Tentations spectaculaires: quelques représentations théâtrales de l’alcoolisme ouvrier, de la monarchie de Juillet à la Troisième République

The present article considers staging alcohol issues in the French working class from the July monarchy to the Third Republic, through four plays: a vaudeville (Plus de Jeudi, by Victor Ducange and Anicet Bourgeois, 1838), two examples of “humanitarian theater”—Marie-Jeanne, ou la femme du peuple (1845), by Adolphe Dennery and Julien de Mallian, and Le Chiffonnier de Paris (1847), by Félix Pyat— and a “social drama” (L’Assommoir, a theatrical adaptation from Zola’s novel by William Busnach and Octave Gastineau, 1879). According to its own genre, each play stages alcohol-related harms: disorders and troubled gestures, postures, or movements are either seen or heard. This aesthetics of excess exhibits, either in a comic or a (melo)dramatic way, the consequences of alcoholism leading to denouements: abusive drinking leads characters to the brink of catastrophe, and it ceases once they are persuaded to proclaim their temperance. (In French.)

Marjolaine Forest
université Lumière Lyon 2, UMR 5317 IHRIM