Forum Index
Author Message

<  Books & Literature  ~  Blood Meridian as Grand Guignol?

Posted: Sat Jan 06, 2007 10:16 pm Reply with quote
New Member Joined: 06 Jan 2007 Posts: 1

I'm a literary creature who is not very familiar with the theatre world. I'm working on an article about a Cormac McCarthy novel called Blood Meridian. I embarked on a little research project to learn about Grand Guignol, because one of his book reviewers characterized Blood Meridian as a grand guignol and I wanted to understand how that was. I was delighted to have found Mel Gordon's gem of a book on the Grand Guignol as well as this website. (I'm also cursing my relatively young age, because I think I would have loved attending the Theatre Grand Guignol before WWII.)

I'm aware that since the theatre and genre closed in 1962 that "grand guignol" is sometimes used loosely as a literary term for anything deliberately horrific. An example is this dictionary definition of grand guignol:

"Grand Guignol |gr n g?n?yl| noun a dramatic entertainment of a sensational or horrific nature, originally a sequence of short pieces as performed at the Grand Guignol theater in Paris. ORIGIN French, literally Great Punch." It's pretty colloquial.

My question - in the off chance anyone visiting this forum has read Cormac McCarthy's novel Blood Meridian - is, was Joyce Carol Oates really correct in characterizing it as a grand guignol, or was she being too flippant about writers she looks down upon as usual? McCarthy *does* make use of theatricality, and I'm split down the middle on the issue at the moment. Not that it's possible that he set out to make his novel exactly like a Parisian horror play, but I have been wondering what it was he was doing in writing this extremely violent (and semihistorical) masterpiece.

Mariette St-Simon

p.s. It's off topic but I simply cannot resist offering this NSFW clip as an example of unconscious nouvelle guignol: It all comes down to the puppets really.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Posted: Sat Aug 18, 2007 11:20 pm Reply with quote
New Member Joined: 07 Aug 2007 Posts: 1 Location: weston,wv
To me it is more like a like cross between Grand Guignol and the extremely violent westerns of the late 60s and seventies because there are several scenes that more resemble an early 70s western than Grand Guignol.
View user's profile Send private message
Russell Blackwood
Posted: Tue Nov 27, 2007 10:07 pm Reply with quote
Moderator Joined: 18 Sep 2003 Posts: 125
The phrase "grand guignol" gets broad usage these days. It's a compliment to the theatre company and the genre, I suppose. Not always a literal or an accurate label to be sure. Sometimes it's synonymous with "pure gore" or intended as a dismissive "pooh-pooh". You are right to question Ms. Oates intentions.

View user's profile Send private message
Posted: Fri Oct 02, 2015 12:43 am Reply with quote
New Member Joined: 02 Oct 2015 Posts: 2
The article was written and minuscule. And quality Thanks for or behalf of the company

View user's profile Send private message
Posted: Sun Jun 28, 2020 3:00 am Reply with quote
Guignoler Joined: 18 Apr 2020 Posts: 90357
View user's profile Send private message

Display posts from previous:  

All times are GMT - 7 Hours
Page 1 of 1
Post new topic

Jump to:  

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum