Thursday, May 31, 2007

One Man's Delinquent Is Another Man's Deity

Alberto Giacometti (1901-66) - Jean Genet (1910-86), 1955

'[At his trial in 1943] Genet faced life imprisonment as punishment for his recidivism, but Jean Cocteau, who had discovered Genet and arranged to publish his first novel, Our Lady of the Flowers, submitted a statement read in court: 'He is Rimbaud, one cannot condemn Rimbaud.' He suggested that the judge might go down in history as a philistine if he made the wrong decision. Not for a moment did Cocteau argue that Genet was innocent, simply that he was a genius. His testimony got Genet off scot-free.'

Edmund White