Jean Cocteau

Author: Jean Cocteau

Profile: Jean Maurice Eugene Clement Cocteau also called Jean Cocteau was a French novelist, poet, playwright, designer, critic, filmmaker, dramatist and visual artist. He was born in Maisons-Laffitte, France and died in Milly-la-Foret, France. His partners were Raymond Radiguet (1919-1923), Jean Bourgoint (1925), Jean Desbordes (1926-1933), Marcel Khill (1933-1937), Jean Marais (1938-1963) and Edouard Dermit (1947-1963). He was also known as the Frivolous Prince. His Parisian family was prominent in society. He left home at the age of fifteen and published, Aladdin’s Lamp, his first volume of poem at the age of nineteen. Within no time he became popular as The Frivolous Prince in Bohemian artistic circles. The Frivolous Prince was the title of a volume he published at the age of twenty two.

In his twenties he associated himself with a lot of writers, collaborated with popular dancers, met poets and artists. Jean Cocteau had tremendous influence on the work of others and was a vital exponent of avant-garde art. He socialized, collaborated and undertook a number of vacations and journeys with Raymond Radiguet, the French poet. Jean was deeply saddened on the sudden death of Raymond in 1923. During the later years of his life he was associated with his films mostly which were directed and written by him. He never tried to hide his homosexuality.

Writing style: Classifying the great range of his works including drawings, poems, essays, plays, novels and films, Jean Cocteau insisted that he be called a poet. Jean Cocteau is described as a man to whom every great poetry line was a sunrise and every sunset was the foundation of the Heavenly City.

Published Texts:


1930 – The Blood of a Poet

1948 – The Eagle with Two Heads

1950 – Orpheus

1960 – The Testament of Orpheus


1909 – La Lampe d’Aladin

1910 – Le Prince frivole

1912 – La Danse de Sophocle

1919 – Ode à Picasso – Le Cap de Bonne-Espérance

1920 – Escale. Poésies (1917–1920)

1922 – Vocabulaire

1923 – La Rose de François – Plain-Chant

1925- Cri écrit

1926 –  L’Ange Heurtebise

1927 – Opéra

1934 – Mythologie

1939 – Énigmes

1941 – Allégories

1945 – Léone

1946 – La Crucifixion

1948 – Poèmes

1952- Le Chiffre sept – La Nappe du Catalan (in collaboration with Georges Hugnet

1953 – Dentelles d’éternité – Appoggiatures

1954 – Clair-obscur

1958 – Paraprosodies

1961- Cérémonial espagnol du Phénix – La Partie d’échecs

1962 – Le Requiem

1968 – Faire-Part (posthume)


1919 – Le Potomak

1923 – Le Grand Ecart

1928 – Le Livre blanc

1929 – Les Enfants terribles

1940 – La Fin du Potomak


Awards and Acknowledgements:

1955 – Made a member of the Academie francaise and The Royal Academy of Belgium

He has been Member of the American Academy, Mallarme Academy, Mark Twain (USA) Academy and German Academy (Berlin)

He was Commander of the Legion of Honor and President of the Cannes Film Festival

He was honorary President of the France-Hungary Association and President of the Jazz Academy and of the Academy of the Disc