Pérol, Jean 1932–
Pérol, Jean 1932–
PERSONAL: Born 1932, in Lyon, France. Education: Studied in Lyon, France.
ADDRESSES: Home—Paris and Ardèche, France. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Éditions de la Différence, 47, rue de la Villette, 75019 Paris, France.
CAREER: Poet, essayist, novelist, and educator. Has taught in Japan; worked variously for Nouvelle Revue Française, Lettres Françaises, and Magazine Littéraire.
AWARDS, HONORS: Prix Mallarmé, 1988, for Asile exil; Prix du Meilleur Roman, 1998, for Un été mémorable.
Sang et raisons d'une présence, P. Seghers (Paris, France), 1953.
Le coeur de l'olivier, A. Henneuse (Lyon, France), 1957.
Le feu du gel, A. Henneuse (Lyon, France), 1959.
L'atelier, Guy Chambelland (Goudargues, France), 1961.
Treize poèmes de l'amour-fou, Kota Printing Company (Tokyo, Japan), 1962.
D'un pay lointain (prose poems), Shichôsha (Tokyo, Japan), 1965.
Le point vélique …, Guy Chambelland (Goudargues, France), 1966.
Le coeur véhément, Gallimard (Paris, France), 1968.
Ruptures, Gallimard (Paris, France), 1970.
Maintenant les soleils, Gallimard (Paris, France), 1972.
Morale provisoire, Gallimard (Paris, France), 1978.
Histoire contemporaine, Gallimard (Paris, France), 1982.
Asile exil, Éditions de la Différence (Paris, France), 1987.
Pouvoir de l'ombre, Éditions de la Différence (Paris, France), 1989.
Ruines-mères, Cherche midi (Paris, France), 1998.
Tokyo (travel), Champ Vallon (Seyssel, France)/Presses Universitaires de France (Paris, France), 1986.
Imaï: Peintures (art criticism), Éditions de la Différence (Paris, France), 1990.
La Nouvelle-Orléans (travel), Champ Vallon (Seyssel, France), 1992.
Regards d'encre: écrivains japonais, 1966–1986 (criticism), Éditions de la Différence (Paris, France), 1995.
Un été mémorable (novel), Gallimard (Paris, France), 1998.
Also contributor to periodicals, including Nouvelle Revue Française.
SIDELIGHTS: With more than a dozen books of verse to his credit, Jean Pérol is best known as a modern French poet, although he has also published a novel, travel books, and literary criticism. Over the decades, he has written poems in a wide variety of styles and that range in tone from playful to serious. Among Pérol's enthusiasts is a Times Literary Supplement reviewer who remarked on the "altogether admirable energy" evident in such early verse collections as Ruptures and Maintenant les soleils. A decade later, writing about the pieces contained in Pérol's Histoire contemporaine, Mortimer Guiney remarked in French Review, that "'Powerful' is the word that keeps coming to mind in reading, rereading, these short texts which vary, in form, from simple paragraphs in highly poetic prose to actual sonnets written in alexandrins. It seems every poetic device is under the control of this amazing man." Guiney concluded that "Pérol is a great poet."
The experience of living and teaching in Japan for twenty years has influenced Pérol's writings as well. In addition to writing about modern Japanese literature in Regards d'encre: écrivains japonais, 1966–1986 and about the country's capital in Tokyo, Pérol composed some poems about his life in Japan employing the Japanese haiku form in his 1998 collection Ruinesmères. In a French Review article, Marie-Noëlle Little described the Japan-inspired poems as "certainly the most unexpected and new where form is conerned."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
French Review, February, 1984, Mortimer Guiney, review of Histoire contemporaine, p. 416; May, 2000, Marie-Noëlle Little, review of Un été mémorable and Ruines-mères, pp. 1261-1263.
Times Literary Supplement, January 19, 1973, review of Maintenant les soleils, p. 69.
La Difference, http://www.ladifference.fr/ (June 8, 2005), "Jean Pérol."