Michel de Ghelderode  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Michel De Ghelderode (April 3, 1898 - April 1, 1962) was an avant-garde Belgian dramatist, writing in French. His 1934 play La Balade du grand macabre served as inspiration for György Ligeti's opera Le Grand Macabre.

Contents

Praise

One of the greatest literary figures in Belgian history was eccentric playwright Michel De Ghelderode, a true visionary whose folkish morality plays and stories resonated with Hieronymus Bosch-like humor and fantasy. Magie Rouge [Red Magic] (1934) and La Ballade du Grand Macabre [The Ballad Of The Great Macabre] (1935) brought to life the macabre tradition of Flemish culture.

Biography

He was born as Adhémar-Adolphe-Louis Martens in Ixelles and married in 1924 to Jeanne-Françoise Gérard. He died in Brussels.

Work

A prolific writer, he wrote more than sixty plays, a hundred stories, a number of articles on art and folklore and more than 20,000 letters. He is the creator of a fantastic and disturbing, often macabre, grotesque and cruel world filled with mannequins, puppets, devils, masks, skeletons, religious paraphernalia, mysterious old women... etc. His works create an eerie and unsettling atmosphere although they rarely contain anything openly scary. Among his influences are puppet theater, commedia dell'arte and the paintings of fellow Belgian James Ensor. His works often deal with the extremes of human experience, from death and degradation to religious exaltation.

Influences

Among his influences are puppet theater and commedia dell'arte. His works often deal with the extremes of human experience, from death and degradation to religious exaltation. His 1934 play La Balade du grand macabre served as inspiration for György Ligeti's opera Le Grand Macabre.

Works

Plays

  • La Mort regarde a la fenetre (1918)
  • Venus (1927)
  • Don Juan (1928)
  • Barabbas (1928)
  • Fastes d'enfer (1929)
  • Pantagleize (1929)
  • Magie rouge (1931)
  • Mademoiselle Jaïre (1934)
  • Hop Signor! (1935)
  • Marie la misérable (1952)
  • L'école des bouffons (1953)
  • Les aveugles (1956)

Prose

  • Sortilèges [Spells] (1941)
  • La Flandre est un songe (1953)




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Michel de Ghelderode" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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