My Mother's Castle - Wikipedia
Le Château de ma mère () My Mother's Castle Alternative. Synopsis. Story picks up from the end of 'La Gloire de mon père' and continues the story of. Marcel Pagnol, La gloire de mon père, Le château de ma mère . Relationships. See more Our Pétanque season will kick off end of May and will continue all along the dry season for the pleasure of all the out-and-out fans!. This item:Le chateau de ma mere by Nathalie Roussel DVD $ Only 1 left in stock . this is a lovely story with a happy ending and a fascinating tale to tell.
Publication date My Mother's Castle French: It was the subject of a film made by Yves Robert in which is faithful to the original plot but which includes material from the third book in the four-novel series, Le Temps des Secrets. Plot summary[ edit ] The book begins during Marcel's summer holiday. He describes his almost daily hunting trips with his father Joseph and his uncle Jules, and his growing friendship with a country boy named Lili. On the night before he is to return to the city to begin school, he plans to run away with the help of Lili.
He leaves a note for his family saying goodbye and climbs through the window. As the night goes on, Marcel begins to grow scared, even seeing a ghost and changes his mind and returns before he is discovered although it implied that his father had discovered the letter through a few jokes he makes. When he returns to the city, he is under extreme scholarly pressure due to his candidacy for a prestigious scholarship. He longs to return to the countryside and his wish is granted when they return for the Christmas holiday, much to Marcel's delight.
Although only a few kilometers outside Marseilles the journey to the holiday home is time consuming as public transport takes them a short portion of the way and the rest is a walk along an 8 km, winding road carrying all their possessions. After the Christmas holiday, the family expresses desire to return more often to the countryside, but Joseph does not see the logic in leaving the city on a Saturday to get to the countryside in the late afternoon or evening and then return on Sunday.
Later Marcel's mother takes it upon herself to befriend the headmistress and convinces her to give Joseph's Monday morning duties to another teacher, allowing the family to stay at the villa until Monday morning.
Soon they begin to go almost every weekend. Page 85 Au revoir, petit Lili. He was hard-working and conscientious and a former pupil pays tribute to these attributes in his professional life.
Bouzigue tells him that he owes his own successful career to all the effort M. Pasquier had put in to get him through his certificate examinations. It is out of his deep sense of gratitude that the canal superintendent insists on lending them a key so that they can take a shortcut to the holiday home page Mr Pagnol Has a strong sense of personal integrity. Her husband, incredulous, asked for a full account of how she had done it and was scandalised: Il fallut tout lui raconter par le menu….
Pagnol believed in abiding by the letter of the law.
It took him many long days of heart searching before he could reconcile himself to flout official regulations by trespassing along the canal bank. He prepared himself very conscientiously for this new responsibility. Only after long preparation was he able to see himself as an unofficial canal inspector and lead his family along the canal path with clear conscience, holding his maintenance notebook and his pencil in his hand. As a result, Marcel's father, knowing himself to be in the wrong, felt that he could not honourably continue in his teaching post and saw no other course than resignation.
Mme Pagnol, who, as we have seen, was more flexible, told him that he was exaggerating their predicament. Pagnol, in deep depression was adamant. He disapproves of the immorality, which Bouzigue light-heartedly portrays in his tale of his sister's colourful life story page Enjoying the freedom of a husband who was away a lot of the time, her first rock been that of a tram depot manager.
She had improved her condition in life by infidelity to her husband by jumping first to the rock of the tram depot manager, and had progressed to ever more illustrious rocks, until she now was landed on the rock of a town councilor.
She was, in fact, thinking of jumping over to the rock of the head of the Prefecture. Pagnol was not impressed and said disapprovingly that men must be stupid, but Bouzigue said his sister knew how to go about it. When Paul and Marcel tried to peep at the photo Bouzigue produced of her fantastic figure, their mother sent them to bed.
The views of M. Pagnol on this behavior were quite predictable in spite of his gratitude to Bouzigue. Although this is light hearted and amusing, it does remind us that the new Republic, working to establish a responsible and respected democracy, was discredited by well-known cases of official corruption and sexual scandal at the highest level.
