Following the publication of my recent article, "Hugh Hefner and Jean-Jacques Pauvert Celebrate Their 88th Birthdays," I received an email from Pauvert and Brigitte Lozerec'h, which said Pauvert was "pleased and amused" by the article which showed the controversial parallels between the two men's lives. Pauvert had published the Marquis de Sade and Hefner founded Playboy while they were both still in their twenties.
The article, which highlighted their efforts to challenge and quash censorship laws, noted that Hugh Hefner was recently married.
"The parallel continues," they wrote. We "shall be married on the 25th of April...in this little village on the Riviera."
Jean-Jacques Pauvert is marrying Brigitte Lozerec'h (a pseudonym), a French writer, who was born in Paris in 1945. Pauvert's wife, Christiane died in 2008. They were married for 50 years and worked as a team selecting and editing books for Editions Jean-Jacques Pauvert, their French publishing company.
When Pauvert and Lozerec'h met in his office in 1975, Pauvert was already an established French publisher. In addition to Sade and the Story of O, he published Sartre, Bataille, Gide, Malraux and Bréton. He also published Lozerec'h's first two novels.
Lozerec'h, like Pauvert did not shy from sensitive subjects. Her first novel, L'Interimaire, (1982), that was translated into English as "The Temp" (1988), dealt with the taboo subject of incest between brothers and their little sister, which was autobiographical. She published five other novels, plus a biography of Ernest Shackleton, the polar explorer.
Her last novel, Sisters, which was translated into English, (Dalkey Archive Press, 2013), focuses on the intense rivalry between two sisters in the early Twentieth Century's world of Parisian avant garde artists. Pauvert's memoir, La Traversée du livre (Viviane-Hamy), (An Odyssey in Books), will be translated and published in 2015.
When I asked if they worked together, she said, "When the writing is finished (or supposed to be finished), we ask for one another's opinions. I can say that J.J. taught me literature. He is more intellectual and a deeper reader than me. I was instinctive...He was my Master."
"I appreciate sharing opinions, discussing books and his extraordinary life. I read Sade Vivant(2013), two times -- 1,200 pages -- and what fantastic conversations we've had about the life of the Marquis de Sade, the French Revolution and the way of life for people in those days."
But let's return to the impending wedding. How did Pauvert propose to Lozerec'h?
She responded, "For a couple of weeks, I could not imagine why J.J. kept smiling at me. Suddenly, on March 23, during our morning breakfast, he asked me what I would say if we married soon... After so many years of love, I could not believe he would think of this.
"We drank half a bottle of champagne that evening with a friend from the village...and we were fiancés, laughing at this incredible tale."
Like Hefner and Crystal Harris, they will be married surrounded by family and friends. Pauvert's daughter, Lozerec'h's younger brother, his family and their friends will join them at the mairie (city hall) in the village.
"Most of the people from the village will be with us as they do love J.J., who has been here during the holidays for forty years. After the ceremony... everybody from the village will have an aperitif in the little restaurant that overlooks the Levant Islands."
She continued, "I am peaceful here in this village with my old and dear fiancé who will be my husband in two weeks. I know later on, when I am very old, I shall remember that I lived in harmony with the man I have loved for so many years.
"I hope it will help me understand the youths, my nephews and the children of my friends who are all around me, and to write a very strong book."
When Pauvert, who is a secretive person was asked about the wedding, he replied, "It is an evidence after many other evidences..."
Wherever their admirers and friends are on April 25, let's toast and congratulate the newly weds, Mr. and Mrs. Jean-Jacques Pauvert.