Jean Genet

Jean Genet

Overview
Jean Genet (19 December 1910 – ) was a prominent and controversial French novelist, playwright, poet, essayist, and political activist. Early in his life he was a vagabond and petty criminal, but later took to writing. His major works include the novels Querelle of Brest
Querelle of Brest
Querelle of Brest is a novel by the French writer Jean Genet. It was written in 1947 and first published in 1953. It is set in the midst of the port town of Brest, where sailors and the sea are associated with murder, and its protagonist is Georges Querelle. The novel formed the basis for Rainer...

, The Thief's Journal
The Thief's Journal
The Thief's Journal is perhaps Jean Genet's most famous work. It is a part- fact, part-fiction autobiography that charts the author's progress through Europe in a curiously depoliticized 1930s, wearing nothing but rags and enduring hunger, contempt, fatigue and vice. Spain, Italy, Austria,...

, and Our Lady of the Flowers
Our Lady of the Flowers
Our Lady of the Flowers is the debut novel of French writer Jean Genet, first published in 1943. The free-flowing, poetic novel is a largely autobiographical account of a man's journey through the Parisian underworld...

, and the plays The Balcony
The Balcony
The Balcony is a play by the French dramatist Jean Genet. Since Peter Zadek directed its first production at the Arts Theatre Club in London in 1957, the play has attracted many of the greatest directors of the 20th century, including Peter Brook, Erwin Piscator, Roger Blin, Giorgio Strehler, and...

, The Blacks
The Blacks (play)
The Blacks: A Clown Show is a play by the French dramatist Jean Genet. Published in 1958, it was first performed in a production directed by Roger Blin at the Théatre de Lutèce in Paris, which opened on 28 October 1959....

, The Maids
The Maids
The Maids is a play by the French dramatist Jean Genet. It was first performed at the Théâtre de l'Athénée in Paris in a production that opened on 17 April 1947, which Louis Jouvet directed...

 and The Screens
The Screens
The Screens is a play by the French dramatist Jean Genet. Its first few productions all used abridged versions, beginning with its world premiere under Hans Lietzau's direction in Berlin in May 1961...

.

Genet's mother was a young prostitute who raised him for the first year of his life before putting him up for adoption
Adoption
Adoption is a process whereby a person assumes the parenting for another and, in so doing, permanently transfers all rights and responsibilities from the original parent or parents...

.
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Unanswered Questions
Quotations

'"This violence is a calm that disturbs you."'

'"But I would adore that thief who is my mother."'

'"If the hero join combat with night and conquer it, may shreds of it remain upon him!"'

'"I suffered at the time from an ugliness I no longer find on my childhood face."'

'"By remaining inaccessible, he became the epitome of those whom I have named and who stagger me. I was therefore chaste.

Fierce and pure, I was the theater of a fairyland restored to life."'

'"To achieve harmony in bad taste is the height of elegance."'

'"Yet, what is their violence compared to mine, which was to accept theirs, to make it mine, to wish it for myself, to intercept it, to utilize it, to force it upon myself, to know it, to premeditate it, to discern and assume its perils? But what was mine, willed and necessary for my defense, my toughness, my rigor, compared to the violence they underwent like a malediction, risen from an inner fire simultaneously with an outer light which sets them ablaze and illuminates us?"'

'"But--criminals are remote from you--as in love, they turn away and turn me away from the world and its laws. Thiers smells of sweat, sperm, and blood. In short, to my body and my thristy soul it offers devotion. It was because their world contains these erotic conditions that I was bent on evil."'

'"With homosexuality added, it would be sparkling, unassimilable."' [In reference to the French Gestapo]

Encyclopedia
Jean Genet (19 December 1910 – ) was a prominent and controversial French novelist, playwright, poet, essayist, and political activist. Early in his life he was a vagabond and petty criminal, but later took to writing. His major works include the novels Querelle of Brest
Querelle of Brest
Querelle of Brest is a novel by the French writer Jean Genet. It was written in 1947 and first published in 1953. It is set in the midst of the port town of Brest, where sailors and the sea are associated with murder, and its protagonist is Georges Querelle. The novel formed the basis for Rainer...

, The Thief's Journal
The Thief's Journal
The Thief's Journal is perhaps Jean Genet's most famous work. It is a part- fact, part-fiction autobiography that charts the author's progress through Europe in a curiously depoliticized 1930s, wearing nothing but rags and enduring hunger, contempt, fatigue and vice. Spain, Italy, Austria,...

, and Our Lady of the Flowers
Our Lady of the Flowers
Our Lady of the Flowers is the debut novel of French writer Jean Genet, first published in 1943. The free-flowing, poetic novel is a largely autobiographical account of a man's journey through the Parisian underworld...

, and the plays The Balcony
The Balcony
The Balcony is a play by the French dramatist Jean Genet. Since Peter Zadek directed its first production at the Arts Theatre Club in London in 1957, the play has attracted many of the greatest directors of the 20th century, including Peter Brook, Erwin Piscator, Roger Blin, Giorgio Strehler, and...

, The Blacks
The Blacks (play)
The Blacks: A Clown Show is a play by the French dramatist Jean Genet. Published in 1958, it was first performed in a production directed by Roger Blin at the Théatre de Lutèce in Paris, which opened on 28 October 1959....

, The Maids
The Maids
The Maids is a play by the French dramatist Jean Genet. It was first performed at the Théâtre de l'Athénée in Paris in a production that opened on 17 April 1947, which Louis Jouvet directed...

 and The Screens
The Screens
The Screens is a play by the French dramatist Jean Genet. Its first few productions all used abridged versions, beginning with its world premiere under Hans Lietzau's direction in Berlin in May 1961...

.

Life


Genet's mother was a young prostitute who raised him for the first year of his life before putting him up for adoption
Adoption
Adoption is a process whereby a person assumes the parenting for another and, in so doing, permanently transfers all rights and responsibilities from the original parent or parents...

. Thereafter Genet was raised in the provinces by a carpenter and his family who, according to Edmund White
Edmund White
Edmund Valentine White III is an American author and literary critic. He is a member of the faculty of Princeton University's Program in Creative Writing.- Life and work :...

's biography, were loving and attentive. While he received excellent grades in school, his childhood involved a series of attempts at running away and incidents of petty theft (although White also suggests that Genet's later claims of a dismal, impoverished childhood were exaggerated to fit his outlaw image).

After the death of his foster mother, Genet was placed with an elderly couple but remained with them less than two years. According to the wife, "he was going out nights and also seemed to be wearing makeup." On one occasion he squandered a considerable sum of money, which they had entrusted him for delivery elsewhere, on a visit to a local fair. For this and other misdemeanors, including repeated acts of vagrancy, he was sent at the age of 15 to Mettray Penal Colony
Mettray Penal Colony
Mettray Penal Colony, situated in the small village of Mettray, in the French département of Indre-et-Loire, just north of the city of Tours, was a private reformatory, without walls, opened in 1840 for the rehabilitation of young male delinquents aged between 6 and 21. At that time children and...

 where he was detained between September 2, 1926 and March 1, 1929. In The Miracle of the Rose
The Miracle of the Rose
The Miracle of the Rose is a 1946 book by Jean Genet about experiences as a detainee in Mettray Penal Colony and Fontevrault prison - although there is no direct evidence of Genet ever having been imprisoned in the latter establishment...

