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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.
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 morePublished on January 2, 2010 by An admirer of Saul
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 morePublished on March 3, 2009 by Herbert L Calhoun
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 morePublished on September 24, 2004 by J from NY
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 morePublished on January 28, 2002 by pjmittal
Jean Genet is the most exquisite of the poets maudits. Every word of him has the bittersweet savour of the pleasures of hell. Read morePublished on January 22, 2002 by Ventura Angelo