Katie's Reviews > The Thief's Journal

The Thief's Journal by Jean Genet
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's review
Feb 20, 2007

liked it
Recommended for: lovers and fighters
Read in February, 2007

The central tenet of this book is that being gay (and an impoverished orphan), our hero is consigned to a disrespected life. Rather than attempt to meet the demands of a society which rejects him, he clothes himself in an armor of utter depravity. If he cannot be the perfect prince he will be the perfect pauper and criminal. After the first 70 or so pages in which I struggled with the incredible egotism of the book (from Sartre’s introduction: “not all who would be are Narcissus;” as you might imagine, Genet achieves such heights) I was caught on the torrential power of our hero’s glorious rise/descent and of Genet’s prose. This book is a love story in which the object of love changes many times but the nature of the emotion remains real and conflicted, obsessive and transcendent, submissive, powerful, and radiant. It is also a radical text about what it means to be a rejected member of society. Both the beauty and the sudden moments of anger are astounding. Recommended. Definitely a winter read. I look forward to the biography. (Thanks Scott!)

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message 1: by David (last edited Aug 25, 2016 10:49AM) (new)

David Whoa, impressively lengthy.


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