There are books that you return to regularly and I do this every time I come home, Pablo and Virginia, Marcel Mithois. It is one of those books that, for the moment, age or special connection, remain imprinted on the literary vital memory and you have to reread them from time to time. To continue consolidating yourself in that impression and to enjoy yourself, which is also important. Today I am talking about him.
Journalist, novelist, playwright and screenwriter French, was born on June 15, 1922 in Port Saïd (Egypt) and died in Paris in 2012. Author of several successful works with Jacqueline Maillan as Croque Monsieur y Sunburn, he was also a screenwriter for the television series Les Quatre Cents Coups de Virginie, adapted from his column in the weekly Days of France.
At the same time they also gave him a humorous column which was Pablo and Virginia, and what had much success. He wrote more than two hundred during four years without interruption and also published the book with a selection of some of them. They even made a television series which was also adapted here and could be seen in TVE in 1968. They starred in it Carlos Mendy like Pablo and Conchita Montes like Virginia.
Pablo, Virginia and me
The stories of Pablo and Virginia, a Parisian marriage without children, is a chronicle of his time - the sixties - both social and sentimental, shown through his adventures and misadventures. Us Pablo tells them in the first person and all are in reference to or starring Virginia, a woman with a very special character, impulsive and sometimes unconscious but always funny.
I came to them when I discovered them one day in my eighties on the shelf in a room of my aunts in the country. The cover made me immediately pick up the book and glance at it. Then I found out that it was a gift from my mother to my father, which were subscribed to Círculo de Lectores. The issue was from 1964. And I took it home.
It hardly took me long to read it and it was one of my first influences for my personal taste for reading and writing with male narrative voice.
A parisian marriage
With today's eyes Pablo and Virginia It does not stop being a reading as naive as it lacks more pretensions than entertaining with a humor based on the completely opposite characters of the protagonists and the many equivocal or extraordinary situations in which they are involved.
La calm, measured and understanding puts Pablo, simple and quiet office worker, married to Virginia, a housewife, and very much in love with her. He tells us, with a lot of phlegm but also affection, tenderness and irony, episodes starring her, which is the opposite, resolute, impulsive and sometimes unconscious, but always determined to undertake something or do favors. The key between the two is the mutual condescension for those weaknesses or defects.
Thus, 25 chosen adventures that are in the book and told in short chapters ranging from its vicissitudes to learn to drive or swim -two of the funniest- until organize parties for children of friends or disastrous card games, make of baby sister with some impossible children or take care of the huge dog (which is not) of another friend. But he also insists on Learn to dance classical dance or the twist, write a book and play golf, which reports a series of situations which are more bizarre and fun than Virginia tries to solve in the best or most convenient way for her.
There are also some chapters set in vacation travel or with friends, such as two seafaring voyages full of unforeseen and misunderstandings, going out to the field with another pair of couples in tandem or a funny duck hunting in another of those Virginia attempts to stand out in society.
A more than light and friendly reading that can only be achieved perhaps in bookstores with tradition or second and third hand in the literary universe of the internet.