|Jean Cocteau, 1916, Pablo Picasso|
|Cocteau: a man of many talents|
|la Lampe d'Aladin, 1909, |
Cocteau was a teen prodigy.
Cocteau made his first literary splash just a year later as the teenage protege of the middle-aged homosexual actor, Edouard de Max, reading his poems aloud in the Theatre Femina; and later with the publication of his first book of poetry, La lampe d'Aladin, in 1909. At the same time he was doing ballet scenarios for the famous Ballet Russes and hobnobbing with the likes of Pablo Picasso, Amadeo Modigliani, the writer, Guillaume Apollinaire, and anyone else he deemed likely to advance his name and career. His fragile health kept him out of World War I though he served for a time as a civilian ambulance attendant.
|Jean Cocteau working on a mural in London, 1959|
|His play, Orphee, turned out to be|
Cocteau's most important work,
spawning both a novel and a film.