Jean Genet began to write his third novel in late 1943, but the piece was
to be changed utterly by the death of Jean Decarnin in August 1944, after
which Genet completed the novel that autumn and entitled it Pompes
funebres (Funeral Rites). Genet's sensual and brutal portrait of the
Second World War (translated by Bernard Frechtman) unfolds between the
poles of his grief for his lover Jean, killed in the Resistance during the
liberation of Paris, and his perverse attraction to the collaborator Riton.
Powerfully written, and with moments of great poetic subtlety, Funeral
Rites is a dark meditation on the mirror images of love and hate, sex and
death. 'Funeral Rites is quite possibly an evil book. It is clearly a
brilliant book . . . a seminal document in the development of one of the
most important literary imaginations of our time.' Washington Post-Times

Jean Genet—Funeral Rites

  • 9780571251544