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THE MAIDS The Play

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THE MAIDS The Play

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This play represents Genet's first attempt to analyze the mores of a bourgeois society he had previously been content simply to vilify. In The Maids, two domestic workers, deeply resentful of their inferior social position, try to revenge themselves against society by destroying their employer. When their attempt to betray their mistress's lover to the police fails and they are in danger of being found out, they dream of murdering Madame, little aware of the true power behind their darkest fantasy.
This play represents Genet's first attempt to analyze the mores of a bourgeois society he had previously been content simply to vilify. In The Maids, two domestic workers, deeply resentful of their inferior social position, try to revenge themselves against society by destroying their employer. When their attempt to betray their mistress's lover to the police fails and they are in danger of being found out, they dream of murdering Madame, little aware of the true power behind their darkest fantasy.

"Though The Maids (translated by Bernard Frechtman) was his first book to be published in England, Jean Genet was already a legendary figure in contemporary European literature. An illegitimate child born in Paris in 1910, he was abandoned by his mother to the Assistance Publique, adopted by a peasant family in the Morvan and committed to a reformatory for stealing at the age of ten; after many years spent in this and similar institutions, he joined and deserted from the Foreign Legion; and in 1948 only escaped life imprisonment after ten convictions for theft when the President of the Republic – on the petition of a group of eminent writers and artists – granted him a pardon. His work – novels, plays, autobiography – reflects the violence and disorder of his life; but it reflects, too, high and unmistakable literary genius. The Maids is vehement and passionate; obsessed – as so much of Genet’s writing is – with the problems of identity, of reality and make-believe, of the complexity of truth. It is both an exciting piece of literature in itself and an admirable introduction to Genet’s work as a whole."
Author Jean Genet
ISBN 9780571251148
Format Paperback
Pages 44
Publisher No
 
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