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By Jean Genet, from The Criminal Child: Selected Essays, published this month by NYRB Classics. This text is an abridged version of the essay “The Criminal Child,” which was commissioned in 1947 by the national French radio program Carte Blanche. The show’s producers requested that Genet write on the topic of criminal justice. Genet submitted, in his own words, “not a criminal’s complaint, but rather his exaltation.” The text was rejected. Translated from the French by Jeffrey Zuckerman.

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