 (1946), he gives an account of this period of detention, which ended at the age of 18 when he joined the Foreign Legion
French Foreign Legion
The French Foreign Legion is a unique military service wing of the French Army established in 1831. The foreign legion was exclusively created for foreign nationals willing to serve in the French Armed Forces...

. He was eventually given a dishonorable discharge on grounds of indecency (having been caught engaged in a homosexual act) and spent a period as a vagabond, petty thief and prostitute across Europe— experiences he recounts in The Thief's Journal
The Thief's Journal
The Thief's Journal is perhaps Jean Genet's most famous work. It is a part- fact, part-fiction autobiography that charts the author's progress through Europe in a curiously depoliticized 1930s, wearing nothing but rags and enduring hunger, contempt, fatigue and vice. Spain, Italy, Austria,...

 (1949). After returning to Paris, France in 1937, Genet was in and out of prison through a series of arrests for theft, use of false papers, vagabondage
Vagrancy (people)
A vagrant is a person in poverty, who wanders from place to place without a home or regular employment or income.-Definition:A vagrant is "a person without a settled home or regular work who wanders from place to place and lives by begging;" vagrancy is the condition of such persons.-History:In...

, lewd acts and other offenses. In prison, Genet wrote his first poem, "Le condamné à mort," which he had printed at his own cost, and the novel Our Lady of the Flowers
Our Lady of the Flowers
Our Lady of the Flowers is the debut novel of French writer Jean Genet, first published in 1943. The free-flowing, poetic novel is a largely autobiographical account of a man's journey through the Parisian underworld...

 (1944). In Paris, Genet sought out and introduced himself to Jean Cocteau
Jean Cocteau
Jean Maurice Eugène Clément Cocteau was a French poet, novelist, dramatist, designer, playwright, artist and filmmaker. His circle of associates, friends and lovers included Kenneth Anger, Pablo Picasso, Jean Hugo, Jean Marais, Henri Bernstein, Marlene Dietrich, Coco Chanel, Erik Satie, María...

, who was impressed by his writing. Cocteau used his contacts to get Genet's novel published, and in 1949, when Genet was threatened with a life sentence after ten convictions, Cocteau and other prominent figures, including Jean-Paul Sartre
Jean-Paul Sartre
Jean-Paul Charles Aymard Sartre was a French existentialist philosopher, playwright, novelist, screenwriter, political activist, biographer, and literary critic. He was one of the leading figures in 20th century French philosophy, particularly Marxism, and was one of the key figures in literary...

 and Pablo Picasso
Pablo Picasso
Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso known as Pablo Ruiz Picasso was a Spanish expatriate painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, and stage designer, one of the greatest and most influential artists of the...

, successfully petitioned the French President to have the sentence set aside. Genet would never return to prison.

By 1949 Genet had completed five novels, three plays and numerous poems. His explicit and often deliberately provocative portrayal of homosexuality and criminality was such that by the early 1950s his work was banned in the United States. Sartre wrote a long analysis of Genet's existential
Existentialism
Existentialism is a term applied to a school of 19th- and 20th-century philosophers who, despite profound doctrinal differences, shared the belief that philosophical thinking begins with the human subject—not merely the thinking subject, but the acting, feeling, living human individual...

 development (from vagrant to writer) entitled Saint Genet
Saint Genet
Saint Genet, Actor and Martyr is a book by the French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre about the writer Jean Genet. It was first published in 1952...

 (1952) which was anonymously published as the first volume of Genet's complete works. Genet was strongly affected by Sartre's analysis and did not write for the next five years. Between 1955 and 1961 Genet wrote three more plays as well as an essay called "What Remains of a Rembrandt Torn Into Four Equal Pieces and Flushed Down the Toilet", on which hinged Jacques Derrida
Jacques Derrida
Jacques Derrida was a French philosopher, born in French Algeria. He developed the critical theory known as deconstruction and his work has been labeled as post-structuralism and associated with postmodern philosophy...

's analysis of Genet in his seminal work "Glas". During this time he became emotionally attached to Abdallah, a tightrope walker. However, following a number of accidents and Abdallah's suicide in 1964, Genet entered a period of depression, even attempting suicide.

From the late 1960s, starting with an homage to Daniel Cohn-Bendit
Daniel Cohn-Bendit
Daniel Marc Cohn-Bendit is a Franco-German politician, active in both countries. He was a student leader during the unrest of May 1968 in France and he was also known during that time as Dany le Rouge...

 after the events of May 1968, Genet became politically active. He participated in demonstrations drawing attention to the living conditions of immigrants in France. In 1970 the Black Panthers invited him to the USA, where he stayed for three months giving lectures, attending the trial of their leader, Huey Newton, and publishing articles in their journals. Later the same year he spent six months in Palestinian
Palestinian territories
The Palestinian territories comprise the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Since the Palestinian Declaration of Independence in 1988, the region is today recognized by three-quarters of the world's countries as the State of Palestine or simply Palestine, although this status is not recognized by the...

 refugee camps, secretly meeting Yasser Arafat
Yasser Arafat
Mohammed Yasser Abdel Rahman Abdel Raouf Arafat al-Qudwa al-Husseini , popularly known as Yasser Arafat or by his kunya Abu Ammar , was a Palestinian leader and a Laureate of the Nobel Prize. He was Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization , President of the Palestinian National Authority...

 near Amman. Profoundly moved by his experiences in Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

 and the USA, Genet wrote a final lengthy memoir about his experiences, Prisoner of Love, which would be published posthumously. Genet also supported Angela Davis
Angela Davis
Angela Davis is an American political activist, scholar, and author. Davis was most politically active during the late 1960s through the 1970s and was associated with the Communist Party USA, the Civil Rights Movement and the Black Panther Party...

 and George Jackson
George Jackson (Black Panther)
George Lester Jackson was an American convict who became a left-wing activist, Marxist, author, a member of the Black Panther Party, and co-founder of the Black Guerrilla Family prison gang...

, as well as Michel Foucault
Michel Foucault
Michel Foucault , born Paul-Michel Foucault , was a French philosopher, social theorist and historian of ideas...

 and Daniel Defert's
Daniel Defert
Daniel Defert is a prominent French AIDS activist and the founding president of the first AIDS awareness organization in France, AIDES. He started the organization after the death of his partner, the French philosopher Michel Foucault...

 Prison Information Group. He worked with Foucault and Sartre to protest police brutality
Police brutality
Police brutality is the intentional use of excessive force, usually physical, but potentially also in the form of verbal attacks and psychological intimidation, by a police officer....

 against Algerians in Paris, a problem persisting since the Algerian War of Independence
Algerian War of Independence
The Algerian War was a conflict between France and Algerian independence movements from 1954 to 1962, which led to Algeria's gaining its independence from France...

