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By Jean-Paul Sartre

Saint Genet is Jean-Paul Sartre’s vintage biography of Jean Genet—thief, convict, and nice artist—a personality of virtually mythical proportions whose impression grows superior with time. Bringing jointly of the century’s maximum minds and artists, Saint Genet is instantly a compelling mental portrait, masterpiece of literary feedback, and one among Sartre’s such a lot own and encouraged philosophical creations.

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Extra resources for Saint Genet: Actor and Martyr

Example text

Not that he is asked to desire the impure or to will Evil by deliberate intentions of his consciousness. He is required only to recognize this evil will as inspiring his daily desires, his ordinary wishes. The child tries to do this as best he can. His candor, his confidence, his respect make him the best auxiliary of adults. He has been told that he is bad, he therefore believes it. He conscientiously seeks the evil desires and evil thoughts of decent people at the very source of his subjectivity.

It is the adults themselves who want him to relapse. He will fall into error again, as often as they want him to. So he now adopts the point of view of honest people. He docilely establishes within himself the inclination attributed to him. But this inclination is, in its very form, the Other's. It is never within our own self that we discover the unforeseeable foreseeability of which I have spoken; we discover it in those who we are not. In our own eyes, we are neither foreseeable nor unforeseeable.

He finds no other way than to share the disgust he inspires in them, than to despise himself with their contempt. The trap works well. Genet tears himself apart with his own hands. He has now become an absolute object of loathing. Once upon a time, in Bohemia, there was a flourishing industry which seems to have fallen off. One would take children, slit their lips, compress their skulls and keep them in a box day and night to prevent them from growing. As a result of this and similar treatment, the children were turned into amusing monsters who brought in handsome profits.

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