The Miracle of the Rose
|Original title||Miracle de la rose|
|Publisher||Marc Barbezat - L'Arbalete (Original French), Grove Press (English Translation)|
Published in English
|ISBN||978-1-1270-5464-0 (English hardcover)|
|Preceded by||Our Lady of the Flowers|
|Followed by||Funeral Rites|
The Miracle of the Rose (French: Miracle de la rose) is a 1946 book by Jean Genet about experiences as a detainee in Mettray Penal Colony and Fontevrault prison - although there is no direct evidence of Genet ever having been imprisoned in the latter establishment. This autobiographical work has a non-linear structure: stories from Genet's adolescence are mixed in with his experiences as a thirty-year-old man at Fontevrault prison. At Mettray, Genet describes homosexual erotic desires for his fellow adolescent detainees. There is also a fantastical dimension to the narrative, particularly in Fontevrault passages concerning a prisoner called Harcamone who is condemned to death for murder. Genet idolises Harcamone and writes poetically about the rare occasions on which he catches a glimpse of this character. Genet was detained in Mettray Penal Colony between 2 September 1926 and 1 March 1929, after which, at the age of 18, he joined the Foreign Legion.
In popular culture
Luc Forlivesi, Georges-François Pottier and Sophie Chassat, Educate & Punish: the agricultural penal colony of Mettray (1839-1937) (in French), Presses universitaires de Rennes, October 2005.