Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Word I Never Knew Existed - April 8, 2008

Grand Guignol (pronounced Grahn Geen-yol') refers to any dramatic entertainment that deals with macabre subject matter and features “over-the-top” graphic violence. It is derived from Le Theatre du Grand Guignol, the name of the Parisian theatre that horrified audiences for over sixty years. The theatre was founded in 1897 by Oscar Metenier as an extension of the naturalist movement, which had been popularized by André Antoine's Theatre Libre. A typical evening at the Grand Guignol Theatre might consist of five or six short plays, ranging from suspenseful crime dramas to bawdy sex farces. Lots of horrific scenes (eye-gouging, throat-slashing, acid-throwing, or some other equally grisly climax) occurred, which resulted in an average of 2 people fainting a night.

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