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The Maids Paperback – 16 Apr 2009

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Product details

  • Paperback: 44 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber (16 April 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571251145
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571251148
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 0.3 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 67,680 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

Jean Genet was born in Paris in 1910. An illegitimate child who never knew his parents, he was abandoned to the Public Assistance Authorities. He was ten when he was sent to a reformatory for stealing; thereafter he spent time in the prisons of nearly every country he visited in thirty years of prowling through the European underworld. With ten convictions for theft in France to his credit he was, the eleventh time, condemned to life imprisonment. Eventually he was granted a pardon by President Auriol as a result of appeals from France's leading artists and writers led by Jean Cocteau.$$$His first novel, Our Lady of the Flowers, was written while he was in prison, followed by Miracle of the Rose, the autobiographical The Thief's Journal, Querelle of Brest and Funeral Rites. He wrote six plays: The Balcony, The Blacks, The Screens, The Maids, Deathwatch and Splendid's (the manuscript of which was rediscovered only in 1993). Jean Genet died in 1986.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 10 Dec 2001
Format: Paperback
Genet's work is like a Pandora's Box; once you lift the lid there is almost no stopping what emerges. The Maids, in particular, is a fascinating and complex play that leaves the reader doubting their own personality: how far can a person be driven by the situation they find themselves in? The story of the two sister's plot to kill their mistress and their ceremonial role-playing of her is a dark and biting commentary on social roles. Anyone interested in the issues raised in Strindberg's Miss Julie will be equally interested in the ritualistic aspect of two servants who believe they should be higher in their society.
Deathwatch follows as an equally provoking read. The plot takes place in the claustrophobic atmosphere of the prison cell and the three inmates. Genet's exploration of homo-erotic relationships are evident in both of these plays masked by the examination of social roles. The inmates love and despise each other, and Genet explores the hierarchy of those confined to prison. To gain notoriety and respect of the other inmates it seems the ideal is to be the hardest and harshest criminal serving time.
Deathwatch is interesting to read in consideration of the playwright's biography; he spent much of his life in and out of prison for petty thefts and the play is truthful and interesting.
The plays offer remarkable possibilities for staging and are also very interesting for those who enjoy reading plays and theatre literature.
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By Lena K. on 2 May 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had seen it in the theatre few years ago and I was very happy to discover that it is equally good as a read
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