Holy-Beuve, us says that Piron was “ cheerfulness even…, merry talker, man of liveliness and mimicry ”. It left a reputation of madness, luronnery, jovial illumination that its writings do not support and justify only imperfectly.
Biography“ Piron , written Holy-Beuve, were a stock of chansonniers, malignant accomplices and satirists. ” Alexis was especially marked by his father, Aimé Piron, main apothecary of his state, which was the friend and the rival of Burgundian Monnoye as regards noëls . Alexis Piron hesitated a long time over the choice of a profession. After studies with the college of Jesuits of Godrans in Dijon and studies of right to Besancon, it was briefly employed at a financier then tested, but without success, the bar of its birthplace.
Towards the twenty years age, it composed its Ode in Priape , whose immorality was famous and who announced a true talent. This Ode continued it all its life lasting: it was to him at the same time a title of a somewhat sulfurous glory, at the same time as a ball which it had to trail and which finishes by him closing the doors of the French Academy, in spite of Fontenelle which said: “ If Piron made the famous ode, it is necessary well to thunder it, but to admit it; if it did not do it, close to him the door. ” As soon as the work started to circulate, Piron was threatened of continuations in its birthplace of Dijon. The president Bouhier stopped them by inviting the author to repudiate his part and while adding: “ If the public ministry insists, I authorize you to declare that I am the author; the business will remain about it there. ”
Piron remained in Burgundy until worms 1719, sifting epigrams the inhabitants of Dijon and, especially, those of its rival, Beaune. The words of Piron against Beaunois are innumerable and often wild. He baptized them “ the asses of Beaune ” and he made many variations on this topic. Thus, a day, it cut thistles in the countryside while saying to which wanted to hear it: “ In war with Beaunois, I cut the vivres to them”; another time, with the theater of Beaune, whereas a spectator complained anything to hear, it exclaimed: “ It is however not for lack of rather long ears ”.
Around thirty years, it came to Paris. It was known as still Holy-Beuve, “ a large child, beautiful drills of five feet eight inches, beautiful mine without elegance no, robust in all; with that, short-sighted, which gave him a singular air. ” to remain, it entered as copyist at the knight of Beautiful-Isle, grandson of the superintendent Fouquet, who paid it irregularly. At the marchioness of Mimeure, it met Voltaire with which it was scrambled at once, and bound with the reader of the marchioness, Miss Quenaudon, known as of Bar, which it married in 1741.
It started to bore by writing light operas. The Comédie-Française had obtained to make apply in all its rigor a stop of the Council of 1718 which limited the spectacles of the fair to only one spoken role and, consequently, with a monolog. This legislation absurdity threatened to condemn to the ruin the Op3era Comique of which the director, Francisque, were in despair to find an author able to write a good monolog. Piron, which lived then in misery, agreed to take up the challenge for 100 ecus. To the day called for the delivery of the part, he says to Francisque: “ Here your part and your money: if the work is good, you will be always in time to pay me. If it is bad, throw it with fire. ”, which did not miss elegance on behalf of a starveling writer. The part, Harlequin Deucalion (1722), in three acts, had an enormous success: Piron imagined there a Harlequin only survivor of the Flood and which, quite naturally, soliloquy. Consequently, Piron, only or in collaboration with Alain-Rene Lesage, produced until in 1732 twenty-and-a open parts, often of the parodies of tragedies or grand operas. He knew the celebrity, though in a minor kind and which reported only little money.
Piron survived thanks to the assistance of some guards, Mrs. de Tencin in particular and especially the marquis de Livry, first Master of hotel of the King, brigadier then lieutenant-general, who made him a pension of thousand books and placed an apartment at his disposal in his castle, where he will write Métromanie . It attended the meetings of the Régiment of the Cap, which met in Livry, and belonged to the Société of the Vault, founded by Crébillon wire.
