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Staging Crime: From Murder to Fine Art in Genet's Les Bonnes and Kesselman's My Sister in this House

Staging Crime: From Murder to Fine Art in Genet's Les Bonnes and Kesselman's My Sister in this House STAGING CRIME: FROM MURDER TO FINE ART IN GENET'S LES BONNES AND KESSELMAN'S MY SISTER IN THIS HOUSE Paula K. Kamenish Murder, like talent, seems occasionally to run in families. (G. H. Lewes, The Physiology ofCommon Life) Two dramatists, one French, the other American, have created publicly acclaimed plays from a grisly murder committed on the evening of February 2, 1933 in the provincial French town of Le Mans: two maids, Christine and Lea Papin, bludgeoned and hacked to death their employers, Madame and Mademoiselle Lancelin. Since a clear motive for the double murder remains a mystery, Jean Genet's Les Bonnes and Wendy Kesselman's My Sister in This House serve as hypothetical speculations that attempt to interpret the events, the characters, and the meaning of this crime. Each play brings its viewers closer to understanding the motivations of the murderers. However, long before Genet and Kesselman conceived their renditions of the crime in 1947 and 1981, the double homicide avidly stirred the curiosity and imagination of the general populace who circulated the latest rumors and followed in-depth coverage of the trial in the newspaper of their choice, Paris-Soir or L'Humanité. Curiously enough, world-renowned journalists, psychoanalysts, and literary figures http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Comparatist University of North Carolina Press

Staging Crime: From Murder to Fine Art in Genet's Les Bonnes and Kesselman's My Sister in this House

The Comparatist , Volume 27 (1) – Oct 3, 2003

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © Southern Comparative Literature Association.
ISSN
1559-0887
Publisher site
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Abstract

STAGING CRIME: FROM MURDER TO FINE ART IN GENET'S LES BONNES AND KESSELMAN'S MY SISTER IN THIS HOUSE Paula K. Kamenish Murder, like talent, seems occasionally to run in families. (G. H. Lewes, The Physiology ofCommon Life) Two dramatists, one French, the other American, have created publicly acclaimed plays from a grisly murder committed on the evening of February 2, 1933 in the provincial French town of Le Mans: two maids, Christine and Lea Papin, bludgeoned and hacked to death their employers, Madame and Mademoiselle Lancelin. Since a clear motive for the double murder remains a mystery, Jean Genet's Les Bonnes and Wendy Kesselman's My Sister in This House serve as hypothetical speculations that attempt to interpret the events, the characters, and the meaning of this crime. Each play brings its viewers closer to understanding the motivations of the murderers. However, long before Genet and Kesselman conceived their renditions of the crime in 1947 and 1981, the double homicide avidly stirred the curiosity and imagination of the general populace who circulated the latest rumors and followed in-depth coverage of the trial in the newspaper of their choice, Paris-Soir or L'Humanité. Curiously enough, world-renowned journalists, psychoanalysts, and literary figures

Journal

The ComparatistUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Oct 3, 2003

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