Jean Cocteau

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Reaktion Books, Feb 1, 2008 - Biography & Autobiography - 253 pages
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Despite Jean Cocteau’s renown as a leading figure in European cinema, his work and life have rarely been examined together. Evaluating Cocteau’s career and his fascinating personal life on equal terms, James Williams offers here a groundbreaking analysis that sets them both within highly revealing historical and artistic contexts.
Williams’s biographical investigation of this poet, dramatist, novelist, designer, and filmmaker centers around Cocteau’s constant self-questioning and how it permeated his work. From Cocteau’s work in fashion and photography to his formal experimentation to his extensive collaborations with male friends and lovers, the book charts the complex and unpredictable evolution of his work and aesthetic. Williams argues that Cocteau’s body of work is best viewed as an ethical, erotic project of aesthetics that carries important ramifications for our contemporary understanding of being and subjectivity.
An engaging and wholly accessible account, Jean Cocteau is essential reading for all those fascinated by the man and his unforgettable films.
  

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Review: Jean Cocteau

User Review  - Elva Kenley - Goodreads

A really insightful, informative and readable biography of Jean Cocteau. It brings to life the full diversity of Cocteau's creative output and his fascinating character. Read full review

Contents

The Living Artist and the Posthumous Work
7
Paradise Lived and Lost
18
Naturalborn Legend
25
Prince in Exile
34
Russian Lessons
45
Cocteaus First War
55
The Greatest Battle
67
Happy Families
75
Body and Blood of a Poet
142
Tripping Across the World
153
Enter Apollo
165
World War Redux
176
No Mans Land
187
Club SantoSospir
201
The Long Haul
214
Jean Cocteau is Dead Long Live Cocteau
225

Genius of France
85
A Child Carrying a Cane
94
Annus Mirabilis Annus Miserabilis
104
Lost in the Wilderness
114
An Ass Bearing the Lord
123
Miracle or Simulacrum?
131
References
239
Select Bibliography
245
51
251
Photo Acknowledgements
253
Copyright

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About the author (2008)

James S. Williams is Professor of Modern French Literature and Film at Royal Holloway, University of London, and is the author of Jean Cocteau(French Film Directors series, 2006).

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