, when beaten bodies were to be found floating in the Seine
Seine
The Seine is a -long river and an important commercial waterway within the Paris Basin in the north of France. It rises at Saint-Seine near Dijon in northeastern France in the Langres plateau, flowing through Paris and into the English Channel at Le Havre . It is navigable by ocean-going vessels...

. He expresses his solidarity with the Red Army Faction
Red Army Faction
The radicalized were, like many in the New Left, influenced by:* Sociological developments, pressure within the educational system in and outside Europe and the U.S...

 (RAF) of Andreas Baader
Andreas Baader
Andreas Bernd Baader was one of the first leaders of the German left-wing militant organization Red Army Faction, also commonly known as the Baader-Meinhof Gang.- Life :...

 and Ulrike Meinhof
Ulrike Meinhof
Ulrike Marie Meinhof was a German left-wing militant. She co-founded the Red Army Faction in 1970 after having previously worked as a journalist for the monthly left-wing magazine Konkret. She was arrested in 1972, and eventually charged with numerous murders and the formation of a criminal...

, in the article "Violence et brutalité", published in Le Monde, 1977. In September 1982 Genet was in Beirut
Beirut
Beirut is the capital and largest city of Lebanon, with a population ranging from 1 million to more than 2 million . Located on a peninsula at the midpoint of Lebanon's Mediterranean coastline, it serves as the country's largest and main seaport, and also forms the Beirut Metropolitan...

 when the massacres took place in the Palestinian camps of Sabra and Shatila
Sabra and Shatila massacre
The Sabra and Shatila massacre took place in the Sabra and Shatila Palestinian refugee camps in Beirut, Lebanon between September 16 and September 18, 1982, during the Lebanese civil war. Palestinian and Lebanese civilians were massacred in the camps by Christian Lebanese Phalangists while the camp...

. In response, Genet published "Quatre heures à Chatila" ("Four Hours in Shatila"), an account of his visit to Shatila after the event. In one of his rare public appearances during the later period of his life, at the invitation of Austrian philosopher Hans Köchler
Hans Köchler
Hans Köchler is a professor of philosophy at the University of Innsbruck, Austria, and president of the International Progress Organization, a non-governmental organization in consultative status with the United Nations...

 he read from his work during the inauguration of an exhibition on the massacre of Sabra and Shatila organized by the International Progress Organization
International Progress Organization
The International Progress Organization is a Vienna-based think tank dealing with world affairs. As an international non-governmental organization it enjoys consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations and is associated with the United Nations Department of...

 in Vienna, Austria, on December 19, 1983. (Genet in Vienna).

Genet developed throat cancer and was found dead on April 15, 1986 in a hotel room in Paris. Genet may have fallen on the floor and fatally hit his head. He is buried in the Spanish Cemetery in Larache
Larache
Larache is an important harbour town in the region Tanger-Tétouan in northern Morocco. It was founded in the 7th century when a group of Muslim soldiers from Arabia extended their camp at Lixus onto the south bank of the Loukkos River.In 1471, the Portuguese settlers from Asilah and Tangier drove...

, Morocco.

Novels and autobiography


Throughout his five early novels, Genet works to subvert the traditional set of moral values
Morality
Morality is the differentiation among intentions, decisions, and actions between those that are good and bad . A moral code is a system of morality and a moral is any one practice or teaching within a moral code...

 of his assumed readership. He celebrates a beauty in evil
Evil
Evil is the violation of, or intent to violate, some moral code. Evil is usually seen as the dualistic opposite of good. Definitions of evil vary along with analysis of its root motive causes, however general actions commonly considered evil include: conscious and deliberate wrongdoing,...

, emphasizes his singularity, raises violent criminals to icon
Icon
An icon is a religious work of art, most commonly a painting, from Eastern Christianity and in certain Eastern Catholic churches...

s, and enjoys the specificity of gay gesture and coding and the depiction of scenes of betrayal. Our Lady of the Flowers
Our Lady of the Flowers
Our Lady of the Flowers is the debut novel of French writer Jean Genet, first published in 1943. The free-flowing, poetic novel is a largely autobiographical account of a man's journey through the Parisian underworld...

 (Notre Dame des Fleurs 1943) is a journey through the prison underworld, featuring a fictionalized alter-ego by the name of Divine, usually referred to in the feminine, at the center of a circle of tantes ("aunties" or "queens") with colorful sobriquets such as Mimosa I, Mimosa II, First Communion and the Queen of Rumania. The two auto-fictional novels, The Miracle of the Rose
The Miracle of the Rose
The Miracle of the Rose is a 1946 book by Jean Genet about experiences as a detainee in Mettray Penal Colony and Fontevrault prison - although there is no direct evidence of Genet ever having been imprisoned in the latter establishment...

 (Miracle de la rose 1946) and The Thief's Journal
The Thief's Journal
The Thief's Journal is perhaps Jean Genet's most famous work. It is a part- fact, part-fiction autobiography that charts the author's progress through Europe in a curiously depoliticized 1930s, wearing nothing but rags and enduring hunger, contempt, fatigue and vice. Spain, Italy, Austria,...

 (Journal du voleur 1949), describe Genet's time in Mettray Penal Colony
Mettray Penal Colony
Mettray Penal Colony, situated in the small village of Mettray, in the French département of Indre-et-Loire, just north of the city of Tours, was a private reformatory, without walls, opened in 1840 for the rehabilitation of young male delinquents aged between 6 and 21. At that time children and...

 and his experiences as a vagabond and prostitute across Europe. Querelle de Brest (1947) is set in the midst of the port town of Brest, where sailors and the sea are associated with murder; and Funeral Rites
Funeral Rites (novel)
Funeral Rites is a 1948 novel by Jean Genet. It is a story of love and betrayal across political divides, written this time for the narrator's lover, Jean Decarnin, killed by the Germans in WWII....

 (1949) is a story of love and betrayal across political divides, written this time for the narrator's lover, Jean Decarnin, killed by the Germans
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 in WWII.

Prisoner of Love published in 1986, after Genet's death, is a memoir of his encounters with Palestinian fighters and Black Panthers; it has, therefore, a more documentary tone than his fiction.

Biography


Genet wrote a biography of Swiss artist Alberto Giacometti
Alberto Giacometti
Alberto Giacometti was a Swiss sculptor, painter, draughtsman, and printmaker.Alberto Giacometti was born in the canton Graubünden's southerly alpine valley Val Bregaglia and came from an artistic background; his father, Giovanni, was a well-known post-Impressionist painter...

 entitled L’Atelier d’Alberto Giacometti. Genet wrote in an informal biographical style, incorporating excerpts of conversations between himself and Giacometti. Genet's own biographer, Edmund White
Edmund White
Edmund Valentine White III is an American author and literary critic. He is a member of the faculty of Princeton University's Program in Creative Writing.- Life and work :...

, said that, rather than write in the style of an art historian, Genet "invented a whole new language for discussing" Giacometti, proposing "that the statues of Giacometti should be offered to the dead, and that they should be buried."

