Monday, August 6, 2007

Jean Cocteau (1889-1962)

Sierra Club


Whatever the public blames you for, cultivate it; it is yourself.


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Poet, novelist, dramatist, designer, and filmmaker. Born July 5, 1889 at Maisons-Laffitte, Cocteau's versatility, unconventionality, and enormous output brought him international acclaim. Despite his achievements in virtually all literary and artistic fields, Cocteau insisted that he was primarily a poet and that all his work was poetry. As a leading member of the surrealist movement, he had great influence on the work of others. He worked with Picasso on several projects and was friends with most of the European art community.

He struggled with Opium addiction for most of his adult life and was an open homosexual. He published a considerable amount of work criticising homophobia. Because of the content of his work, he has been linked to most of the secret fraternities of the 20th century. Cocteau's films, the bulk of which he both wrote and directed, were particularly important in introducing surrealism into French cinema. Jean Cocteau died on October 11, 1963 and is buried in Chapelle St. Blaise, Milly La Foret, Essone, France. [This article in part is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License and uses material adapted in whole or in part from the Wikipedia article on Jean Cocteau.]

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