29 November 2023
No, Pagnol did not write his “Childhood Memories” in one go, as he went along… The Saint Pères publishing house is publishing a reproduction of the manuscript of “La Gloire de mon père”, sixty years after the first edition of the novel: it shows a meticulous work that was corrected several times.
Few erasures, many rewrites
Loose sheets, notebooks, typed and hand-typed texts: the Saints Pères publishing house gathered all the disparate documents making up the book, which were kept in the house where Marcel Pagnol used to live in Paris, Square de l’avenue Foch.
The reader discovers neat pages filled with round, highly legible calligraphy in black ink, sometimes interrupted by typed passages. Crossings out are rare, but many passages are crossed out and entirely rewritten. Pagnol tirelessly rewrote his masterpiece.
Interview with Karin Hann and Franz-Olivier Gisberg on this book, produced by Les éditions des Saint Pères
“An intense search for purity
“The simplicity and sobriety of his words conceal an intense search for style purification”, describes the preface to the book by researcher Karin Hann, a specialist in Pagnol’s work.
This manuscript destroys the “legend of the facility” which surrounds the author aubagnais according to her: “The writer sought, elaborated, abandoned, then started again”.
Pascale Deschamps’ favorite for this reproduction of Pagnol’s manuscript
“La Gloire de mon père” is the first volume of Marcel Pagnol’s “Souvenirs d’enfance” series, followed by “Le château de ma mère”, “Le temps des secrets” and “Le temps des amours”.
When it was published in 1957, it was a huge success, and nearly 50,000 copies were sold in a few months. The idea of writing down his childhood memoirs would have come to Pagnol during a lunch with Hélène Lazareff, director of Elle magazine.
“La Gloire de mon père”, manuscript, 304 pages, Editions des Saints Pères, 149 euros.