Plays


Genet's plays present highly-stylized depictions of ritualistic struggles between outcasts of various kinds and their oppressors. Social identities are parodied and shown to involve complex layering through manipulation of the dramatic fiction and its inherent potential for theatricality and role-play; maids imitate
Mimesis
Mimesis , from μιμεῖσθαι , "to imitate," from μῖμος , "imitator, actor") is a critical and philosophical term that carries a wide range of meanings, which include imitation, representation, mimicry, imitatio, receptivity, nonsensuous similarity, the act of resembling, the act of expression, and the...

 one another and their mistress in The Maids
The Maids
The Maids is a play by the French dramatist Jean Genet. It was first performed at the Théâtre de l'Athénée in Paris in a production that opened on 17 April 1947, which Louis Jouvet directed...

 (1947); or the clients of a brothel simulate roles of political power before, in a dramatic reversal, actually becoming those figures, all surrounded by mirrors that both reflect and conceal, in The Balcony
The Balcony
The Balcony is a play by the French dramatist Jean Genet. Since Peter Zadek directed its first production at the Arts Theatre Club in London in 1957, the play has attracted many of the greatest directors of the 20th century, including Peter Brook, Erwin Piscator, Roger Blin, Giorgio Strehler, and...

 (1957). Most strikingly, Genet offers a critical dramatisation of what Aimé Césaire
Aimé Césaire
Aimé Fernand David Césaire was a French poet, author and politician from Martinique. He was "one of the founders of the négritude movement in Francophone literature".-Student, educator, and poet:...

 called negritude
Négritude
Négritude is a literary and ideological movement, developed by francophone black intellectuals, writers, and politiciansin France in the 1930s by a group that included the future Senegalese President Léopold Sédar Senghor, Martinican poet Aimé Césaire, and the Guianan Léon Damas.The Négritude...

 in The Blacks
The Blacks (play)
The Blacks: A Clown Show is a play by the French dramatist Jean Genet. Published in 1958, it was first performed in a production directed by Roger Blin at the Théatre de Lutèce in Paris, which opened on 28 October 1959....

 (1959), presenting a violent assertion of Black identity and anti-white virulence framed in terms of mask-wearing and roles adopted and discarded. His most overtly political play is The Screens
The Screens
The Screens is a play by the French dramatist Jean Genet. Its first few productions all used abridged versions, beginning with its world premiere under Hans Lietzau's direction in Berlin in May 1961...

 (1964), an epic account of the Algerian War of Independence. He also wrote another full-length drama, Splendid's, in 1948 and a one-act play, Her (Elle), in 1955, though neither was published or produced during Genet's lifetime.

The Blacks
The Blacks (play)
The Blacks: A Clown Show is a play by the French dramatist Jean Genet. Published in 1958, it was first performed in a production directed by Roger Blin at the Théatre de Lutèce in Paris, which opened on 28 October 1959....

 was, after The Balcony
The Balcony
The Balcony is a play by the French dramatist Jean Genet. Since Peter Zadek directed its first production at the Arts Theatre Club in London in 1957, the play has attracted many of the greatest directors of the 20th century, including Peter Brook, Erwin Piscator, Roger Blin, Giorgio Strehler, and...

, the second of Genet's plays to be staged in New York. The production was the longest running Off-Broadway
Off-Broadway
Off-Broadway theater is a term for a professional venue in New York City with a seating capacity between 100 and 499, and for a specific production of a play, musical or revue that appears in such a venue, and which adheres to related trade union and other contracts...

 non-musical of the decade. Originally premiered in Paris in 1959, this 1961 New York production ran for 1,408 performances. The original cast featured James Earl Jones
James Earl Jones
James Earl Jones is an American actor. He is well-known for his distinctive bass voice and for his portrayal of characters of substance, gravitas and leadership...

, Roscoe Lee Browne
Roscoe Lee Browne
Roscoe Lee Browne was an American actor and director, known for his rich voice and dignified bearing.-Biography:Browne was the fourth son of a Baptist minister, Sylvanus S. Browne, and his wife Lovie...

, Louis Gossett, Jr.
Louis Gossett, Jr.
Louis Cameron Gossett, Jr. is an American actor best known for his role as Gunnery Sergeant Emil Foley in the 1982 film An Officer and a Gentleman and Fiddler in the 1970s television miniseries Roots...

, Cicely Tyson
Cicely Tyson
Cicely Tyson is an American actress. A successful stage actress, Tyson is also known for her Oscar-nominated role in the film Sounder and the television movies The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman and Roots....

, Godfrey Cambridge
Godfrey Cambridge
-External links:*...

, Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou is an American author and poet who has been called "America's most visible black female autobiographer" by scholar Joanne M. Braxton. She is best known for her series of six autobiographical volumes, which focus on her childhood and early adult experiences. The first and most highly...

 and Charles Gordone
Charles Gordone
Charles Edward Gordone was an American playwright, actor, director, and educator. He was the first African American to receive the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and devoted much of his professional life to the pursuit of multi-racial American theater and racial unity.-Early years:Born Charles Edward...

.

Film


In 1950, Genet directed Un Chant d'Amour
Un Chant d'Amour
A Song of Love is French writer Jean Genet's only film, which he directed in 1950. Because of its explicit homosexual content, the 26-minute movie was long banned and even disowned by Genet later in his life....

, a 26-minute black-and-white film depicting the fantasies
Fantasy (psychology)
Fantasy in a psychological sense is broadly used to cover two different senses, conscious and unconscious. In the unconscious sense, it is sometimes spelled "phantasy".-Conscious fantasy:...

 of a gay male prisoner and his prison warden.

Genet's work has also been adapted for film and produced by other filmmakers. In 1982, Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Rainer Werner Maria Fassbinder was a German movie director, screenwriter and actor. He is considered one of the most important representatives of the New German Cinema.He maintained a frenetic pace in film-making...

 released Querelle
Querelle
Querelle, a 1982 film directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder, adapted from French author Jean Genet's 1947 novel Querelle de Brest. It marked Fassbinder's final film as a writer/director; it was posthumously released just months after the director died of a drug overdose in June 1982.-Plot:The plot...

, his final film, which was based on Querelle of Brest
Querelle of Brest
Querelle of Brest is a novel by the French writer Jean Genet. It was written in 1947 and first published in 1953. It is set in the midst of the port town of Brest, where sailors and the sea are associated with murder, and its protagonist is Georges Querelle. The novel formed the basis for Rainer...

. It starred Brad Davis
Brad Davis (actor)
Robert Creel "Brad" Davis was an American actor, known for starring in the 1978 film Midnight Express.-Early life:...

, Jeanne Moreau
Jeanne Moreau
Jeanne Moreau is a French actress, singer, screenwriter and director.She made her theatrical debut in 1947, and established herself as one of the leading actresses of the Comédie-Française...

 and Franco Nero
Franco Nero
Franco Nero is an Italian actor.-Early life:Nero was born Francesco Sparanero in San Prospero Parmense , the son of a sergeant in the...

