Marcel Pagnol

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Marcel Pagnol, 1948

Marcel Pagnol (born February 28, 1895 in Aubagne , Bouches-du-Rhône , † April 18, 1974 in Paris ) was a French writer , playwright and director .


Pagnol's father, Joseph, was a primary school teacher and his mother, Pauline Henriette (known as Augustine) Lansot, was a seamstress. His brother Paul was born in 1898, his sister Germaine in 1902 and his brother René in 1909. Soon after the birth of the last child, the mother died of a lung disease.

Pagnol grew up in Provence and from 1904 in Marseille . He initially wanted to become an English teacher, but the success of his early stage plays led him to pursue a career as a dramaturge. He attended high school in Thiers and later graduated from Aix-en-Provence University . In 1915 Pagnol was exempted from military service due to a weak constitution . In 1916 he married Simone Collin.

From 1927 Pagnol lived as a freelance writer. His son Jacques emerged from a liaison with Kitty Murphy . In 1932 he left Paris and founded his own film studio in Marseille. In 1933, Orane Demazis gave birth to his son Jean Pierre. In 1935, Yvonne Pouperon became the mother of Pagnol's third child, Francine. In 1941 he divorced his first wife; a year later he sold his film studio. In 1944 Pagnol became president of the Société des Auteurs et Compositeurs Dramatiques.

In 1945 he married Jacqueline Bouvier, and a year later they had their son Frédéric. In the same year, 1946, Pagnol became a member of the Académie Française . The daughter Estelle was born in 1951, but died in 1954. In 1951, the year Pagnol's fifth child was born, his father Joseph, the hero of his autobiographical books, died.

Marcel Pagnol, who was honored as Honorary Consul of Portugal and Monaco, died in 1974. Like most of his family, he is buried in La Treille , the place that shaped his childhood. The hilly landscape of the Collines du Garlaban there, in which Pagnol's most famous novels and films are set, is also known as the "Collines de Pagnol".


Pagnol became popular at the Petit Théâtre de Paris with the plays Marius (1929), Fanny (1931, later successful as a musical of the same name by the two librettists SN Behrman and Joshua Logan and the composer Harold Rome on Broadway ) and César (1936) deal with the people of his hometown of Marseille. These pieces were also successfully adapted for cinema , and so Pagnol devoted himself mainly to this medium during the 1930s and created several other classics of French cinema: Angèle (1934), Regain (1937) and The Baker's Wife (1939).

Between 1957 and 1959 Pagnol's autobiographical trilogy Souvenirs d'enfance (German title: A Childhood in Provence) was published . This has been standard reading for French students for decades and has established Pagnols' unbroken popularity in France to this day. These works have been translated into numerous languages, in addition to German (by Pamela Wedekind ) and English, including Chinese and Danish. A fourth part was published posthumously in 1977. The childhood memories were also processed into two movies by Yves Robert in 1990 .

  • La gloire de mon père . Pastorelly, Monte-Carlo 1957 (filmed as The Glory of My Father 1990).
  • Le chateau de ma mère . Pastorelly, Monte-Carlo 1957 (filmed as My Mother's Castle in 1990).
  • Le temps des secrets . Pastorelly, Monte-Carlo 1959 (Marcel and Isabelle. The time of secrets) .
  • Le temps des amours . Juillard, Paris 1977 (The Time of Love, from the estate).

Other publications (selection)


  • La petite fille aux yeux sombres (1921)
  • Le Mariage de Peluque (1921)
    • Released in 1932 under the title Pirouettes
    • German by Dagmar Türck-Wagner under the title Pirouetten der Liebe
  • L'Eau des collines (1963, The Waters of the Hills ), novel in two parts, published as separate books:
    • Jean de Florette , first part, filmed in 1986 as Jean Florette , directed by Claude Berri
    • Manon des sources , part two, filmed in 1986 as Manon's Revenge by Claude Berri
    • Republished in one volume: Éditions Juillard, Paris 1986.
    • German by Pamela Wedekind published in 1964 by Langen-Müller in Munich under the title Die Wasser der Hügel , from 1966 to 1967 by Rütten / Loening in Berlin, from 1968 to 1973 by dtv Munich, bound edition by Niemeyer in Hameln (1995) and since 1997 as paperback by Piper Verlag ( ISBN 3-492-22428-8 ).


  • Les Marchands de gloire (1925)
  • Jazz (1926)
  • Topaze (1928); Translated from Wolfgang Barth: Topaze . Comedy. MONS Verlag , Dresden 2017
  • Catulle (1929)
  • Marius (1929), transl .: To the golden anchor (1929)
  • Fanny (1931)
  • César (1946), stage version
  • Judas (1955)
  • Fabien (1956)
  • Angèle (1978)
  • La Femme du Boulanger (1985)


  • Hamlet by William Shakespeare (1947)
  • Les Bucoliques by Virgil (1958)
  • Le Songe d'une nuit d'été by William Shakespeare (1970)

Filmography (selection)


  • Claude Beylie: Marcel Pagnol ou le cinéma en liberté. Ed. Atlas et al. a., Paris 1986. ISBN 2-7312-0555-5 .
  • Brett Christopher Bowles: Representing rural France. A cultural history of Marcel Pagnol's cinema (1933-1938). Univ. Diss., Ark, Pa., The Pennsylvania State.
  • Norbert Calmels : Rencontres avec Marcel Pagnol de lÀcadémie Française. Pastorelly, Monte-Carlo 1978.
  • Raymond Castans: The Light of Provence. Life and work of Marcel Pagnol. Langen, Munich 1990. ISBN 3-7844-2282-9 .
  • Raymond Castans, André Bernard: Les films de Marcel Pagnol. Julliard, Paris 1982. ISBN 2-260-00309-5 .
  • Jean-Paul Clébert: La Provence de Pagnol. Édisud, Aix-en-Provence 1986. ISBN 2-85744-268-8 .
  • Michel Galabru: Galabru raconte Pagnol. Flammarion, Paris 1999. ISBN 2-08-067746-2 .
  • Rudolf Geissler: The old idol as a modern god. On the role of money in Marcel Pagnol's comedy "Topaze". In: Kürbiskern 3/1986, Munich 1986. pp. 137-143. ISSN  0023-5016
  • Jean-Jacques Jelot-Blanc: Pagnol inconnu. Lafon et al. a., Paris 2000. ISBN 2-84098-102-5 .
  • Paule Gounelle Kline: Le theâtre de Pagnol. Personnages et thèmes in the oeuvres de jeunesse. Lang, New York et al. a. 1986. (American university studies; Series 2, Romance languages ​​and literature; 46) ISBN 0-8204-0320-2 .
  • Andrée Tudesque: Marcel Pagnol de la tradition bucolique. Reichert, Worms 1991. ISBN 3-924343-21-7 .
  • Catherine S. Webster: Pagnol, Guitry, and Cocteau. The playwright as filmmaker. Univ. Diss., New York, NY, 2005.
  • Daniel Winkler: Marcel Pagnol on the way from theater to film: Marius, Fanny, César. In: Michael Lommel u. a. (Ed.): French theater films - between surrealism and existentialism. Transcript, Bielefeld 2004. (= Medienumbrüche; 5) pp. 133–158. ISBN 3-89942-279-1 .

Web links

Commons : Marcel Pagnol  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

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