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Other Titles: Dying to Be Immortal: Jean Cocteau’s Orphic Trilogy
Authors: Pei-lin Wu
Issue Date: Mar-2016
Publisher: 英語學系
Department of English, NTNU
Abstract: Jean Cocteau (1889-1963), a French poet and filmmaker, adapted the Greek myth of Orpheus and produced three movies centered on it, which are known as the Orphic trilogy: Le Sang d’un poète (1930), Orphée (1950), and Le Testament d’Orphée (1960). His films incorporate features of Neo-classicism and Surrealism to present the main themes of art, love, and death in the Orphic myth. Death, above all, turns out to provide him with the vigor of living as a poet because it is the way to maintain the real self, his unconscious. Hence, to Cocteau, death is transcendental. He created his personal myth by communicating between the public and the private spheres, through filmmaking and his unique artistic style in the hope to also break down the barrier between the living and the dead like Orpheus. What Cocteau yearned for was not the immortality of a conscious hero as that in the traditional myths, but of an unconscious poet, not confined by any rules.
Other Identifiers: E19EAABE-BD19-8C6E-3A11-5F1907ABA3DF
Appears in Collections:Concentric: Studies in English Literature and Linguistics

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