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Jean Cocteau

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Title: Jean Cocteau  
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Subject: Timeline of twentieth-century theatre, List of Cannes Film Festival jury presidents, Montparnasse, Les Six, Jude Law
Collection: 1889 Births, 1963 Deaths, 20Th-Century French Painters, 20Th-Century French Writers, Ballet Librettists, Bisexual Writers, Christian Novelists, Christian Poets, Commandeurs of the Légion D'Honneur, Deaths from Myocardial Infarction, French Dramatists and Playwrights, French Experimental Filmmakers, French Fantasy Writers, French Film Directors, French Illustrators, French Novelists, French Poets, French Roman Catholics, French Screenwriters, French Stamp Designers, Gay Writers, Jean Cocteau, Les Six, Lgbt Directors, Lgbt Dramatists and Playwrights, Lgbt Novelists, Lgbt Poets, Lgbt Roman Catholics, Lgbt Screenwriters, Lgbt Writers from France, Lycée Condorcet Alumni, Male Screenwriters, Members of the Académie Française, Painters of the Return to Order, People from Maisons-Laffitte, Prince Des Poètes, Surrealist Filmmakers, Writers from Île-De-France
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Jean Cocteau

_lnki_126" title="Arno Breker">Arno Breker convinced him that Adolf Hitler was a pacifist and patron of the arts with France's best interests in mind. In his diary, Cocteau accused France of disrespect towards Hitler and speculated on the Führer's sexuality. Cocteau effusively praised Breker's sculptures in an article entitled 'Salut à Breker' published in 1942. This piece caused him to be arraigned on charges of collaboration after the war, though he was cleared of any wrongdoing and had in fact used his contacts to his failed attempt to save friends such as Max Jacob.[9]

Éric Satie Parade, théme de Jean Cocteau

In 1940, Le Bel Indifférent, Cocteau's play written for and starring Édith Piaf, was enormously successful. He also worked with Pablo Picasso on several projects and was a friend of most of the European art community. Cocteau's films, most of which he both wrote and directed, were particularly important in introducing the avant-garde into French cinema and influenced to a certain degree the upcoming French New Wave genre.

Cocteau is best known for his novel Les Enfants Terribles (1929), and the films Blood of a Poet (1930), Les Parents terribles (1948), Beauty and the Beast (1946), and Orpheus (1949). His final film, Le Testament d'Orphée (The Testament of Orpheus) (1960), featured appearances by Picasso and matador Luis Miguel Dominguín, along with Yul Brynner, who also helped finance the film.

In 1945 Cocteau was one of several designers who created sets for the Théâtre de la Mode. He drew inspiration from filmmaker René Clair while making Tribute to René Clair: I Married a Witch. The maquette is described in his "Journal 1942–1945," in his entry for 12 February 1945:
I saw the model of my set. Fashion bores me, but I am amused by the set and fashion placed together. It is a smoldering maid's room. One discovers an aerial view of Paris through the wall and ceiling holes. It creates vertigo. On the iron bed lies a fainted bride. Behind her stand several dismayed ladies. On the right, a very elegant lady washes her hands in a flophouse basin. Through the unhinged door on the left, a lady enters with raised arms. Others are pushed against the walls. The vision provoking this catastrophe is a bride-witch astride a broom, flying through the ceiling, her hair and train streaming.

Cocteau was openly bisexual. His muse and lover for over 25 years was actor Jean Marais.

Cocteau died of a heart attack at his chateau in Milly-la-Forêt, Essonne, France, on 11 October 1963 at the age of 74. His friend the French singer Édith Piaf died the day before but that was announced on the morning of Cocteau's day of death; it has been said that his heart failed upon hearing of Piaf's death. According to his wishes Cocteau is buried beneath the floor of the Chapelle Saint-Blaise des Simples in Milly-la-Forêt. The epitaph on his gravestone set in the floor of the chapel reads: "I stay with you" ("Je reste avec vous").

Honours and awards

In 1955 Cocteau was made a member of the Académie française and The Royal Academy of Belgium.

During his life Cocteau was commander of the Legion of Honor, Member of the Mallarmé Academy, German Academy (Berlin), American Academy, Mark Twain (U.S.A) Academy, Honorary President of the Cannes film festival, Honorary President of the France-Hungary Association and President of the Jazz Academy and of the Academy of the Disc.




