Les chausettes vertes, elles sont très, très lourdes
September 7, 2012 5:01 PM   Subscribe

Jean Genet meets the Black Panthers In an excerpt from Edmund White's biography of Jean Genet, the French writer visits the US and encounters Black Panthers, Jane Fonda, Ken Kesey on acid, and Jessica Mitford.
posted by larrybob (10 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
I love that pool story.

Bowie's Jean Genie is a clumsy pun on Jean Genet.
posted by The Whelk at 5:11 PM on September 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

My late mother knew Jessica Mitford.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 7:48 PM on September 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

Wow...just came in to mention that my dad was present for the Genet\Kesey meeting.

6 degrees of EVERYBODY.
posted by broadway bill at 7:58 PM on September 7, 2012

I remember that book, I recommend it.
posted by idiopath at 7:59 PM on September 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

reading late White, which has moved from hope, to a eleagic tone...i wonder if he mourns for the lack of flexibility anymore--that w. AIDS died a kind of pining for transgression.

the thing (even w. the mention of Davis) is that one of the things that White is mourning is a kind of homosociality--where the radical upending of rules of desire happened only for men. so i wonder if his attraction to genet was mirrored in genet's attraction to panthers--a group of boys, who seemed dangerous, but played games w/o women. (it's also, weirdly where i see the beats, and later--ginsberg's attraction to straight boys--and something that perhaps the ny school didn't have--where the ny school considered less serious because they were less exclusive about the status of women?)
posted by PinkMoose at 8:38 PM on September 7, 2012

Jessica Mitford was an amazing woman, one of the fabulous Mitford girls, who included Unity, Hitler's favourite, Diana, wife of British fascist leader Oswald Mosley, Deborah, Duchess of Devonshire, and writer Nancy Mitford.

Personal aside-I was ticketed for chaining myself to the El Salvador Consulate in San Francisco, along with Jessica Mitford, in the early 80s. One of the proudest moments of my life .

Great post,LarryBob.
posted by Isadorady at 9:19 PM on September 7, 2012

Great story. Thanks, larrybob.
posted by homunculus at 12:23 AM on September 8, 2012

A bit more of the story: The Panthers actually smuggled Genet into the country via Canada because the US would not grant him a visa due to prior political activities. There were East coast stops on the tour as well. I saw him at MIT, where he packed a large hall.
posted by beagle at 5:46 AM on September 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

Beautiful storytelling, not quite stream of conscious, the perfect way for the tale to be told.
posted by artof.mulata at 12:11 AM on September 10, 2012

The jean genie lives on his black.
posted by twoleftfeet at 12:43 AM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

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