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|Print List Price:||$17.00|
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Miracle of the Rose (Genet, Jean) Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
The beauty of the language aside -- and it is beautiful indeed -- the first emotion evoked at these dives down into (and below) the subhuman is pity, then sorrow, then shame; never heroism, never dignity, never defiance; only capitulation. Even Harcamone's "suicide by legal death sentence" (by killing a prison guard) seems more like a coward's escape than a hero's gallant exit to me.
Certainly there is an artistic backside to all of this that cannot be denied. I have not missed the delicacy of Genet's language: It is like Miles Davis' tone of walking on eggshell raised to a new level. His ability to pack his language with inchoate hatred and anger has no peers: it must have been what Emile Griffith was thinking just before he unleashed the fusillade that killed Benny "Kid" Paret in the ring in 1962. However, beautiful language as a lament is still a lament, unless the whole fabric of the story is pulled together to a higher psychological plane.
So far, I have not seen Genet do that in this much-praised book. I have several others of his, and I will be watching like a hawk to see if this psychological circle is closed. Without that, for me at least, this is a three star effort.
aura, as he does in this book. Jean Genet is one of a kind writer .
There are many nuggets of beauty scattered throughout the novel which will reward the patient reader especially if one is not put off by same sex relationships between prisoners and descriptions of harshness and violence in prison and controversial and exotic opinions and dreams about life in these conditions.
Describing why he had to pretend to be tough and uninterested in a younger prisoner whom he desired Genet describes his feelings: "I made a final effort to lock myself in behind a door that might have revealed my heart's secret and enabled Bulkaen (the younger prisoner) to enter me as he would a conquered country, mounted, in boots and spurs, holding a whip, with an insult on his lips, for a youngster is never gentle with a man who worships him. I replied therefore roughly; Your friendship? Who the hell wants your friendship!"
In a late scene in the story the author's character is forced by seven older big shot prisoners to stand with his mouth stretched as open as possible as the others took turns spitting into his mouth and face. "Yet a trifle would have sufficed for the ghastly game to be transformed into a courtly one and for me to be covered not with spit but roses that had been tossed at me...it would cost no more for them to hurl happiness...I waited for roses..."