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Miracle of the Rose [Kindle Edition]

Jean Genet
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $17.00
Kindle Price: $9.99
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Book Description

“One of the greatest achievements of modern literature.”—Richard Howard

“A major achievement . . . . Genet transforms experiences of degradation into spiri­tual exercises and hoodlums into bearers of the majesty of love.”—Saturday Review

“Genet can use a brutal phraseology that makes prison life specific and immediate. Yet through his singular sensibility, these elements are transmuted into something fragile, rare, beautiful.”—The New York Times

“This book recreates for the reader Genet’s magic world, one of dazzling beauty charged with novelty and excitement.”—Bettina Knapp

“Genet would have deserved international standing for this novel alone. . . . He succeeds to an amazing degree in creating poetry from the profoundest degradation.”—The Times (London)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jean Genet was born in Paris in 1910. An illegitimate child who never knew his parents, he was abandoned to the Public Assistance Authorities. He was ten when he was sent to a reformatory for stealing; thereafter he spent time in the prisons of nearly every country he visited in thirty years of prowling through the European underworld. With ten convictions for theft in France to his credit he was, the eleventh time, condemned to life imprisonment. Eventually he was granted a pardon by President Auriol as a result of appeals from France's leading artists and writers led by Jean Cocteau.$$$His first novel, Our Lady of the Flowers, was written while he was in prison, followed by Miracle of the Rose, the autobiographical The Thief's Journal, Querelle of Brest and Funeral Rites. He wrote six plays: The Balcony, The Blacks, The Screens, The Maids, Deathwatch and Splendid's (the manuscript of which was rediscovered only in 1993). Jean Genet died in 1986.

Product Details

  • File Size: 435 KB
  • Print Length: 291 pages
  • Publisher: Grove Press (January 13, 1994)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006T90VLO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #439,206 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Jean Genet's ``Miracle Of The Rose. '' is a modern masterpiece written by one of France's most tortured and brillian writers. An honest reflection of prison, men, love and pain; the characters fix together in a brutal recollection of childhood memories, lost loves, hope and the fight against stagnation and conformity within the bleak and often romantic prison walls. Genet, writes firsthand as having been orphaned and raised in a disciplinary `warehouse 'for wayward youth. He was imprisoned several times during his lifetime and ``The Miracle Of The Rose. '' is a journal of his experiences there, the prison becomes the setting for secret romances and courthships, the saintliness of the prisoner who turns his chains into roses and the connection between these men who have shared their lives together. Hitting upon the often vilified role of sex in prison and love between men, Genet makes the characters all the more human for the brutality of his recollection. He sweetly takes EVIL in hand and charges pornography with poetry and pain with pleasure. Combining the complexity of the human soul and the God fearing body, Genet has written a book that supercedes any of Sade's wildest fantasies or greater humanitarian views. Genet is considered one of Modern Europe's greatest writers and was succesfully petitioned out of a life time prison sentence in France by Sartre and other leading intellectuals and visionaries, Genet's, `` Miracle Of The Rose '' is a riveting must.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Sinking Ship Has Cast The Light Upon The Land November 1, 2002
Genet's second novel, 'The Miracle of the Rose' (1946) is a phantasmagorical account of his youthful incarceration in the Mettray penal colony and subsequent imprisonment in the adult facility of Fountevrault. The author portrays Mettray as a womb-like hive of sunless corridors and constricting passages that both shelters the prisoners and guards and incubates their stark attempts at individual development.

The formless men of Mettray constantly meld and mesh into one another, existing between mental and emotional states of absolute being and permanent dissolution and drift. Genet sees the hieratical Mettray as "the universe itself," something he finds "fabulous." Surrounded by 400 other confined men, many who are attractive and apparently virile, young Genet searches for potential lovers and models upon which he might base his coreless identity.

The narrator identifies these young men as his literal brothers, born from the same maternal body of childhood desolation leading to crime, and is highly drawn to this incestuous angle of his attractions.

He describes the other boys "stroking themselves" in unison alone in their single unit cells, the mixed perfume of wisteria and rose vines creating a "vegetable incest" which wafts over their dreaming heads; he "yearns for a mother," feels he's returned, via Mettray, to "the mother's throbbing breast," and describes the prison and his mood as permanently tinted in autumnal shades.

The female principle reasonably dominates the state of male immaturity, and in both benevolent and malevolent fashion, for Mettray is surrounded by a minefield of "traps laid by women's hands" that create an "invisible, undetectable danger" which throws would be escapees into "wild panic.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The master of the 20th Century September 24, 2004
In the 60's, it was cool to like Genet. Ginsberg even made a reference to the boys in Kansas reading him (aspiring to a future when even the clodhoppers would be enlightened).

There are really some fantastic reviews for this book on here, so I'll try to cover some new ground in a brief manner.

A lot of people have no idea who Genet is. He died in 1986, just in the finishing stages of a book (Prisoner of Love)... his first since the Thief's Journal, almost 30 years before it. He had surfaced briefly to author some of the most incredible dramatic works ever... in fact, far greater than his novels, and his novels are some of the greatest of all time (definitely ranks with Dostoevsky).

There is no explanation for Genet. He wrote Our Lady of the Flowers in prison, and it was a masterpiece. And the he wrote four more. And then he stopped. Just like Shakespeare, he came from nowhere, and he stopped when he decided it was time to stop. His books are intensly 'evil', but they're also incredibly lyrical and always beautiful. They're also quite profound, not just morally, but also in the way that he freely transposes his world, interacts with his creation, and commands powerful meanings from the simplest gestures. Specifically this book deals with his obsession with a fellow prisoner, condemned to die for a murder. The book is the process by which Harcamone (the murderer) develops and blooms in Genet's mind, ultimately culminating in a feverish and spiritually tormented vision of the mystery of Harcamone.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars miracle of rose-like language June 26, 1999
By A Customer
yes, the subject matter is rare to literature, is fascinating in its own right; yes, the connection between genet and sartre (genet was felt as a literal human manifestation of sartre's philosophy) leads increasingly tiny cabals of intellectuals to genet's work, but it is his mastery of language, his ability to use words that make the grotesque suddenly and overwhelmingly beautiful that makes genet's work so powerful and exceptional. read slowly, indulge in the rare beauty of the language, read again and again
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Pretentious? Moi ?
Imprisoned in Fontevrault, Genet looks back at his time at Mettray, a youth correctional unit, that was home to many of his fellow inmates at Fontevrault including his lovers... Read more
Published on January 2, 2010 by An admirer of Saul
3.0 out of 5 stars Vignettes strung together without a psychological punch line?
I am sure there must be deeper existential lessons to be learned here that I have missed, as Genet delves into the depths of the degradation of prison life and in particular into a... Read more
Published on March 3, 2009 by Herbert L Calhoun
5.0 out of 5 stars The Archetypal Outlaw Spits Fire
Having read Sade, Bataille, and all the supposedly "shocking" literature to emerge from literary periods when all modern values were being turned on their heads, I expected that... Read more
Published on September 24, 2004 by J from NY
5.0 out of 5 stars a miracle of a novel
A breathtaking, uplifting work -- mesmerising & unflinching of beauty wherever it is found. One hears people talk about an infinite capacity to bear pain -- it is not so different... Read more
Published on January 28, 2002 by pjmittal
5.0 out of 5 stars The light of the darkness
Jean Genet is the most exquisite of the poets maudits. Every word of him has the bittersweet savour of the pleasures of hell. Read more
Published on January 22, 2002 by Ventura Angelo
2.0 out of 5 stars spercial and really miracle
I want to read this novel because i can not see it in my coutry
Published on February 22, 1999
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