Oscar Méténier

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Oscar Méténier

Oscar Méténier (17 January 1859 - 9 February 1913) was a French playwright and novelist. In 1897 he founded Le Théâtre du Grand-Guignol in Paris, planning it as a space for naturalist performance.

Life[edit]

Born in Sancoins, Cher, the son of a police commissioner, Oscar Méténier at first followed his father into the police, as secretary to the commissariat of la Tour Saint-Jacques, in which role he was able to observe the morals of low-life Paris, for which he had a near-scientific interest and eye. Laurent Tailhade wrote of him:

A follower of Émile Zola, he wrote naturalist novellas, generally gravelly in style, and pieces in argot for Le Chat Noir. He made his reputation with naturalist plays set among vagabonds, Apaches and prostitutes and expressed in the language of the street. In 1896 his Mademoiselle Fifi, previously temporarily banned by the police, was the first ever French play to include a prostitute character. The following year, Méténier's Lui ! showed a meeting between a murderer and a prostitute in a hotel bedroom.

In 1897, Oscar Méténier bought a theatre at the end of the impasse Chaptal (9th arrondissement) to present his own plays. This was the Théâtre du Grand-Guignol, one of the most original theatres in Paris, and he remained its director until 1898.

Works[edit]

Plays[edit]

Novels, novellas, essays[edit]

  • La Chair (1885)
  • La Grâce (1886)
  • Madame Berwick (1888)
  • Outre-Rhin (1888)
  • Mynha-Maria (1889)
  • Autour de la caserne, novellas (1890)
  • Madame la Boule (1890)
  • Le mari de Berthe (1890)
  • Le Gorille, Parisian novel (1891) Text on www.gutenberg.org
  • La Lutte pour l'amour, études d'argot (1891)
  • Les Voyous au théâtre (1891)
  • Zézette, mœurs foraines, novel (1891) Text on www.gutenberg.org
  • Les Cabots (1892)
  • Le Policier, roman
  • Barbe-Bleue (1893)
  • Le Beau monde (1893)
  • Le Chansonnier populaire Aristide Bruant (1893)
  • La Nymphomane, mœurs parisiennes (1893)
  • Demi-castors (mœurs parisiennes) (1894)
  • La Grâce. Décadence. Nostalgie (1894)
  • La Vie de campagne. Marcelle (1894)
  • Le 40e d'artillerie. Les bêtes. Les hommes. La croix, novellas (1895)
  • L'Amour vaincu. Bohème galante, bohème bourgeoise, novellas (1896)
  • L'amour qui tue (1898)
  • Reines de cœur, mœurs d'Outre-Rhin (1900-1910)
  • Les Berlinois chez eux, vertus et vices allemands (1904)
  • Une gamine vicieuse (1905)
  • Le jeune télégraphiste (1905)
  • Tartufes et satyres, unedited epic-dramatic novel (1905), which he wanted to form "a veritable encyclopaedia of the human passions" and was to have comprised : 1) Le marché aux vierges, 2) Le miroir à gigolettes, 3) Berlingot-la-Vache, 4) Les satyres en famille, 5) Les tricheuses de l'amour, 6) La môme claque-dents, 7) Le charcutier parfumé, etc.
  • Les Amoureux de Mira, Parisian novel (1907)
  • Nina Sartorelle : mœurs parisiennes (1907)
  • Les Baronnes de Roche-Noire (1908)
  • Reine de cœur (1908)
  • Notre-Dame de la Butte (1908)
  • La dernière aventure du Prince Curaçao (1910)
  • Les méprises du cœur (1910)
  • Soldes de contes (1911)
  • Le grand chéri (1911)

External links[edit]