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Sunday, 22 December 2013

Day 830 - Jean(e) Genet/Jean(e) Cocteau/Jean(e) Marais/Jean(e) Maher

I didn't intend to blog again before Christmas, but the whole Cocteau story is so intriguing that I just couldn't help myself, especially as the mysterious Fifi added this comment to my last entry:

Anonymous20 December 2013 20:56
Dear Blog Master, thank you for making my comments such an important part of your posts nowadays.
It makes me feel I still exist, even if it is only somewhere in the virtual world.

I did promise more information on the latest topics but this time of year is not the most ideal to spend time on a computer. I am always surprised when my family members express the need to spend time with me but their wish shall be granted.

I will share some thoughts with you, if you are not too bored with me, when I have some spare time to do so. There is so much to say, so much to show! But how much can be said, how much can be shown? That, I am not sure.

There is an explanation for the M on the Cocteau mural in Soho. The same M can be found on many of his art pieces, in different forms.

One last thing before I go. As it is very much an Art-related blog entry, please let me share with you one of my favourite Cocteau pieces, called Tapestry for Judith and Holopherne.
The naked blue man in the background always looked very familiar to me. Maybe I met him in another life.

I will be back soon, je suis toujours là. Je l'ai toujours été.
Fifi xx


Bermondsey Billy took the words right out of my mouth when he replied to Fifi's comment with this:

WOW, and I do mean WOW! Has Moz ever discussed or mentioned in any interviews the Cocteau picture of him?

I presume this has been discussed before, I mean, it must have?

Bermondsey Billy


But it would appear that both Bermondsey Billy and I were not barking up the same tree as Fifi:

Thank you everyone for the kind words!

I have been thinking about all the interesting Cocteau / Genet / Marais stories and I feel lucky that my internet browsing brought me here. There aren't many places I can talk about the things I feel passionate about without the uncomfortable feeling people find those stories boring.

I look forward to sharing thoughts with you all.

Bermondsey Billy, I believe the Cocteau connection has never been talked about before but I could be wrong.
As for the blue man on the tapestry, although you are not wrong about the resemblance you mentioned, I was actually thinking about someone else. One more guess?

Take care of you, dear friends.

The tapestry can be found on the dining room wall of this house:


It is said that Cocteau was so enchanted by Villa Santo Sospir, which was a house belonging to his friends Alec and Francine Weisweiller, that he asked his hosts if he could draw on the walls. The house is filled with Cocteau's drawings, with the tapestry of Judith and Holofernes the last drawing he did at Santo Sospir, in 1951. The Judith and Holofernes tapestry was based on a pastel that Cocteau had drawn on cardboard:



So, WHO is it that Fifi sees in the tapestry, if it isn't Morrissey? My first thought was perhaps Cocteau's lover, Jean Marais......


.... but then I wondered if perhaps Fifi saw not Cocteau's JM, but another JM, another Jean... Morrissey's Jean... John Maher of Wythenshawe.

Last thought comes from Comrade Harps, and hopefully we will hear from Fifi:

What's important is not the stretches that Ratty makes, but what M may have made: Ratty's just trying to follow the path and the past. If Morrissey has read himself into Cocteau's work and believes some metaphysical connection with Cocteau, that's the truly intriguing thing for a reductionist materialist like me to try and understand. We know Morrissey believes in ghosts and such. It's fascinating to see what else his highly creative and self-educated mind might connect and accept. There is more to him than any of us mere downtrodden plebs might dare to speculate or understand.

I don't understand the references, but the fact that there is symbolism on the Years of Refusal cover makes more sense now - and all the heraldry on Ringleader etc


  1. As I listen to the light breeze outside, I pour myself a good Earl Grey cuppa. I sit comfortably in my favourite chair and think it's a good time to check what's been happening on that intriguing blog of yours to see my words once again making the headlines. The day is suddenly not so gloom.
    You make a lot of valid points, my friend. I was not thinking about Marais or Maher though. Oh, notice how their names sound similar?
    Have you ever been to Menton? It is indeed beautiful.
    So now shall I tell you who I think the blue man is? It's only my opinion and my opinion is not always widely approved so beware.
    Unless of course you want to keep searching.
    I will now sip on my black tea and listen to one of my favourite records. That record is so old and has been played so many times, its sound crackles and the more it does, the more it adds to my delight.
    And when it ends, the sun might shine again outside. And if not, it will in my heart.
    Just say the word, Mr Rat. It is the only festive time of the year after all. Let's all enjoy it while it lasts.

  2. I have never been to Menton, or indeed Paris, but there is no hurry, I shall visit both in the next phase of my life. I would like to know who you think the 'Blue Man' looks like, and I would also like to know what record it is you have been listening to.
    Thank you

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Well I am sitting in front of my crackling fire, sipping on mulled wine. I am enjoying reading this very much Rats & learning so much.
    I must urge those who haven't already done so to visit MW blog to read the latest posts. I am rather blown away by the writing, which in my opinion is stunning.

  5. The man in Cocteau's pastel reminds me of a certain record sleeve.
    On the record, the man is facing the same way as the one on the tapestry but is the same colour as the one on the original pastel.
    So who is this man? Is it the 'quiffed' man as you called him above or is it the naked fella below...?

    It turns out Cocteau's art might have secretly appeared on more than one record sleeve of the 'quiffed' poet but this has never been talked about before to my knowledge so surely it means I am wrong, doesn't it?

    I look forward to your thoughts.


    1. The sun shines out of our behinds. Thanks Fifi.
      This blog is SO educational. And is there any Cocteau influence in any of the other Smiths covers?

      Bermondsey Billy

    2. Yes there is Billy.
      Say hi to Patelvis for me (or Ravi Singh as I like to call him) if you go see him tonight.

    3. I didn't get to see Ravi Singh this evening, did you, Fifi? And will you tell us of the other Cocteau influences? Please.


    4. A Jim French arse -

  6. Wow, this is so amazing! I can't believe that no one has ever picked up on this...

  7. I thought the quiffed blue man might be this charming quiffed fellow

  8. Of course! The be-quiffed Jean Marais from Cocteau's film Orphee is on the This Charming Man cover, which has Jean as a B-side. Doh!

  9. very cool reading this rat. Art work is beautiful. didnt see the connection b4. Watching cocteau's beauty and the beast also reminded me of hand in glove.


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