Today in Gay History

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August 17

Born
Roger Peyrefitte
1907 -

ROGER PEYREFITTE, French author and novelist, born (d: 2000); For a time, Roger Peyrefitte was very much the enfant terrible of the contemporary French literary world. He has been attacked as a pornographer, and a mischief-maker, all of which are true, but he is essentially a very funny satirist of French manners and hypocrisy, the very epitome of the Gay archetype of the Jester and the Contrary. One of his more recent books Les Juifs (The Jews) caused a sensation because it “proved” that virtually every one of any importance at all – from the Pope, to Winston Churchill to J.F.K – is Jewish.

He was, needless to say, attacked for his “anti-Semitism,” when, in fact, his entire point was to skewer anti-Semitism. Its critics notwithstanding, the book sold 200,000 copies in France alone. A few years before, he caused a minor scandal by accusing Pope Paul VI of being homosexual. Since he was never prosecuted, one can assume either Christian charity or no contest on the part of Rome. His Gay novels, Special Friendships (1945), and The Exile of Capri (1961), the latter a fictionalized biography of Adelsward Fersen, are particularly recommended.


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