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The Infernal Machine and Other Plays

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  965 ratings  ·  16 reviews
Among the great figures who pioneered the modern movement in world literature, none showed himself more versatile than France's Jean Cocteau. Poet, novelist, critic, artist, actor, film-maker, Cocteau was also one of the greatest dramatists Europe has produced, with over a dozen plays which are frequently revived, not only ion France, but in translation in many other count ...more
Paperback, English Edition, 409 pages
Published January 17th 1964 by New Directions Publishing Corporation (first published January 1st 1950)
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Julia Boechat Machado
“Olha, espectador, remonta a fundo, de sorte que a mola se desenrola com lentidão ao longo de uma vida humana, uma das mais perfeitas máquinas construídas pelos deuses infernais para o aniquilamento matemático de um homem”
O problema de ler Cocteau é que temos vontade de copiar cada linha.
“ANÚBIS: Obedeçamos. O mistério tem seus mistérios. Os deuses possuem os seus deuses. Nós temos os nossos. Eles têm os seus. É o que se chama infinito”.
S.D. Johnson
Re-reading The Oedipus Cycle of Sophocles before this work, which is a retelling of Oedipus Rex, I found that Cocteau's attempt truly paled in comparison, & neither was it nearly as good as Les Enfants Terribles by him which I read awhile ago. There are some truly funny moments, such as the ghost of Laïus declaring that "les remparts étaient l'endroit le plus favorable aux apparitions des personnes mortes de mort violente, à cause des égouts". (The ramparts are the most favorable place for a ...more
Czarny Pies
Aug 30, 2014 Czarny Pies rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: People who find it on their course reading list.
Recommended to Czarny by: It was on a course reading list.
Shelves: french-lit
Cocteau has aged badly. His surrealistic retelling of Oedipus Rex has aged badly. These plays show only that you don't need to go too far with Freud before you have gone too far.

I would however be tempted to see the Infernal Machine in the theatre. Clever directors can sometimes breath life into dead horses.

Lu en francais
May 18, 2007 Bailey rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Rassias fans
I love how playful Cocteau is - as seen in this book and "Beauty and the Beast." If you know the Oedipus story you'll think this is hilarious.
On one hand I do feel as though these French re-doings of the Theban plays do go over my head somewhat. On the other, I really enjoy seeing a new spin put on the personalities of each character. This was very well done, and highly enjoyable.
i'm not going to finish this book. the infernal machine and orpheus were good. the wedding at the eiffel tower was not, and i can't get into arthur or bacchus.
for me, it was all about the Infernal Machine. An old story retold time and time throughout the ages, but i loved the surrealness of Cocteau's interpretation. Mmmmm.
Carolane Vallée
What I thought... Well, it's surely a book who made me smile, but also, helped me to understand the story of <>.
A funny and clever reinterpretation of the Oedipe myth.
Several nice references to other famous play (like Hamlet)
Denise M
Read this in high-school. I loved Cocteau then and still love to read great quotations from his works.
Jun 12, 2007 Meredith rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: etudiants de la langue francaise
J'aurais mieux compris ceci si je l'ai vu au theatre, mais c'etais tres interessant quand meme.
magistral. a really beautifull piece.
Oedipus in the most absurd way
The Infernal Machine, and Other Plays. by Jean Cocteau (1964)
Cocteau revisitant le mythe d'Oedipe...
Never have I read a greater poet--
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Jean Maurice Eugène Clément Cocteau (5 July 1889 – 11 October 1963) was a French poet, novelist, dramatist, designer, boxing manager, playwright and filmmaker. Along with other Surrealists of his generation (Jean Anouilh and René Char for example) Cocteau grappled with the "algebra" of verbal codes old and new, mise en scène language and technologies of modernism to create a paradox: a classical a ...more
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“Regarde, spectateur, remontée à bloc, de telle sorte que le ressort se déroule avec lenteur tout le long d'une vie humaine, une des plus parfaites machines construites par les dieux infernaux pour l'anéantissement mathématique d'un mortel.” 0 likes
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