. Tony Richardson
Tony Richardson
Cecil Antonio "Tony" Richardson was an English theatre and film director and producer.-Early life:Richardson was born in Shipley, Yorkshire in 1928, the son of Elsie Evans and Clarence Albert Richardson, a chemist...

 directed a film, Mademoiselle, which was based on a short story by Genet. It starred Jeanne Moreau
Jeanne Moreau
Jeanne Moreau is a French actress, singer, screenwriter and director.She made her theatrical debut in 1947, and established herself as one of the leading actresses of the Comédie-Française...

 with the screenplay written by Marguerite Duras
Marguerite Duras
Marguerite Donnadieu, better known as Marguerite Duras was a French writer and film director.-Background:...

. Todd Haynes
Todd Haynes
Todd Haynes is an American independent film director and screenwriter. He is best known for his feature films Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story, Poison, Velvet Goldmine, Safe, and the Academy Award-nominated Far from Heaven and I'm Not There.- Style and themes :The writes that "Haynes is...

' Poison
Poison (film)
Poison is a 1991 independent film written and directed by Todd Haynes. It is composed of three intercut stories that are partially inspired by the novels of Jean Genet...

 was also based on the writings of Genet.

Several of Genet's plays were adapted into films. The Balcony
The Balcony (film)
The Balcony is a 1963 cinematic adaptation of Jean Genet's play The Balcony, directed by Joseph Strick. It starred Shelley Winters, Peter Falk, Lee Grant and Leonard Nimoy. George J. Folsey was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Cinematography. Ben Maddow was nominated for a Writers Guild of...

 (1963), directed by Joseph Strick
Joseph Strick
Joseph Strick was an American director, producer and screenwriter.Born in Braddock, Pennsylvania, Strick briefly attended UCLA before enrolling in the Army during World War II. In the Army, he served as a cameraman in the Army Air Forces.In 1948, he and Irving Lerner produced Muscle Beach...

, starred Shelley Winters
Shelley Winters
Shelley Winters was an American actress who appeared in dozens of films, as well as on stage and television; her career spanned over 50 years until her death in 2006...

 as Madame Irma, Peter Falk
Peter Falk
Peter Michael Falk was an American actor, best known for his role as Lieutenant Columbo in the television series Columbo...

, Lee Grant
Lee Grant
Lee Grant is an American stage, film and television actress, and film director. She was blacklisted for 12 years from film work beginning in the mid-1950s, but worked in the theatre, and would eventually win the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance as Felicia Carp in the...

 and Leonard Nimoy
Leonard Nimoy
Leonard Simon Nimoy is an American actor, film director, poet, musician and photographer. Nimoy's most famous role is that of Spock in the original Star Trek series , multiple films, television and video game sequels....

. The Maids
The Maids (film)
The Maids is a 1974 film that was directed by Christopher Miles. It is based on the play of the same title by the French dramatist Jean Genet. The film stars Glenda Jackson as Solange, Susannah York as Claire, Vivien Merchant as Madame, and Mark Burns as Monsieur...

 was filmed in 1974 and starred Glenda Jackson
Glenda Jackson
Glenda May Jackson, CBE is a British Labour Party politician and former actress. She has been a Member of Parliament since 1992, and currently represents Hampstead and Kilburn. She previously served as MP for Hampstead and Highgate...

, Susannah York
Susannah York
Susannah York was a British film, stage and television actress. She was awarded a BAFTA as Best Supporting Actress for They Shoot Horses, Don't They? and was nominated for an Oscar and Golden Globe for the same film. She won best actress for Images at the 1972 Cannes Film Festival...

 and Vivien Merchant
Vivien Merchant
Vivien Merchant was a British actress.-Career:Merchant performed in many stage productions and several films, including Alfie and Frenzy...

. Italian director Salvatore Samperi
Salvatore Samperi
Salvatore Samperi was an Italian film director. His 1973 film Malicious was entered into the 23rd Berlin International Film Festival and his 1979 film Ernesto was entered into the 29th Berlin International Film Festival.-Selected filmography:* Come Play with Me * Malicious * Ernesto...

 in 1986 directed another adaptation of the same play, La Bonne  (Eng.Corruption
Corruption (film)
Corruption is a 1968 British film directed by Robert Hartford-Davis, from a screenplay by Derek Ford and Donald Ford, and featuring Peter Cushing, Sue Lloyd, Noel Trevarthen, Kate O'Mara, David Lodge, Wendy Varnals, Billy Murray, and Vanessa Howard....

), starring Florence Guerin
Florence Guérin
Florence Guérin , also known as Florence Nicolas, is a French actress. Born in Nice, France, she appeared in both film and television roles between 1980 and 2008.-Biography:...

 and Katrine Michelsen.

Influence


In their debut album Dendrophile (2011), transgendered American cabaret singer-songwriter Justin Vivian Bond included a song which v entitled "The Genet Song", containing the lyrics "I'm blowing smoke through a hole/ like some Jean Genet clown".

Novels and autobiography


Entries show: English-language translation of title (French-language title) [year written] / [year first published]
  • Our Lady of the Flowers
    Our Lady of the Flowers
    Our Lady of the Flowers is the debut novel of French writer Jean Genet, first published in 1943. The free-flowing, poetic novel is a largely autobiographical account of a man's journey through the Parisian underworld...

     (Notre Dame des Fleurs) 1942/1943
  • The Miracle of the Rose
    The Miracle of the Rose
    The Miracle of the Rose is a 1946 book by Jean Genet about experiences as a detainee in Mettray Penal Colony and Fontevrault prison - although there is no direct evidence of Genet ever having been imprisoned in the latter establishment...

     (Miracle de la Rose) 1946/1951
  • Funeral Rites
    Funeral Rites (novel)
    Funeral Rites is a 1948 novel by Jean Genet. It is a story of love and betrayal across political divides, written this time for the narrator's lover, Jean Decarnin, killed by the Germans in WWII....

     (Pompes Funèbres) 1947/1953
  • Querelle of Brest
    Querelle of Brest
    Querelle of Brest is a novel by the French writer Jean Genet. It was written in 1947 and first published in 1953. It is set in the midst of the port town of Brest, where sailors and the sea are associated with murder, and its protagonist is Georges Querelle. The novel formed the basis for Rainer...

     (Querelle de Brest) 1947/1953
  • The Thief's Journal
    The Thief's Journal
    The Thief's Journal is perhaps Jean Genet's most famous work. It is a part- fact, part-fiction autobiography that charts the author's progress through Europe in a curiously depoliticized 1930s, wearing nothing but rags and enduring hunger, contempt, fatigue and vice. Spain, Italy, Austria,...

     (Journal du voleur) 1949/1949
  • Prisoner of Love (Un Captif Amoureux) 1986/1986

Drama


Entries show: English-language translation of title (French-language title) [year written] / [year first published] / [year first performed]
  • adame Miroir (ballet) (1944). In Fragments et autres textes, 1990 (Fragments of the Artwork, 2003)
  • Deathwatch
    Deathwatch (play)
    Deathwatch is a play written by Jean Genet in 1947, performed for the first time in Paris at the Théâtre des Mathurins in February 1949 under the direction of Jean Marchat.-Plot:...

     (Haute surveillance) 1944/1949/1949
  • The Maids
    The Maids
    The Maids is a play by the French dramatist Jean Genet. It was first performed at the Théâtre de l'Athénée in Paris in a production that opened on 17 April 1947, which Louis Jouvet directed...

