Tag Archives: Jean Genet


The plays of Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz (1885–1939,* born in Warsaw, and known as Witkacy) languished in relative obscurity throughout most of their creator’s short life. A home country revival took place in the 1950s, and adventurous theater companies in Western Europe and the United States started producing his work in the 1970s.

A key figure of the European avant-garde—a peer of Artaud, Beckett, Genet, and IonescoWitkacy’s resolutely anti-realist theater work has inspired WITKACY / TWO-HEADED CALF, a new collaboration by Natalia Korczakowska (the artistic director of Warsaw’s Studio Teatrgaleria), and CalArts Center for New Performance.

Witkacy believed that nature can be a source of metaphysical experience that gives us a chance to protect our individuality from the soulless social machine of Western civilization. WITKACY / TWO-HEADED CALF is a journey of a neurotic boy and his family from Poland to the California desert—and also a journey into the depths of oneself.**

For the next eight days at Redcat, performing artists from Studio Teatrgaleria and CalArts will present the American premiere engagement of this sui generis production.


Friday and Saturday, October 18 and 19, at 8:30 pm.

Sunday, October 20, at 3 pm.

Tuesday through Friday, October 22, 23, 24, and 25, at 8:30 pm.


631 West 2nd Street, downtown Los Angeles.

*Witkacy allegedly committed suicide upon hearing of the Soviet invasion of Poland in 1939, but when his grave was disinterred many years later, the body reportedly belonged to someone else.

Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz and Natalia Korczakowska, WITKACY/Two-Headed Calf, performance photographs by Rafal Nowak and Hao Feng. Images courtesy and © the photographers, the performers, the director, Studio Teatrgaleria, and CalArts Center for New Performance.


In the art-for-art’s-sake world of Christophe Honoré and his characters—gay men in love with love and the legends of representation that give their at-risk lives sense, sensibility, and station—matters of love, life, death are navigated through a filter of literature and performance, and this combination of high art and pop sentimentality brings solace.

In PLAIRE, AIMER ET COURIR VITE / SORRY ANGEL—now playing at the Nuart—the brief 1990s encounter of Jacques (Pierre Deladonchamps) and Arthur (Vincent Lacoste) is haunted by the long shadows and quotations of some of the writers Honoré recently celebrated in his stage piece Les IdolesBernard-Marie Koltès, Hervé Guibert—supplemented by queer icons and allies Jean Genet, Isabelle Huppert, Robert Wilson, Walt Whitman, W.H. Auden, David Hockney, Andy Warhol, and Rainer Werner Fassbinder.

Jacques, not willing to undergo yet another course of AIDS treatment, is reaching the end of his story just as Arthur—like Honoré, a transplant from the provinces—is beginning his. With a little help from his idols, Jacques can put Arthur on the path to become a proper young Parisian.


Through March 21.

Nuart Theatre

11272 Santa Monica Boulevard, West Los Angeles.

From top: Pierre Deladonchamps (foreground) and Vincent Lacoste in Sorry Angel; Deladonchamps; Deladonchamps and Lacoste; Lacoste.


Michel de Montaigne’s Essais from 1580, Marcel Proust’s Du côté de chez Swann from 1913, Oscar Wilde’s Salomé from 1893—inscribed by its author to his “cher ami” André Gide—and Gide’s Corydon (1911) and Nourritures terrestres (1897, inscribed to Paul Valéry) will be up for auction by Sotheby’s Paris as part of the fourth in a series of sales devoted to the library of Pierre Bergé.

Also included are first editions by Jean Cocteau and Jean Genet, letters from Édouard Manet to his friend Émile Zola, and the Chroniques de France by Monstrelet printed on vellum.



Friday, December 14, at 3 pm.

Hôtel Drouot, 9 rue Drouot, 9th, Paris.

Top: Oscar Wilde, Salomé, inscribed to André Gide.

Above: Page from Pompes funèbres by Jean Genet.

Below: André Gide, Corydon.


After directing Querô with a cast of young non-actors from the coastal city of Santos, Brazilian director Carlos Cortez helped found Instituto Querô, “using audiovisual material as a tool to stimulate talent and broaden professional horizons” for at-risk teens, supported by UNICEF.

SÓCRATES, produced by the institute and premiering tonight at the LA Film Festival, is the feature debut of Alex Moratto. Taking a page from Jean Genet, Moratto’s poem of a film closely follows the title character—a 15-year old youth, orphaned and broke—as he hustles for survival and finds first love on the streets and port of Santos.

As Sócrates, Christian Malheiros beautifully captures a boy moving through the end of innocence, before the streets and the years take their toll.


SÓCRATES, Friday, September 21, at 7 pm.

Arclight Culver City, 9500 Culver Boulevard, Culver City.

Above: Tales Ordakji (left) and Christian Malheiros in Sócrates.

Below: Malheiros and Ordakji. Image credit: Instituto Querô.



“He is the transparent observer reclaiming the suffering and exhilaration of his own follies, trials, and evolution. There are no masks; there are veils. He does not retreat; he extracts the noble of the ignoble. The sullied thug advances into the night as a coquette in tattered tulle sewn with scattered spangles, bits of tin caught in the lamplight transposing as glittering stars.”*

A new edition of THE THIEF’S JOURNAL by Jean Genet features an introduction by Patti Smith.

See: theparisreview.org/holy-disobedience-on-jean-genets-the-thiefs-journal

* “Holy Disobedience: An Introduction to the New Edition,” by Patti Smith, copyright © 2018 by Patti Smith.

Excerpted from THE THIEF’S JOURNAL, by Jean Genet, copyright © 1964 by Grove Press. Reprinted with the permission of Grove Press, an imprint of Grove Atlantic, Inc. All rights reserved.

Top: Grove, Atlantic’s new edition of Jean Genet, The Thief’s Journal.

Above: Covering the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. Image credit: Esquire.

Bottom: Genet by Brassaï. © Estate Brassaï–RMN.