Jean Genetborn Dec. Genet, an illegitimate child abandoned by his mother, Gabrielle Genet, was raised by a family of peasants. Caught stealing at the age of 10, he spent part of his adolescence at a notorious reform schoolMettray, where he experienced much that was later described in the novel Miracle de la rose —46; Miracle of the Rose. It also reveals him as an aesthete, an existentialist, and a pioneer of the Absurd. He began to write in while imprisoned for theft at Fresnes and produced an outstanding novel, Notre-Dame des Fleurs ; Our Lady of the Flowersvividly portraying the prewar Montmartre underworld of thugs, pimps, and perverts.
His early attempts, by their compact, neoclassical, one-act structure, reveal the strong influence of Sartre. Haute Surveillance ; Deathwatch continues his prison-world themes. With this play Genet was established as an outstanding figure in the Theatre of the Absurd. Genet, a rebel and an anarchist of the most extreme sort, rejected almost all forms of social discipline or political commitment.
The violent and often degraded eroticism of his experience led him to a concept of mystic humiliation. Jean Genet. Article Media. Info Print Cite. Submit Feedback. Thank you for your feedback. The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree See Article History.
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Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students.Early in his life he was a vagabond and petty criminal, but he later took to writing. Genet's mother was a prostitute who raised him for the first seven months of his life before placing him for adoption. His foster family was headed by a carpenter and, according to Edmund White 's biography, was 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. 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. For this and other misdemeanors, including repeated acts of vagrancy, he was sent at the age of 15 to Mettray Penal Colony where he was detained between 2 September and 1 March In Miracle of the Rosehe gives an account of this period of detention, which ended at the age of 18 when he joined the Foreign Legion.
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 After returning to Paris, France inGenet was in and out of prison through a series of arrests for theft, use of false papers, vagabondagelewd acts, and other offenses.
In Paris, Genet sought out and introduced himself to Jean Cocteauwho was impressed by his writing. Cocteau used his contacts to get Genet's novel published, and inwhen Genet was threatened with a life sentence after ten convictions, Cocteau and other prominent figures, including Jean-Paul Sartre and Pablo Picassosuccessfully petitioned the French President to have the sentence set aside.
Genet would never return to prison. ByGenet had completed five novels, three plays, and numerous poems, many controversial for their explicit and often deliberately provocative portrayal of homosexuality and criminality. Sartre wrote a long analysis of Genet's existential development from vagrant to writerentitled Saint Genetwhich 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. During this time, Genet became emotionally attached to Abdallah Bentaga, a tightrope walker.
However, following a number of accidents and his suicide inGenet entered a period of depressionand even attempted suicide himself. From the late s, starting with an homage to Daniel Cohn-Bendit after the events of MayGenet became politically active. He participated in demonstrations drawing attention to the living conditions of immigrants in France.
Genet was censored in the United States in and later expelled when they refused him a visa. In an interview with Edward de Grazia, professor of law and First Amendment lawyer, Genet discusses the time he went through Canada for the Chicago congress. He entered without a visa and left with no issues. Inthe Black Panthers invited him to the United States, where he stayed for three months giving lectures, attended the trial of their leader, Huey Newtonand published articles in their journals.
Later the same year he spent six months in Palestinian refugee campssecretly meeting Yasser Arafat near Amman. Profoundly moved by his experiences in the United States and JordanGenet wrote a final lengthy memoir about his experiences, Prisoner of Lovewhich would be published posthumously.
He worked with Foucault and Sartre to protest police brutality against Algerians in Paris, a problem persisting since the Algerian War of Independencewhen beaten bodies were to be found floating in the Seine.See photos of celebrities like Scarlett Johansson and Leonardo DiCaprio before they hit the big-time, and revisit their earliest onscreen roles.
See the full gallery. Looking for something to watch? Choose an adventure below and discover your next favorite movie or TV show. Visit our What to Watch page. Sign In. Up 10, this week. Writer Director Actor. Jean-Paul Sartre likens Jean Genet to a saint for a very particular reason, a reason that is apparent in the title of the biography, but which does not translate in the English title--"Saint Genet: Actor and Martyr"--because meaning and referentiality are lost.
Born: December 19in Paris, France. Died: April 15age 75 in Paris, France. Filmography by Job Trailers and Videos. Share this page:. Top Directors, with Ranked Filmographies. French Language Directors.
My favourite French filmmakers old school. Do you have a demo reel? Add it to your IMDbPage. How Much Have You Seen? How much of Jean Genet's work have you seen? Known For. Poison Writer.
Un Chant D'Amour Writer. Body of Deceit Writer. Mademoiselle Writer.Early in his life he was a vagabond homeless person and petty criminal. Genet's mother was a young prostitute who put him up for adoption. After committing small crimes as a child, he was sent to the youth prison of Mettray. In the s, he was a vagabond, petty thief and prostitute across Europe.
In the mids, Genet met Jean Cocteau. Cocteau helped Genet to publish his novel. By when liberated from prison through petitions of many persons including Jean Conteau and Jean-Paul SartreGenet had completed five novels, three plays and numerous poems.
