JEAN GENET AND THE FRENCH CONTRIBUTION TO CIVILIZATION

from The Miracle of the Rose-
But now I am afraid. The signs pursue me and I pursue them patiently. They are bent on destroying me. Didn’t I see, on my way to court, seven sailors on the terrace of a cafe, questioning the stars through seven mugs of light beer as they sat around a table that perhaps turned; then, a messenger boy on a bicycle who was carrying a message from god to god, holding between his teeth, by the metal handle, a round, lighted lantern, the flame of which, as it reddened his face, also heated it? So pure a marvel that he was unaware of being a marvel. Circles and globes haunt me: oranges, Japanese billiard balls, Venetian lanterns, jugglers’ hoops, the round ball of the goalkeeper who wears a jersey. I shall have to establish, to regulate, a whole internal astronomy.
Jean Genet

Jean Genet, born in 1910 somewhere in France, bounced around from foster home to foster home as a child. Accused of thievery, he adopted thievery as a way of life, for which he was sent to what once was laughably called “Reform School”, where impressionable young men and a few young women) were torn apart and re-formed into permanent outsiders incapable of living in the rutted paths of social convention marked out for them by the mob entity known as society, which is nothing but a condition of mass hypnotism which we have been trained since early childhood to accept as “reality”. After leaving reform school, he embarked upon a career as a petty thief and hustler, only later finding himself as a writer.
Most who see the lie of “normal” or “real” life flounder, not having the strength or independence of mind to realize the task that lies on the other side of that realization: to wit, the creation of a new reality for oneself that is more consonant with ones own nature.
You see, each of us has at least two lives; the one we are given, and the one we create. Perhaps Fassbinder was right:All of life really is a movie.
The life we create has more to do with who we are than with outer circumstances, which are often beyond our control.
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Genet wrote several novels, a memoir, and several plays. He only directed one film, Chant D’Amour, in 1950. Twentyfive minutes long, it’s entirely silent. It focuses on the love of an older Algerian prison inmate for his young friend in the adjoining cell. A sadistic guard humiliates and abuses the prisoner, who rises above the degradation to a place where he and his friend are free together.

Go here to see the film.

It’s also available here.
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The French contribution to civilization…

Be loved,

DEL

The photos are courtesy of the great Moutarde, creative force behind BO??.

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4 Responses to “JEAN GENET AND THE FRENCH CONTRIBUTION TO CIVILIZATION”

  1. BarbaraFromCalifornia Says:

    Interesting story and very provocative photos.

    Have a happy holiday.

  2. Foxy Stone Says:

    somtimes when I stop and think of all the constructs society takes and what we think of as facts are only arbitrary rules set forth by people long before our time, it makes me shiver. just a twitch this way or that and the entire society as we know it could be forever changed…
    not such a bad thing, after all

  3. Shaney Says:

    Very interesting read Sir….
    Everyone has a story to tell yet it is the way in which it is told that makes for riveting reading…
    P.s 3 pic…WOW!! YUM!! I want some!!!
    *winks*

  4. tornwordo Says:

    I like to think of life as a movie sometimes, but other times I squabble with the director.

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