La Gloire de mon Père, Le Chateau de ma Mère Reviews

Movie poster and my book cover

La Gloire de mon Père (My Father's Glory), followed by Le Chateau de ma Mère (My Mother's Castle), are autobiographical works written by Marcel Pagnol. They follow the events of his childhood, mostly concentrating on his time in a countryside house, La Bastide Neuve, in Aubagne, France. Both originally written in French and published in 1957, They are the first two books in Marcel Pagnol's Souvenirs D'enfance, a collection of biographies. However, out of four, only the first two books were successful, while the last one was never finished and was published posthumously. In addition, only La Gloire de mon Père and Le Chateau de ma Mère were made into movies by Yves Robert in 1990.

Although they are considered as novel biographies, they truly are only recounts of memories. The memories are quite jumpy, but still in chronological order. Many important details are left out, and when necessary, they are just casually talked about as if mentioned before. An example of this would be the birth of Marcel Pagnol's sister. She is completely left out until one day a sister is being carried in the arms of his mother. Another disapointing aspect of the books is that a good half of it is simply memories of hunting. Entire chapters are just him recounting his hunting expeditions with his father and uncle and best friend. These books are in no way novels, but simply memories put to paper. Even so, it is always interesting to read about other's childhoods. I watched the movies as well as reading the books, and there are quite a few differences. The movie version of Le Chateau de ma Mère features an entire story plot that involves young Marcel's first love, but she is never once mentioned in the book version. I do admit, the second novel doesn't hold much action to make a decent movie. I quite liked the movies, as well as the books, but I said before they only consist of memories put to paper, or to film. This concept makes for quite a boring movie though, unfortunately.


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