Songs of Maldoror
|Author:||Le Comte de Lautreamont|
Le Comte de Lautreamont was the nom de plume of Isidore Ducasse (1846-70), a Uruguayan-born French writer and poet whose only surviving major work of fiction, Les Chants de Maldoror, was discovered by the Surrealists, who hailed the work as a dark progenitor of their movement. It was in Les Chants de Maldoror that Andre Breton discovered the phrase that would come to represent the Surrealist doctrine of objective chance: 'as beautiful as the random encounter between an umbrella and a sewing-machine upon a dissecting-table.' Artists inspired by Lautreamont include Man Ray, Rene Magritte, Max Ernst, Andre Masson, Joan Miro, Yves Tanguy, and, in particular, Salvador Dali, who in 1933 produced an entire series of illustrations for Les Chants de Maldoror. Twenty of those illustrations are included, for the first time, in this new, definitive edition of Lautreamont's influential masterpiece. Vividly translated by R. J. Dent - the first new translation for over thirty years - this edition also includes a foreword by French Surrealist poet Paul Eluard and a concise biography of the author by poet Jeremy Reed. In addition, an introduction by series editor Candice Black details the links between Maldoror and the Surrealist movement.
"His predecessor was Jonathan Swift and his chief executor was the Marquis de Sade.... Lautreamont was a black messenger heralding the death of illusion and the nightmare of impotence to follow." (Henry Miller) "The gate-master of tomorrow's literature" (Andre Gide)"