His books were banned in the United States. Between and Genet wrote three more plays. InGenet entered a period of depression and attempted suicide. In the late sGenet became politically active. Jean Genet was gay homosexual. Genet developed throat cancer and died on 15 April in Paris. The first novel, Our Lady of the Flowersis an about the life in prison. His novels The Miracle of the Rose and The Thief's Journaldescribe his experiences in youth prison and as a male prostitute.
The novel Querelle de Brest is about murder and the novel Funeral Rites is about love and betrayal. His last novel, A Prisoner of Love published inis different from his other books.
Genet's plays were considered to be "Theater of the Absurd" plays. These plays had ideas which were similar to the ideas in existentialist ways of thinking. InGenet directed a film called Un Chant d'Amourwhich showed fantasies about prison life.
From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Jean Genet. ParisFrance. Namespaces Page Talk. Views Read Change Change source View history. Wikimedia Commons. Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Jean Genet.Jean Genet is best known for surreal poetic dramas in which he utilizes the stage as a communal arena for bizarre fantasies involving dominance and submission, sex, and death. Although Genet first won international recognition for his lyrical novels about prison life, most critics contend that his dramas represent the most refined synthesis of his characteristic style and themes.
A Life in Prisons Although the facts of Genet's life are so mixed with fiction as to be nearly indistinguishable, it is certain that he was born in in Paris.
His father was unknown, and his mother, Gabrielle Genet, abandoned him at birth. As a ward of the Assistance publiquehe spent his early childhood in an orphanage. As a young boy, he was assigned to a peasant family in the Morvan region of France. The foster parents, who were paid by the state to raise him, accused him of theft, and some time between the age of ten and fifteen he was sent to the Mettray Reformatory, a penal colony for adolescents. After escaping from Mettray and joining and being dishonorably discharged from the Foreign Legion for his homosexualityGenet spent the next twenty years wandering throughout Europe, where he made his living as a thief and male prostitute.
According to the legend, he began writing his first novels in jail and quickly rose to literary prominence. Having been sentenced to life in prison for a crime he did not commit, he received a presidential pardon from Vincent Auriol inprimarily because of a petition circulated by an elite group of Parisian writers and intellectuals. After Genet devoted himself to literature, the theater, the arts, and various social causes—. He would later memorialize these experiences in his memoir, Prisoner of Lovepublished posthumously in Genet's early days of literary prominence, after the successful but humiliating conclusion of World War II in which France was liberated—from both German forces and its own Vichy government, a puppet regime controlled by the Nazis—by Allied forces inwere a time of both reconstruction and political instability in France, with the so-called Fourth Republic having more than twenty-one prime ministers over the course of the twelve years of its existence.
Poetry, Novels, Plays … and One Fictional Autobiography It is frequently noted of Genet that his development as a writer was from poetry to novels to plays. According to the legend, his initial creative effort was a poem written in prison, and, in fact, his first published work was his poem The Condemned Man. Between andGenet proceeded to write four major novels and. He also wrote two plays, of which one, The Maidswas produced by Louis Jouvet in And while Genet went on to make two films between and Imagenetions and Song of Lovehis most successful theatrical period was from to During that time, he wrote and presented three plays—all successful productions.
Various ballets, mimes, films, aesthetic criticism and sociopolitical statements were interspersed throughout his years of productivity, from about to Weakened by ill health, Genet published little after He was found dead on the floor of his Paris hotel room on April 15,and buried in the Spanish cemetery in Larache, Morocco.
Genet's work is most fruitfully viewed in terms of its subversion of both traditional structure and heteronormative themes. His first novel was brought to Jean Cocteau 's attention by three young men who had become acquainted with Genet, who was then selling books some stolen from a bookstall along the Seine. Cocteau recognized the literary merit of Our Ladywhich is a tour de force.
This novel is unique for several reasons: its basic philosophy, its sophisticated literary technique, and its composite central character Genet-Divine-Culafroy.
Homosexual Eros and an Ethic of Evil Genet's novels, which are fraught with exotic imagery and metaphors, French slang, and scatological language, all take the form of non-chronological, semiautobiographical narratives that alternate between the first and third person.
Thus, evil is transformed into good, suffering into joy, and shame into glory.
Through his fantasies, Genet describes the loving revenge of a submissive homosexual prisoner, Divine, on his dominant pimps and cellmates, Darling and Our Lady, whom he resents supporting through male prostitution. Genet ultimately deems Divine's betrayal of Our Lady, a murderer whom Divine delivers to prison officials for execution, to be a tribute to supreme evil. By betraying his lover, Divine is able to identify with both victim and executioner and to assume the universal burden of criminal responsibility.
Ron Hubbard — : An American science fiction author who also founded the controversial Church of Scientology. Chinua Achebe — : A Nigerian novelist, poet, and literary critic, Achebe is perhaps the most significant African writer in English of the twentieth century.
Frida Kahlo — : A Mexican painter whose work includes elements of several schools of art, including Surrealism and Symbolism. Yitzhak Rabin — : The Israeli prime minister who won the Nobel Peace Prize in and was assassinated in Granddaddy to the Beats Given Genet's open discussion of homosexuality and his refusal to conform to the conventions of the novel, it is fair to say that his work opened the door for the success of a number of Beat writers, antiestablishment American writers who rose to prominence in the s.TippingSports is approved Betfair API solution which means that you can set it to automatically bet on all your tips and tips from your tipsters at Betfair.
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