Jean Cocteau: la matematica del verbo e del disegno

Silvia Baroni

In an interview of the 1962, Cocteau stated that “painting and writing can’t be compared”: an artwork is immediately detectable, whereas poetry is a harder work both to be assembled as to be deciphered. In fact, although the literary work and the picture are born from an internal and bad-known “we”, writing, contrary to painting, has no command on this creative force. Despite these essential differences, Cocteau’s multifaceted production shows an intense connection between the two kind of arts: not only the same themes and characters recur in them, but there’s no text that is not accompanied by any of his illustrations. The purpose of the article is to describe the evolution of Cocteau’s consideration about the supremacy of the poetic word on the drawing, to trace those theorems that make a sort of “mathematic” of the written and the drawn line. In particular, the analysis is conducted by the example of one of the most famous novels of the author: Les Enfants terribles.