I became his noble valet, reduced to even greater humiliations, and even now I am reduced to verbal automatism in thrall to his deity. Can you feel the degradation? Allow your hands to wander inside your uptight bourgeois pants and feel the excitement of my squalor.
But don't stop there! I can give you so much more if only you will open your flies to me. Lose your suburban values and embrace the negative hell of the poet of the woebegone. I dressed as a woman and went to Tangiers with Maurice and Robert, occasionally allowing myself to commit an act the gravity of which gave me consciousness.
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It is no boast to say I was a clever thief, but still I went to prison where I found security in a world that had rejected me, offering up my mobile buttocks to anyone who showed interest. Michaelis wanted me to love him, yet I taunted him with abstinence when I met Java, a muscle-bound Stilitano. Java still liked to go with whores, but occasionally he would let me thread myself inside him when he was asleep, crying out in anger when I made him come. My work as writer is mere pleonasm. It passes the time as I pursue the rehabilitation of the purulent, the dark thrills of the interdit.
I left Nazi Germany because it no longer interested me; there, stealing did not differentiate me from authority. Where was the liberation in that? My aesthetics of crime were self-creation and I went back to shack up with Stilitano. This is the life I lived and these are the people with whom I was preoccupied between and But I can sense your erection fading.
So let me tell you more about the pleasure of treachery, how I bit Lucien until he bled while he opened up like an anemone, how I sucked off Bernardini, the head of the Marseilles secret police. Was I guilty?
Digested classics: The Thief's Journal by Jean Genet | Books | The Guardian
Who knows? I just became that of which I was accused. Vous are encore dur. What more can I say? This book is my ascesis. I wanted to rob cripples and queers, I wanted to reclaim the joy of tragedy. But most of all I wanted to glorify myself. On each visit, after the ultrasound and electric stim and Icy Hot, I would wander into the lobby pharmacy and sort of mosey toward the back of the magazine section, where smoke-gray plastic boards covered all but the titles on the lurid covers.
Surely the store had closed-circuit cameras, but the clerks were so indifferent to my petty crimes that they simply turned the other way when I unshouldered my backpack, slid some silky sheeted smut in between notebooks, and marched out to catch the Blue Bus home.
There was a security guard at the Gap in the mall—a Bo Jackson—like Adonis—who relished the opportunity to run down some middle-class tween flirting with kleptomania. I never told anyone of my crimes, never did them in sight of an audience, and never showed off any of the booty. At least, not that I know of.
All I ever felt, when getting that five-finger discount, was terror—and not the good, bungee-jumping kind, but the serial-killer-in-the-next-room kind.
The Thief’s Journal by Jean Genet (Book Analysis)
My absolute greatest fear in life is of prison—of imprisonment, of the actual prison, and the culture of prison, the violence, the dissolution of freedom and privacy. To this day, sex and snacks are sacred things, personal things that I enjoy on my own—they are my treats. I could no more share these moments with an inmate, or anyone than I could have asked my parents for Playboy money.
While I love a festive meal and collaborative congress as much as the next man, when taken alone, these indulgences become rites of escapism and a kind of Jungian reward—Scooby snacks for the soul. For the dreamer, the only child, or the writer of fiction or, God help you, all of the above , fantasy sex—solitary sex, imaginative sex—is fundamental.
For a glutton with twenty-first-century eating neuroses, the snacks were a kind of communion with a private spirit. I stopped stealing for good, when, at about thirteen, I took up tagging in earnest.
But the legacy of my crime career haunts me still. This means I exit overly slowly, awkward and suspicious—exactly how I would act, in fact, if I had stolen something. I remain marked, guilty, or perhaps I always felt that way. My coat sleeves all have that Raskolnikovian sheen about the elbow and my conscience too often shows signs of wear.
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