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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(1) A character of the French puppet theater, one of the hand puppets. The Guignol mask was created by L. Mourguet, who opened his own theater in Lyon in 1804 and staged his plays with Guignol as a character. The plays, whose main character was a cheerful, clever, and cynical Lyon craftsman, were full of satire on politics and daily life and were especially successful during the July Revolution of 1830. Guignol became as popular in France as were Petrushka in Russia, Hanswurst in Germany, and Punch in England.


Ducret, E. Le Théâtre de Guignol. Paris, 1914.
(2) The name for plays, productions, and individual stage devices based on the depiction of crimes, villainy, beatings, and tortures. It comes from the Théâtre Grand Guignol, which opened in Paris in 1899. Guignol was brought to bourgeois audiences, who were looking for strong sensations, through the works of O. Méténier, M. Maurey, and A. de Lordé and adaptations of the works of E. Poe. Theaters like the Grand Guignol were opened in Italy and Germany in the 1920’s. The Grand Guignol repertoire included entertaining farces and “cruel” melodramas with an amoral and antihumanistic bent.
In Russia a Guignol-type play (The Suicide Club, in translation) was staged in 1908 by the director V. R. Gardin at a construction fair in St. Petersburg.


Antona-Traversi, C. Histoire du Grand-Guignol. Paris, 1933.
Boiadzhiev, G. Teatral’nyi Parizh segodnia. [Moscow] 1960. Pages 15-20.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Plus, its inspired Grand Guignol humor will have you wincing and shielding your eyes while you nervously laugh at its sidesplitting humor.
A huge contrast came with the grand guignol of Bartok's Miraculous Mandarin, its cacophony well controlled, brass sleazy and louche, clarinet solos dark and haunting, its erotic waltz softly cushioned, and all its mystery and X-certificate allure combining with the driving impetus Seal propelled with these brilliant young players.
A Grand Noir B Grand Horreur C Grand Guignol D Rouge-Noir 15.
He sees les cowboys as saps with six-guns, turning much of the free-flowing bloodshed into grand guignol comedy in the manner of a western by Quentin Tarantino or the Coen brothers.
During her 1930s heyday the celebrated headline star of the Grand Guignol Theatre in Paris was graphically murdered more than 10,000 times in over 60 different ways.
Part musical, part Grand Guignol, it was as unsettling as it was hilarious and formed the perfect farewell to Royston Vasey, at least until the next time.
Et comme par enchantement, le guignol qui avait toujours servi ses seigneurs de la plus haute sphere, se transforme en detenteur des ficelles a la solde de son concurrent prefere.
In addition to Iquitos, the field of seven for the Grosser Preis von Baden also includes Group 1 Grosser Preis Von Bayern winner Guignol and Group 1 Deutsches Derby victor Windstoss.
What can you tell me about the term Grand Guignol? I sometimes see it used in connection with TV shows and movies that are especially violent.
The course of true love is awfully sinister in "Malady," an intense, impressionistic portrait of two lonely English souls who find one another--though there's more desperation than joy in their union, and halfway through, the introduction of a parental figure drags this already discomfiting tale toward Grand Guignol territory.
11.05PM Sexually repressed nun Vanessa Redgrave suffers the Lust Temptation of a wanton Bride of Christ in Ken Russell's notorious carnival of lost souls - part depraved political pantomime, part camp Grand Guignol. (Cert 18, 1971)