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 CocteauUser 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
Review: Jean CocteauUser Review - Tosh - Goodreads
First of all, I haven't read one bad Reaktion Press - Critical Lives book. And this little biography on Jean Cocteau is superb like the others in the series. What makes this book so special is that it ... Read full review
The Living Artist and the Posthumous Work
Paradise Lived and Lost
Prince in Exile
Cocteaus First War
The Greatest Battle
Body and Blood of a Poet
Tripping Across the World
World War Redux
No Mans Land
The Long Haul
Jean Cocteau is Dead Long Live Cocteau