When socialising required him to share a drink, for example in the company of Bouzigue, he was careful to dilute the alcohol with Vichy water. He became very anxious when Uncle Jules produced a bottle of liqueur on his surprise arrival at their Christmas meal at la Bastide.
He was very relieved when Jules reassured him that the bottle was non-alcoholic. Joseph was doubly anxious, because as they had had no wine in the house, he was pouring Bouzigue Pernod from the bottle that Mme Pagnol kept hidden in a bedroom wardrobe for the use of alcoholic visitors.
Pagnol was particularly opposed to the abuse of alcohol because of its deleterious effects on the human character and thus on the quality of life. The subsequent encounter of the Pagnols with this fearsome man gives a dramatic exhibition of the character degradation resulting from alcoholism. Joseph Pagnol was by no means alone in regarding alcohol as a social evil. The growth of this problem was a major concern for European governments at the turn of the twentieth century.
We may note that it was in that the eminent French statistician, Jacques Bertillon, published his comprehensive report: In the traditional European order, derived from the Roman Empire, the King or Emperor and Church had exerted absolute power, with the nobility forming part of the ruling elite with absolute power over the common people. The French Revolution of had overturned this, dispossessing King, Church and nobility.
This had allowed the French people a third attempt to set up a Republic. The aim of democracy of course was to empower the common people, but there were still many French people who longed for the certainties and the stability of the old order and monarchist and Bonapartist factions had significant support. To a committed French Republican therefore the nobility was the enemy.
Background Notes to Le Chateau de ma mere
Mr Pasquier shows a hostile reaction when he is told that the occupant of the first country house, whose grounds they pass through, is a nobleman. However, when the Pagnol family met the nobleman who owned the first country house they found that he was neither insolent nor cruel. On the contrary, he was kindly and helpful and showed them the greatest courtesy, being especially attentive to Marcel's mother. He advised them to join the canal by coming through his front gate, then walking up his drive.
It was the count's giant gamekeeper who used to carry the luggage of the Pasquier over the first stretch of the journey. Every week the nobleman arranged for Mme Pasquier to be presented with a bouquet of red roses and these are put in a vase in their home and kept all week. Marcel makes a comment about the irony of royal roses on display in their strongly republican home- page During the nineteenth century, after the bitter experience of popular revolutions, the Vatican had regarded the new democratic movements establishing themselves across Europe, and the Popes had condemned them.
In the contemporary French political arena, the monarchist and Bonapartist parties, mentioned above, that were campaigning to overturn the French government and the Republic could normally expect the support of the Church. As a result, most republicans, including M. Pagnol regarded the Church of Rome as their political enemy. The Republicans were at variance with the Church also because of the prime importance which they gave to rationalism in their political philosophy.
The conflict between mysticism or superstition and rationalism is presented amusingly at several points in the book and republican rationalism sometimes seems to have a shaky hold. After Uncle Jules had told them, during their Christmas meal, that at Midnight Mass he had prayed to God that the family of Joseph Pagnol might be restored to the faith, Marcel went to bed very troubled.
He thinks of the case of a young man doing military service, whose father wrote to his Commanding Officer, an old friend, in the hope of making his life easier. In fact the C. The request for higher intervention saw the young conscript thrown into a rat infested military dungeon.
To calm his fears, Marcel finds an ingenious explanation for the co-existence of the two opposing beliefs: After running away from home during a winter night, Marcel had thought he saw a big dark figure go past them. Lili knew exactly who it was. It was the ghost of Big Felix, a shepherd of the olden times, who had been murdered by thieves and who came back looking for his lost treasure.
Marcel replies vehemently with the truths that his father had taught him: Et les signes de croix c'est l'obscurantisme.
However, Marcel is far from convinced and using some deviousness, he got Lili to show him how to cross himself. We find that other members of the household of Joseph Pagnol, failed to reach the rationalist certainties of the head of the family. After hearing the words of Uncle Jules, Marcel becomes anxious. It was a time when there was a new optimism that the advances in science and technology heralded a more prosperous future.
