‘The Screens’: Mother and Son or the Third World’s Revenge
The Screens, published in 1961, was written at the height of the Algerian War (1954–63). The present English translation is based on a slightly different stage version of the 1961 text. During 1976 Genet published a second official version (L’Arbalète edition), which has now come out in the fifth volume of the Oeuvres complètes (Gallimard, 1979). In this updated form, about twenty pages of stage instructions and author’s notes appear among the sixteen tableaux (the thirteenth and fourteenth tableaux of the 1961 text having now been combined into one).
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- 1.For a thorough study of the productions of The Screens until 1968 see Odette Asian, ‘Les Paravents de J. Genet’, in Les Voies de la création théâtrale, III, pp. 13–107.Google Scholar
- 2.Walter Donohue, ‘Genet’s The Screens at Bristol’, Theatre Quarterly, 4, 13 (1974), pp. 75–90.Google Scholar
- 3.Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth, p. 61. Many critics have referred to Fanon in their interpretations of either The Blacks or The Screens but no one has underscored the resemblance between Fanon’s dialectic of decolonisation and the plot of The Screens. Google Scholar
- 4.See Joan Gillespie, Algeria: Rebellion and Revolution (New York: Praeger, 1960);Google Scholar
- Edgar O’Ballance, The Algerian Insurrection, 1954–62 (Hamden: Archon Books, 1967);Google Scholar
- Alf Andrew Heggoy, Insurgency and Counterinsurgency in Algeria (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1972).Google Scholar
- 5.This point has been made by N. Joseph Calarco: ‘Vision without compromise: Genet’s The Screens’, Drama Survey, 4, 1 (1965), p. 49.Google Scholar
- 6.See Fadéla M’Rabat, La Femme algérienne and Les Algériennes (Paris: Maspero, 1969).Google Scholar
- 7.Bernard Dort, ‘Genet: the Struggle with Theater’, in P. Brook and J. Halpern (eds.), Genet, pp. 114–28.Google Scholar
- 8.Lucien Goldmann, ‘The Theater of Genet: a Sociological Study’, in P. Brook and J. Halpern (eds), Genet, p. 44.Google Scholar
- 10.Playboy interview, p. 48.Google Scholar
- 11.Jean Genet, Letters to Roger Blin: Reflections on the Theater, p. 14.Google Scholar