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Hartman, J.J. (1986). Psychoanalytic Study of Society. X, 1984: The Author and His Audience: Jean Genet's Early Work. Stanley J. Coen. Pp. 301-320.. Psychoanal Q., 55:199.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Psychoanalytic Study of Society. X, 1984: The Author and His Audience: Jean Genet's Early Work. Stanley J. Coen. Pp. 301-320.

(1986). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 55:199

Psychoanalytic Study of Society. X, 1984: The Author and His Audience: Jean Genet's Early Work. Stanley J. Coen. Pp. 301-320.

John J. Hartman

Jean Genet's Our Lady of the Flowers, a novel, The Thief's Journal, an autobiography, and The Maids, a play, form the basis for this paper about the relationship between the narrator-author and the reader as audience. Coen is not concerned with the author in reality but with fantasies involving the author-reader relationship as they are evoked in the readings of the works. The thesis that emerges is that of an "implied author," preoccupied with the closeness and responsiveness of his audience. Coen sees this as an attempt to control and dominate the reader through alternations of seduction and shock. He traces the "implied author's" fears about his destructiveness toward others and himself. The sexuality and overt perversion is seen as serving a defensive function against feelings of depression and annihilation. This analysis is done within the consistency of the texts, not by comparison with the author's actual life. The idea that the relationship between a perverse author and his audience may approximate a perverse sexual experience is discussed but not completely accepted.

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Article Citation

Hartman, J.J. (1986). Psychoanalytic Study of Society. X, 1984. Psychoanal. Q., 55:199

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