The Balcony by Jean Genet

By Jean Genet

The environment of Jean Genet's celebrated play is a brothel that caters to subtle sensibilities and bizarre tastes. right here males from all walks of existence don the apparel in their fantasies and act them out: a guy from the gasoline corporation wears the gown and mitre of a bishop; one other buyer turns into a flagellant pass judgement on, and nonetheless one other a triumphant normal, whereas a financial institution clerk defiles the Virgin Mary. those costumed diversions occur whereas outdoors a revolution rages which has remoted the brothel from the remainder of the rebel-controlled urban. In a beautiful sequence of macabre, climactic scenes, Genet provides his caustic view of guy and society.

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How to Win Friends and Influence People (1937) defined a new way for success: through cooperation rather than competition. Shirley Temple's perpetual screen self was persistently forced to suffer deprivation and heartbreak but eventually found happiness through her kindness to others. Dorothy Gale in The Wizard of Oz (1939) achieved her own wish, not by pursuing it at the expense of her fellows, but by sacrificing her own desires in order to help her friends; her reward was the discovery of the companionship and love she had been seeking from the start.

Kayser sees the grotesque performing what amounts to a mystical task: performing a sort of exorcism of a culture's despair by first naming a horror and then deflating it with the comic. He also posits a "failed grotesque" that performs a malignant action by invoking a horror from out of commonplace experience and then leaving it undefeated, a type of "play with the absurd" that only makes us afraid of the "ghosts" it has "invoked" (p. 187). : MIT Press, 1968); this book, although written in 1940, was not published until 1968 because it did not conform with approved methods of Soviet criticism.

The most hopeless state into which the human mind can fall" (p. 122). Wolfgang Kayser, The Grotesque in Art and Literature, translated by Ulrich Weisstein (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1963); first published in Germany as Das Groteske: seine Gestaltung in Malerei und Dichtung (Hamburg: Gerhard Stalling Verlag, 1957). Kayser sees the grotesque performing what amounts to a mystical task: performing a sort of exorcism of a culture's despair by first naming a horror and then deflating it with the comic.

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