise to another feeling, like reverence or maybe fear. We arrive at the grave of the French writer Honoré de Balzac, surrounded by a wrought-iron fence. A lone, dying rose is resting against it. Though I'm only vaguely familiar with Balzac's work, I feel touched by his genius, just as I feel touched by his mortality.