In France it was an era of relative peace, helped by a new spirit of tolerance. The movement towards social and religious change in sixteenth and seventeenth century Europe had led to mass slaughter of innocent citizens on a scale and with a savagery never surpassed in history.
In the late eighteenth century, the reformers of the French Revolution had allowed their ideals to be swallowed up by the Terror. The Third Republic was bringing a radical change of government with no offence to civilised values. In spite of one very black moment, the childhood years related by Marcel Pagnol form a kind of idyll.
The happiness comes from a spirit of human love and tolerance. Uncle Jules said he was going to come up to the cottage by bicycle each morning and leave each evening. I saw that he would dearly like to be with us. Paul had drawn his own conclusions: It had become bitterly cold now.
To beat the cold Mother wrapped us up in a vast assortment of clothes - Humorous description: Her coat with rabbit fur cuffs and collar and her fur bonnet made her look like the beautiful Canadian skaters on post-office calendars. After a quick lunch we set off.
As the shop in La Treille would not have the same variety of stocks in the winter we carried large amounts of provisions. Also as the family was not rich enough to have a second supply of pots and pans at la Bastide Neuve - we had to carry all these with us. They were in a huge rucksack carried by father - packed with chestnuts to fill up the spaces and stop them rattling.
We caught the tram at the Gare de l'Est. This station is at the entrance to a tunnel. The last word in progress had once been the steam tram whose smoke had blackened the walls of the tunnel, but things move on: The queue didn't grow any longer as more and more people came - only more compressed.
When the tram arrived my mother found herself swept in the rush into a good seat by two stout ladies. Pagnol and the boys had to stand on the rear platform with their luggage.
The route seems very different from the one we had known in the summer, but we walked at a good pace, sustained by plentiful snacks. Then I begin to make out high above us the cone of one of the big peaks: As we walk towards the hills I think of Lili. On approaching the village, I see a little figure in the shadows. We run to meet each other, then restrain our excitement and shake hands like grown-ups.
Lili covers his embarrassment by running to my mother to take her luggage from her. I am happy that Lili had lied and had come just to see me. However, we did catch some thrushes thanks to a few aludes that Lili had kept.
According to the local custom, thirteen varieties of dessert were eaten: Lili, our guest, the peasant boy copied all my movements. He was hypnotised by the wealth of all our presents hanging on the Christmas tree. At that point, to our surprise, Uncle Jules arrived on his bicycle, bringing presents.
My father is anxious because Jules has brought a bottle of liqueur. Note the sober, serious principle of the modern French Republican. Jules reassures him that it is non-alcoholic. Then Uncle explains that he had gone to the midnight mass alone - because of the baby - and had set off to see them immediately afterwards. Jules talks of the beauty of the decoration of the church and of the carols. He announces he prayed for my family at Church, that we might be granted faith.
My father gulps, he doesn't believe in the beneficent, personal Christian God but thanks Jules for the sentiment: The two men embrace each other.
I realise for the first time what true friendship is. While the latter was doing his military service, his father wrote to his C. As a loyal friend, the colonel immediately sent his adjutant to bring Trinquet to see him.
I was afraid that Uncle Jules, by drawing the attention of God to us might bring down on us the retribution of a superior authority that we had not catered for — and in our case did not believe in. Page This Christmas week was like a dream - though not comparable with last summer. I remember the cold dark mornings - the arrival of Uncle Jules on his bicycle and Lili.
We hunters left the cottage before dawn and returned at nightfall usually with a good bag. At the end of this Christmas break, when our parents were packing their bags, my mother suggested that we should come up every Saturday in future - for the children's health. My father said that would only be possible if the tramline was extended, as otherwise they would spend too much of the two days travelling. Mother hinted that she had some plan for her husband to get Monday mornings off but she was keeping the details secret.
