The 12-year-old Alain-Philippe had a minor role in the film Les Amitiés particulières (English title: This Special Friendship), released in 1964, based on the award-winning autobiographical novel by Roger Peyrefitte. Malagnac met Peyrefitte, from when they started a long association personally and later professionally. This formed the background to Peyrefitte's novel, Notre Amour (Éd. Flammarion, 1967) and to L'Enfant de cœur, (not only the child he loved but an allusion to Malagnac's role as a choirboy (Enfant de Choeur) in the film and to his naivety in business matters).
At the age of eighteen Malagnac became Peyrefitte's personal secretary. He was a son of well-to-do upper middle class parents but Peyrefitte arranged him to be adopted by a French aristocrat. She had no descendants and wanted to transmit her name d'Argens de Villèle, which Malagnac was able to adjoin to his own.
As an adult Malagnac's career (financed by Peyrefitte) included to be the proprietor of Le Bronx, one of the first openly gay night clubs in Paris, and briefly managing French singer Sylvie Vartan, a disastrous undertaking which almost bankrupted Peyrefitte, who was forced to sell his library, his mint collection, artworks and erotic antiquities to pay the resulting debts.
Among the others: Romy Schneider, Roger Peyrefitte, Annabel Buffet, Vincent Roux, Sylvie Vartan and Alain Philipe Malagnac - Saint-Tropez 1974
Roger Peyrefitte was a French diplomat, writer of bestseller novels and gossipy non-fiction. On the set of Les amitiés particulières (adaptation from his novel), Peyrefitte met the 12 year old Alain-Philippe Malagnac d'Argens de Villèle; Peyrefitte tells the story of their relationship in Notre amour ("Our Love" - 1967) and L'Enfant de cœur ("Child of the Heart" - 1978). Malagnac later married performer Amanda Lear; on December 16, 2000, Malagnac perished by smoke in a fire. He died just six weeks after Peyrefitte.
In 1978 Malagnac met Amanda Lear in Paris, and in April 1979, while on a trip to the United States, they married in Las Vegas. Their marriage lasted twenty one years until his death.
On Saturday, December 16th, 2000, Malagnac persished by smoke in a fire at his recently-bought farm house in Saint-Étienne-du-Grès. He died just six weeks after Peyrefitte.
Roger Peyrefitte (17 August 1907 – 5 November 2000) was a French diplomat, writer of bestseller novels and gossipy non-fiction, and a defender of gay rights.
Born in Castres, Tarn to a wealthy family, Peyrefitte went to Jesuit and Lazarist boarding schools and then studied language and literature in Toulouse. After graduating first of his year from Institut d'Études Politiques de Paris in 1930, he worked as an embassy secretary in Athens between 1933 and 1938. Back in Paris, he had to resign in 1940 for personal reasons before being reintegrated in 1943 and finally ending his diplomatic career in 1945. In his novels, he often treated controversial themes and his work put him at odds with the Roman Catholic church.
He wrote openly about his homoerotic experiences in boarding school in his 1944 first novel Les amitiés particulières (Particular Friendships -- a term used in seminaries to refer to friendships seen as too close and exclusive, often incorrectly translated as "Special Friendships"), which won the coveted prix Renaudot in 1945. The book was made into a film of the same name which was released in 1964. On the set, Peyrefitte met the 12 year old Alain-Philippe Malagnac d'Argens de Villèle; Peyrefitte tells the story of their relationship in Notre amour ("Our Love" - 1967) and L'Enfant de cœur ("Child of the Heart" - 1978). Malagnac later married performer Amanda Lear (there is still people who claim that Amanda Lear, former muse of Salvator Dali, is transgender); on Saturday, December 16th, 2000, Malagnac perished by smoke in a fire at his recently-bought farm house in Saint-Étienne-du-Grès. He died just six weeks after Peyrefitte.
