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Janin, Jules

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

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(1804-1874) French author, active from the 1820s, who first came to prominence for L'Âne mort et la Femme guillotinée (1829; trans Terry Hale as The Dead Donkey and the Guillotined Woman 1993), a very early example of what would become known as the conte cruel [see The Encyclopedia of Fantasy under links below]. In its counterintuitive lightheartedness – the plot of the tale is grim – it prefigures the short stories, some of them almost readable as hoaxes, assembled as Contes Fantastiques et contes littéraires (coll 1832; incomplete trans Brian Stableford plus other material as The Magnetized Corpse 2014). Most of his work shows the influence of E T A Hoffmann. In his introduction to The Magnetized Corpse, Stableford compares him to Edgar Allan Poe; the collection, which gathers together tales of the fantastic from the whole of Janin's career (circa 1824-1868), may be definitive. [JC]

Gabriel-Jules Janin

born Saint-Étienne, Loire, France: 16 February 1804

died Paris: 19 June 1874

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