Sky blue edition,
numbered from 1 to 1,800
$190 $
My Father's Glory
French edition
Large format (14 x 10'')

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La Gloire de mon père : Marcel Pagnol's manuscript

To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the publication of this work, one of the finest in French history, SP Books unveils the previously unpublished manuscript.
La Gloire de mon Père - manuscrit ouvert
Leafing through the manuscript of La Gloire de mon père (My Father’s Glory) is a complete immersion in the detailed work of Marcel Pagnol. It is also to discover that, contrary to popular belief, the story didn’t just flow effortlessly from his pen...
La Gloire de mon Père, le manuscrit de Marcel Pagnol

Marcel Pagnol: a hard-working writer

The Provence of Pagnol’s youth, which he had already portrayed in cinema, was for him an inexhaustible source of inspiration. The drafts presented here testify to the painstaking work it took to convey and deepen his depiction, with close attention to refining the style. Marcel Pagnol did not leave his text uncorrected or only slightly modified: he completely rewrote it. Tirelessly, and in beautifully legible calligraphy, he made his text more natural and pleasurable to read.

The origins of success

Marcel Pagnol became famous in 1929 with the play Marius, performed in theatres in the March of that year. In 1934, he founded his own production company and film studios in Marseille, where he directed numerous films with the great actors of the period (notably Raimu, Fernandel et Pierre Fresnay) including Angèle (1934), Regain (1937) and La Femme du boulanger (1938). In 1946, he was elected to the Académie française. After 1956, he moved away from cinema and theatre: writing novels would be a turning point in his already fruitful career.

Legend has it that Marcel Pagnol, a born storyteller, loved to tell his childhood anecdotes at Parisian lunches. Charmed by this, the director of ELLE magazine, Hélène Lazareff, asked him to write them down for the pages of the famous weekly magazine. In all likelihood, she imagined that there might be enough material there for a colourful soap opera likely to captivate her readers. Marcel Pagnol accepted, then forgot. It was only when he opened the door a few days later to a courier who had come to pick up the promised pages that he got to work. The courier was most likely made to wait while he also penned a few lines to Hélène Lazareff!

Caught up in the task, Pagnol published La Gloire de mon père in 1957. It was a huge success, with fifty thousand copies sold in the following weeks. Thus began the series ‘Souvenirs d’enfance’ (Childhood memories), later supplemented by Le Château de ma mère, Le Temps des secrets and Le Temps des amours, published posthumously.

le manuscrit de Marcel Pagnol avec l'étui - Editions des Saints Pères

A uniquely assembled manuscript

The composition of La Gloire de mon père is a remarkable adventure comprising manuscripts on loose sheets, notebooks, as well as typewritten and corrected texts…

Thanks to the exceptional archives of Avenue Foch square in Paris where Marcel Pagnol lived, the narrative sequence of the novel has been reconstructed with the help of several sets of manuscripts and typescripts. Within is the well-known and beloved incipit: ‘I was born in the town of Aubagne, under the Garlaban crowned with goats, in the days of the last goatherds’, and charming tales of the novelist’s early years. The manuscripts immerse the reader in variations and episodes which do not appear in the final version, such as a passage where the young Marcel fails to start, a sketch which testifies to Pagnol’s intricate skill.

Une fresque qui témoigne du travail d’orfèvre de Pagnol, plongé dans des variations et des épisodes qui ne figureront pas dans la version finale, tel ce passage où le jeune Marcel manque de provoquer un incendie en essayant de fumer à l’indienne.

An unpublished manuscript

First drafts, more complete manuscripts, typed pages corrected by hand… This work consists of mainly handwritten sheets (around 250 pages) and a few typewritten sheets (around 50 pages).

Texts by Karin Hann and Franz-Olivier Giesbert

Franz-Olivier Giesbert is a journalist (Le Point), member of the jury for the Prix Renaudot since 1998 and novelist (Dernier été, Gallimard, 2020). He offers here a personal and enthusiastic preface on the work of Marcel Pagnol and in particular La Gloire de mon père. In May 2017, Franz-Olivier Giesbert became editorial director of the newspaper La Provence.

Karin Hann, a doctoral student in literature at the Sorbonne (Paris IV) specialising in Marcel Pagnol, is a member of the jury for both the Grand Prix du Roman Historique and the Prix Marcel Pagnol. She is the author of the essays Marcel Pagnol, un autre regard (Éditions du Rocher, 2014) and Passionnément Gainsbourg (Éditions du Rocher, 2016). She is also a novelist (Althéa ou la colère d'un Roi, Robert Laffont, 2010; Reine des Lumières, Éditions du Rocher, 2017). Alongside Nicolas Pagnol, she supervised SP Books’ work on the production of this boxed set, and has written a text that takes us behind the scenes of Pagnol’s handwriting:

‘Marcel Pagnol’s manuscripts finally come to light! A treasure! A snapshot of the writer at work now accessible to researchers and the general public.

