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The Poet And The Boxer
July 22, 2010 2:06 PM   Subscribe

"When the eminent French poet Jean Cocteau died last October at the age of 74, his obituaries noted that he had followed an astounding number of part-time careers as well—novelist, playwright, choreographer, film director, critic and artist. But Cocteau's journalistic biographers overlooked the most bizarre of his avocations: he was once the successful manager of a world champion prizefighter." - Sports Illustrated, March 2, 1964 posted by brundlefly (15 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
So what does this have to do with deep sea diving?
posted by Afroblanco at 2:11 PM on July 22, 2010 [1 favorite]



As someone born at this end of the last century, I'm more blown away when I see people were able to make a living as a poet.
posted by Bathtub Bobsled at 2:42 PM on July 22, 2010


The Brown article in Wikipedia is really poorly written.

"During his time in France, Panama Al Brown joined La Revue Nègre of Joséphine Baker as a tap-dancer. His lover Jean Cocteau did help him."

So the Wikipedia article about Brown doesn't mention Cocteau was his manager and casually drops the bombshell that they were gay lovers. The SI article from the 60s doesn't go into this (that would have been unlikely) and the Cocteau Wikipedia article doesn't even mention Brown.

There is an interesting story here that these three links kind of missed.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 2:48 PM on July 22, 2010


Yeah, I tried to find more detail about their relationship but came up short.
posted by brundlefly at 2:49 PM on July 22, 2010


That dude was insanely awesome. I just watched Beauty and the Beast a month or so ago and was blown away.
posted by serazin at 3:11 PM on July 22, 2010


Didn't he have a twin?
posted by kcds at 3:20 PM on July 22, 2010


serazin: "That dude was insanely awesome. I just watched Beauty and the Beast a month or so ago and was blown away."

That's one of my favorite movies of all time. Amazing.
posted by brundlefly at 3:23 PM on July 22, 2010


Yes, so good. I'm sitting in the Temescal library brundlefly and you've just inspired me to order copies of a couple Cocteau books. Coincidentally, I had already ordered a copy of FIGHT, and was just at the desk checking on whether it had arrived!
posted by serazin at 3:30 PM on July 22, 2010


Didn't he die in 1963, not last October?
posted by tunewell at 3:50 PM on July 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oops. I didn't see the quotes. Sorry.
posted by tunewell at 3:51 PM on July 22, 2010


Too bad they couldn't arrange a match with Arthur Cravan.
posted by ovvl at 5:10 PM on July 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yeah, Beauty and the Beast is something else. Dreamy, exalted, poetic, haunting and stunning in the visual metaphors it uses, especially with the mirror scenes . If you like that check out Jean Vigo's equally mindblowingly brilliant romantic L'Atalante.
posted by Skygazer at 5:34 PM on July 22, 2010


About the "lover" thing: it appears in the French article on December 12 of last year. Then the claim moves to the English WP on January 5 of this year. The same user adds a link to this article; but there's no mention of Cocteau being Brown's "lover" in the article.
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 6:16 PM on July 22, 2010


I've not heard the Panama Al Was Big Gay Al story; at one time I could have verified this with a former supervisor (now sadly deceased) who wrote a book or three on Cocteau. (You can buy a copy here from $216.84!)

I will say that I wrote an MA on the use of sound in Cocteau's films, and that there is ample material for reflection in the manner of their creation.
posted by Wolof at 6:36 PM on July 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


But Cocteau's journalistic biographers overlooked the most bizarre of his avocations

Not that he was Grand Maître du Prieuré de Sion?
posted by juv3nal at 11:33 PM on July 22, 2010


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