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Marcel Pagnol, “Le château de ma mère”

April 8th, 2015 · No Comments

Le château de ma mère

Marcel Pagnol

Éditions de Fallois, 1988

(published originally 1957)

reviewed by Gary Levinson

This book reads like an autobiographical narrative, though the extent of its autobiographical nature is open to question. Captivating and well written it is centered around two main themes. One is the joy an academically oriented city-boy finds in discovering and adapting himself to rural life (hunting, trapping, etc.) in the countryside of the Bouches-du-Rhône province in southern France, and another is the tale of his family’s somewhat irregular but routine passage through estates bordering the Canal de Marseille,

This story provides material for reflection about the importance and personally exotic nature of private places “away from home”, how children generally detest the regiment of school, makes the reader wonder how they would handle the irregular nature of the estates passage, and later on in the book, some deep reflections about the separating and final nature of death.

This trip back to a time more than a century ago is an enjoyable and quick read. Towards the end I found: La vie est “un torrent qu’il faut franchir en sautant d’un rocher à l’autre après avoir bein calculé son élan.”

reviewed by Gary Levinson

review © copyright Levinson 2015