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Grand-Guignol: The French Theatre of Horror
by more…André de Lorde , Eugène Morel , Paul Autier , Paul Cloquemin , Eugène Héros , Léon Abric , René Berton …less , , , , , , ,
The Théâtre du Grand-Guignol in Paris (1897-1962) achieved a legendary reputation as the 'Theatre of Horror,' a venue displaying such explicit violence and blood-curdling terror that a resident doctor was employed to treat the numerous spectators who fainted each night. Indeed, the phrase 'grand guignol' has entered the language to describe any display of sensational ...more
Paperback, 276 pages
Published January 1st 2007 by University of Exeter Press
(first published January 1st 2002)
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This is probably the best accessible survey of the Grand Guignol, the theatre of horror that thrived in the Pignalle neighborhood of Paris starting in the late 19th century. The authors survey seminal Guignol source authors like Maurice Level and Andre de Lorde as well as including full texts of translated plays. There are plenty of rare illustrations and photographs also. This is a highly recommended book, if you are interested in this theatre genre.
The informational, expository section of Hand & Wilson’s Grand-Guignol: The French Theatre of Horror is dry, dry, dry, reading as it does more like an academic thesis than a commercially published book of interest to genre aficionados . Tantalizing in its many notes and references to other sources, both print (notably Mel Gordon’s 1997 book on the Grand-Guignol , which I highly recommend as a history of the theatre) and cinema, Hand & Wilson’s book serves better as a guide for what else ...more
This is one of those books that is fascinating and repelling at the same time. People doing plays about people being tortured and killed in grisly ways? I guess all I can say is that the French are strange. But I read the book, so I can't judge.