COCTEAU JEAN (1889-1963).

Lot 49
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Estimation :
300 - 400 EUR
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Result : 585EUR
COCTEAU JEAN (1889-1963).
MANUSCRIT autograph signed "Jean Cocteau", Cherchez la femme, [1933]; 4 pages in-4 in pencil with corrections and additions in ink.
On Mae West and femininity.
Jean Cocteau wrote this text after having seen Lowell Sherman's film, She Done Him Wrong (in French, Lady Lou), released in 1933 and whose main role was played by the exuberant Mae West. She played the role of a bar owner who treats men casually. This vision caused Cocteau a certain shock: "I thought about it while receiving in the heart, in the manner of a blow from Pancras, the terribly realistic images of May West"... This vision of an actress full of strength and life, with a triumphant carnal presence, evokes for him by contrast the two film stars who are the exact opposite: Greta GARBO and Marlene DIETRICH, "phantom beauties, created from scratch for the image [...] two great mysterious statues, pale as the dead, slow and violent as Edgar Poe's heroines". In Cocteau's mind, the woman is either evanescent, unreal, or on the contrary of an almost frightening vitality. Where is true femininity?
In spite of appearances, she is perhaps not on the side of Mae West, who reminds him rather of the male world, "these men protée of fair, in these big frightening boys of the ball of Magic-City, in these ambiguous numbers of music-Hall which opened out their infernal toupet, in New York, in 1920. [...] Look for the woman! The enigma remains to be solved"...
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