Search results

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 79 items for :

  • "Jean Genet" x
  • Refine by access: All content x
Clear All
Spaces of revolution
Author: Carl Lavery

Jean Genet has long been regarded as one of the most influential artists of the twentieth century. Since the publication of Jean-Paul Sartre's existential biography Saint Genet: Actor and Martyr in 1952, his writing has attracted the attention of leading French thinkers and philosophers. In the UK and US, his work has played a major role in the development of queer and feminist studies, where his representation of sexuality and gender continues to provoke controversy. This book aims to argue for Genet's influence once again, but it does so by focusing uniquely on the politics of his late theatre. The first part of the book explores the relationship between politics and aesthetics in Genet's theatre and political writing in the period 1955 to 1986. The second part focuses on the spatial politics of The Balcony, The Blacks and The Screens by historicising them within the processes of modernisation and decolonisation in France of the 1950s and 1960s. The third part of the book analyses how Genet's radical spatiality works in practice by interviewing key contemporary practitioners, Lluís Pasqual, JoAnne Akalaitis, and Ultz and Excalibah. The rationale behind these interviews is to find a way of merging past and present. The rationale so explores why Genet's late theatre, although firmly rooted within its own political and historical landscape, retains its relevance for practitioners working within different geographical and historical contexts today.

Introduction
Carl Lavery

EDWARD DE GRAZIA : I found that the possibility – or threat – of revolution, permeates your plays more than your novels; there’s a possibility, or threat of revolution or insurrection in The Maids , for example; there’s a revolution going on in The Balcony , and The Blacks contains a threat of revolution. Does this mean that you are in favour of great changes in the relationships between classes and between people? JEAN GENET : No! It just means that you fear revolution (because you said you’d felt it as a threat), whereas I see it as a hope! (de

in The politics of Jean Genet’s late theatre
Abstract only
Staging the wound
Carl Lavery

Arabs. Significantly, this disclosure is dependent upon shattering the ontological foundations of the spectator, not in encouraging her to make choices about the world through a clear exposition of political themes and dilemmas. According to Marie-Claude Hubert, in her excellent study L’esthétique de Jean Genet , one of the ways in which Genet ‘provokes a politics’ is by reflecting on the relationship between images and power: ‘[i]n Elle , as in The Balcony , Genet […] meditates on how, at the very heart of any social group, power manipulates the image in order

in The politics of Jean Genet’s late theatre
Spectacle, allegory and the wound of theatre
Carl Lavery

1957 for voicing his complaints so vociferously. See White, Genet , pp. 480–2. Equally, in a letter to Bernard Frechtman in 1960, Genet explained how Brook had misunderstood, fundamentally, the function of satire in the play. See Corvin and Dichy, Jean Genet , p. 936. His short 1962 article ‘How to Perform The Balcony ’ details his dissatisfaction with all existing productions of the play to date. See The Balcony , pp. xi–xiii. 3 See for instance the existentialist reading of Benjamin Nelson, ‘ The Balcony and Parisian Existentialism’, Tulane Drama Review

in The politics of Jean Genet’s late theatre
Carl Lavery

, p. 91. 10 See Allen Francovich, ‘Genet’s Theatre of Possession’; Anthony Graham-White, ‘Jean Genet and the Psychology of Colonialism’, Comparative Drama , 4:3 ( 1970 ), 208–16; Graham Dunstan Martin, ‘Racism in Genet’s Les nègres ’, Modern Language Review , 70:3 ( 1975 ), 517–25; and Keith A. Warner, ‘ Les nègres : A Look at Genet’s Excursion into Black Consciousness’, CLA Journal , 26:4 ( 1983 ), 397–414. 11 From the late 1950s to the present, The Blacks has been read in terms of racism and colonialism but no one to my knowledge, with the exception

in The politics of Jean Genet’s late theatre
The Theatre of the Absurd
Neil Cornwell

excremental – though this time with a more explicit concentration on the French homosexual and criminal outcasts and underclasses – pervade too the works of Jean Genet. Equally well known (as with Arrabal for his novels) for, in this case, his prose narratives written in the 1940s, Genet made his name publicly first as a dramatist of the absurd (or of the socalled ‘theatre of the possessed’). His artistic reputation was also boosted by his being the subject of a monograph by Sartre.7 ‘Genet’s theatre’, like his prose, ‘in a very real sense, is a Dance of Death’ (Th. Abs

in The absurd in literature
Politics and aesthetics
Carl Lavery

’s posthumously published and unpublished plays, see Brian Kennelly, ‘A paraître/apparaître, Genet and his press’, French Review , 68:3 ( 1995 ), 466–76, 3 According to Albert Dichy, Genet had submitted the completed manuscript for Prisoner of Love to Gallimard in November 1985. Given Genet’s track record in the 1970s and 1980s, however, there is no guarantee that he would have been satisfied with the finished product. See Corvin and Dichy, Jean Genet , p. xciv. 4 Sartre claimed that Genet, because of his peasant upbringing and illegitimacy, was unable to identify

in The politics of Jean Genet’s late theatre
The battle of The Screens
Carl Lavery

: Gallimard, 1986), p. 202; my translation)). 2 Occident was an extreme right-wing movement that was opposed to both the political left in France and to de Gaulle. It supported the US war effort in Vietnam and believed in European supremacy. It was officially outlawed in 1968. 3 For a full transcript of the debate, see Corvin and Dichy, Jean Genet , pp. 971–80. 4 The fact that The Screens was always going to create a disturbance of some sort is evident from Jean-Louis Barrault’s pre-emptive article ‘Scandal and Provocation’, published in Les Cahiers Renauld

in The politics of Jean Genet’s late theatre
Abstract only
The event of the wound
Carl Lavery

, 1997); Nathalie Fredette, ‘Jean Genet: les pouvoirs de l’imposture’, Etudes Françaises , 31:3 ( 1995 ), 87-101; and Elizabeth Stephens ‘Disseminating Phallic Masculinity: Seminal Fluidity in Genet’s Fiction’, Hanrahan, Genet , 85-97. 4 As I mentioned, this does not mean that queer readers today are prevented from finding revolutionary liberation in Genet’s early writing. Eribon, in Une morale du minoritaire , for instance, is very perceptive about this aspect of Genet’s work (pp. 25–44). Paul Woodward, in his essay with Carl Lavery, provides an autobiographical

in The politics of Jean Genet’s late theatre
Abstract only
From the axe to giving birth
Nicholas Royle

of a proper name, but the writer, the painter, the sculptor dreams of a style, a mark, a drawing or musical paraph in which the signature is given. The writer or artist dreams of climbing or descending the ladder into the nethermost forest, the starriest night. There is a moment in Glas when Jacques Derrida observes: ‘The signature is a wound and there is no other origin of the work of art.’ 2 But no sooner does he say it than he cuts his text and transfers the saying to Jean Genet: ‘There is no other origin for beauty than the wound – singular, different for

in Hélène Cixous