Exactly 100 years after the start of the Prohibition in the United States, the book In Pursuit of the Pure Muse was published, written by Peter Missler, born in Amersfoort and recently deceased in Santiago de Compostela (Spain). A fantastic story that starts when the two drinkers Ezekiel Humphrey, writer of detective novels, and his companion Alfred Mittington search for alcohol.
Their journey leads them through the murkiest realms of bootlegging: the world of censorious pharmacists, Appalachian distillers, menacing mobsters, pugnacious coppers, lewd monks, abusive taxi drivers and unspeakable Speakeasies. These adventures not only change the course of Zeke’s new potboiler dramatically, but at the end of their traumatic pilgrimage, the two friends find themselves faced with a horrible choice…
In Pursuit of the Pure Muse is very nice to read, but also has a contemporary message. The (English) novel is a warning to all those who want to improve the world by imposing their will on others. “In the end, militant moralists do not want to improve the lives of others, but that that of his own,” said Missler. In a time of polarization and heavy conflicts, this can be seen as a warning against radicalism and fundamentalism.
Peter Missler was born in 1959 in Amersfoort (the Netherlands). He briefly studied philosophy and then moved to Paris, where he worked as a bookseller, housekeeper, electrician, valet and street musician on the metro. He then returned to the Netherlands to obtain a degree in Egyptology from Leiden University. In 1993 he moved – because of love – to Granada, Spain, and later to Santiago de Compostela. As a member of the Society he regularly contributed to the George Borrow Bulletin and has written several novels. In 2010, he published a study on the legend of hidden treasures in 19th-century Spain, The Treasure Hunter of Santiago. He died in Brion, near Santiago, in January 2020.
Peter Boorsma and other friends took the initiative to publish the novel in order to honor Peter Missler. The book In the Pursuit of the Pure Muse (written in English) costs 19.50 euros and can be ordered via the website www.kabeljauws.nl (ISBN number 978-90-77747-73-5)