After just a few days later the two of them were shopping together, and Mother went to her house for a cup of tea. It was some time after this that my father read on the duty roster that he was to work Thursday mornings instead of Monday mornings. He was then faced by the problem of how to thank the headmaster - but mother had already done it - sending roses to his wife.
Joseph was astonished at his wife's genius for intrigue. He asked for all the minute detail of how she had done it and in the end he was scandalised — but full of admiration: Il fallut tout lui raconter par le menu…. Unfortunately with the heavy load that we had to carry, this proved to be an exhausting journey. Thirty yards ahead of us, we saw a gate open in the stone wall.
A man came through and locked it behind him. He told my father he was the canal overseer and that was thanks to my father who had put himself out to get him through his exams. Bouzigue helped us to carry our load but was amazed how far we were going- more than 8 kilometers on foot.
He offered to take us along the canal bank instead. Going in a straight line the canal path would take them to the approaches of La Treille in half an hour.
My father was doubtful whether it was proper for us to trespass on canal property: Mais crois-tu qu'il nous soit permis de te suivre? Also it was she who had got the deputy director of the canal his job and so he can't get at him. Perhaps a glimpse of public corruption. Perhaps it was with the awareness of this protection that Joseph followed Bouzigue taking his family on this trespass.
These hedges were formed by little trees, bushes and shrubs of fennel, clematis and wild roses. Bouzigue is delighted with this information, which he will include in his report. Little Paul chimed in to say the canal was a sieve. The walk along the canal takes us through four big private estates surrounding country mansions: It is surrounded by flowerbeds, vineyards and orchards. The estate belongs to a nobleman who must be ill according to Bouzigue, who has never ever seen him.
As a result Joseph had the conviction that in general the nobility was insolent and cruel and the fact that they had cut their heads off during the Great Revolution of only served to prove it-Page Bouzigue says the nobleman, who owns the first estate is a Comte and no-one has a bad word to say about him.
There is an old farmer and a gamekeeper, who is also old - a giant of a man, who has never got into conversation. This is always closed up. Bouzigue tells them that a family of peasants looks after the house. The deaf grandfather is always talking of the war of The wall to is 4 metres high and is topped with broken bottles. This is the biggest and the finest of the four houses.
My Mother's Castle () - IMDb
The owner lives in Paris and you only see the keeper. He's an old army adjutant - usually drunk - but he's got a stiff leg and couldn't catch them if they ran, says Bouzigue. We were all frightened by this account and take cover behind the canal hedge as we move past. Mother was not fit and found it hard. Three times in all we made this manoeuvre. In proud delight, Bouzigue says his key goes quicker than a car.
I doubted this having seen this prodigious advertisement for a Panhard car: Bouzigue offers my father a spare key so that he can always take this route. My father, always absolutely correct in what he does, refuses. Parce que je suis un fonctionnairemoi aussi. Bouzigue offers his official peaked cap as well and also his sister would make sure that any official complaint made to the canal company went no further.
Finally Bouzigue convinces my father that he can be of service to the canal company by making an examination of the condition of the cement each time he passes:. Pagnol, for the time being, takes the key, but says he is not certain he will use it.
He wrote, as we walked, notes on the state of the canal in order to mitigate our trespass. Nonetheless, the rest of us crept anxiously along, with me going on ahead as scout.
Paul, we found out on the way, had hidden a kitchen knife under his coat as protection against that final, menacing keeper. When mother realized, she asked him to hand it over as he was only a little boy. He replied to his mother to stab him in the eye he had left, because she was taller than he was: We were terrified of this keeper of the 4th chateau.
At the villa Paul and I dreamt up different fantastic and horrendous ways of killing the keeper. Mother looked better and we boys grew stronger: My father sang happily all week, until Saturday when he had to summon up his courage.
He was very tall with a white beard and wore a felt hat and a long grey velvet coat. My father told us hot to be afraid and to carry on walking. As we neared, we saw that the man had a huge scar on his face stretching to one eye socket from which the eye was missing. The old man says he has been waiting for us.
