Libido: Reviews: Jean Cocteau
Jean Cocteau: Erotic Drawings

By Sharon Peters

Writer, painter, illustrator, poet, filmmaker, actor, choreographer, and enfant terrible...the breadth of Jean Cocteau’s talent is legendary -- even if it is on the verge of disappearing from popular consciousness like so many daring 20th-century artists.

Now comes a good reason to remember just how outrageous Cocteau could be: Jean Cocteau: Erotic Drawings. This handsome volume, a definite up-scale version of most of Benedikt Taschen’s erotic books, provides over 140 of Cocteau’s homoerotic fantasy visions, many from Cocteau’s anonymous, controversial 1928 manifesto, Le Livre blanc.

The rest of these wonderfully reproduced paeans to the erect cock cover four decades of sketches and line drawings. Also included are drawings Cocteau made for the 1947 first edition of Jean Genet’s novel Querell de Brest.

What is most wonderful about Jean Concteau: Erotic Drawings is that while the subject is male/male sex, the images’ appeal spans the sexual spectrum -- precisely because the images’ erotic power is so universal.

Jean Cocteau: Erotic Drawings, edited by Annie Guédras, commentary by Pierre Bergé, Dominique Marny and Annie Guédras (Evergreen, an imprint of Benedikt Taschen, 1999. ISBN: 3-8228-6532-X. 144 pages, Hardcover $29.99)

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