  • 1909 La Lampe d'Aladin
  • 1910 Le Prince frivole
  • 1912 La Danse de Sophocle
  • 1919 Ode à PicassoLe Cap de Bonne-Espérance
  • 1920 Escale. Poésies (1917–1920)
  • 1922 Vocabulaire
  • 1923 La Rose de FrançoisPlain-Chant
  • 1925 Cri écrit
  • 1926 L'Ange Heurtebise
  • 1927 Opéra
  • 1934 Mythologie
  • 1939 Énigmes
  • 1941 Allégories
  • 1945 Léone
  • 1946 La Crucifixion
  • 1948 Poèmes
  • 1952 Le Chiffre septLa Nappe du Catalan (in collaboration with Georges Hugnet)
  • 1953 Dentelles d'éternitéAppoggiatures
  • 1954 Clair-obscur
  • 1958 Paraprosodies
  • 1961 Cérémonial espagnol du PhénixLa Partie d'échecs
  • 1962 Le Requiem
  • 1968 Faire-Part (posthume)
Poetry and criticism
  • 1918 Le Coq et l'Arlequin
  • 1920 Carte blanche
  • 1922 Le Secret professionnel
  • 1926 Le Rappel à l'ordreLettre à Jacques MaritainLe Numéro Barbette
  • 1930 Opium
  • 1932 Essai de critique indirecte
  • 1935 Portraits-Souvenir
  • 1937 Mon premier voyage (Around the World in 80 Days)
  • 1943 Le Greco
  • 1947 Le Foyer des artistesLa Difficulté d'être
  • 1949 Lettres aux AméricainsReines de la France
  • 1951 Jean Marais – A Discussion about Cinematography (with André Fraigneau)
  • 1952 Gide vivant
  • 1953 Journal d'un inconnu. Démarche d'un poète
  • 1955 Colette (Discourse on the reception at the Royal Academy of Belgium) – Discourse on the reception at the Académie française
  • 1956 Discours d'Oxford
  • 1957 Entretiens sur le musée de Dresde (with Louis Aragon) – La Corrida du 1er mai
  • 1950: Poésie critique I
  • 1960: Poésie critique II
  • 1962 Le Cordon ombilical
  • 1963 La Comtesse de Noailles, oui et non
  • 1964 Portraits-Souvenir (posthumous ; A discussion with Roger Stéphane)
  • 1965 Entretiens avec André Fraigneau (posthumous)
  • 1973 Jean Cocteau par Jean Cocteau (posthumous ; A discussion with William Fielfield)
  • 1973 Du cinématographe (posthumous). Entretiens sur le cinématographe (posthumous)
Journalistic poetry
  • 1935–1938 (posthumous)


Dialogue writer
Director of Photography

Poetry illustrator

  • 1924 : Dessins
  • 1925 : Le Mystère de Jean l'oiseleur
  • 1926 : Maison de santé
  • 1929 : 25 dessins d'un dormeur
  • 1935 : 60 designs for Les Enfants Terribles
  • 1941 : Drawings in the margins of Chevaliers de la Table ronde
  • 1948 : Drôle de ménage
  • 1957 : La Chapelle Saint-Pierre, Villefranche-sur-Mer
  • 1958 : La Salle des mariages, City Hall of MentonLa Chapelle Saint-Pierre (lithographies)
  • 1959 : Gondol des morts
  • 1960 : Chapelle Saint-Blaise-des-Simples, Milly-la-Forêt
  • 1960 : Windows of the Église Saint-Maximin de Metz


  • Colette par Jean Cocteau, discours de réception à l'Académie Royale de Belgique, Ducretet-Thomson 300 V 078 St.
  • Les Mariés de la Tour Eiffel and Portraits-Souvenir, La Voix de l'Auteur LVA 13
  • Plain-chant by Jean Marais, extracts from the piece Orphée by Jean-Pierre Aumont, Michel Bouquet, Monique Mélinand, Les Parents terribles by Yvonne de Bray and Jean Marais, L'Aigle à deux têtes par Edwige Feuillère and Jean Marais, L'Encyclopédie Sonore 320 E 874, 1971
  • Collection of three vinyl recordings of Jean Cocteau including La Voix humaine by Simone Signoret, 18 songs composed by Louis Bessières, Bee Michelin and Renaud Marx, on double-piano Paul Castanier, Le Discours de réception à l'Académie française, Jacques Canetti JC1, 1984
  • Derniers propos à bâtons rompus avec Jean Cocteau, 16 September 1963 à Milly-la-Forêt, Bel Air 311035
  • Les Enfants terribles, radio version with Jean Marais, Josette Day, Silvia Monfort and Jean Cocteau, CD Phonurgia Nova ISBN 2-908325-07-1, 1992
  • Anthology, 4 CD containing numerous poems and texts read by the author, Anna la bonne, La Dame de Monte-Carlo and Mes sœurs, n'aimez pas les marins by Francis Poulenc, Frémeaux & Associés FA 064, 1997
  • Poems by Jean Cocteau read by the author, CD EMI 8551082, 1997
  • Hommage à Jean Cocteau, mélodies d'Henri Sauguet, Arthur Honegger, Louis Durey, Darius Milhaud, Erik Satie, Jean Wiener, Max Jacob, Francis Poulenc, Maurice Delage, Georges Auric, Guy Sacre, by Jean-François Gardeil (baryton) and Billy Eidi (piano), CD Adda 581177, 1989
  • Le Testament d'Orphée, journal sonore, by Roger Pillaudin, 2 CD INA / Radio France 211788, 1998


