Marcel Pagnol’s “pestiférés” in comics, a dark and political story

Marcel Pagnol comic book. Authors: Serge Scotto, Éric Stoffel.
Marcel Pagnol comic book. Authors: Serge Scotto, Éric Stoffel.

This is a work by Marcel Pagnol that he did not have time to finish. “Les pestiférés”, which recounts the plague epidemic that decimated Marseille in 1720, is now a comic book published by Grand Angle.

The text existed as a short story in the posthumous collection of Marcel Pagnol’s memories: Le temps des amours. It is included in a comic strip, but readers discover the end that Marcel Pagnol had told to his relatives. 

In the middle of the 18th century, the plague killed more than a third of the inhabitants of Marseille and the region in two years. A small community escaped the plague by taking refuge in an isolated cave, living in autarky before the authorities discovered it. 

This short text did not officially have an ending. Marcel Pagnol had planned to write it again. He did not have time to finish it, but he told his son what he wanted to do. And thanks to the family tradition, Nicolas Pagnol, the writer’s grandson, was able to give it a conclusion taken up by the comic book writers.   

Nicolas Pagnol: “It was my father who told me the end because Marcel often wrote with his son in the office. He would read his papers to him and talk to him a lot, he was apparently an extraordinary father and he had to tell him extraordinary stories. In any case, he had told him the whole story of the plague in Marseille, how he saw it ending. My father wrote it down for me and I was able to pass it on to Serge Scotto and Eric Stoeffel, to reconstruct the entire story.” 

Buy the plague here

You will also like: