The Life and Work of Jean Genet

Life

Born

12/19/1910

Genet was born to a prostitue. He never knew his father.

Genet is put in foster care

7/28/1911

Never sees his mother again

World War I

1914 - 1918

Genet's mother dies

2/24/1919

The Treaty of Versailles

6/1919

Steals for the first time

9/1920

Taken out of school

6/30/1923

Never returns to school

legal status is changed to 'domestic servant'

12/1923

embezzles money

4/1925

Convicted of fraudulent misuse because he was trusted with money an he spent it at a carnival

Undergoes Psychiatric Observation

10/1925

observed to have 'a certain degree of mental weakness and instability' and needs special supervision

Undergoes psychiatric treatment

12/1925

Prison

3/1926 - 3/1929

Runs away from Parol

7/1926

Joins the army

3/1929 - 6/16/1933

The Great Depression strikes France

1931

Hitler legally comes to power in Germany

1933

Travels

6/16/1933 - 4/24/1934

Goes to Paris, crosses France on foot, travels as a vagabond through Spain where he 'wanders from slum to slum'

Goes into the army again

4/1934 - 6/18/1936

signs up for a 3 year tour

On the run

6/18/1936 - 1/1937

Desserts The Army

6/18/1936

Germany invades Poland

9/1/1939

France and Britain declare War on Germany

9/3/1939

Blitzkrieg

May 10, 1940

Germans take Paris, gain control of France

6/4/1940

Writes 'The Man Condemed to Death'

4/1942

in prison

In and out of prison

4/14/1942 - 3/15/1944

sentenced to 8 months in jail

FInishes writing Our Lady of the Flowers

12/1942

French liberation

1944

Released from Prison never to return again

3/15/1944

A portion of Our Lady of the Flowers is published in L'Arbalete

4/1944

Meets Jean-Paul Sartre

5/1944

D-Day, Invasion of Normandy

6/6/1945

Miracle of the Rose is published

3/1946

Rewrites Deathwatch

3/1946

Begins writing The Thief's Journal

3/1946

Meets Lois Jouvet who agrees to produce The Maids

7/1946

Publishes Deathwatch

3/1947

The Maids opens at the Athenee theatre, in Paris

3/1947

Premiere of The Maids

4/19/1947

The Maids is published

5/1947

Genet receives the Pleiades Prize

7/1947

The poem 'La Galere' is published

7/1947

Petition to obtain definitive pardon for genet is launched

7/1948

Launched by Cocteau and Satre. Genet is still Liable for 2 years in prison for past crimes

The Thief's Journal Published

8/1948

Writes The Criminal Child for the radio

8/1948

banned a year later

Writes the play, Splendid's

8/1948

gives up on having it published or produced

Deathwatch staged by Jean Marchat

2/26/1949

Genet is pardoned by France's president

8/12/1949

A Song of Love is shot

4/1950 - 6/1950

The only film entirely directed by Genet

Genet's books banned from sale in the United States

10/1951

Writes 'The Penal Colony'

5/1952

The Maids is staged at La Huchette

1/1954

staged by Tania Balachova

Writes The Balcony and Reworks the script for the film The Penal Colony

1/1955 - 6/1955

The Balcony is published

6/1956

Sells the rights to the script Forbidden Dreams

12/1956

Sells rights so he can pay for Abdallah's high wire classes. In 10 years Tony Richardson will turn the script into the film Mademoiselle.

Works on The Screens

1/1957 - 7/1958

Writes 'The High-Wire Artist'

3/1957

Dedicated to Abdallah

The Balcony Spectacle

4/1957

Goes to London to watch Peter Zadek's rehearsals for The Balcony, causes a scandal buy trying to get the show canceled due to 'theatrical assassination'

Refused entrance to the theatre on The Balcony's opening night

4/22/1957

'The Studio of Alberto Giacometti' is published

6/1957

Publishes 'The High-Wire Artist'

9/1957

The Blacks is published

1/1958

Travels

1/1958 - 12/1958

The Blacks staged

10/28/1959

The Blacks staged by Roger Blin at the Luctece in Paris

3rd version of The Balcony published

3/1962

very different, prefaced with "How to Play The Balcony"

Writes a Will

8/24/1963

Interviewed by Playboy magazine

1/1964

Abdallah found dead

3/12/1964

committed suicide

Playboy magazine interview published

4/1964

The Living Theatre in Berlin presents The Maids

2/1965

Miracle of the Rose and The Thief's Journal are published

2/1965

Stops working with Bernard Frechtman

9/1965

Disagrees with Frechtman and chooses to work with Rosica Colin, the director of an English agency

Denied Visa by U.S. State Department

11/1965

for reasons of sexual deviancy

The Screens is staged in Paris

4/1966

Staged by Roger Blin, The play incites a huge scandal and provokes violent demonstrations. Genet and Gallimard publish Letters to roger Blin, a collection of notes and suggestions to the director.

Overdose

5/1966

Genet is found in a hotel room in Domodossola, sfter taking a large amount of sleeping pills

Genet's ex literary Agent, Bernard Frechtman, commits suicide

3/1967

The Screens is staged in German in Essen

11/1967

Staged again by Roger Blin. While recovering,Genet attended a few rehearsals.

Writes first political article

5/1968

in Le Nouvel Observateur. The artical payed homage to Daniel Cohn-Bendit and was titled 'Les Maitresses de Lenine'

Joins Political Movement

5/1968

Goes to Paris after hearing rumors about student protest. Supports the protestors

Callaboretes with the Groupe d'Information sur les Prisons

11/1971 - 12/1971

Signs the preface of one of their brochures.
Joins them in two demonstrations.

Third trip to Middle East

5/1972 - 8/1972

Returns to Jordan but gets a warning from a friend and leaves

11/1972

Starts on a book that is based on the Palestinians and the Black Panthers.

12/1972

Later published as Prisoner of Love

Genet returns to the Political Scene

5/1974

The book Glas, devoted to Jean Genet, is written

9/1974

Written by Jacques Derrida, he is the second philosopher to devote a book to Jean Genet

Denied Visa to U.S. and banned from visiting Jordan

1975

Does an interview for Hurbert Fichte

12/18/1975

will be published in the newspaper Die Zeit a year later

Recieves the National Grand Prize for Literature

3/1976

by the French Ministry of Culture

Goes back to Jordan for the final time

7/1984

Cancer returns

9/1984

Interviewed by Michael Dumoulin for a BBC film about him

6/1985

This was Genet's last interview

Finishes writing Prisoner of Love

11/1985

The Balcony is produced at Comedie-Francaise

12/1985

Dies

4/15/1986

Prisoner of Love published

5/26/1986