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Richepin, Jean

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author, Theatre.

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(1849-1926) Algerian-born poet, playwright and author, in France from an early age, some of whose plays, like La Belle au bois dormant ["The Sleeping Beauty"] (performed 25 December 1907 Théâtre Sarah-Bernhardt, Paris; 1908 chap) with Henri Cain (1857-1937), were fantasy. Over the course of his career he published several fantasies of the grotesque and contes cruels (see Decadence) such as those assembled in his first book, Les Morts bizarres ["The Bizarre Deaths"] (coll 1876), and in similar later volumes, including Cauchemars ["Nightmares"] (coll 1892; cut vt Le coin des fous: histories horribles 1921; trans Brian Stableford as The Crazy Corner 2013), which contains some sf tales. His last novel, L'Aile, Roman des Temps Nouveaux (1911; trans Brian Stableford as The Wing: A Romance of the New Age 2011), is also sf, hinting that the Invention of an advanced aircraft, driven by a new Power Source, will shape the future (which Richepin does not describe, focusing rather on material from the deep past); there are hints, too, of a Pax Aeronautica to come, but almost derangedly elusive. [JC]

Jean Richepin

born Medea [now Lemdiyya], Algeria: 4 February 1849

died Paris: 12 December 1926



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