Miracle of the Rose
Miracle of the Rose was Jean Genet's second novel, composed in 1943 while the author was incarcerated in La Santé prison, and eventually published in 1946. The work itself is informed by Genet's memories of confinement, both in 'adult' prisons and the Mettray reformatory where he spent three years from the age of 15. However, as in his earlier Our Lady of the Flowers, Genet's imagination transfigures lived experience and makes for a vivid fictional world governed by the poetic force of his fantasies.
The central figure in the novel is Harcamone, whom Genet first encountered at Mettray and who resurfaces, unsurprisingly, in the adult prison of Fontevrault - now a murderer, and, in the world-turned-upside-down of Genet's vision, a quasi-divine figure. Genet further explores the path of his own sexuality through accounts of his physical relations with fellow inmates, including the burglar Bulkean and his ex-Mettray lover, Divers.
Jean Genet, French playwright, novelist and poet, turned the experiences in his life among 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