Le sacerdoce de la desobeissance. Creation et sexualite chez Jean Cocteau: Suivi d'un entretien inédit avec Jean Marais.
AuthorMonchal, Maïté R.
Committee ChairBeck, Jonathan
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis study deals with questions of identity construction and self-representation: how a person comes to perceive, define, and represent himself or herself in a given society or social setting. It focuses, in particular, on the construction of sexual identity in works by artist-poet-playwright and film-maker Jean Cocteau, including works that are well-known (Orphée) and little-known (Le Livre Blanc). Cocteau's reputation has long been assured as innovator in the verbal and visual arts of the 20th century; but the complexity and power of his creative vision and technical virtuosity have not yet been fully appreciated in contemporary terms. The present study draws on recent work in cultural studies, philosophy, and sociology of literature (Althusser, Bakhtin, Foucault, Lacan), to focus on three questions: (1) What form of identity (what form of "self") does one reproduce in a system of heterosexual representation, when one happens to be a homosexual? (2) What system of representation convention can the homosexual artist employ (and what modifications of that system are necessary) in a culture that universalizes heterosexuality and, as a consequence, marginalizes homosexuality as deviant behaviour? (3) To what extent can the practice of an individual artist modify (by resistance, subversion, revision) both the traditional representation system and the underlying system of values and power relations in which that system functions? In assembling and confronting a certain number of texts and historical circumstances, this study looks at possible, probable and certain attempts by Cocteau to dissimulate a homosexual discourse in ostensibly heterosexual representations that are only now becoming 'readable' in a cultural climate that Jean Cocteau (1889-1963) did much to prepare, but which he could inhabit only in his imagination and in the powerful works it brought forth.
Degree ProgramFrench and Italian