Jeremy Mercer ❖ Online

Marseille Reading

October 14, 2015

For the past few months, I’ve had the pleasure to work on the foundation for the Marseille, je t’aime film project. It’s been a delight to once again be involved in a cultural project in my favorite city and there will certainly be more news about the movie in this space in the near future. But, in the meantime, it seems we are on the cusp of signing a very high profile director and I was asked to provide him with a list of reading material about Marseille. I thought it might be interesting to share…

Hello all,

Here are some magazine and book suggestions for xxxxxx:

1) This Harper’s magazine piece on Marseille is iconic; it touches upon the North African culture in the city and is considered the best essay written about Marseille in English in the past 20 years:
2) This National Geographic essay is very famous and has sensational images of Marseille; it’s a bit cliché, but still wonderful:
3) An English writer friend just reminded me today about the wonderful book about Pytheas, the Marseille sailor who discovered Britain; it has a great look at the Greek history of Marseille is:
4) He probably knows this already, but The French Connection is celebrated for its portrait of the Marseille heroin trade and was the basis for the film:
5) Mark Twain has interesting things to say about Marseille in The Innocents Abroad, but I could just send him the pertinent pages as it is a long book:
6) The Izzo trilogy is translated into English, and the first book is really a great window onto Marseille:
7) Claude McKay’s Banjo is a really important book when it comes to African-American literature and evokes pre-WW II Marseille, back when the Panier was home to legal brothels.
8) Obviously, The Count of Monte Cristo is the greatest revenge story in history; Tarentino boasted he was going to outdo Dumas with his Kill Bill movies:
9) And, not to fall into self-promotion, but my book about the last man guillotined in France covers 3000 years of Marseille history, from the city’s failed alliance with Pompey during the Roman Civil War to the myth of Lazarus arriving in Marseille to proselytize to Nostradamus’ battle against the plague to the final guillotining in the history of France at the Baumettes prison in 1977:–1977-ebook/dp/B006CQ98RM/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1444667973&sr=1-1&keywords=jeremy+mercer+guillotine
Related Categories: New & Notable.

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photo : Stefan Bladh

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