Because Genet’s position was false-he was a false son, the falsely pious choirboy, the false boy, the false friend, and the false villager – he came to understand the mechanics of social role-playing . Sartre imagined, from the order of publication, that Genet moved from the comparatively closed world of poetry to the great openness of fiction and finally the transparency and political concern of his plays.
Edmund White –Jean Genet-A Biography
The biography courses through many important phases of the 20th century, and is an interesting commentary on the times since world War 1 , to the inter-war years, the Spanish civil war,the jail years. In the second half of his life, he was committed to two causes-the Black Panthers and the Palestinians.
Prisoner of Love…Remains Genet’s final act of Transcendence
Neither thePanthers nor the Palestinians posses a home, a country. They are people without land, perennial exiles, who set up phantom bureaucracies and shadow administrations but who live in a permanent diaspora. As Genet told Tahar Ben Jelloun , the Moroccan novelist
“As you know , I’m on the side of those who seek to have a territory, although I refuse to have one”
A mystical atheist
Genet always pursued his own peculiar destiny as a mystical atheist, a saint complete with miracles, ecstasies, visions and stigmata but no deity and precious few good works
White talks of Genet’s “Homeric powers”. Homer may be a blind, weak poet, but the glory of even the wiliest warrior depends on his frail voice. White ends his essay on Prisoners of love …
“In a thousand years people will know the Palestinian exodus only in his version”