Book Chapter: “Jean Genet” in The Routledge Companion to Absurdist Literature

Book Chapter: “Jean Genet” in The Routledge Companion to Absurdist Literature

My chapter on controversial French author Jean Genet has recently been published in The Routledge Companion to Absurdist Literature, “the first authoritative and definitive edited collection on absurdist literature. As a field-defining volume, the editor [Michael Bennett] and the contributors are world leaders in this ever-exciting genre.”
Transforming his early life experiences as a drifter, thief, prostitute, and inmate with the power of imagination and undeniable literary skills, Genet (1910–1986) unsettles the reader and spectator by plunging them in the midst of strange and unique worlds, only imperfectly illuminated and yet potently alluring. I analyze Genet’s oeuvre focusing on his novels Our Lady of the Flowers, Miracle of the Rose, The Thief’s Journal, and Funeral Rites, and the plays Deathwatch, The Maids, Splendid’s, The Pope, The Balcony, The Blacks, and The Screens. Moving from deeply personal matters to more grandiose architectures, Genet’s work displays a gusto for defying expectations, an eagerness to contradict the assumptions of bourgeois morality, and constant reminders of the power and fragility of simulacra in the private and political arena. Despite the disappearance of many of Genet’s world coordinates, his creations still offer exciting and unique dilemmas that his readers and spectators are compelled to unravel.


Stebos is a stage director, producer, and dramaturg, based in Las Vegas and New York City in the United States.

Stebos has 47 posts and counting. See all posts by Stebos

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