Writers: Bernard Frechtman (translation), Jean Genet (play) | 4 more credits» Photos. Leonard Nimoy and Michael Forest in Deathwatch () Add Image. Deathwatch [Jean Genet] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Deathwatch, Jean Genet’s earliest play, was first performed in Paris in The two plays featured in this volume represent Genet’s first attempts to analyze the mores of a bourgeois society he had previously been content simply to vilify.

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Return to Book Page. The two plays featured in this volume represent Genet’s first attempts to analyze the mores of a bourgeois society he had previously been content simply to vilify.

The Maids & Deathwatch by Jean Genet

In The Maids, two domestic workers, deeply resentful of their inferior social position, try to revenge themselves against society by destroying their employer. When their attempt to betray their mistress’s lover The two plays featured in this volume represent Genet’s first attempts to analyze the mores of a bourgeois society he had previously been content simply to vilify.

When their attempt to betray their mistress’s lover to the police fails and they are in danger of being found out, they dream of murdering Madame, little aware of the true power behind their darkest fantasy. In Deathwatch, two convicts try to impress a third, who is on the verge of achieving legendary status in criminal circles. But neither realizes the lengths to which they will go to gain respect or that, in the end, nothing they can do–including murder–will get them what they are searching for.

Paperbackpages. Published February 16th by Grove Press first published To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. Lists with This Book. Aug 10, Sketchbook rated it did not like it.

Do you dust, darling? Well, that’s not good enough. We’re s’posed to be lemmings and praise Genet.

Role-playing The Maids was hotcha topic in the 50s, how tiresome today. But so is Genet with his queer brawls. View all 9 comments. Nov 20, sologdin rated it it detahwatch ok Shelves: The first text, The Maidsconcerns two servants who plan elaborate rebellions against their master, via acting out the murder.

The second text is a prison narrative, Deathwatchinvolving the politics of inmate hierarchies and how they interface with official authority.

Aug 18, Paul rated it it was ok Shelves: I doubt it was all that much better in French in gdnet I would be tickled to learn that the fearsome Genet shied away from profanity for some reason.

Deathwatch reads like Sartre’s No Exit relocated to a prison setting and given a slight homoerotic frisson. I suspect Sartre felt the same way; in his introduction, he only mentions it in passing, by way of drawing out some element of The Maids.

Good is only an illusion; Evil is a Nothingness which arises upon the ruins of Good. Apr 29, Scott Moore rated it really liked it. Sartre’s gender analysis in the introduction, however, can fly a kite. I liked the Deathwatch better than the Maids, but after reading Sartre’s introduction I read it in the end on purposeI was amazed by Sartre’s great mind and his understanding of Genet. It is my first time to read Genet.


Deathwatch (play) – Wikipedia

Jun 22, Ali rated it really liked it Shelves: The Maids is loosely based on the infamous Paoin sisters who brutally murdered their employer and her daughter, in Francethough the play is not the story edathwatch the Papin sisters as such. Genet’s original intention was that the two maids and Madame, be performed by male actors.

Can I still call myself sex-positive if I say that Sartre’s intro essay is masturbatory at best?

The Maids was incredible, Sartre’s analysis was indulgent and disorienting, and you won’t be missing anything if you skip Deathwatch. Jul 22, Denise Mullins rated it it was ok.

While their mistress is absent, maids Solange and Claire engage in daily sadomasochistic fantasies in which they enact the death of their employer. However, because these are so stylistically intricate, they fail to ever conclude- or do they? The second play, Deathwatch jran equally dark but ,again, reveals the deathsatch that paranoia and imposed loneliness can drive an individual to sink into even while attempting unsuccessfully to attain some sense of empathy with another doomed soul.

Aug 26, Brendan rated it liked it Shelves: I’m just not impressed. The Sartre Introduction is long, rambling, and boring. The plays are boring as well.

There are a few interesting lines in The Maidsbut the plot is silly. Deathwatch makes more sense, but there aren’t any specific lines that are notable. Jul 19, Yooperprof rated it liked it Shelves: Jul 30, Steve Spencer rated it really liked it Shelves: Aug 28, JS Found rated it it was amazing. The Maids is a very compelling two person play about mad sisters who work as servants for deathwatc rich woman. They plan on killing her. This was partially based, if I’m not mistaken, on an actual French case where two sisters gruesomely murdered their masters.

But this isn’t a genft femme fatale thriller. Rather its a disorienting psychological study of love and hate, and how the two really are the dfathwatch. Also about the degeneracy of geney a maid, if you think yourself not in My first Genet. Also about the degeneracy of being a maid, if you think yourself not in that class. The play opens with the sisters enacting out a role-playing game where one pretends to be their mistress and the other pretends to be the other sister.

Then the they do this again at the end.

I think Genet is making points about levels of power in master-servant relationships, also in husband-wives relationships, but the play is disturbing and visceral enough that those points get subsumed in a horror film.

Deathwatch was hean little hard to understand, even though I read it twice. It’s probably me–a diet of pop culture with little reading of poetry and drama will do that to you. I Should rectify that. There are three characters here, instead of two, all in prison. One of them is on death row and will be executed very shortly.


The other two vie for his respect and affections, so they fight each other. There is some latent homoeroticism. Genet was gay, wrote about it, and apparently his work was banned in many countries because of it.

Once again, Genet seems to be concerned with the hierarchy of power relationships, but beyond that I have no idea what drathwatch trying to say or why he wrote the play. Which by the way, according to Edmund White’s biography, he thought this was his worst work.

I plan on reading more of his stuff. Mar 04, Phillip rated it really liked it Shelves: But basically it’s not the kind of play I particularly enjoy. So while I appreciate the play and Genet’s work as important theatrical influences, I wouldn’t say I genuinely enjoyed reading this play. Not even in the sense that many people seem to experience Genet’s theatre, which seems deathwafch be with a kind of stunned awe. For me this play simply is. I understand it and can appreciate it, but I don’t particularly enjoy it, I would probably never choose to teach it, and I would probably be fine if I never read it again or saw it performed.

The Maids & Deathwatch

I did actually see a teleplay version of The Maids a while back, without really knowing much about Genet, his work, or the characteristics of his theatre. I don’t remember caring much for the teleplay at the time either. Aug 17, Drew rated it really liked it Shelves: I don’t know why I always subject myself to re-reading “Deathwatch” when I pull this collection off the shelf.

It almost feels like a parody of Genet, although he wrote it himself.

Deathwatch review – Genet’s clammily powerful prison struggle

Meanwhile, “The Maids” is one of my favorite plays of the 20th century. A dizzying ritualization of oppression, Genet’s second one-act manages to be both ornate and raw, comedic and cruel. Anyone who’s played servant for any length of time will immediately get why the plan to off the mistress is sound I don’t know why I always subject myself to re-reading “Deathwatch” when I pull this collection off the shelf.

Anyone who’s played servant for any length of time will immediately get why the plan to off the mistress is sound, even before we’ve met her royal highness. Is there a higher accolade than genius?

I don’t think Deathwatch the play was what Deathwatch the song was referencing. It also wasn’t as good as The Maids.

Still, interested to read some of Genet’s n just finished “The Maids” because it was first, but I actually started reading this because of a combination of having just read the Patti Smith bio and “Deathwatch” being the name of a song I like a lot which I am assuming is referencing the second play in this edition. Still, interested to read some of Genet’s novels. I saw The Maids performed once by the Towson State theater department. I saw them perform an Ionescu play too. A pretty good selection of plays brought to us by Paul?