     (Les Bonnes) 1946/1947/1947
  • Splendid's 1948/1993/
  • The Balcony
    The Balcony
    The Balcony is a play by the French dramatist Jean Genet. Since Peter Zadek directed its first production at the Arts Theatre Club in London in 1957, the play has attracted many of the greatest directors of the 20th century, including Peter Brook, Erwin Piscator, Roger Blin, Giorgio Strehler, and...

     (Le Balcon) 1955/1956/1957. Complementary texts "How to Perform The Balcony" and "Note" published in 1962.
  • The Blacks
    The Blacks (play)
    The Blacks: A Clown Show is a play by the French dramatist Jean Genet. Published in 1958, it was first performed in a production directed by Roger Blin at the Théatre de Lutèce in Paris, which opened on 28 October 1959....

     (Les Nègres) 1955/1958/1959. Preface first published in Theatre Complet, Gallimard 2002.
  • Her (Elle) 1955/1989/
  • The Screens
    The Screens
    The Screens is a play by the French dramatist Jean Genet. Its first few productions all used abridged versions, beginning with its world premiere under Hans Lietzau's direction in Berlin in May 1961...

     (Les Paravents) 1956-61/1961/1964
  • Le Bagne [French edition only] (1994)

Cinema

  • Un Chant d'Amour
    Un Chant d'Amour
    A Song of Love is French writer Jean Genet's only film, which he directed in 1950. Because of its explicit homosexual content, the 26-minute movie was long banned and even disowned by Genet later in his life....

     (1950)
  • Les Rêves interdits, ou L 'autre versant du rêve (Forbidden Dreams or The Other Side of Dreams) (1952). Used as a base for the script of Tony Richardson's film Mademoiselle, made in 1966
  • Le Bagne (The Penal Colony). Written in the 1950s. Excerpt published in The Selected writings of Jean Genet, The Ecco Press (1993).
  • La Nuit venue'/Le Bleu de L’oeil (The Night Has Come/The Blue of the Eye) (1976–78). Excepts published in Les nègres au port de la lune, Editions de la Différence, Paris (1988) and in The Cinema of Jean Genet, BFI Publishing (1991)
  • Le Langage de la muraille: cent ans jour après jour (The Language of the Walls: One Hundred Years Day after Day) (1970s). Unpublished.

Poetry


Collected in Œuvres complètes (French) and Treasures of the Night: Collected Poems by Jean Genet (English)
  • The Man Sentenced to Death (Le Condamné à Mort) (written in 1942, first published in 1945)
  • Funeral March (Marche Funebre) (1945)
  • The Galley (La Galere) (1945)
  • A Song of Love (Un Chant d'Amour) (1946)
  • The Fisherman of the Suquet (Le Pecheur du Suquet) (1948)
  • The Parade (La Parade)(1948)


Other
  • Poèmes Retrouvés. First published in Le condamné à mort et autres poèmes suivi de Le funambule, Gallimard

Essays on Art


Collected in Fragments et autres textes, 1990 (Fragments of the Artwork, 2003)
  • Jean Cocteau, Empreintes, Bruxelles, 1950)
  • Fragments
  • The Studio of Alberto Giacometti (L'Atelier d'Alberto Giacomett) (1957).
  • The Tightrope Walker (Le Funambule).
  • Rembrandt's Secret (Le Secret de Rembrandt) (1958). First published in L'Express, September 1958.
  • What Remains of a Rembrandt Torn Into Little Squares All the Same Size and Shot Down the Toilet (Ce qui est resté d'un Rembrandt déchiré en petits carrés). First published in Tel Quel, April 1967.
  • That Strange Word ... (L'etrange Mot D'.).

Essays on Politics


Collected in L’ennemi déclaré: textes et entretiens (1991)- The Declared enemy (2004)

1960s
  • Interview with Madeleine Gobeil for Playboy, April 1964, p. 45-55.
  • Lenin's Mistresses (Les maîtresses de Lénine), in Le Nouvel Observateur, n° 185, May 30, 1968.
  • The members of the Assembly (Les membres de l’Assemblée nationale), in Esquire, n° 70, November 1968.
  • A Salut to a Hundred Thousand Stars (Un salut aux cent milles étoiles, in Evergreen Review, December 1968.
  • The Shepherds of Disorder (Les Pâtres du désordre), in Pas à Pas, March 1969, p. vi–vii.


1970s
  • Yet Another Effort, Frenchman! (Français encore un effort), in L’Idiot international, n° 4, 1970, p. 44.
  • It seems Indecent for Me to Speak of Myself (Il me paraît indécent de parler de moi, Conference, Cambridge, March 10, 1970.
  • Letter to American Intellectuals (Lettres aux intellectuels américains), talk given at the University of Connecticut, March 18, 1970. first published as "Bobby Seale, the Black Panthers and Us White People", in Black Panther Newspaper, March 28, 1970.
  • Introduction, Preface to Georges Jackson's book, Soledad Brother, World Entertainers, New York, 1970.
  • May Day Speech, speech at New Haven, 1 mai 1970. Published by City Light Books, San Francisco. Excerpts published as "J'Accuse" in Jeune Afrique, November 1970 and Les nègres au port de la lune, Paris : Editions de la Différence, 1988.
  • Jean Genet chez les Panthères noires, interview with Michèle Manceau, in Le Nouvel Observateur, n° 289, May 25, 1970.
  • Angela and Her Brothers (Angela et ses frères), in Le Nouvel Observateur, n° 303, 31 août 1970
  • Angela Davis is in your Clutches (Angela Davis est entre vos pattes), text read October 7, 1970, broadcast on TV within the program L’Invité, November 8, 1970.
  • Pour Georges Jackson, manifesto send to French artists and intellectuals, July 1971.
  • After the Assassination (Après l’assassinat), written in 1971, published for the first time in 1991 in "L’ennemi déclaré: textes et entretiens"
  • America is Afraid (L’Amérique a peur), in Le Nouvel Observateur, n° 355, 1971. Later published as "The Americans kill off Blacks", in Black Panther Newspaper, September 4, 1971.
  • The Palestinians (Les Palestiniens), Commentary accompanying photographs by Bruno Barbey, published in Zoom, n° 4, 1971.
  • The Black and the Red, in Black Panther Newspaper, September 11, 1971.
  • Preface to L’Assassinat de Georges Jackson, published in L’Intolérable, booklet by GIP, Paris, Gallimard, November 10, 1971.
  • Meeting the Guarani (Faites connaissance avec les Guaranis), in Le Démocrate véronais, 2 juin 1972.
  • On Two or Three books No One Has Ever Talked About (Sur deux ou trois livres dont personne n’a jamais parlé), text read on May 2, 1974, for a radio program on France Culture. Published in L’Humanité as "Jean Genet et la condition des immigrés", May 3, 1974.
  • When 'the worst is certain' (Quand 'le pire est toujours sûr'), written in 1974, published for the first time in 1991 in "L’ennemi déclaré: textes et entretiens"
  • Dying Under Giscard d' Estaing (Mourir sous Giscard d’Estaing), in L’Humanité, May 13, 1974.
  • And Why Not a Fool in Suspenders? (Et pourquoi pas la sottise en bretelle?), in L’Humanité, May 25, 1974.
  • The Women of Jebel Hussein (Les Femmes de Djebel Hussein), in Le Monde diplomatique, July 1, 1974.
  • Interview with Hubert Fichte for Die Zeit, n° February 8, 13 1976.
  • The Tenacity of American Blacks (La Ténacité des Noirs américains), in L’Humanité, April 16, 1977.
  • Chartres Cathedral (Cathédrale de Chartres, vue cavalière), in L’Humanité, June 30, 1977.
  • Violence and Britality (Violence et brutalité), in Le Monde, September 2, 1977. Also published as preface to Textes des prisonniers de la Fraction Armée rouge et dernières lettres d’Ulrike Meinhof, Maspero, Cahiers libres, Paris, 1977.
  • Near Ajloun (Près d’Ajloun) in Per un Palestine, in a collection of writing in memory of Wael Zouateir, Mazzota, Milan, 1979.
  • Interview with Tahar Ben Jelloun, Le Monde, November 1979


