Jean Genet began to write his third novel in late 1943, but the piece was to be changed utterly by the death of Jean Decarnin in August 1944, after which Genet completed the novel that autumn and entitled it Pompes Funebres (Funeral Rites).
Genet's sensual and brutal portrait of the Second World War (translated by Bernard Frechtman) unfolds between the poles of his grief for his lover Jean, killed in the Resistance during the liberation of Paris, and his perverse attraction to the collaborator Riton. Powerfully written, and with moments of great poetic subtlety, Funeral Rites is a dark meditation on the mirror images of love and hate, sex and death.
Jean Genet, French playwright, novelist and poet, turned the experiences in his life amongst pimps, whores, thugs and other fellow social outcasts into a poetic literature, with an honesty and explicitness unprecedented at the time. Widely considered an outstanding and unique figure in French literature, Genet wrote five novels between 1942 and 1947, now being republished by Faber & Faber in beautiful new paperback editions.
Binding: Softbound book