Jean Genet

Literary Birthday – 19 December – Jean Genet

Jean Genet was born 19 December 1910 and died 15 April 1986.


  1. By stretching language we’ll distort it sufficiently to wrap ourselves in it and hide.
  2. Creation is not a light-hearted game. The creator commits to a terrible adventure, which is to take upon himself all of the dangers that his creatures run.
  3. Crimes of which a people is ashamed constitute its real history. The same is true of man.
  4. Worse than not realising the dreams of your youth would be to have been young and never dreamed at all.
  5. I recognise in thieves, traitors, and murderers, in the ruthless and the cunning, a deep beauty – a sunken beauty.
  6. Poetry is the break (or rather the meeting at the breaking point) between the visible and the invisible.
  7. Would Hamlet have felt the delicious fascination of suicide if he hadn’t had an audience, and lines to speak?

Jean Genet was a French novelist, playwright, poet, essayist, and political activist. After an early life as a petty criminal, he started writing. His major works include the novels The Thief’s Journal, and Our Lady of the Flowers, and the plays The Balcony, and The Maids.

Source for image:

International Progress Organization, CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

by Amanda Patterson

Are you interested in more authors’ birthdays? Please click here: Literary Birthday Calendar

Posted on: 18th December 2018