Thanks to the support of its compatriot Crébillon, according to certain sources (but that seems improbable because, on this date, he lived absolutely withdrawn of the world), or thanks to that of Miss Quinault, according to Piron itself, he could make play Comédie-Française, in 1728, a comedy in five acts and worms which was badly accommodated under the title ungrateful Wire and oddly had success under that of the School of the fathers . It then turned to the tragedy with the vain hope to compete with Voltaire and gave poor parts: Callisthène (1730), triumphed at the Court but fell to the city; on the other hand, Gustave Wasa obtained a great success with the Comédie-Française (1733); it was followed by Fernand Cortez (1744). These two last parts announce the attempts of the 18th century to renew the framework of the traditional tragedy, without to introduce truly elements of picturesque there.
In 1738, Piron gave the part which remains like its masterpiece, Métromanie , comedy in five acts and worms written in 1736, whose Grimm said that she would live as a long time as there will be a theater and taste in France. It had much evil to make it receive by the Actors of the Com3edie fran1caise because it attacked Voltaire, rival sworn of Piron, and was created only on the intervention of Maurepas. It succeeds brilliantly, with 23 representations with the city and one at the Court, but was taken again only ten years later.
In 1753, it was elected with the French Academy but adversaries exhumed famous the Ode in Priape and Louis XV refused to ratify the election. As a compensation, the partisans of Piron obtained a pension of Madam to him de Pompadour equal to the treatment of academician. He was elected with the Académie of Dijon in 1762.
His wife, whom he had married in 1741, sank gradually in the madness. Piron looked after it with devotion. Over its old days, he became a little misanthropist but kept some faithful friends. Jean-Jacques Rousseau visited him for its 80 years and it accepted it by entonnant of a powerful voice the Nunc dimittis servum tuum, Domine what made say to Rousseau while being withdrawn: “ It is the Pythea on its tripod ” It died in the embarrassment at the age of eighty-four years in 1773.
WorksThe talent of Piron before very opened out in the epigram. It dazzles its contemporaries by its flashes of wit and its distributed abbot of Voisenon described it like a “ machine with projections, epigrams, features ”. Grimm, which said of him that it was “ indisputably the man of the nation which has the most projections, the most imagination ”, added however “ and less taste ”. It was due much to its reputation of good-naturedness, applicant whom it could not more retain to make an epigram to sneeze, but “ without gall, while laughing and without to have wanted to harm differently”. It was however not deprived of corrosiveness and Duclos, the Cardinal of Bernis, Moncrif, the abbot Desfontaines, Élie Fréron and Voltaire had matter to take it in turn “ in guignon for some most innocent cheerfulnesses of the world ”.
It is particularly keen against Fréron, composing against him a continuation of 34 epigrams under the title of Fréronnade . He also promised with the Desfontaines abbot about it to bring an epigram per day to him and held word during fifty days.
Following its ousting of the French Academy, its last flash of wit was its own epitaph:
- “Ci-to lie Piron which was nothing,
- Pas even academician. ”
- Its portrait by Nicolas-Bernard Lépicié, engraved by Christmas the Test card in 1773, reproduced here.
- Harlequin Deucalion , monolog in three acts, Op3era Comique, February 25th 1722
- Endriague , comic opera in three acts, music of Jean-Philippe Branch, represented with the Fair Saint-Germain, on February 3rd 1723
- Children of the joy , comedy in an act, theater of the Italians, November 28th 1725
- the School of the fathers, or Wire ungrateful , comedy in 5 acts, worms, Comédie-Française, 1728
- Callisthène , tragedy, 1730
- Gustave Wasa , tragedy, 1733
- Métromanie , comedy in 5 acts, in worms, July 7th 1738
- Fernand Cortez , tragedy, 1744
- the Rose, or Festivals of the hymen , Op3era Comique in 1 act, prose, 1752
- Ode in Priape , towards 1710 (in: various Poetries , ED. William Jackson, London, 1787)
- the Beautiful Legs
- the Chip
- Ave Maria
- My Will
- Voyage of Piron to Beaune , 1717
- the Epistles
- Odes, tales and various poetries
- Its plays and their representations on site CÉSAR
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