Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 1990

Department 1



Though homosexuality is not uncommon in the literary world, few if any writers have chose, like Jean Genet, to place their own inversion flamboyantly center stage. This phenomenon explains the temptation to apply psychoanalytic theory to Genet's work, but the author and his homoeroticism intrigue feminist criticism as well. In the sixties Kate Millett's Sexual Politics praised the portrayal of a homosexual society which, because of its hyperbolic aping of an arbitrary masculine and feminine exposed the oppressive social system of patriarchy. And most recently, a dissertation by Cynthia Running Row, Jean Genet and Helene Cixous: Reading Genet through the Feminine, proposes Cixous' essay as an appropriate vehicle for examining Genet's homosexuality. In fact, it seems to me that the convergence of psychoanalytical and feminist criticism permits a better understanding of Jean Genet's inversion and , indeed, reveal its very composition.