New PDF release: The Balcony


By Jean Genet

ISBN-10: 080219429X

ISBN-13: 9780802194299

The surroundings of Jean Genet's celebrated play is a brothel that caters to sophisticated sensibilities and weird tastes. right here males from all walks of lifestyles don the apparel in their fantasies and act them out: a guy from the gasoline corporation wears the gown and mitre of a bishop; one other buyer turns into a flagellant pass judgement on, and nonetheless one other a effective normal, whereas a financial institution clerk defiles the Virgin Mary. those costumed diversions occur whereas open air a revolution rages which has remoted the brothel from the remainder of the rebel-controlled urban. In a beautiful sequence of macabre, climactic scenes, Genet provides his caustic view of guy and society.

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Example text

He therefore remained abroad, mostly in France and Switzerland, and made a precarious living during the middle years of the decade, during which he wrote the four-volume autobiographical fiction The Son of a Servant, whose title stresses his identification with his mother, a former serving-maid, and a sociological study of the French provinces, Among French Peasants. The Father therefore represents a change of direction on Strindberg’s part, a move away from what he later described as ‘ephemeral political and social so-called questions’ towards ‘artistic-psychological writing’ (ASB VI, 335).

This abundance was all the more striking since after 1892, when he completed a series of short plays on contemporary subjects and the fairy-tale play The Keys of Heaven, he had written nothing for the theatre until the first part of To Damascus in 1898. Indeed, apart from a few essays there were no literary works of any significance during this period. Instead he devoted himself to a range of pursuits, including photography, painting, the natural sciences, and alchemy. The motives for this turn away from literature are complex.

Miss Julie was written in about two weeks during late July and early August 1888. A letter to his publisher, Bonnier, proudly claims for it the honour of being ‘the first Naturalistic Tragedy in Swedish Drama’ (SL 1, 280), and it represents Strindberg’s major achievement as a naturalist writer for the theatre—so ‘naturalistic’, indeed, where its language is concerned that Bonnier considered the play too ‘risky’ and refused to publish it. It had to wait eighteen years for its first professional production in Sweden and an unexpurgated text was not published or performed there until well into the following century.

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The Balcony by Jean Genet

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