Historicism with Jean Genet's Querelle Essay

Historicism with Jean Genet's Querelle Essay

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"I recognize in thieves, traitors and murderers, in the ruthless and the cunning, a deep beauty-a sunken beauty." (Jean Genet)
"I'm homosexual... How and why are idle questions. It's a little like wanting to know why my eyes are green." (Jean Genet)
A nod of acknowledgement and understanding should descend upon every head that has read Querelle and is aware that Jean Genet is the author after looking at the above two quotes. Genet’s fiction might after all be a coalition of artistically twisted facts. The nod might grow more vigorous after a quick skim through even the most basic of the French writer’s biography. It is then that the acknowledgement and understanding combine into generalization that an author’s life somehow reflects through his work. It is precisely when a reader is exposed to Genet’s history that Querelle begins to strip out of its secrets. Suddenly the protagonist can be sympathized, Nono’s feminine bursts seem consistent with the plot and Genet himself could be seen between lines. Historicism plays a significant role in a greater appreciation of an artist’s composition.
Having lived a life of a criminal from the age of 10 , Genet is to a frightening degree Querelle himself. His serving at the Mettray Reformatory and his life as a thief, a burglar, and a prostitute enhances the Querelle in him. Even his hero’s name apparently has a streak of his sexual orientation as Sartre points out that Genet himself as a writer is extremely specific about names. His friend shares an account where Genet mentions how he does not like roses but cherishes the name itself. The event in which a person begins to visualize the being of a word in the word itself distinguishes Genet’s complex character, yet again adding to his g...


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...“Jean Genet (1910-1986).”Kuusankosken kaupunginkirjasto 2008. Web. 27 Mar. 2011. < http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/jgenet.htm>
Oswald, Laura. Jean Genet and the Semiotics of Performance. United States of America: Indiana University Press, 1989. Print.
Plotz, John. "Objects of abjection: The animation of difference in Jean Genet's novels." Twentieth Century Literature 44.1 (1998): 100. Academic Search Complete. EBSCO. Web. 28 Mar. 2011.
Sartre, Jean-Paul. Saint Genet: Actor and Martyr. Trans. Frenchtman, Bernard. New York: George Braziller, Inc., 1963. Print.
Stewart, Harry E., and Rob Roy McGregor. "Jean Genet's `mentalite douteuse'." Romance Quarterly 39.3 (1992): 299. Academic Search Complete. EBSCO. Web. 31 Mar. 2011.
Thody, Philip, and Howard Read. "Saint Genet." Introducing Sartre (2005): 130-131. Humanities International Complete. EBSCO. Web. 30 Mar. 2011.


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