En dire trop sur les Noirs? Contextualizing Genet’s Preface to Les Nègres

Brian G. Kennelly


What does the French playwright Jean Genet accomplish by rewriting the lengthy preface that he had prepared for his play Les Nègres? After discussing how the preface contextualizes the play, we consider for the first time the significance of the evolution of Genet’s authorial intentions both at the microtextual and macrotextual levels by comparing the full-length preface with its shortened, reordered version. We show that in rewriting his preface Genet endeavored to be more ambiguous as well as to counterbalance the cuts he had also made in rewriting the play for which it was written. 


Ambiguity, Drama, French literature, Jean Genet, Textual revision

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18533/journal.v3i11.586


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