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The Criminal Child by Jean Genet
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The Criminal Child

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The Criminal Child by Jean Genet
Paperback $15.95
Jan 21, 2020 | ISBN 9781681373614

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  • Jan 21, 2020 | ISBN 9781681373614

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“Genet’s multifaceted and wildly original aesthetic is embodied in associative takes and close reads . . . Also enthralling are reflections on the inner void, queer life, disease, and death . . . Essential for followers of Genet, inquisitive general readers, and enthusiasts of 20th-century avant-garde French writing.” —Diane Mehta, Library Journal

“[This book is] united by Genet’s signature probing prose and his fascination with morality, misfits, and art. . . . Throughout, Genet is a deft, sensual, and outrageous critic—in regards to theater, he proclaims, ‘A performance that does not act on my soul is vain.’ Fans will be pleased with this gathering of Genet’s inimitable reflections on art, life, and his muses.” —Publishers Weekly

“The title essay is a classic work from the great Genet on the institution of French education and what we should do about juvenile criminality. It’s a pioneering essay, much of which is still quite relevant today.” —Andrés Barba, PEN America

“[T]his text provides crucial insights into Genet’s way of thinking.” —John Gray, The New Statesman

“These selected essays bring us once again the somewhat neglected contrarian voice of Jean Genet . . . including the title essay which is . . . a subtly-nuanced praise piece for the prison experience . . . these provocative Genet pieces are certainly worth investigating.”—Paddy Kehoe, RTÉ

“Genet consistently broke lyrical conventions, creating a narrative approach as a stream of his unique consciousness, unexpectedly poetic. The collection ‘The Criminal Child’ examines homosexuals’ connection to crime, punishment, and our own queerness. His language, provocative and queer, reminds us that Genet was his own creation.” —Mark William Norby, Bay Area Reporter

“Genet’s sense of language [moved] seamlessly from street argot to the sublime. . . . Genet’s poetry drew me to write; his imagery drew Robert [Mapplethorpe] to the camera.” —Patti Smith, The Paris Review  

“Beside [Genet], Henry Miller is but a cheerfully smutty college sophomore, Sade a dilettante aristocrat of eccentric habits, Gide a genteel old lady sedately cultivating nightshade in her little kitchen garden.” —Time

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