Archive for the ‘jordan sudermann’ Category

Jean Genet and the Middle East: Sexuality, Politics and Literature

August 14, 2007

i would like to make two additions to the topic of jean genet – the first in this post.

jean genet is certainly famous for his novels and his plays – but he also wrote reports – very often in defence of the ones fighting in any way for… hm, liberty. most famous are his associations to the black panthers, the palestinians, and the r.a.f. – the german rote armee fraktion. especially the defence of the last ones kind of broke his neck socially.

yes, M is certainly right by remarking that his morals are dangerous. in my opinion it has of course something to do with taking up the fight for the suppressed – but somehow i think it also has a lot to do with loyality. a certain loyality to himself and to his desires….

so jean genet is certainly a good starting point to muse about politics and desire.

so here a link to an excerpt of a longer work by Jordan Sudermann: Jean Genet and the Middle East: Sexuality, Politics and Literature.

concerning this text i would like to point out two things:

first it is interesting that Sudermann compares the attraction for arab men of jean genet to the one of andré gide, trying to establish one as “deeper”. as problematic as i find such a question in a scientific paper, i nevertheless find it very interesting to think what a “deeper” attraction might be – the adding of love, as proposed in the text? and when can one talk, especially on a (post-)colonial / sextourism background of an ethical way to act on ones (sexual) desires? and what does it mean to use these experiences for ones art?

second i find the following sentence especially worth discussion:

“The motives of his political involvement with the Algerians and the Palestinians are not always clear, as a simple kinship with another group of marginalized or oppressed peoples is muddied by Genet’s sexual attractions. ”

basically it is for me the question how much our politics are / should be informed by our experiences, our personal relationships and our sexual attractions. does it might boil down to ideology vs. an individual humanism?