1980s
  • Interview with Antoine Bourseiller (1981) and with Bertrand Poirot-Delpech (1982), distributed as a videocassetts in the series Témoin. Extracts published in Le Monde (1982) and Le Nouvel Observateur (1986).
  • Four Hours in Shatila (Quatre heures à Chatila), in Revue d’études palestiniennes, January 1, 1983.
  • Registration No. 1155 (N° Matricule 1155), text written for the catalogue of the exhibition La Rupture, Le Creusot, March 1, 1983.
  • Interview with Rudiger Wischenbart and Layla Shahid Barrada for Austrian Radio and the German daily Die Ziet. Published as "Une rencontre avec Jean Genet" in Revue d’études palestiniennes, Autome 1985.
  • Interview with Nigel Williams for BBC
    BBC
    The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

    , November 12, 1985.
  • The Brothers Karamazov (Les Frères Karamazov), in La Nouvelle Revue Française, Octobre 1986.


Other collected essays
  • The Criminal Child (L'Enfant criminel) Written in 1949, this text was commissioned by RTF (French radio) but was not played due to its controversial nature. It was published in a limited edition in 1949 and later integrated into Volume 5 of "Oeuvres Completes".


Uncollected
  • What I like about the English is that They Are such Liars…, in Sunday Times, 1963, p. 11.
  • Jean Genet chez les Panthères noires, interview with F.-M. Banier, in Le Monde,, October 23, 1970.
  • Un appel de M. Jean Genet en faveur des Noirs américains, in Le Monde, October 15, 1970.
  • Jean Genet témoigne pour les Soledad Brothers, in La Nouvelle Critique, June 1971.
  • "The Palestinians" (Les Palestiniens), first published as "Shoun Palestine", Beyrouth, 1973. Fist English version published in Journal of Palestine Studies (Autumn, 1973). First French version ("Genet à Chatila") published by Actes Sud, Arles, 1994.
  • Un héros littéraire : le défunt volubile, in La Nouvelle Critique, juin-juillet 1974 and Europe-Revue littéraire Mensuelle, Numéro spécial Jean Genet, n° 808–809 (1996)
  • Entretien avec Angela Davis, in L’Unité, 23 mai 1975.
  • Des esprits moins charitables que le mien pourraient croire déceler une piètre opération politique, in L’Humanité, 13 août 1975.
  • L’art est le refuge, in : Les Nègres au Port de la Lune, Paris : Editions de la Différence, 1988, pp. 99–103.
  • Sainte Hosmose, in Magazine littéraire, Numéro spécial Jean Genet (n° 313), September 1993
  • Conférence de Stockholm, in L’Infini, n° 51 (1995)
  • La trahison est une aventure spirituelle”, in Le Monde, July 12, 1996, p. IV.
  • Ouverture-éclair sur l´Amérique, in Europe-Revue littéraire Mensuelle, Numéro spécial Jean Genet, n° 808–809 (1996)
  • Réponse à un questionnairee, in Europe-Revue littéraire Mensuelle, Numéro spécial Jean Genet, n° 808–809 (1996)

Correspondence


Collected in volume
  • Lettre à Léonor Fini [Jean Genet's letter 8 illustrations by Leonor Fini] (1950). Also collected in Fragments et autres textes, 1990 (Fragments of the Artwork, 2003)
  • Letters to Roger Blin (Lettres à Roger Blin, 1966)
  • Lettres à Olga et Marc Barbezat (1988)
  • Chère Madame, 6 Brife aus Brünn [French and German bilingual edition] (1988). Excerpts reprinted in Genet, by Edmund White.
  • Lettres au petit Franz (2000)
  • Lettres à Ibis (2010)


Collected in Théâtre Complete(Editions Gallimard, 2002)
  • Lettre a Jean-Jacques Pauvert, first published as preface to 1954 edition of Les Bonnes. Also in 'Fragments et autres textes, 1990 (Fragments of the Artwork, 2003)
  • Lettres à Jean-Louis Barrault
  • Lettres à Roger Blin
  • Lettres à Antoine Bourseiller. In Du théâtre no1, July 1993
  • Lettres à Bernard Frechtman
  • Lettres à Patrice Chéreau


Collected in Portrait d'Un Marginal Exemplaire
  • Une lettre de Jean Genet (to Jacques Derrida), in Les Lettres Françaises, March 29, 1972
  • Lettre a Maurice Toesca, in Cinq Ans de patience, Emile Paul Editeur, 1975.
  • Lettre au professeur Abdelkebir Khatibi, published in Figures de l'etranger, by Abdelkebir Khatibi, 1987.
  • Letter a Andre Gide, in Essai de Chronologie 1910–1944 by A.Dichy and B.Fouche (1988)
  • Letter to Sartre, in Genet (by Edmund White) (1993)
  • Lettre a Laurent Boyer, in La Nouvelle Revue Francaise, 1996
  • Brouillon de lettre a Vincent Auriel (first published in Portrait d'Un Marginal Exemplaire


Uncollected
  • To a Would Be Producer, in Tulane Drama Review, n° 7, 1963, p. 80-81.
  • Lettres a Roger Blin and "Lettre a Jean-Kouis Barrault et Billets aux comediens, in La Bataille des Paravents, IMEC Editions, 1966
  • Chere Ensemble, published in Les nègres au port de la lune, Paris : Editions de la Différence, 1988.
  • Je ne peux pas le dire, letter to Bernard Frechtman (1960), excerpts published in Libération, April 7, 1988.
  • Letter to Java, Letter to Allen Ginsberg, in Genet (by Edmund White) (1993)
  • Lettre a Carole, in L’Infini, n° 51 (1995)
  • Lettre à Costas Taktsis, published in Europe-Revue littéraire Mensuelle, Numéro spécial Jean Genet, n° 808–809 (1996)

Primary sources


In English
  • Bartlett, Neil
    Neil Bartlett (playwright)
    Neil Vivian Bartlett, OBE, is an award-winning British director, performer, translator, and writer. He is one of the founding members of Gloria, a production company established in 1988 to produce his work along with that of Nicolas Bloomfield, Leah Hausman and Simon Mellor...