We notice that his gamekeeper is there as well hidden by the bushes. He had given the order to tie up the dogs on Saturday evenings and Monday mornings at the time we pass. In fact, the old Count has already spoken to Bouzigue who told him the whole story. He turns to my Mother who, he says, seems overloaded and with a courteous bow, he takes her heavy parcels from her: The old nobleman then turns to my little sister and mother tells her to smile nicely at the gentleman.
The little girl is frightened by the scar and says he is too ugly. The old man explains to mother it had been caused by a German lance in a hop-field in Alsace 35 years ago ie the war of He suggests she should tell the little girl a cat did it, so she never takes risks with them.
Page On leaving us, the Count gives us his card and tells us to join the canal path using his front driveway as it is a shorter route. Above - Mme Pagnol as portrayed in the film of As the Count bids them goodbye, he stops to make the elegant bow of a man of noble birth to my mother and kisses her hand. That evening my parents read his card and see that he had been Colonel of the First Cuirassier.
He confirmed that it was the First Cuirassier that had been at the famous battle of Reichshoffen. At the battle of Reichshoffen in AugustLe Premier Cuirassier, an elite cavalry brigade, had made heroic but futile cavalry charges against a Prussian army that outnumbered them three to one and had superior fire-power.
They had become legendary for their bravery and sacrifice. After the memorable meeting with the Count, our walk across the first estate became the great Saturday festivity. The Gateman used to open the front portal and Wladimir would appear to help us to carry our burdens. We used to go to greet the Colonel. One day my father showed him an old book he had unearthed, in which there was an account of the battle of Reichshoffen with the Colonel's name very prominent.
The Colonel did not accept this as a true account and at once set about writing his own version. He added that he hoped his cantankerous master would soon kick the bucket. He advised us that if we saw the windows open, we should not go along the canal bank but always take the lower path next to the tomato plants, where we would be out of sight from the house.
Carrying on the pretence for the sake of the man watching from the window, he proceeded to take our names, which he invented himself: Then, at his suggestion, we all ran off for effect: Having got to the other side of the estate wall, we paused and laughed heartily about it, while my father started to moralise about the basic goodness of the common man and his faith in human progress through education.
Every week we took the concealed way and met Dominique, the peasant. My father would wink and say: And this weekly joke caused both parties great amusement. Every week Dominique gave us fruit and vegetables, and Mother gave him a packet of pipe tobacco. Mother used to get in a particularly bad state, thinking about the drunkard gamekeeper and his sick guard dog.
He said that it was only because the man had taken to drink, an old drunk was rarely aggressive. Still she always made a supreme effort so that we could get across the last estate. Page There were no Sunday outings in June, the month of my scholarship exams. I enjoyed the glory of being the champion that the school had entered for these exams and played it out to the full.
The headmaster himself thought the question unfair - I felt some bitterness but forgot all with the awareness that the end of term and our holiday was near. Page - The 30th July was the solemn eve of the event — the start of the Summer holidays at La Bastide. I was happy to be seeing Lili again We would be even more loaded. Mother said it would be necessary to use the mule of Francois, but my father had to reveal that he had spent every penny stocking up for the stay.
I had two haversacks and had packets under both arms. Paul, bigger now, had a rucksack so full, you could not see his head from the back. In his left hand he carried a loaded string bag and in his right hand held the hand of his little sister, who clutched her doll tightly.
My father a huge pack and two cases and also had things to be carried wedged under each arm. Mother intended to carry two cases but I spared her by taking things from her load secretly and dividing them between Paul and me. We were so encumbered that it was very hard for us to get on and off the bus.
We were in a happy mood but other people were sorry for us and offered help. There it seemed that Wladimir had come out specially to wait for us. He had the customary gift of roses for mother but he was alone, as his master was ill with gout. When we had got through the door, however, we found that Dominique was not there and the windows of the third house were closed. The walk across this estate seemed long and we needed a rest under a fig tree half way.
We made another stop before we opened the door to the fourth house. The one that caused us the greatest anxiety.