A cultivator of scandal, Peyrefitte attacked the Vatican and Pope Pius XII in his book Les Clés de saint Pierre (1953), which earned him the nickname of 'Pope of the Homosexuals'. The publication of the book started a bitter quarrel with François Mauriac. Mauriac threatened to resign from the paper he was working with at the time, L'Express if it did not stop carrying advertisements for the book. The quarrel was exacerbated by the release of the film adaptation of Les amitiés particulières and culminated in a virulent open letter by Peyrefitte in which he accused Mauriac of homophile inclinations and called him a tartuffe. In April 1976, after Pope Paul VI had condemned homosexuality in a homily, Peyrefitte accused him of being a closet homosexual. (Picture: Amanda Lear and Malagnac)
In Les Ambassades (1951), he revealed the ins and outs of diplomacy. Peyrefitte also wrote a book full of gossip about Baron Jacques d'Adelswärd-Fersen's exile in Capri (L'Exilé de Capri, 1959) and translated Greek gay love poetry (La Muse garçonnière (The Boyish Muse), Flammarion, 1973).
In his memoirs Propos Secrets, he wrote extensively about his youth, his sex life (homosexual mainly and a few affairs with women), his years as a diplomat, his travels to Greece and Italy and his troubles with the police for sexually harassing male teenagers. He also gave vent to his fierce love of snobbish genealogizing and vitriolic well-documented gossip, writing about famous people of his time such as André Gide, Henry de Montherlant, Jean Cocteau, Jean Genet, Marcel Jouhandeau, Marie-Laure de Noailles, Gaston Gallimard, Jean Paul Sartre, Charles de Gaulle and Georges Pompidou, among many others. Claiming he had reliable sources within the Vatican's "black aristocracy", once again he stated that three recent popes of the 20th century were homosexuals. He particularly loved to expose the hypocrisy and vanity of prominent people, to denounce fake aristocrats and to out closet homosexuals.
Roger Peyrefitte wrote popular historical biographies about Alexander the Great and Voltaire. In Voltaire et Frédéric II he polemically claimed that Voltaire had been the passive lover of Frederick the Great.
In spite of his libertarian views on sexuality, politically Peyrefitte was a conservative bourgeois and in his later years he would support extreme right-winger Jean-Marie Le Pen.
He died at 93 of Parkinson's disease, after receiving the last rites from the Church he had attacked so strongly.
After his death, the city of Capri dedicated a plaque to him which is mounted near Villa Lysis and the inscription of which reads: A Roger Peyrefitte autore de L'esule di Capri per aver esaltato e diffuso il mito, la cultura e la bellezza dell'isola nel mondo. — "For Roger Peyrefitte, author of L'Exile de Capri, for having exalted and diffused the myth, the culture, and the beauty of this island in the world."
Burial: Cimetière d'Arlet-Les-Bain, Aude, Languedoc-Roussillon Region, France
Peyrefitte offers us a version of early 20th century history in which all of the world seems queer. It is a vision of sybaritic privilege, doubtless distasteful to many, in which indulgence in the arts looks oddly like an eighth deadly sin. To be sure, reading The Exile of Capri is like the most reviled yet most mundane of the solitary vices, offering the temporary pleasure of a dream, without any real or lasting personal connection. A disappointing pleasure, perhaps, but worth indulging in, all the same. --Gregory Woods, The Lost Library: Gay Fiction RediscoveredFurther Readings:
Secret Friendships by Roger Peyrefitte
Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: West Art Pub (November 14, 2000)
Amazon: Secret Friendships
With the death of the French writer Roger Peyrefitte, also the transatlantic cooperation ha lost a loyal friend. The writer died on November 5, 2000 in Paris, at the age of 93 years. He lost after a long fight with the Parkinson's disease, explained a spokesman for the circle of friends of Peyrefitte in the French capital. The author, who was born on August 17, 1907 in Castres, has made his international breakthrough as a young diplomat with his novel "Secret Friendships".
Many of his books were published also in the USA. Peyrefitte belonged to the friends of Jean Cocteau, Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso, Arno Breker, Ernst Fuchs, and many others. To the important publications belong the trilogy about the life and mission of Alexander the Great, a book about Charles de Gaulle, as well as novels with contemporary, entertaining background.
Since 1990, Peyrefitte was the Grandmaster of the Alexander Order for Art and Science. The Chancellor of the Order in USA, John Zavrel recalls about the poet: "His hands shaked in the last years, but his spirit was wide awake". Until the last months of his life Peyrefitte was a public personality who supported not only the French-German friendship. "Also the strengthening of European-American relations were close to his heart", says Zavrel. "Although he was not as widely known as Jean Cocteau, his engagement for the young generation was excellent". He supported the youth exchange program and held free lectures and readings for the young people.
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