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Jean Maurice Eugène Clément Cocteau (French pronunciation: [ʒɑ̃ kɔkto]; 5 July 1889 – 11 October 1963) was a French poet, novelist, dramatist, designer, boxing manager, playwright, artist and filmmaker. Along with other avant-garde artists of his generation (Jean Anouilh and René Char for example) Cocteau grappled with the algebra of verbal codes old and new, mise en scène language and technologies of modernism to create a paradox: a classical avant-garde. His circle of associates, friends and lovers included Kenneth Anger, Pablo Picasso, Jean Hugo, Jean Marais, Henri Bernstein, Marlene Dietrich, Coco Chanel, Erik Satie, María Félix, Édith Piaf (whom he cast in one of his one-act plays entitled Le Bel Indifferent in 1940), and Raymond Radiguet.
His work was played out in the theatrical world of the Grands Theatres, the Boulevards and beyond during the Parisian epoque he both lived through and helped define and create. His versatile, unconventional approach and enormous output brought him international acclaim.
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