Alfred Perlés - Renegade & Writer (Part 1)
The single publication that devotes itself to Perles as Subject is Alfred Perlés: Renegade & Writer. The 19-page booklet was published by Village Press (London) in 1974 (and printed by Villiers Publications Ltd), when Perles was 77. It was researched and written by Douglas Stone, who also translated passages from Perles' French novels.
"This essay is the first real attempt to rectify the inexplicable neglect of Alfred Perles, a significant contemporary writer. His reputation has hitherto derived mainly from his biography of Henry Miller and his close personal relationship with the American writer. But, as Douglas Stone argues, the present neglect of Perles will be remedied as soon as certain readers and scholars "become aware of his important contribution to the literature of his time."
(back cover, Alfred Perles: Renegade & Writer).
Page 3 - Perles has been frequently mentioned in reference to Miller, yet never as "a writer of significant interest in his own right," except by Miller in issues of The Booster. A couple of quotes by Miller from The Booster, relating to Perles' French novels Sentiments Limitrophes (1936) and Le Quatuor En Re Majeur (1938).
Page 4- Perles as a writer in many languages (French, English, and his native German). Besides the two French novels mentioned above, he also wrote a bit of poetry (in The Booster); My Friend Henry Miller; My Friend Lawrence Durrell; The Renegade (1943); The New Instinctivism manifesto (with Miller); many columns in the "Port Edition" of the Chicago Tribune; several short stories, essays and letters, incl Allez Sans Retour, Londres; critical essays (i.e. on Rilke) in The New Review; Art And Outrage (with Durrell).
Page 5 - Biographical information (which I will cover later), including a quote in which he describes his sense of rootlessness.
Page 6 - Relationship and collaborations of Perles and Miller in Paris, motivated by "food, sex and writing."
Page 7/8 - Despite his ability to be clownish with Miller, Perles took his art seriously. "The mission of man on earth is to remember." Sentiments Limitrophes was written "in the vein of Tropic Of Cancer." A portion of the book's preface (translated by Stone) in which Perles rejects the notion that the book should meet any preconceptions ("I don't promise anything.").
In this preface, Perles also references several of his own failed projects: Luxurette (destroyed in a fit of insecurity); Leuchtraketen (left with a hotel manager in Berlin as a pawn for debt owed); Title to follow ("long agonized in a drawer").
The book cover image on this 1984 edition of Sentiments Limitrophes is a detail from a Brassai photograph.