Comte de Lautréamont

Comte de Lautréamont

Comte de Lautréamont was the pen name of Isidore Lucien Ducasse (1846–1870), born in Montevideo, Uruguay, the son of a French consular officer. Ducasse was sent to France for high school and soon after began writing poetry. He died from a fever in Paris, but his small body of work became a huge influence on the Surrealists years after his death.

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Fiction by Comte de Lautréamont

With a contribution by James Laughlin

The macabre but beautiful work, Les Chants de Maldoror, has achieved a considerable reputation as one of the earliest and most extraordinary examples of Surrealist writing. It is a long narrative prose poem which celebrates the principle of Evil in an elaborate style and with a passion akin to religious fanaticism. The French poet-critic Georges Hugnet has written of Lautréamont: “He terrifies, stupefies, strikes dumb. He could look squarely at that which others had merely given a passing glance.…
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I like Lautreamont a lot. He taught me how important and how possible it was to write a sentence that is just gorgeous. Actually, I’m about overdue for a rereading of Maldoror. I’d like to pick up a few tricks from that book again.
—William T. Vollmann, The Paris Review
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