    , trans. 1995. Splendid's. London: Faber. ISBN 0571176135.
  • Bray, Barbara, trans. 1992. Prisoner of Love. By Jean Genet. Hanover: Wesleyan UP.
  • Frechtman, Bernard, trans. 1960. The Blacks: A Clown Show. By Jean Genet. New York: Grove P. ISBN 0802150284.
  • ---. 1963a. Our Lady of the Flowers. By Jean Genet. London: Paladin, 1998.
  • ---. 1963b. The Screens. By Jean Genet. London: Faber, 1987. ISBN 0571148751.
  • ---. 1965a. The Miracle of the Rose. By Jean Genet. London: Blond.
  • ---. 1965b. The Thief's Journal. By Jean Genet. London: Blond.
  • ---. 1966. The Balcony. By Jean Genet. Revised edition. London: Faber. ISBN 0571045952.
  • ---. 1969. Funeral Rites. By Jean Genet. London: Blond. Reprinted in London: Faber and Faber, 1990.
  • ---. 1989. The Maids and Deathwatch: Two Plays. By Jean Genet. London: Faber. ISBN 0571148565.
  • Genet, Jean. 1960. "Note." In Wright and Hands (1991, xiv).
  • ---. 1962. "How To Perform The Balcony." In Wright and Hands (1991, xi–xiii).
  • ---. 1966. Letters to Roger Blin. In Seaver (1972, 7–60).
  • ---. 1967. "What Remained of a Rembrandt Torn Up Into Very Even Little Pieces and Chucked Into The Crapper." In Seaver (1972, 75–91).
  • ---. 1969. "The Strange Word Urb..." In Seaver (1972, 61–74).
  • Seaver, Richard, trans. 1972. Reflections on the Theatre and Other Writings. By Jean Genet. London: Faber. ISBN 0571091040.
  • Spitzer, Mark, trans. 2010. The Genet Translations: Poetry and Posthumous Plays. Polemic Press. See www.sptzr.net/genet_translations.htm
  • Streatham, Gregory, trans. 1966. Querelle of Brest. By Jean Genet. London: Blond. Reprinted in London: Faber, 2000.
  • Wright, Barbara
    Barbara Wright
    Barbara Wright was an English translator of modern French literature.Wright, born in Worthing, studied music and art in Paris in the years before World War II...

     and Terry Hands
    Terry Hands
    Terence David Hands is an English theatre director. He ran the Royal Shakespeare Company for 20 years during one of its most successful periods.-Early years:...

    , trans. 1991. The Balcony. By Jean Genet. London and Boston: Faber. ISBN 0571152465.


In French
Individual editions
  • Genet, Jean. 1948. Notre Dame des Fleurs. Lyon: Barbezat-L'Arbalète.
  • ---. 1949. Journal du voleur. Paris: Gallimard.
  • ---. 1951. Miracle de la Rose. Paris: Gallimard.
  • ---. 1953a. Pompes Funèbres. Paris: Gallimard.
  • ---. 1953b. Querelle de Brest. Paris: Gallimard.
  • ---. 1986. Un Captif Amoureux. Paris: Gallimard.


Complete works
  • Genet, Jean. 1952–. Œuvres completes. Paris: Gallimard.
  • Volume 1: Saint Genet: comédien et martyr (by J.-P. Sartre)
  • Volume 2: Notre-Dame des fleurs – Le condamné à mort – Miracle de la rose – Un chant d’amour
  • Volume 3: Pompes funèbres – Le pêcheur du Suquet – Querelle de Brest
  • Volume 4: L’étrange mot d’ ... – Ce qui est resté d’un Rembrandt déchiré en petits carrés – Le balcon – Les bonnes – Haute surveillance -Lettres à Roger Blin – Comment jouer ’Les bonnes’ – Comment jouer ’Le balcon’
  • Volume 5: Le funambule – Le secret de Rembrandt – L’atelier d’Alberto Giacometti – Les nègres – Les paravents – L’enfant criminel
  • Volume 6: L’ennemi déclaré: textes et entretiens
  • ---. 2002. Théâtre Complet. Paris: Bibliothèque de la Pléiade.

Secondary sources


In English
  • Barber, Stephen. 2004. Jean Genet. London: Reaktion. ISBN 1861891784.
  • Coe, Richard N. 1968. The Vision of Genet. New York: Grove P.
  • Driver, Tom Faw. 1966. Jean Genet. New York: Columbia UP.
  • Knapp, Bettina Liebowitz. 1968. Jean Genet. New York: Twayne.
  • McMahon, Joseph H. 1963. The Imagination of Jean Genet New Haven: Yale UP.
  • Oswald, Laura. 1989. Jean Genet and the Semiotics of Performance. Advances in Semiotics ser. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana UP. ISBN 0253331528.
  • Savona, Jeannette L. 1983. Jean Genet. Grove Press Modern Dramatists ser. New York: Grove P. ISBN 0394620453.
  • Styan, J. L. 1981. Symbolism, Surrealism and the Absurd. Vol. 2 of Modern Drama in Theory and Practice. Cambridge: Cambridge UP. ISBN 0521296293.
  • Webb, Richard C. 1992. File on Genet. London: Methuen. ISBN 041365530X.
  • White, Edmund
    Edmund White
    Edmund Valentine White III is an American author and literary critic. He is a member of the faculty of Princeton University's Program in Creative Writing.- Life and work :...

    . 1993. Genet. Corrected edition. London: Picador, 1994. ISBN 0330306227.


In French
  • El Maleh, Edmond Amran. 1988. Jean Genet, Le captif amoureux: et autres essais. Grenoble: Pensée sauvage. ISBN 2859190643.
  • Eribon, Didier. 2001. Une morale du minoritaire: Variations sur un thème de Jean Genet. Paris: Librairie Artème Fayard. ISBN 2213609187.
  • Bougon, Patrice.1995. Jean Genet, Littérature et politique, L'Esprit Créateur
    L'Esprit Créateur
    L’Esprit Créateur is a quarterly academic journal established in 1961 and published by the Johns Hopkins University Press. The journal is dedicated to the study of French literature, and the theory and criticism surrounding it. Each issue focuses on a specific theme and includes reviews and...

    , Spring 1995, Vol. XXXV, N°1
  • Hubert, Marie-Claude. 1996. L'esthétique de Jean Genet. Paris: SEDES. ISBN 2718190361.
  • Jablonka, Ivan. 2004. Les vérités inavouables de Jean Genet. Paris: Éditions du Seuil. ISBN 202067940X.
  • Sartre, Jean-Paul
    Jean-Paul Sartre
    Jean-Paul Charles Aymard Sartre was a French existentialist philosopher, playwright, novelist, screenwriter, political activist, biographer, and literary critic. He was one of the leading figures in 20th century French philosophy, particularly Marxism, and was one of the key figures in literary...

    . 1952. Saint Genet, comédien et martyr. In Oeuvres Complétes de Jean Genet I. By Jean Genet. Paris: Éditions Gallimard.

External links