The Current Issue

December 2016, Issue 449 Jan Morris on Wild Wales * Alberto Manguel on libraries * Thomas Shippey on Charlemagne * Kevin Jackson on Cocteau * Candia McWilliam on the Hebrides * Diane Purkiss on the phoenix * Richard Overy on drugs in Nazi Germany * Catherine Peters on Marshalsea debtors' prison * Jonathan Keates on Zola in exile * Kathryn Hughes on Anne Brontë * Peter Moore on scurvy * Fergus Fleming on phantom maps * Juliet Barker on opus anglicanum * David Lubin on John Singleton Copley * Michael Burleigh on authoritarianism * Joanna Kavenna on Enrique Vila-Matas * Stephen Cave on the Singularity * Sarah Ditum on future sex * Laird Hunt on Colson Whitehead  and much, much more…

Kevin Jackson

Jean Cocteau: A Life

By Claude Arnaud (Translated by Lauren Elkin & Charlotte Mandell)

It is almost half a century since the last full-length English-language biography of Jean Cocteau was published, and it has taken thirteen years for Claude Arnaud’s work finally to be translated from the French. There are, no doubt, sound financial reasons for this. Although the elderly Cocteau of the 1950s and early 1960s was famous from Germany to Japan and from New York to Lebanon, the only fragments of his large oeuvre much known in the Anglophone world these days are two feature films, Orphée and La belle et la bête, and a brief novel-turned-film, Les enfants terribles. Are we wrong to neglect him? We are... read more

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