Les Amitiés Particulières

Posted on November 4, 2010

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A 1943 novel by the irascible Roger Peyrefitte, Les Amitiés Particulières is the story of various romantic adventures and misadventures of adolescent boys in a Catholic boys’ school between the wars. The main character, 14-year-old Georges, tries to connive his way into the affections of another boy, Lucien, but when that fails, starts up a romance with 12-year-old Alexandre. Georges betrays one of the priests teaching at the school, and is betrayed by another one, and the novel ends unhappily.

The book won the Prix Renaudot and was made into a film by Jean Delannoy in 1964 (you can watch the beginning in the clip above). An American translation, Secret Friendships, was published on 1958.

The book closely follows Peyrefitte’s own early life. Peyrefitte, who made a career of poking his finger in the eye of the Catholic church with accusations of homosexuality, wrote a number of popular books with gay themes. Despite his sexuality, Peyrefitte was conservative, and at the end of his life (he died aged 93 in 2000), he was a supporter of far-right-wing extremist Jean-Marie Le Pen.

The novel Les Amitiés Particulières can be found at Amazon, here, as well as the film, here. The English translation can be found at Alibris, here.

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