It cannot be overstated how rich it can be to return to the basics of the author’s writing and reworking. With the publication of La Gloire de mon père, the veil of secrecy has been lifted! Writing with a Sergent Major pen in his school notebooks, Pagnol reveals to us a fragment of his thoughts. His calligraphy, round and sensual, reveals his creative process and intentions before our very eyes. (…)

There is not one manuscript of La Gloire de mon père, but many variations of the story. The difficulty, therefore, was to identify the similarities and divergences, and then to opt for a coherent editorial line, in order to present a continuous narration which approaches the final version in its entirety. It raised endless questions! The stakes were high, because these pages do not form an avant-texte as one might expect, that is to say, lines roughly equivalent to those we know with a few corrections to the proofs. Rather, they are assimilated into what I would call a "metatext", in other words, to several tellings of the same episode, fascinating in both their uniqueness and singularity.

It is this that makes this publication so rich. For the first time, Marcel Pagnol, who has repeatedly theorized the method of making his films, implicitly reveals to us his modus operandi in terms of writing. I have fought for a long time to gain acknowledgement that, contrary to popular belief, Pagnol’s writing is not ‘spoken language’. A study of the work as a whole clearly shows that the simplicity and sobriety of its language conceals an intense search for purity of style. Look at his youthful efforts, such as Pirouettes or La Petite Fille aux yeux sombres, in which Pagnol appears extremely precious and bombastic. Let us recall that he unreservedly admired Edmond Rostand and that he aspired, at the beginning of his career, to achieve the writing of a play in verse; prose, a minor art form in his eyes, appeared too futile to attempt. He subsequently discovered the difficulty of expressing himself beautifully, of creating beautiful images, of producing dialogues which, in his own words, “have life”. And it can be explained – because he wanted to write alexandrines, he at first expressed himself in grandiose terms.

Pagnol's handwriting is like a rough diamond that has been carved over time by his skill and hard work. (…)’

Coffret à plat du manuscrit de Marcel Pagnol

In the same collection : Le Château de ma mère (My Mother's Castle)

1,800 hand-numbered copies

Each slipcase is handmade.

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Customer reviews

Manon N

Un transport exemplaire, très protégé pour le voyage et une vraie merveille pour un cadeau de Noël rare.

Bernard M

Un ouvrage exceptionnel magnifiquement ouvragé et une perspective de longues heures de lecture et de comparaison avec la version éditée en Poche et celle lue par l'auteur. Merci de cette publication.


Je vous félicite par ailleurs pour cette édition.
Cet ouvrage est un trésor!

Magnifiques ouvrages, et site très fonctionnel, avec un bon suivi. Les ouvrages arrivent à temps, parfaitement protégés.

RAS...Tout est parfait....De la commande à la réception (l'article en lui-même, la rapidité de livraison et la communication...)

Bonjour, Depuis la création de votre société, j’ai eu la chance d’acquérir tous les manuscrits que vous avez faits revivre. Je n’ai pas besoin de vous dire que je suis un fan de la première heure. La qualité de vos manuscrits est excellente. J’attendrais toujours avec ferveur le suivant pour enrichir ma collection. Encore grand merci à toute l’équipe des éditions des saints pères.

je reste a l'affut de vos publications, ce n'est pas pour moi personnellement proche de la porte de sortie je souhaite constituer pour ma fille agrégé de lettre et passionnée une bibliothèque digne de figurer dans sa bibliothèque personnelle et dés que je reçois un avis de publication et selon l'auteur je me rends acquéreur. Je vous félicite de garder en mémoire vos clients potentiels et de les tenir informés de vos nouvelles publications.

Des livres d'exception dans leur facture. L'emballage est super top et si problème (c'est arrivé une fois, Rimbaud Manuscrit) retour réparation rapide et sérieux. J'apprécie également la grande taille des livres qu'impose l'impression manuscrite. Quant à la qualité des ouvrages c'est vraiment remarquable et unique. Merci à vous.

Tout est remarquable, depuis l'annonce personnalisée faite au client régulier jusqu'à la livraison. La qualité des ouvrages ne se discute pas : elle est simplement exceptionnelle.

Très beaux livres, merci

Bonjour, J'ai commandé, le manuscrit de Marcel Pagnol, le livre est magnifique et très lisible, mais je le trouve un peu trop grand en regard de la taille du texte qu'il contient. La page de texte manuscrite fait 20 cm de haut alors que le livre lui fait 33 cm environ. Je pense qu'une hauteur de 25 cm pour le livre aurait suffit, car cela laissait 2,5 cm de marge autour du texte et non 6 ou 7 cm qui sont inutiles et gâchent du papier (pas très écologique). Cdlt, V.Bidault J'avoue que la grande taille de ce livre me fait hésiter à en commander d'autres, alors que c'était mon intention au départ, car je le répète cette reproduction est magnifique.

Bonjour, seule remarque sur"La Gloire de mon père" : les titres en blanc ne me paraissent pas pertinents. Peu lisibles. Sinon remarquable ouvrage Pour quand un René Char ?

Magnifique ouvrage !

Superbe livre, maison d’édition au top.

Livraison et service client parfait. Le livre étant un cadeau pour Noël, je ne peux juger de la qualité du produit.

Produit exceptionnel

Très bien. Livraison impeccable Très belle qualité. Merci

Qualité de service parfaite. Service client également.

Très bons "produits" que j'apprécie UNE SEULE FAUSSE NOTE: Les contes de Charles Perrault qui m'a retenu de faire d'autres achats avec le texte de VIAN je me suis "réconcilié" = plus de fausses notes

La livraison a pris un peu plus de temps que prévu

Rien à dire. Un manuscrit ( La Gloire de Mon Père) qui représente un vrai régal.

Bravo et Merci !