Quotes by Jean Genet

Jean Genet

Jean Genet

French Playwright, Novelist

Alive from: 1910-1986

Quotes 1 till 13 of 13.

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    What I did not yet know so intensely was the hatred of the white American for the black, a hatred so deep that I wonder if every white man in this country, when he plants a tree, doesn't see Negroes hanging from its branches.
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    A great wind swept over the ghetto, carrying away shame, invisibility and four centuries of humiliation. But when the wind dropped people saw it had been only a little breeze, friendly, almost gentle.
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    Anyone who knows a strange fact shares in its singularity.
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    Crimes of which a people is ashamed constitute its real history. The same is true of man.
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    Perhaps all music, even the newest, is not so much something discovered as something that re-emerges from where it lay buried in the memory, inaudible as a melody cut in a disc of flesh. A composer lets me hear a song that has always been shut up silent within me.
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    Power may be at the end of a gun, but sometimes it's also at the end of the shadow or the image of a gun.
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    Repudiating the virtues of your world, criminals hopelessly agree to organize a forbidden universe. They agree to live in it. The air there is nauseating: they can breathe it.
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    The fame of heroes owes little to the extent of their conquests and all to the success of the tributes paid to them.
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    The main object of a revolution is the liberation of man... not the interpretation and application of some transcendental ideology.
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    There is a close relationship between flowers and convicts. The fragility and delicacy of the former are of the same nature as the brutal insensitivity of the latter.
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    We know that their adventures are childish. They themselves are fools. They are ready to kill or be killed over a card-game in which an opponent - or they themselves - was cheating. Yet, thanks to such fellows, tragedies are possible.
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    When the judge calls the criminal's name out he stands up, and they are immediately linked by a strange biology that makes them both opposite and complementary. The one cannot exist without the other. Which is the sun and which is the shadow? It's well known some criminals have been great men.
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    Would Hamlet have felt the delicious fascination of suicide if he hadn't had an audience, and lines to speak?
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