  • 1946 La Belle et la Bête (film journal)
  • 1949 Maalesh (journal of a stage production)
  • 1983 Le Passé défini (posthumous)
  • 1989 Journal, 1942–1945



  • Cocteau, Jean, Le Coq et l'Arlequin: notes autour de la musique – avec un portrait de l'auteur et deux monogrammes par P. Picasso, Paris, Éditions de la Sirène, 1918
  • Cocteau, Jean, Le Grand Écart, 1923, his first novel
  • Cocteau, Jean, Le Numéro Barbette, an influential essay on the nature of art inspired by the performer Barbette, 1926
  • Cocteau, Jean, The Human Voice, translated by Carl Wildman, Vision Press Ltd., Great Britain, 1947
  • Cocteau, Jean, The Eagle Has Two Heads, adapted by Ronald Duncan, Vision Press Ltd., Great Britain, 1947
  • Cocteau, Jean, "Bacchus". Paris: Gallimard, 1952.
  • Cocteau, Jean, The Holy Terrors (Les Enfants Terribles), translated by Rosamond Lehmann, New Directions. New York, 1957
  • Cocteau, Jean, Opium: The Diary of a Cure, translated by Margaret Crosland and Sinclair Road, Grove Press Inc., New York, 1958
  • Cocteau, Jean, The Infernal Machine And Other Plays, translated by W.H. Auden, E.E. Cummings, Dudley Fitts, Albert Bermel, Mary C. Hoeck, and John K. Savacool, New Directions Books, New York, 1963
  • Cocteau, Jean, Toros Muertos, along with Lucien Clergue and Jean Petit, Brussel & Brussel,1966
  • Cocteau, Jean, The Art of Cinema, edited by André Bernard and Claude Gauteur, translated by Robin Buss, Marion Boyars, London, 1988
  • Cocteau, Jean, Diary of an Unknown, translated by Jesse Browner, Paragon House Publishers, New York, 1988
  • Cocteau, Jean, The White Book (Le Livre blanc), sometimes translated as The White Paper, translated by Margaret Crosland, City Lights Books, San Francisco, 1989
  • Cocteau, Jean, Les Parents terribles, new translation by Jeremy Sams, Nick Hern Books, London, 1994

See also


  1. ^ "A Backward Glance, by Edith Wharton". 27 October 2010. Retrieved 14 March 2012. 
  2. ^ "How the Ox got its name, and other Parisian legends, by Daniella Thompson". Retrieved 14 March 2012. 
  3. ^ James S. Williams. Jean Cocteau. p. 32. 
  4. ^ Francis Steegmuller (1970). Cocteau, A Biography. Monsieur, I have just received your letter and must reply despite my regret at being unable to explain the inexplicable. It is possible that my friendship for your son and my deep admiration for his gifts (which are becoming increasingly apparent) are of an uncommon intensity, and that from the outside it is hard to make out how far my feelings go. His literary future is of primary consideration with me: he is a kind of prodigy. Scandal would spoil all this freshness. You cannot possibly believe for a second that I do not try to avoid that by all the means in my power 
  5. ^ "Jean Cocteau Biography – Jean Cocteau Website". 11 October 1963. Retrieved 14 March 2012. 
  6. ^ Brown, Frederick, An Impersonation of Angels: A Biography of Jean Cocteau, The Viking Press, New York, p.170
  7. ^ Jean-Noël Liaut, "Natalie Paley: La princesse dechirée", Paris: Filipacchi, 1996 (ISBN 2-85018-295-8).
  8. ^ Williams, James S. (2008). Jean Cocteau. Reaktion Books. p. 123. 
  9. ^ Williams, James S. (2008). Jean Cocteau. Reaktion Books. pp. 182–185. 


Further reading

  • Evans, Arthur B. (1977). Jean Cocteau and his Films of Orphic Identity. Philadelphia: Art Alliance Press. ISBN 9780879820114.
  • Tsakiridou, Cornelia A., ed. (1997). Reviewing Orpheus: Essays on the Cinema and Art of Jean Cocteau. Lewisburg, Pa.: Bucknell University Press. ISBN 0-8387-5379-5.

External links

  • Jean Cocteau at the Internet Broadway Database
  • Jean Cocteau at the Internet Movie Database
  • Works by or about Jean Cocteau at Internet Archive
  • Original Edition of Ceramics by Jean Cocteau
  • Jean Cocteau website
  • Cocteau/cinema Bibliography (via UC Berkeley)
  • Jean Cocteau at DMOZ
  • Cocteau CMEF Cap d'Ail
  • Cocteau et La chapelle Saint-Blaise-des-Simples
  • Jean Cocteau, Filmmaker
  • Raquel Bitton: 'The Sparrow and the Birdman', a drama focusing on the relationship of Cocteau to Edith Piaf
  • William Fifield (Summer–Fall 1964). "Jean Cocteau, The Art of Fiction No. 34". Paris Review. 
  • "Cocteau" is a track by acoustic and electronic music artist CELESTIAL CEILING named after Jean Cocteau which features an audio passage from 1930's "Blood of a Poet"

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