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Grand Guignol

  1. A Parisian theatre which specialized in grotesque and grisly horror shows.
  2. (by extension) That which thrives on grotesquery and gore.
    • 1926 June 19 [U.S. publication date in the Illustrated London News], G. K. Chesterton, "Spain and the Color Black", reprinted in, 1991, the Collected Works of G. K. Chesterton, volume XXIV, The Illustrated London News, 1926-1928, Ignatius Press, →ISBN, pages 112-113
      I may remark, in passing, that I did not go to see any bullfights... . But if I had preferred a Grand Guignol thrill to a great experience of a great nation,... .
    • 1987, Simon Watney, "The Spectacle of AIDS", reprinted as chapter 13 of, 1993, Henry Abelove, Michèle Aina Barale, and David M. Halperin (eds.), The Lesbian and Gay Studies Reader, Routledge, →ISBN, page 206
      Hence the incomparably strange reincarnation of the cultural figure of the male homosexual as a predatory, determined invert, wrapped in a Grand Guignol cloak of degeneracy theory, and casting his lascivious eyes-and hands-out from the pages of Victorian sexology manuals and onto "our" children, and above all onto "our" sons.
    • 1993, Florence King, Southern Ladies and Gentlemen, St. Martin's Press, →ISBN, page 147
      Everything quickly gets impossibly sensitive, aesthetic, ethereal, and opaquely lovely, yet there is a Grand Guignol thread running through it all that results in constant ominous tension, as though something dreadfully beautiful is going to happen at any moment-i.e., the author is going to turn queer.

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